Penitential liturgy with young detainees – Centro de Cumplimiento de Menores Las Garzas de Pacora
(Actual details subject to change)
The Pope will depart at 9:30 in the morning to Pacora (42 km by car), to reach the Las Garzas de Pacora Juvenile Detention Center. Upon his arrival, the Holy Father will be received by the Archbishop of Panama Mons. José Domingo Ulloa Mendieta and by the National Director of the Interdisciplinary Studies Institute, Emma Alba Tejeda.
In each of his Apostolic Journeys, Pope Francis expresses mercy through concrete signs, such as visiting the sick, orphaned children, asylums or people in prison. The Pope will meet 180 young inmates, who prepared for his visit materially and spiritually with the help of seminarians.
The Las Garzas de Pacora Juvenile Detention Center was established in 2012 and has a capacity of 192 inmates. Now considered a model, not just in Panama, the center offers young people a comprehensive reintegration program through aspects such as education, family and health. The inmates are required to participate in seminars organized by the National Institute for Vocational Training and Training for Human Development (INADEH).
In addition, a team of social workers, psychologists, and teachers cooperate to provide a rehabilitation system under the supervision of UNICEF; the institution has also received financial support from the European Union.
Upon the arrival of the Holy Father, the young people will sing, "Prayer of the Poor,” and one inmate will share his testimony. Later the Pope will perform the Penitential Liturgy, which consists of a moment of prayer, the Word of God (Luke 15:1-7, "There is more joy for a sinner who repents"), a homily of the Holy Father and the celebration of the sacrament of confession. After the liturgy, the Pope will greet and thank the director and they will exchange gifts.
Finally the Pope will be sent off by 30 other detainees who built the confessionals that are being used by pilgrims during the World Youth Day. He will board the military helicopter that will take him back to Panama, to the Marcos A. Gelabert Airport on a 30 minute flight, and from there he will be transferred by car to the Nunciature.