World Youth Day 2016 – Day Three

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 3 – Tuesday – ‘God calls us to be truly happy human beings’

Blog by Jennifer Merryweather

Pilgrims continued work on their projects today. Following morning prayer and a quick breakfast, pilgrims again headed out with smiles on their faces and an openness to new experiences, compassion and mercy. Some may even be getting used to the heat and humidity (although for most it’s still a struggle!)

At the Infant King Academy Secondary School, Cortes, pilgrims were overwhelmed by the welcome they received from the students, with a ‘guard of honour’ set up upon their arrival. Pilgrims have been helping out in the classes and sharing with students what a typical day in Australia looks like for them. Students and pilgrims alike have been shocked to find out the difference in the school day: Infant King Academy, like many other schools in the Philippines, runs from 8am to 5pm!

In Baclayan Central Elementary School, pilgrims are helping out in the classrooms where they are getting to know the students. Tomorrow they will begin maintenance work around the school such as painting and planting.

Pilgrims are also helping out in Immaculate Secondary School, Baclayan. Many of the pilgrims in this group are around the same age as those attending Immaculate Secondary School. It has been an eye opening experience to see the difference between their lives and to learn from these students who make the most of what they have.

During evening mass Fr Chris spoke about the quality of our relationships with others which gave pilgrims and challenged them to question what the will of God is in their lives.

‘Jesus challenges us about the quality of our relationships that are not just built on relationships of love. He asks us to look at God’s will, that those who do the will of my father are my mother, and my brothers and my sisters,’ he said.

‘God calls us to be truly happy human beings. And in being a happy human you actually are embraced with holiness’.

For more information, 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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