JORDAN - Father Wajdi Twal was born in Madaba in 1993. He joined the Beit Jala patriarchal seminary in 2007 and was ordained a priest on December 2nd, 2020. He was then assigned to the parish of Christ the King in Misdar, as an assistant to Father Marwan Hassan, the former Secretary-General of the Youth of Jordan.
Because he worked with the youth during his time at the Beit Jala seminary, and because of his age and his understanding of young people’s concerns and needs, Fr. Wajdi Twal was also tasked by His Beatitude Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, to oversee the work with the Christian youth in Jordan and to look after them.
What exactly is the role of the General Secretariat for Youth?
"The General Secretariat is the body that organizes the work and activities for Christian students and youth movements in Jordan, under the umbrella of the Latin Patriarchal Vicariate of Jordan. All local youth groups are affiliated with it. Its members are young volunteers who aspire to help and work alongside the next generations of Christians so that they can have a positive, effective and creative .influential impact on the Church, society and their own country."
What is the message of the Secretariat and the youth?
"Our message is inspired by the spirit of the Gospel. We serve the Jordanian Christian youth and develop their skills through periodic youth meetings, camps, workshops, volunteer projects and other activities. The objective is to help them grow spiritually, culturally, humanly, and socially."
What role does spirituality play in young people’s lives today?
"Spirituality and spiritual life are the foundation on which all youth work is built. Following the example of our Lord Jesus Christ, our young people experience their faith by being nourished by the word of God and the teachings of the Church. And this shows through their active presence within the parish, and in various aspects of their daily lives.
Each year, the General Secretariat chooses a spiritual motto to follow throughout the entire year. For 2022, we have adopted Pope Francis' message for the youth and turned it into our slogan: “Arise and bear witness,” choosing the figure of Saint Paul to illustrate it. Each month, we now hold a spiritual meeting focusing on his character and spiritual journey and meditate on his messages."
What is the role of the spiritual guide for the youth?
"Our youth movement is a secular church movement with a distinctive spirituality, and it is through it that our youth have found their way into the Church. So, on one hand, the role of the spiritual guide is to be a father, companion and friend to them, and to watch over their various spiritual, ecclesiastical and liturgical needs. They must lead and guide them, nurture them spiritually, and help them develop their relationship with others and with God, especially through the Bible and the sacraments. They should provide them with the opportunity to use their talents and excel in their work within the Church.
On the other hand, the spiritual guide in the General Secretariat for Youth also serves as a link to the patriarchal vicar as well as the priests and the youth. This is done through constant communication, visits and meetings."
What are the activities planned for this year?
The General Secretariat’s plan for the year 2022 is based on two main points, namely the recovery from the effects of the pandemic and the implementation of the strategic plan for 2022-2024. These points include many aspects, but the most important ones are:
This can be achieved by reviving the annual plan of each youth group and offering them various training courses to support their pastoral work and activities.
The General Secretariat’s objectives also include establishing a curriculum for all the youth work in Jordan; organizing their weekly meetings in a lively and systematic manner, for example by creating a musical group; and securing work for our youth and reducing unemployment among them, through programs that develop their skills and help them build strategic relations with companies and employers.