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World Youth Day – Lisbon

19 July, 2023

They Arose and Went With Haste

On the 28th of July, 32 pilgrims from our diocese will depart Brisbane for the 2023 World Youth Day in Lisbon, Portugal. The theme for this year’s World Youth Day is from Luke 1:39, “Mary arose and went with haste.” World Youth Day has traditionally been held every 2 or 3 years, however there has been a 4 year gap since the last event due to COVID, so there is a great feeling of expectation around the world to meet again in Lisbon. This has been demonstrated here in Australia with over 3,000 pilgrims registered, our biggest cohort to attend an overseas World Youth Day.

This year is a milestone for our diocese as well, as it is our first diocesan pilgrimage to an overseas World Youth Day. Previously our pilgrims have travelled with other dioceses. Bishop Michael and Fr Andrew Hogan will be on pilgrimage with our group which also includes 17 teachers from our Catholic schools. It is truly a diocesan group with pilgrims coming from Mackay, Emerald, Blackwater, Barcaldine, Rockhampton, Biloela, Gladstone & Bundaberg.

Our pilgrimage will begin in Spain, where we will fly into Madrid and then visit Avila, Segovia & Salamanca, seeing sites associated with St Teresa and St John of the Cross. Then we’ll travel to Lisbon for World Youth Day itself, which includes an opening ceremony, catechesis sessions, festivals, stations of the cross as well as the overnight vigil with Pope Francis. We are also hoping to attend an ecumenical event at a soccer stadium which will feature musician Matt Maher and actor Jonathon Roumie. After World Youth Day we go on to Fatima for a 3-day retreat.

The pilgrimage will be a wonderful opportunity to share in communion with the universal church, to walk in the footsteps of saints, and to ultimately journey towards Christ. Please pray for our pilgrims as they embark on this monumental experience. Below is the official pilgrim’s prayer for World Youth Day which has been modified for you to pray for them.

Official WYD Prayer

Our Lady of the Visitation, you who arose and went with haste into the hill country to meet Elizabeth,
lead our World Youth Day pilgrims also to encounter all those who await them
to deliver to them the living Gospel: Jesus Christ, your Son and our Lord!

These pilgrims, too, will go in haste, without distraction or delay,
but with readiness and joy.
They will go with peace because those who bring Christ bring peace, and well-being comes from being generous and loving in our deeds.

Our Lady of the Visitation,
through your inspiration, this World Youth Day
will be a shared celebration of Christ, whom these pilgrims bring to others, just as you did.

Please make this a time of testimony and sharing, of fraternity and thanksgiving,
with each of these pilgrims looking for opportunities to give to those who are waiting to receive.
With you, they will continue on this path of encounter so that the world will join them, in fraternity, justice, and peace.

Our Lady of the Visitation,
Help them to bring Christ to everyone, in obedience to the Father and in the love of the Holy Spirit!