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Stateside WYD Celebrations

Sean Goug, 26, of England, prays at Sacred  Heart Church in Krakow, Poland, July 28. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

World Youth Day expands far beyond the physical gathering of the Holy Father that hosts millions of young people from across the world.  World Youth Day is a call to all Catholic youth and young adults to renew their faith in Christ and prepare themselves for the work of the new evangelization that lies ahead. By celebrating with a diocese, parish, a group of young adults, friends, family, or watching it online, this is possible whether they are able to make the trip to the host city or choose to celebrate it in their home diocese.  

"...this pilgrimage is meant for every young person and young adult, for all young people of faith, not simply those who have the privilege to travel to Krakow. So I stand before you today, my friends, as I invite every Catholic young person, every catholic young adult, every leader in our church to come together and embark with me on this great pilgrimage of faith and mercy."
-Bishop Frank Caggiano, WYDUSA Episcopal Liaison and Bishop of Bridgeport, WYDUSA Krakow Kickoff, July 7, 2015

All youth and young adults, not just those who have the means to travel to Panama, are invited to participate in World Youth Day, as called by His Holiness Pope Francis. The USCCB encourages dioceses, parishes, campuses, and movements across the United States to host local stateside World Youth Day gatherings for youth and/or young adults this January concurrent with the international WYD events.

Here's what you can do:

  1. Prayerfully consider coordinating (or finding a local Catholic leader to coordinate) a stateside WYD event in your area this January.
  2. Use the WYDUSA Stateside Leader's Manual developed by the USCCB, to guide your efforts.
  3. Let the USCCB's WYDUSA office know about any stateside gatherings in your area by emailing
  4. Plan and promote locally, inviting young people to experience the celebration of World Youth Day in January.

As preparation for World Youth Day continues, it is highly important to remember our brothers and sisters who face restrictions due to financial, family, and other circumstances. The organizing bishop in Krakow (WYD 2016), Bishop Muskus noted this when he discussed Krakow preparations on the pre-anniversary of the final papal mass, "We're well aware how much deprivation, unemployment, and neglect there is, and this requires from us all sensitivity and solidarity with the poorest, so they won't feel left out." World Youth Day is open to members of the Church in many capacities, and it is pivotal to be as inclusive as possible when hosting a pilgrimage or stateside gathering.

The WYDUSA office has prepared several resources to help you plan a Stateside celebration of WYD.

  • The USCCB Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth has developed a special manual for pastoral leaders to plan and execute a stateside World Youth Day gathering. The WYDUSA Stateside Pilgrim Leaders Guide is available in English (Spanish guide coming soon). The guidebook includes spiritual insights for leaders to consider and practical tools for planning stateside events and follow-up. The guide also includes templates that pastoral leaders can use to begin their planning efforts.
  • The WYDUSA office has also put on webinar highlighting Stateside Celebration. Watch WYD Pilgrim: At Home and Abroad now!
  • Celebrate WYD domestically is by making a pilgrimage to one of the places listed on the Sites of Catholic Heritage.
  • Incorporate the Official WYD Prayer (English and Spanish versions are available) and WYDUSA Prayer into your prayer life.
  • Check out this Pilgrimage Prayer Guide for resources to make your pilgrimage as meaningful as possible.
  • Check out our current list of WYDUSA Stateside Celebrations below to see if any are being planned in your area. Planning a Stateside Celebration? Let us know and we will highlight you on our page! Send links and promotion materials to

WYDUSA Stateside Celebrations

Panamá in the Capital: World Youth Day Celebration for Young Adults (18-39)

Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.
Saturday, January 26, 2019
The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C

Use #wydDC on social media to start promoting this event!
Text wydDC to 84576 to be the first to hear about speakers, musicians, and other event updates!

Contact: Johnathan Lewis, Archdiocese of Washington,,,

Diocesan WYD Youth Conference

Diocese of Fort Wayne–South Bend
Friday to Sunday, February 8-10, 2019

Bishop Dwenger High School, Fort Wayne

Retreat: Conference with Mass, adoration, confession, meeting with International pilgrims, catechesis, mentoring opportunities, small groups and much more.

Contact: John Pratt, Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend,,

Additional stateside celebrations in connection with WYD 2019 will be posted here soon.

Krakow Stateside Celebrations

Is your diocese interested in hosting a stateside celebration? Get inspired by looking back on stateside celebration for Krakow. 

World Youth Day Chicago 2016The Archdiocese of Chicago is hosting a World Youth Day event in 2016.

Archdiocese of Chicago
Saturday to Sunday, July 30-31, 2016 (overnight)
Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Des Plaines, Illinois (near Chicago)
for Young Adults (age 18-39)

For more information and to register:

Contact: 312-534-8600 or at Check us out on Facebook!

