More than three thousand young Australians are expected to join Pope Francis when he travels to Krakow, Poland to participate at the 31st World Youth Day from 25-31 July 2016.
The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Office for Youth is overseeing the Australian pilgrimage to World Youth Day, which is known as ‘Australia’s Journey to the City of Mercy’.
Young people from across Australia are invited to attend. To encourage and support pilgrim registrations over the coming weeks, the Office for Youth is offering the chance to win $1,000 towards the cost of a pilgrimage.
Pilgrims who register and pay their deposit before Easter Sunday, 27 March 2016, will go into the draw to win. Pilgrims should register with Cosmos, the ACBC’s Official WYD 2016 Tour Operator at www.wyd2016.com.au.
Over 30 groups from dioceses and catholic organisations will travel on more than 40 different pilgrimages to places across Europe and the Holy Land. Many following in the footsteps of Saint John Paul prior to arriving in Krakow for World Youth Day. All groups are in the process of taking final bookings. The closing date to register to attend is 15 April 2016.
The theme is ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy’ (Mt 5:7). In his message to young people, Pope Francis said, ‘with this theme, the Krakow 2016 World Youth Day forms part of the Holy Year of Mercy and so becomes a Youth Jubilee at world level’.
Member of the Bishops Commission for Family, Youth & Life, Bishop Mark Edwards OMI, said, ‘I encourage young people across Australia to make the pilgrimage to World Youth Day. It is a unique opportunity to encounter Christ by learning about Saint John Paul and his homeland, or walking through St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, or by bringing scripture to life in the Holy Land. At the same, it is also a time of confirmation of a young person’s faith amidst millions of peers and the Holy Father’.
‘Most young people have questions about their faith, World Youth Day is an ideal journey to explore those questions and the special personal relationship that each one of us can have with Jesus,’ Bishop Edwards added.
Malcolm Hart, Director of the Australian Catholic Bishops Office for Youth, also invited the whole Church community to propose this invitation to young people. ‘The best invitation is a personal one. Grandparents, parishioners, teachers, and leaders, all need to invite young people to attend WYD and support them in taking up this once in a life time pilgrimage. WYD offers a young person the world, and our communities the new life.’