All aboard to WYD Panama

By Adrian Middeldorp, 23 August 2018
World Youth Day Pilgrim Formation Night at Blacktown. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.


There was high energy at Patrician Brothers’ College, Blacktown on Monday 20 August as 150 young adults came together for the first Pilgrim Formation Night in preparation for World Youth Day, Panama. Pilgrims and chaplains joined together to begin a rigorous 12-session program over the next four months in preparation for the trip. The Diocesan pilgrimage will be one of the largest groups of the travelling Australian contingent.

World Youth Day is a worldwide encounter with the Pope, celebrated every three years in different countries. World Youth Day Executive Officer for the Diocese of Parramatta, Mark Tuffy, said that by Pope Francis choosing Panama, he was following his own words to “go to the peripheries”.

VIEW: Images from the formation night below or click here.

WYD Formation Night 1

There was high enthusiasm as much of the night was dedicated to help pilgrims and leaders get to know each other and learning the basic details of the trip. Over future nights, pilgrims will divide into smaller groups with group leaders, to assist in the coordination of the trip. The sessions will focus on spiritual, cultural, emotional and physical well-being of the pilgrims.

One particular focus of the evening were strategies to help the pilgrims fundraise to help subsidise their trip and encouraged the pilgrims to sell raffle tickets to help raise money for the pilgrimage.

World Youth 2019 week will take place between 22-27 January in Panama, however, the Diocesan pilgrimage will also include visiting Mexico and the USA as part of the trip. A particular highlight for the pilgrimage will be visiting the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, one of the most visited pilgrimage sites in the world and participating in service projects and interacting with local Catholic youth in Mexico.

Readers can help support a pilgrim on their way to World Youth Day 2019 by purchasing raffle tickets before 1 October 2018.

To purchase raffle tickets online go to:


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