World Youth Day (WYD) Panama 2019, Jan 22 – 27, is an opportunity for pilgrims from countries around the world to come together with young people in Latin America to pray, worship and celebrate the Catholic faith. The global event is expected to draw over 1 million people from all six continents, including 12,000 pilgrims from the United States. This year’s theme is “I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).

View WYD photos

A contingent of five young adults connected with St. Francis de Sales Parish in Holland are attending WYD Panama. Those five will join with a larger group from the Diocese of Celaya in Mexico. Over several days before the start of WYD, they’ll participate in “Days in the Diocese” (DID). During DID, pilgrims are hosted by parish communities with whom they eat meals, celebrate Masses, and pray as well as experience the local culture.

Following DID, pilgrims are taking part in the celebrations, discussions and prayer of WYD. Pope Francis joins them in Panama on Jan. 23. He will preside at a Via Crucis prayer service (January 25), a candlelight vigil and adoration (January 26), and the closing Mass (January 27), where he will announce the location of the next international WYD in 2022.

Additional resources
World Youth Day (USCCB)

Other helpful links
Follow the WYD live broadcast via the web
Download the program schedule and the pope’s itinerary
Youth festival information
Follow Vatican News coverage
Watch Bishop Barron’s WYD keynote Jan. 23 on Facebook

World Youth Day updates on social
Follow WYD on Facebook and on Twitter (English | Español). See #jmj, #wyd, or #panama2019.

Follow the Diocese of Grand Rapids on Facebook (Diocese of Grand Rapids), and on Twitter and Instagram (@GRDiocese).

Celebrate World Youth Day stateside! (dates vary)
Click here for a list of events.

Origins of World Youth Day
Initiated by St. John Paul II, the first official World Youth Day was held in 1986. WYD occurs every three years and is a celebration that brings together Catholic young adults from all around the world to grow in and celebrate their faith. At WYD, pilgrims learn how Catholics from other countries and cultures live their faith. The gathering is characterized by the joy of the pilgrims being with the pope and with each other.