World Youth Day 2019 – Day 3

17 January 2019, Pilgrimage to World Youth Day 2019 Panama
Diocese of Parramatta pilgrims participate in mission work in Puebla, Mexico. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.


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

Parramatta pilgrims experience joy of service

Today was a chance for pilgrims from the Diocese of Parramatta to experience the works of the church around Puebla with experiences in schools, rehabilitation centres and orphanages.

The day began with a visit to the Church of Santo Domingo (Saint Dominic) with morning prayer.

During his talk in the chapel inside the Santo Domingo, pilgrimage chaplain Fr Andrew Fornal OP (St Joseph’s Parish Kingswood), implored the pilgrims to be generous in offering their time for God.

“What can we give God? Time is the only gift we can give to God. Time is His precious gift He gives us. It is God’s precious gift to us.”

He encouraged pilgrims to spend time in prayer and service of God. He stressed the importance of spending quality time with each other in fellowship and using the chapel encouraged pilgrims to pray the rosary.

Following morning prayer, the pilgrims spent the day visiting various sites across Puebla including schools, ministry with the elderly and abandoned, orphanages and medical rehabilitation. This was time for the pilgrims to experience different types of service as part of the pilgrimage.

Diocese of Parramatta pilgrims during morning prayer at the Church of Santo Domingo (Saint Dominic) in Puebla, Mexico. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.

Scott Carroll, teaching educator at the Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta Mission Team spent time with a group at Hermanas De Le Caridad de Puebla at a ministry site that is run by the Sisters of Charity for the elderly and abandoned.

“We came expecting to serve food and minister to the community here, but we have been nourished by the experience. There was a real connection with the people there despite the language barrier” he said.

Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta Executive Director Greg Whitby, Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, a member of CRIT Puebla and Fr Fernando Montano are seen outside CRIT Puebla in Puebla, Mexico. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.

Melissa Fardella, a pilgrim group leader attended CRIT Puebla an organisation that supports one million children per year with muscular and neurological disabilities.

“The facility completely exceeded my expectations. Their world-class facilities catered not just for children with neurological and muscular disabilities but supported the whole family with a holistic view.

“Despite language barriers I was able to witness an authentic expression of the love of Jesus. Seeing the children’s faces light up when I was popping bubbles and handing out koalas was truly memorable. In the words of St Mother Teresa [of Calcutta] ‘Peace begins with a smile’. I am able to share and experience the joy of Christ’s love through a simple smile.”

In the evening pilgrims will be attending the Seminary Palafoxiano for Mass celebrated by the Archbishop of Puebla José Víctor Manuel Valentín Sánchez Espinosa and experience an evening of Mexican culture and food.

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.

If you wish to attend, please RSVP by 22 January to Fr Paul Roberts –

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


To follow the Diocese of Parramatta’s pilgrimage to World Youth Day 2019 in Panama, please visit

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