World Youth Day 2019 – Day 1

15 January 2019, Pilgrimage to World Youth Day 2019 Panama
Pilgrims from the Diocese of Parramatta stop for a quick selfie before departing from Sydney Airport for World Youth Day 2019 to Panama. 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.

WYD is a part of a tradition initiated by the late Pope John Paul II (now St John Paul II) 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.”

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

Pilgrimage “a dream come true” for Fr Fernando

After 3 years of preparation and anticipation, pilgrims from the Diocese of Parramatta have departed en route to World Youth Day Panama via Mexico. The pilgrimage to Mexico, Panama and the United States will see pilgrims from Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains visiting significant religious, historic and cultural sites in Mexico prior to flying to Panama for the 29th World Youth Day.

Led by Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, the pilgrimage will be a truly unique experience with Diocesan Youth pilgrims having the opportunity of encounter with local Mexican youth.

Fr Fernando Montano, Parish Priest of St Bernadette’s Parish Castle Hill and one of the pilgrimage chaplains says that the trip is a “dream come true”.

Fr Fernando, a Mexican native but now incardinated in the Diocese of Parramatta hopes that the expression of the Mexican faith will be a truly unique experience.

Fr Fernando Montano at Sydney Airport. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.

“I have been waiting a long time to share with people who I work with, where I come from, the experience I have of my country and to show people a different perspective of Mexico that is not portrayed in the media. Pilgrims are going to see a unique culture, food, music and especially faith of the Mexican people” he said.

Jerick Perez, one of the pilgrimage group leaders from St Patrick’s Cathedral Parish, Parramatta, is excited to attend his first World Youth Day. “I am most excited about journeying along with my fellow pilgrims plus seeing the faith of different people of the world” he said.

Jerick Perez (right) with fellow pilgrims at Sydney Airport. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.

Pilgrims are placed into small groups who they share and travel with, so that they are better able to share moments of the pilgrimage together.

After pilgrims arrive in Mexico, they will travel to the historic city of Puebla, south-west of Mexico City and experience the various works of the local Archdiocese of Puebla.

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

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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