Sr. Clara, member of the diocesan Youth Commission will accompany young people to WYD 2023. She dreams that everyone would have a strong experience of faith.
I am sister Maria Clara Pires, I am from Parintins, a small island in the state of Amazonas in Brazil.
I learnt in my family the values of the Christian life, especially to be generous and share what I have with others, and it helped me a lot in the discernment of my missionary vocation. Since my early age I had the will to go beyond the frontiers of my own country to help the people in need of. Besides a good Christian formation received from my family and my journey of faith and service in my parish, my missionary vocation was nourished by the witness of the PIME fathers present in my diocese and their missionary stories, which always warmed my heart and inspired me to join our Congregation.
In 2012, the dream of my dreams came true when I received my assignment for the mission of Hong Kong – China. In 2016, I arrived in Hong Kong and started a new phase of my missionary life. It is already seven years that I am serving the church in Hong Kong.
Since January 2022, I have joined the diocese youth commission for the English speaking youth, and it was through this service that came to me the invitation to be one of the spiritual directors to accompany the diocese youth group, that is going to attend the World Youth Day in Portugal. The fact that I am a Portuguese speaker, make my presence in the group very helpful.
To accompany the youth in their journey of faith, has been a very meaningful experience, especially during the six months of preparation for WYD, we have shared a lot of beautiful moments in order to know each other. Through the Portuguese classes, I had the opportunity to approach more and interact with them. I see, that the young people have a great potential, are always willing to help others.
To accompany the youth in their journey of faith means to walk with them side by side, together share their life, their struggle and be always willing to listen to them with an open heart, approaching them with a humble attitude, with open arms be ready to welcome them with all their limitations and their willingness to change.
For the experience of the World Youth Day in Portugal the diocese of Hong Kong has 14 groups, which are organized by religious congregation, parishes, youth associations, in a total of 300 people from the diocese. I am accompanying the main group organized by the Diocesan Youth Commission, we are going with 80 young people, divided in 3 small groups going for the pre world youth day pilgrimage in France, Germany and Camino de Santiago (Way of James) – Spain. I will be following the group that is going to the pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago and then Portugal.
I am very happy to have again the opportunity to join the World Youth Day after 10 years that I joined in Brazil in 2013. As my group is going first for the pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago (Way of James) – Spain, for 7 days, I am quite excited and preparing myself for this beautiful experience.
This World Youth Day is very especial for me, and I have so many good feelings, I am happy, I am excited, I am grateful, I feel blessed to have the opportunity to accompany the youth from the diocese of Hong Kong, to share with them this unforgettable experience of faith and encounter with other youth from all over the world.
My expectation is that each participant can have a good and meaningful experience of faith, encounter and renewal of the spiritual life, through the activities. I hope that through the word of Pope Francis the young people who will be there will be more attentive to the will of God and his voice, that still calling them to serve in his church.
My dream for the young people of Hong Kong is that they can enjoy freedom, that they can learn to transform their own society in a pacific way and help to build a just and equal society. Despite the present situation, I wish them to struggle and never lose hope, never give up of their own dreams, even though there are challenges.
Sr. Clara Pires, Hong Kong