World Youth Day 2019 – Day 10

24 January 2019, Pilgrimage to World Youth Day 2019 Panama
Pope Francis drives by pilgrims during the Papal Welcome in Panama City. Image: Malcolm Hart/ACBC.


Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv is leading 171 pilgrims from the Diocese of Parramatta to World Youth Day 2019 (WYD).

WYD 2019 will be a pilgrimage to Mexico, Panama and the United States for a two-week festival of faith with millions of youth from around the world joining Pope Francis for an encounter with Jesus and deeper faith formation.

The Diocese of Parramatta Communications Team will be capturing stories during WYD 2019. You can follow the pilgrimage below through our daily updates and on

For Day 1, click here

For Day 1 (In Transit), click here

For Day 2, click here

For Day 3, click here

For Day 3 (Evening), click here

For Day 4, click here

For Day 5, click here

For Day 6, click here

For Day 7, click here

For Day 8, click here

For Day 9, click here

Pope Francis to youth: “Christianity is a person who loved me”

Pope Francis has used the words of St Oscar Romero to welcome young people to the official Opening Ceremony of World Youth Day at Campo Santa Maria la Antigua on the Cinta Costera in Panama City.

Diocese of Parramatta pilgrims lined the streets with over 100,000 other pilgrims hoping to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis as he made his way down the Panamanian esplanade toward the host site.

The Opening Ceremony with the Pope marks the first of four major opportunities pilgrims will have to hear the Pope speak. In his address the Holy Father commended young people for their effort and sacrifices they made to get to Panama.

“I know getting here wasn’t easy. Many weeks of work and commitment, and encounters of reflection and prayer, have made the journey itself largely its own reward. A disciple is not merely someone who arrives at a certain place, but one who sets out decisively, who is not afraid to take risks and keeps walking.”

Diocese of Parramatta pilgrims wait for Pope Francis during the Papal Welcome in Panama City. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.

The concepts of movement and not stagnating were a common theme not only with the Pope, but also other Bishops who have preached at World Youth Day.

On Wednesday evening, many pilgrims ventured to the FIAT centre for an evening of adoration hosted by FOCUS (The Fellowship of Catholic University Students), the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) and the Knights of Columbus.

Bishop Robert Barron, Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles said that “when Christ comes into your life, he wants you to ‘put out into the deep’ duc in altum (Luke 5:4).

Bishop Robert Barron, Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles, speaks during the WYD FIAT session in Panama City. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.

In his Thursday catechesis Bishop Alan Williams SM, Bishop of Brentwood, UK told the English-speaking pilgrims that the greatest sin is despair. “Saints change a lot, you move forward (in the spiritual life), you will feel tired” and he encouraged pilgrims to be different when they come back.

Whilst Diocese of Parramatta pilgrims were at the local catechesis, Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv was addressing other groups of Australians and Croatians at another Catechesis sessions. These sessions are hosted in many different locations across Panama City in different languages.

Bishop Vincent Long speaks during a catechesis session on Thursday in Panama City. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.

Friday will be the final day of Catechesis for the pilgrims before Stations of the Cross in the evening.

View the photos from today here or click on the images below.

WYD 2019

World Youth Day 2019 IN-Sync

The Diocese of Parramatta will be a hosting a special World Youth Day event on January 27.

As the 171 pilgrims from the Diocese of Parramatta prepare for the final Mass at World Youth Day 2019 in Panama, their families and friends are being invited to celebrate alongside them thousands of kilometres away in Parramatta.

The World Youth Day (WYD) 2019 IN-Sync event on Sunday 27 January will allow those families and friends to connect with the pilgrims as they finish their pilgrimage.

WYD2019 IN-Sync has been organised by Catholic Youth Parramatta, Institute for Mission, St Patrick’s Cathedral Community and the Diocesan WYD Steering Committee.

The World Youth Day 2019 IN-Sync event will be held at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta, on Sunday 27 January at 6pm.

Fr Paul Roberts, Director for the Institute for Mission, Diocese of Parramatta, said that IN-Sync is “an attempt to link the local community with our travelling pilgrims, and a chance for those at home to share directly in the spirit of World Youth Day.”

The IN-Sync event will begin with Mass at 6pm at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta, with a celebration of food, music and fellowship to follow.

Essential details

  • 27 January, from 6pm
  • St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta
  • 6pm – Special WYD Mass
  • 7pm – Food, shooting video messages to be used for the pilgrims’ retreat in Houston, video messages from our pilgrims in Panama
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