World Youth Day 2016 – Day Two

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 2 – Monday – The pilgrimage continues

Blog by Jennifer Merryweather

An early start for our pilgrims today with a 6:15am morning prayer. Although some were bleary eyed it was a chance to reflect on the hopes and expectations for the day ahead and begin the day by bringing ourselves into the presence of God.

Pilgrims then made their way out to begin work on their projects across Bohol. All received warm welcomes, with many schools holding assemblies and celebrations in honor of our pilgrims. The kindness of the school communities was overwhelming and demonstrated their gratitude and friendship.

Pilgrims in Maribojoc worked with St Vincent Institute High and Santa Cruz Elementary, teaching Maths and English and sharing Australian culture with the students. Pilgrims also helped out with some painting at St Vincent Institute High, which was tough going in the heat.

Over at St Nino’s Primary in Loon pilgrims were having fun teaching the children games like duck, duck, goose, cat and mouse and the hokey pokey! The young children were thrilled to be learning so many new games.

Many of our pilgrims reflected on the difference between our lifestyle and that of the school communities here – we have so much and these communities have so little.

During his evening mass homily, Father Chris de Souza spoke about the need to respond to the school communities with compassion and love, rather than from a place of guilt. Guilt comes from a place of fear, whereas a response of love and compassion recognises that all people are made in the image and likeness of God.

It is these words that will guide and challenge pilgrims as they continue on their projects during the rest of the week.

For more information, 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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