Countdown to World Youth Day (WYD) for diocesan pilgrims

A number of features distinguish WYD 2016 from previous diocesan pilgrimages, but the main one is the intergenerational nature of this year’s journey. Of the 71 pilgrims heading to Italy, Poland and Austria in just over a month, one third are aged between 14 and 20, a third between 20 and 40 and the final third are 40 and above. There are 25 pilgrims from the school system, 16 school students and 15 older people. All pilgrims will no doubt benefit from this eclectic mixture of youth and experience!

The pilgrimage is called, ‘In the Footsteps of the Saints’ and this is an apt title given that pilgrims will visit historic sites in Venice, Padua, Milan, Siena, Assisi, Cascia and Rome to learn more about St Mark, St Anthony, St Dominic, St Francis, St Clare, St Rita and of course, Sts Peter and Paul.

Once in Poland pilgrims will have the chance to visit Saint John Paul II’s home town and places of significance to him throughout his life.

The WYD week will be a non-stop celebration of faith with around 3 million young people from all over the world in attendance in Krakow. Pope Francis arrives on Thursday 28 July and a welcoming ceremony will be held that afternoon. The Way of the Cross will take place throughout Krakow on the Friday. Pilgrims will walk 13km to the outskirts of Krakow for a Vigil with the Holy Father on Saturday 30 July before camping out overnight in anticipation of the Final Mass on Sunday 31 July.

At the conclusion of WYD celebrations the diocesan pilgrims will travel to the Beskidy Mountains for a retreat which will include what will no doubt be an emotional trip to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum.

You are invited to share in this journey with our diocesan pilgrims by liking on Facebook and/or following @mnnewstoday on Twitter and @mnnewstoday on Instagram. Alternatively, subscribe to our diocesan e-newsletter, Diocesan Update, and receive all the WYD updates in your inbox each week. You will also find all the stories, videos and images of the diocesan WYD pilgrimage on our news website

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Joanne Isaac Image
Joanne Isaac

Joanne is a Communications Officer for the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle and a regular columnist for Aurora Magazine.

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