VIDEO: World Youth Day 2019 – Day 12

26 January 2019, Pilgrimage to World Youth Day 2019 Panama


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

For Day 10, click here

For Day 11, click here

Pilgrims make final walk for Papal Vigil and Mass

For the 171 Diocese of Parramatta pilgrims, Australia Day 2019 will be one they will never forget.

The Aussie pilgrims joined thousands of others in Panama City for the final walk for the Vigil and Mass with Pope Francis.

Carrying their sleeping bags, water, food and flags for the journey, pilgrims spontaneously sung Advance Australia Fair, followed by chants and prayer.

Beginning the day the pilgrims gathered together for Mass celebrated by Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv.

In his homily, pilgrim chaplain Fr Benedict Mackenzie FSF, assistant priest from St Bernadette’s Parish, Dundas Valley, encouraged pilgrims to get to know their faith, because in “knowing their faith, is to love their faith”.

The pilgrims then set out catching train, taxis and Ubers trying to get close to the site named the St John Paul II field.

Diocese of Parramatta pilgrims walking to the Vigil and Mass. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.

Roads have closed and the Panama City streets have come to a standstill for many pilgrims. Despite the delays, Panamanian locals waving to locals and shouting “Bienvenido” along the route.

Handing out bottles of water and spraying garden hoses they refreshed pilgrims from the stifling equatorial heat.Tonight, Pope Francis will join the pilgrims for a night of prayer, song and Eucharistic adoration for what is considered the highlight of the World Youth Day week.

The Vigil is often the most personal part of the central events with the Holy Father. It is a unique time of prayer and meeting with Christ and it has an atmosphere of total peace, but also great joy.

Baulkham Hills local meets and prays with Pope Francis

Personally meeting and praying with Pope Francis at the Vigil will be Chris Lee.

Chris Lee, a parishioner from St Patrick’ Cathedral Parish, Parramatta, and the Sydney Catholic youth leader, will personally meet the Holy Father at the Vigil and Mass.

Describing the chance to meet Pope Francis as “a great personal honour” Chris will represent Oceania at the event.

His mother Mili, who is also the Financial Administrator at St Patrick’s Cathedral, said this opportunity is a “blessing” for Chris and she is “grateful to God” for this moment.

“I am so humbly grateful to God for his blessing on Chris. Not so long ago he was lying in a gutter, battered with very little hope. I thank my God each time I think of this. Chris is a great testimony to walking by faith and not by sight. God is great. I give him back all the glory of this day.”

“I turned to my Catholic faith after my father died of cancer and I suffered a serious injury after being attacked by a stranger in a Kings Cross street over the 2012 Easter weekend”, Chris said.

“I have come a long way since those dark days and I attribute that very much to my Catholic faith, which has guided me in so many ways through those tough times”.

World Youth day activities will draw to a close following the Mass which concludes the World Youth Day 2019 week in Panama.

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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