Father João Wilkes, member of Shalom Catholic Community, is the new head of the Youth Sector of the Pontifical Council for the Laity

Fr João Wilkes and Pope Francis Foto: Vatican Photography Service

Rev. João Wilkes Chagas, a missionary member of the Shalom Catholic Community, is the new head of the Pontifical Council for the Laity Youth Sector (PCL). The information was released today at the Council’s official website. The function, hitherto exercised by Father Eric Jacquinet, from the Emmanuel Community, is coordinated by the Pontifical Council and assists the Pope on matters related to the contribution that the lay faithful give to the life and mission of the Church, either individually or through organizations. Among the Sector’s activities is the organization of the World Youth Days, created under the inspiration of Pope John Paul II.

Rev. João Wilkes Chagas is a specialist in the fields of Spiritual Theology by the Pontifical Institute for Spirituality (Teresianum), Rome, where he now continues his doctoral studies. He joined the Shalom Community at age 16 and was ordained a priest at age 27, in the Archdiocese of Fortaleza. Since 2011, he have been collaborating in Rome with the coordination of World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro.

“I am aware of my limitations, but I want to give myself fully to the Lord in this service. I assure you all of my willingness to listen and to journey together with you in building up the Kingdom of God”, said the priest in a letter to all those in charge of youth ministry’s at the episcopal conferences, associations, movements, and new communities internationally spread.

The appointment was officially made last October 22, when the Church celebrates the memory of Blessed John Paul II. “It’s a blessing that this has happened on the day of John Paul II, because the Community was born at the feet of this Blessed Pope in the desire to offer our lives and youth to evangelize young people, especially those who are more distant from Christ and the Church”, says the Founder of  Shalom Community, Moysés Azevedo. To him, the appointment means “joy, responsibility, sign and fruitfulness.”

“The service of Rev. João Chagas as head of PCL’s Youth Sector is also a fruit of WYD in Brazil. I believe that his appointment also reflects what the Church expects of young people in Brazil and throughout Latin America with respect to the great responsibility of collaborating with the evangelization of young people worldwide. For a long time we have received missionaries from other lands who transmitted to us the great treasure of the faith, now we ‘freely give what freely we have received,” he concluded.

*Don’t forget to read the Pontifical Council for the Laity official release at:


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