World Youth Day 2016 – Day Eleven

Pilgrimage to World Youth Day 2016, Krakow, Poland

The Very Rev Christopher de Souza VG EV PP our Vicar General and Episcopal Vicar for Education and Formation is leading pilgrims from the Diocese of Parramatta to World Youth Day 2016 (WYD).

WYD 2016 will be a pilgrimage to Krakow, Poland for a week-long festival of faith with millions of youth from around the world joining Pope Francis for an encounter with Jesus.

WYD is a part of a tradition initiated by the late Pope John Paul II (now St John Paul) for the Church to be with the youth, for the youth. Pope John Paul II described World Youth Day’s objective as: “…to make the person of Jesus the centre of the faith and life of every young person so that He may be their constant point of reference and also the inspiration of every initiative and commitment for the education of the new generations.”

2016 will be a very special WYD. Krakow is where the founder, Pope John Paul II, studied and was Archbishop.

The Diocese of Parramatta WYD Communications Team will be capturing stories during WYD 2016. You can follow the pilgrimage below.


After a morning of catechesis, pilgrims had their first encounter with the Holy Father during the Papal Welcome. It was a time of particular joy as the pilgrims had the opportunity to pray together with Pope Francis.

The following day pilgrims also had their final catechesis session with the international Bishops. In the afternoon and evening, pilgrims gathered for the Way of the Cross – which invites pilgrims into the penitential character of WYD.

The World Youth Day Cross was carried in a procession during this service and young people follow a designated route through the city, giving testimony of their faith.

Chris Lee, a pilgrim from St Patrick’s Cathedral Parish, Parramatta delivered a powerful testimony of mercy at the ‘Aussie Gathering’. Chris was one of two pilgrims chosen to share their story at the Australian gathering, Tauron Arena, Krakow. The Australian gathering is a special event as part of the World Youth Day celebrations in Krakow, Poland.

3000 pilgrims were silent as Chris shared what led him to being involved in a violent altercation on the streets, after his father died.

“I felt angry, upset, and a little bit cheated,” he said.

“I personally stepped away from my faith”.

Chris was involved in a violent altercation outside a Sydney entertainment venue and lost sight in his eye.

“I lost my sight, my friends, my place at university”.
Watch Chris Lee’s testimony at (Watch from the 30 minute mark for Chris’ testimony)

You can read more about Chris Lee’s story and his work trying to curb street violence at Catholic Outlook

Pilgrimage 1 & 2 are now combined. For more frequent updates and photos check out the CYP Facebook page

For day ten, click here.

For day nine, click here.

For day eight, click here.

For day seven, click here.

For day six, click here.

For day five, click here.

For day four, click here.

For day three, click here.

For day two, click here.

For day one, click here.

The Diocese of Parramatta will be a hosting a special WYD event in Greystanes on July 31.

Bishop Vincent will be celebrating Mass at 6pm, followed by a live stream at 7pm of the closing Mass with Pope Francis.

For more information visit:

Essential details

  • 31 July, 6pm-9pm
  • Our Lady Queen of Peace, Greystanes
  • 6pm – Special WYD Mass with Bishop Vincent
  • 7pm – Food, live stream to the Closing Mass with Pope Francis, testimonies from past pilgrims, great music, Filipino and Polish flavours all round and video messages from our pilgrims in Krakow

Our friends at the Archdiocese of Sydney are also covering World Youth Day. You can keep track of their coverage below:

From the 27th to the 31st July the main events of World Youth Day 2016 (including the Australian Gathering) will be streamed on the Archdiocese of Sydney Catholic youth website

There will be a live online chat portal during the WYD main events and viewers can join the global conversation whilst they watch.

Visit for all the webcast times and details. also has a National WYD Blog with updates from pilgrims around Australia. Visit:

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