World Youth Day 2016 – Day Four

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.

Day Four – Wednesday – Three days hard work rewarded by local Mayor

Blog by Jennifer Merryweather

Work continued for our pilgrims at schools in Panglao Island continuing to help out wherever needed. St Augustine’s Academy has been slowly rebuilding after the devastation of the 2013 earthquake and pilgrims have been painting classrooms in the new buildings constructed after the 2013 earthquake. Across the road at Panglao Central Elementary, assisted with painting and maintenance around the school. At Doljo Elementary, students are helping with gardening.

Pilgrims are also helping with feeding programs for malnourished children. At both Panglao Central Elementary and Bolod Elementary, volunteer parents visit every day and cook food for the 30 to 40 children at each school. Pilgrims have been helping these parents out with this program by cooking and serving food.

Pilgrims have had a lot to reflect on the last couple of days and during evening Mass Fr Chris spoke about reading the sign of God and opening our hearts through being merciful.

‘Mercy is not about those who deserve mercy. It is to see the good in the other even when the other is not able to see it in themselves,’ he said.

Pilgrims ended the day with a dinner and festival hosted by Panglao Mayor Leonila Montero in gratitude of the work of pilgrims in local schools. Representatives from each school were represented, performing many traditional (and not so traditional) Filipino dances representing the cultural influences in the Philippines.

The dinner demonstrated the friendship that has developed between the two Dioceses. In a speech to pilgrims, Bishop of Tagbilaran, the Most Rev Leonardo Y Medroso DD said pilgrims had followed the call to be merciful.

‘You have made know God’s mercy on you and extended that gift of mercy to others,’ he said.

Photos and video to come – keep checking for further updates. 

For more information, 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:

Read Daily
* indicates required