Bridges of Mercy: A Celebration of World Youth Day in Connecticut 

Diocese of Norwich, Diocese of Bridgeport, Archdiocese of Hartford

July 23, 2016
Xavier High School, Middletown, CT

Contact: Liza Roach,

WYD Diocese of Rochester

Diocese of Rochester
Wednesday, July 27, Thursday, July 28, Friday, July 29
St. Bernard School of Theology, St. Jude Catholic Church, Notre Dame Retreat House

Wednesday July 27  at St. Bernard School of Theology. Pittsford, NY 6PM-11PM (Ages 18-39)

  • Connections to WYD with footage of Pope's arrival in Krakow and introductions to Polish saints Pope Francis greets the crowd as he arrives to lead his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Mass celebrated by Bishop Matano
  • Eucharistic process, Adoration, Confess
  • Speakers and music


Thursday, July 28  at St. Jude Catholic Church, Gates, NY 5PM-11PM (Ages 12-18)

  • Connections to WYD with footage of Pope's arrival in Krakow and introductions to Polish saints
  • Mass celebrated by Bishop Matano
  • Eucharistic process, Adoration, Confess
  • Speakers and music

Thursday, July 28 at various locations (family)

  • Polish cultural celebrations

Friday, July 29 at St. Jude Catholic Church, Gates, NY and Notre Dame Retreat Center, Canandaigua, NY (family)

  • Stations of the Cross followed by refreshments

Contact: Linda Mehlenbacher, Diocese of Rochester Coordinator of Youth and Young Adult Catechesis, 

WYD: Home-Detroit

Archdiocese of Detroit
July 30-31, 2016
St. Mary's Orchard Lake

Join other high school aged pilgrims from around the Archdiocese for a celebration you will never forget! At the World Youth Day Home Event, we will celebrate our faith in solidarity with the millions of pilgrims gathered in Poland. Our experience will include many of the same features of the international WYD including:

  • A Pilgrimage Walk
  • Prayer and Liturgy
  • Live Music
  • Meeting New Friends
  • Dynamic and Inspiring Presenters
  • Sleeping Outside
  • Polish Culture
  • And more... 

Contact: Michael Chamberland,,

World Youth Day pilgrims use their mobile phones to take photos as Pope Francis makes his way down Atlantic Avenue in Rio de Janeiro. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)

Mercy: World Youth Day Celebration for Young Adults (18-39) 

Diocese of San Angelo
Sunday, March 20, 2016 - Saturday, July 30, 2016

Starting on Palm Sunday 2016, the Diocese of San Angelo will host a 35 parish Cross Pilgrimage across 29 counties and 34,000 sq. miles of the Diocese. This pilgrimage will come to an end on Saturday, July 30, 2016. On that day, there will be a huge celebration at the McNease Convention Center in San Angelo, TX. 

Saturday, July 30, 2016
McNease Convention Center San Angelo, Tx

  • Catechesis with Bishop Michael Sis
  • Dynamic and Inspiring Speakers
  • multilingual recitation of the Rosary
  • Live Streaming Connection to WYD, Krakow, Poland
  • Live Music
  • Reconciliation
  • Stations of the Cross
  • Closing Masses with Bishop Michael Sis

Keep up to date on social media by following WYD San Angelo on Twitter @sanangelowydusa.

Contact: Sr. Adelina Garcia, OSF, Associate Director, 

Virtual World Youth Day

Diocese of Sacramento
July 30-31, 2016
Trinity Pines Catholic Center (26000 Rollins Lake Rd, Colfax, CA)

All high school youth can be World Youth Day pilgrims... even if you are not going to Poland! Join us for a diocesan celebration of World Youth Day for High School teens! This overnight will include:

  • Apex Ministries
  • Jeremy and Ryan
  • Bishop Cotta
  • Mass and Adoration
  • Camp out under the stars
  • Fellowship, food and fun!

First 120 registered will be able to stay in dorms, all others will be able to be able to camp on site. 

All youth must be accompanied by a chaperone and adults must be in compliance with the Chaperone Guidelines. The required forms can be found at

Contact: Jennifer Campbell, Coordinator for Youth Ministry, More information about Virtual WYD.

Milwaukee World Youth Day: A Pilgrimage of Mercy

Archdiocese of Milwaukee

Monsignor Richard Hilgartner celebrates Mass at Holy Family church in Middletown, MD.  USCCB Photo/Maria Pope.

July 28-29
Walking Pilgrimage from St. Francis de Sales Seminary to the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians at Holy Hill for young adult men and women (18-39)

In conjunction with Poland's World Youth Day, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee has been planning their own, local response to this event. From July 28-31, a group of young adults (18-39) will be walking over 50 miles on a "Pilgrimage of Mercy" from Saint Francis de Sales Seminary to the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians at Holy Hill. Once at Holy Hill, pilgrims will enter through the Basilica's Holy Door and attend Sunday Mass here.

