World Youth Day 2016 – Day Five

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.

Pilgrimage One farewells the Philippines

Today was a chance for our pilgrims to reflect on a job well done as they headed out to their schools for the last time. At Christ the King Academy, Antequerra, pilgrims had the satisfaction of finishing off the walls and fences they had helped construct and paint. At Sacred Heart Academy in Loon, pilgrims were proud of the fence they constructed and trees they planted around the perimeter of the school site.

As well as reflecting on what had been achieved this week, today was also a chance for pilgrims to reflect on the relationships they had formed with the students at these schools in such a short amount of time. For many, it was an emotional experience to see the gratitude and friendship of the students in the many farewell assemblies and celebrations that were held. Our pilgrims have learnt much about mercy, compassion and generosity from these students and teachers.

Some of our pilgrims attended the Opening and Blessing of the St Mary of the Cross MacKillop Learning Centre in Loon. This was built through funds raised from efforts of the Diocese of Parramatta and Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta in collaboration with business. Blessed by the Bishop of Tagbilaran, the Most Rev Leonardo Y Medrosa, Fr Chris de Souza and Greg Whitby, Executive Director of Schools also attended and were honoured to help officially open the learning centre.

Pilgrims ended their day by celebrating Mass at St Augustine’s Church and a Cultural Encounter and Fellowship Dinner hosted by the Diocese of Tagbilaran. Pilgrims celebrated the week that was and although sad to be leaving, are looking forward to what’s to come in Krakow!

Pilgrimage One will now make its way from Bohol, Philippines to Warsaw Poland. Please check our Facebook pages for updates during this time

For more information, 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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