03 March 2023

World Youth Day, Lisbon 2023

Every two-three years since 1987 the Catholic youth have gathered from around the world with the Pope at a World Youth Day, hosted in a different city. Many I’m sure would recall the 2008 WYD in Sydney, which provided an incredible injection of faith across the country. The last World Youth Day was in 2019 Panama City, Panama. Since then, the ability to organise an international WYD has been prevented by COVID restrictions on both large gatherings and international travel. Four years on, the next WYD will be held in Lisbon, Portugal between 1st-6th August, 2023.

The World Youth Day is designed to be a pilgrimage for young people to experience the universality of the Catholic Faith, celebrating the faith with other young Catholics from all over the world. Portugal is a country steeped in a rich Catholic culture. It is the birthplace of St Anthony of Padua, St Elizabeth of Portugal and home to the miraculous apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima.

The Archdiocese of Melbourne is offering three pilgrimage options: Direct to Lisbon (14 days); The Italian Way (via Rome - 19 days); and Footsteps of Jesus (via the Holy Land - 21 days). Registrations are currently open for any young Catholic aged between 16-35.

If you wish to travel with one of the three Melbourne groups you will need to register by 17th March.

World Youth Day is a lot of fun, but it is a pilgrimage, not a holiday. Experience shows that it is often a formative and galvanising experience for young Catholics who are maturing in their faith. The last thirty years shows that WYD produces future leaders for the Church and even a few vocations. Although not cheap to undertake, it is an investment in the future of the Church: today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders.

If there are any young people who are interested in finding out more about the WYD (dates, itineraries, costs, etc.) check out the website for the Archdiocese of Melbourne (see link below). Should there be any young people from the parish who are interested in joining the Melbourne group I am happy to discuss a partial subsidy of the costs involved and we can also look at the possibility of some parish fund-raising if there is the interest. If you have any questions or are seeking financial assistance from the parish, feel from to contact me via the parish office. Note that due to the cut-off date for registrations being on 17th March you will need to contact me ASAP.

I have the good fortune of having been appointed as one of the chaplains to accompany Melbourne WYD pilgrims on the Footsteps of Jesus pilgrim route. My last WYD was in 2008 (when I actually qualified as ‘youth’!) so I too will be looking forward to this unique experience. Hope to see you in Lisbon!

  • Fr Francis Denton.

For more information go to: