Pilrgims from the Diocese of Parramatta can now register for World Youth Day 2019 in Panama
Young adults and youth from Catholic parishes and schools across Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains are being encouraged to register quickly to avoid disappointment due to the limited number of places available. Final pricing was only released this week as airline seats became available to Central America. For the first time, the Diocese has been receiving deposits from potential pilgrims to secure their place before a final price was even available.
Preparations for WYD have been underway for over 18 months and up to 180 pilgrims are expected to attend the 18 day journey in January 2019. The pilgrimage is already at 90% capacity proving the popularity of this triennial journey for young Australians.
WYD presents a unique moment in the life of the Church where the Holy Father speaks directly to young people. Its spiritual themes, formation programs and messages of hope and joy are for all young people. A significant priority of the Diocese of Parramatta will be widespread formation across faith communities in the lead up to a local event ‘in-sync’ with our pilgrims on the ground in Panama.
To assist all pilgrims a raffle is assisting young people from the Diocese of Parramatta offset their pilgrimage costs. For the first time, raffle tickets can be purchased online and benefactors can select a parish or school to support where funds will be shared. The final pilgrimage price has settled at $8,845.00 which includes a wide range of Diocesan and Australian clothing to enhance the international experience.
James Camden, Director of Catholic Youth Parramatta and Co-Pilgrimage coordinator said that it will provide an experience like no other, “Every three years, World Youth Day provides an opportunity for young people to be immersed in the beauty, intensity and adventure of our Catholic faith as we unite with the youth of the world in the presence of Pope Francis.”
“Our Diocesan pilgrimage to Panama will take us via Mexico, where we will engage in mission with local young people from the Diocese of Puebla. We look forward to the sharing of faith, culture and local experiences that will come with this unique exchange in the shadow of ancient pyramids, Basilica’s and the Shrine of our Lady of Guadalupe.
“The pilgrimage that we’ve planned is really exciting – taking us to Mexico, Panama and the USA. Many thought that Central America would be a challenging place to get to, and it is, but through hard work, collaboration, and perseverance the Diocese has ensured a safe, rewarding and affordable experience. It’s all about making this unique opportunity a reality for as many young people as possible in this Year of Youth” he said.
The triennial pilgrimage will be led for the first time by Bishop of Parramatta, Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv who is excited to be journeying with young people to the heart of Central America. “This potentially life-changing journey will give young people a chance to see the diversity of the Church, build life-long friendships, reflect on ways to respond to the challenges we face in our world, hear from Pope Francis, and most importantly encounter God in a unique way,” Bishop Vincent said.
In February 2018, 25 group leaders were appointed following a rigorous interview and selection process, along with four Chaplains who will minister with Bishop Vincent and accompany the pilgrims. Formation and training for this generous group of people has been completed over the last ten weeks. The group leaders are now looking forward to meeting their pilgrims when the formation program begins in August.
To purchase raffle tickets online go to: www.rafflelink.com.au/wyd2019
To register for World Youth Day: www.parrawyd.org