Over the course of 4 days, pilgrims will be spending time in prayer and community as they journey through southeastern Wisconsin. We plan to stop at numerous churches along the way, in addition to spending the nights at local parishes. Each day, there will be an opportunity for Mass, confession, a Holy Hour, formation, and prayer.

Contact: Michael Malucha, Seminarian for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Visit or or email More information about the Pilgrimage of Mercy.

Encuento Mundial De Los Jovenes

Diocese of Brownsville
July 26, 2016
Saint Anne Church, 17109 Coconut Palm Drive, Penitas, TX 

The Diocese of Brownsville will be hosting a one day "WYD" event in our Diocese for youth 13-18 years old. This event will take place on the Feast of St. Anne at St. Anne's Catholic Church in Penitas, TX. It will take place in both Spanish and English, however the predominant language used will be Spanish. Cost is $10 per person.

Contact: Andrea Torres, Parroquia Santa Ana,, 956-583-9888. More Information about Encuento Mundial De Los Jovenes

WYD in the Diocese of Savannahmountain-edits-150w

Diocese of Savannah
July 29, 2016
St. Peter Claver Catholic Church

This Stateside event will be open to youth 13-18 years old. There is no cost to attend but each person should bring a box of rice, pasta, or can of fruit for the food pantry at the parish. At this event, the Stations of the Cross will be prayed via candlelight using the Way of the Cross guide found on the WYD website. This event will also include praise and worship, teen Mass, food, and a living rosary. 

Contact: Michelle Craddock, High School Youth Ministry Coordinator,

Pilgrims with Great Dreams: Experiencing God's Mercy in Everyday Life

Romanian Catholic Diocese of Canton
July 24 - July 27, 2016
Loyola Retreat Center, 700 Killinger Road, Clinton, OH

Come and join pilgrims for a celebration and spiritual journey you will never forget! At this Stateside WYD, we will celebrate our faith with millions of pilgrims gathered in Poland and throughout the world. You will experience fun activities, pilgimages walks, campfires, dynamic and inspiring presenters, prayer, liturgy, and live music. The Target Audience is 16 to 35 years but all are welcome (any children under 16 years of age must have an adult with them).

Contact: Julie Shocksnider,, 802-522-0802. More Information about Pilgrims with Great Dreams.

World Youth Day: Iowa EditionA statue of St. John Paul II with his arms raised in a greeting welcomes visitors to Krakow, Poland.

Diocese of Des Moines
July 30, 2016
St. Patrick's Irish Settlement, Cumming, IA

Come and join other young adults (18-35) for the Iowa Edition of World Youth Day. From 10am to 5pm on Saturday, there will be a multicultural coffeehouse, a live-feed video from Krakow, live talks, prayer walks, outdoor recreation, Adoration, Reconciliation, and Mass at a pilgrimage site that was visited by St. John Paul II.

Contact: Tessa Roberts, Coordinator of Youth & Young Adult Ministry for the Catholic Diocese of Des Moines,, More Information about WYD: Iowa Edition

World Youth Day Celebration for Young Adults

Diocese of  Pensacola-Tallahassee
July 30, 2016
Holy Name of Jesus Parish, Niceville, FL

The Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee is having a World Youth Day Celebration for Young Adults (18-39) on Saturday, July 30th from 9:30 am to 7:00 pm at Holy Name of Jesus Parish, Niceville, FL. 

This event will include:

  • Prayer and video from Bishop Parkes
  • Talks by Father Nicholas Schumm and Chris Benzinger
  • Holy Hour with Reconciliation available
  • Praise and Worship
  • Small Group Activities
  • Divine Mercy Chaplet
  • Video/Live Streaming from Poland of USA Pilgrim Mass and the Papal Prayer Vigil
  • Mass

Contact:  Sister Margaret Kuntz, ASCJ, Coordinator of Young Adult Ministry at or 850-435-3523. More Information about this event.

World Youth Day: Not a WORLD Away

Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate
July 29 - July 31, 2016
Marycrest Motherhouse

Teens and Young adults are invited to join this three day event with the Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate. The registration cost is $70.00.

Contact: Sr. Mary Josita/Sr. Maria Catherine,, Phone:  (845) 783-2251.

"Blessed are the Merciful": Little Sisters of the Poor

Little Sisters of the Poor
July 28 - 31, 2016
St. Ann's Novitiate, Queens Village, NY

Join us for a Stateside WYD celebration with all of the events pilgrims will experience in Krakow. This event is open to young women 14-30. This event will include: 

  • Opening and closing ceremonies
  • Catechesis
  • Eucharistic adoration
  • Service opportunities
  • Way of the cross
  • Games, crafts and other activities
  • Sacraments of eucharist and reconciliation
  • Watching Pope Francis in Krakow

Contact: Sister Mary Richard, LSP, Telephone: 718-464-4920, Email: More information about this event.

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If you are hosting Stateside World Youth Day experience, please feel free to submit your event (ideally, with links and promotional materials) to

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