Under the title of “Communion and Participation” Ankawa Youth Meetings (AYM) were launched in the summer of 2022, bringing together youth from different Chaldean dioceses across Iraq. The topic of this years AYM was derived from the “Synod on Synodality” which was launched by Pope Francis for the years 2021-2023. This was also the main theme of this year’s meetings. Around 1500 young people participated in these meetings, marking the highest number of participants so far for Ankawa Youth Meetings, which mainly took place on the campus of the Catholic University in Erbil.

The first day started with a welcoming speech given by Sr Samar of the Chaldean daughters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Following, was a speech given by Archbishop Warda. Later, another speech was given by Fr. Charbel Chidiac about the meaning of the Synod on Synodality, who had come from Lebanon. The activities of the first day continued with an evening of hymns, during which parish priests from different Chaldean dioceses gave a brief historical background about their towns/cities.

The second day started with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy in each parish where young people were attended as groups. Later in every parish, there were discissions about different topics such as the participation of youth in the Church today, media and the Church and other topics. Following the discussions, lunch was served at the Catholic University campus. After lunch, there were several activities for the youth to choose from, such as visiting different monasteries/congregations, like the Dominican sisters and/or brothers, the Seminary of St. Peter, and other orders in Ankawa. Each congregation/place had organized activities, plays or lectures for the youth, so that they learn new things from their visit. Furthermore, youth also had the option of staying on campus to participate in entertaining contests and games. These activities were followed by dinner, then experiences exchange by youth from different parts of the country, and then an evening of Eucharistic Adoration, prayerful meditations, and Confessions.

Th third and concluding day of AYM 2022 started with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy in St. Joseph Cathedral, celebrated by Archbishop Warda and Papal Nuncio H.E. Archbishop Mitja Leskovar with the 1500 youth. After mass lunch was served, and the participants enjoyed a closing celebration.