World Youth Day 2016 – Day One

Pilgrimage to World Youth Day 2016, Krakow, Poland
Pilgrims from Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains off to meet Pope Francis. Photo: Giovanni Portelli.

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 begins – from Parramatta to the Philippines

Blog by Jennifer Merryweather

We are on our way to Krakow! The first of Diocese of Parramatta’s pilgrimages to World Youth Day 2016 has begun. After arriving safely in the island of Bohol, Philippines, participated in a welcome Mass in St Joseph the Worker Cathedral, Tagbiliaran City to mark their first night of the World Youth Day pilgrimage.

Group One left Sydney for a flight to Hong Kong and Cebu on Friday afternoon. The journey was not without its challenges, with some delays at Cebu port on Saturday before arriving in Bohol later that evening. Group Two followed in their footsteps departing on Saturday evening and arriving in Bohol Sunday evening, where the whole pilgrimage then made their way to St Joseph the Worker Cathedral.

Celebrated by the Bishop of Tagbilaran, Most Rev Leonardo Y Medroso DD, the welcome Mass was a chance for pilgrims to unite with the Diocese of Tagbilaran and share their faith.

Bishop Medroso formally welcomed pilgrims to the Diocese and spoke about the experience of mercy.

‘Our faith pushes us to do things, to come out of ourselves and reach other people,’ he said.

He spoke about the hardship after the devastation of the 2013 earthquake and how pilgrims will learn and experience mercy through their work with the communities during the week.

Over the next week, Pilgrims will begin projects coordinated with the Diocese of Tagbilaran. The projects are a response to the devastation of the 2013 earthquake in Bohol.

For more information, 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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