29 August 2011 – The Philippine Embassy in Madrid reported that it welcomed and extended assistance to Filipino pilgrims who attended the Jornada Mundial de la Juventud 2011 (World Youth Day 2011) in Madrid from August 16 to 22.
In collaboration with the Filipino Chaplaincy and the Filipino Community in Madrid, the Embassy assisted the 427-man official Philippine delegation, headed by Fr. Conegundo Garganta of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission for the Youth (CBCP-ECY) for the duration of their stay in Madrid.
An estimated 3000 pilgrims from the Philippines registered with the World Youth Day 2011 organizers. On August 22, the official Philippine delegation celebrated their culminating activity with group spiritual reflections and a concelebrated mass at the Parroquia San Juan de Mata in Alcorcon, Madrid.
During the mass, Philippine Ambassador to Spain Carlos C. Salinas congratulated everyone for their successful participation in the World Youth Day 2011 and expressed hope that the delegation will bring back with them and apply what they learned and gained on this spiritual journey.
Quoting the Cardinal Archbishop of Madrid in his message to Pope Benedict XVI, the Ambassador reiterated “Esta es la juventud del Papa” (This is the youth of the Pope), a popular chant echoed throughout the World Youth Day 2011 celebrations.
The Embassy, together with volunteers from various Filipino associations, prepared and served Filipino food for the official delegation on their final day in Madrid.
In addition to providing logistical support to the official delegation, the Embassy also organized Rizal´s Madrid Tours for interested parties. These tours form part of the Embassy´s efforts to commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal.