By Mwenya Mukuka
Family members and friends, priests, sisters and youth leaders last evening (Sunday, 28 July, 2013) thronged the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, in Lusaka, to welcome back the national flag carriers to the World Youth Day held in Rio, Brazil from July 23 - 28, 2013.
Pushing trolleys of luggage from the arrival bay, the youths mostly clad in green and yellow World Youth Day themed shirts could not wait to share their joy and experiences with the families and friends.
“Greeting the Pope at this year’s World Youth Day, was such an honour for me that I shall live to remember… I was so happy to see Pope Francis” Excited 28 year old Philip Kachusha of Ndola Diocese exclaimed as he gave a hug to his sisters.
“I had a wonderful experience. And I shed tears of joy upon seeing the Pope so close to me, you know we just see him from afar on posters and TV but there he was in Rio so close to me in real life! That was so good” Added Kachusha to this Catholic Media Service writer.
Kachusha is also proud of the many spiritual connections that he has developed with some parishioners at a parish in San Paulo.
And Mundia Mutukwa of Lusaka’s St. Mathias Mulumba parish, Bauleni in Lusaka and one of the Catholic youth national leaders, who attended the World Youth Day for the Second time, said the experience this time around was spiritually uplifting. She feels the Catholic faith of the youth has been strengthened. Mundia also enjoyed the rich cultural exchange Brazil offered to her and her colleagues.
Meanwhile Charity Chilufya of Lusaka’s Cathedral of Child Jesus parish commended the Brazilians for their warmth and hospitality.
“The Brazilians are a very warm people, they are so welcoming.” Chilufya said.
And many other youths spoken to are already planning and looking forward to the next World Youth day of 2016.
The next World Youth Day will in 2016 in The Polish city of Kraków. Pope Francis made the announcement shortly after celebrating the final Mass of this year’s World Youth Day.