On August 2, the World Youth Day (WYD) program set aside a moment for all Scouts to celebrate the Centenary of the National Scout Corps (CNE) and also the Day. Little by little, in a hurry, hundreds of scouts filled the Quinta das Conchas in Lumiar. Those arriving are not only taking part in the WYD. They bring with them the call to take part in the festivities celebrating Portuguese Catholic scouting. Between the varied music, well-deserved rest, smiles and lots of entertainment, it’s easy to see that scouts of all nationalities, who are in Portugal to take part in WYD, are also joining in the fun.
According to the organizers, 10,000 scouts took part in the festivities, an estimate more than confirmed by the thousands of scarves on display. The party kicked off with entertainment from the parish brass band, a regular feature of CNE activities. The audience responded enthusiastically to the band’s requests, and there was no shortage of entertainment during the concert. In the crowd, it was possible to see the good that scouting brings to young people: a single ideal which, although translated into several languages, transmits the same values and teachings. Before the Eucharist, the young people exchanged friendship bows, badges, scarves, scout accessories or simply photos.
All the Scouts present then took part in the Eucharist, presided over by Mgr Guillaume de Lisle, Auxiliary Bishop of Meaux and President of the French Bishops’ Conference’s Council for the Pastoral Care of Children and Young People, which supports Scouting. Bishop Michael Gerber of Fulda (Germany), who is responsible for supporting German Catholic scouts within the German Bishops’ Conference, also concelebrated the Eucharist with more than three dozen scout assistants. World Chaplain P. Luis Marinho and Regional Chaplain P. Claudio Fassilio of the International Catholic Scout Conference also celebrated the Scout Mass. All celebrated their faith and belonging to the Catholic Church, in the diversity of scout associations and movements.
Carlos Pacheco, in charge of organizing the scout festival, explains why this activity is part of WYD: “The objective of participating in WYD is very important, as all young Christians are invited to take an active part. We have the privilege, within this group of young Christians, of having young people who are also Catholic scouts, which is something we also need to reinforce in their experience.