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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. We'll share information about stateside events on this page, so check back often!

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

Panamá in the Capital is a one-day Catholic festival on January 26, 2019, celebrating World Youth Day 2019 in our nation's Capital with thousands of young adults! This event will feature nationally known speakers and musicians, opportunities for confession and adoration, Mass, cultural experiences, and fellowship with other young adults. 

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

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,,

World Youth Day in Seattle

Archdiocese of Seattle
Saturday to Sunday, January 26-27, 2019
Lynnwood Convention Center, Lynnwood, WA

World Youth Day in Seattle is an event for all youth and young adults from high school to age thirty-nine. There will be separate breakout sessions for high school youth and young adults, as well as keynote presentations, a multicultural young adult band and choir, a Vocations Café, a livestream of Pope Francis’ homily from World Youth Day in Panama, and the presence of all three bishops from the Archdiocese: Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, and Bishop Daniel Mueggenborg. Neighboring dioceses are welcome to send pilgrims to this local celebration of World Youth Day.

Contact: Daria Lobato,, or Megan Pepin,, for more information!

WYD Houston & Vigilia Pastoral

Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
Saturday to Sunday, January 26-27, 2019 from 1:00pm - 6:00am
St. Jerome Catholic Church, Houston

Join us for an afternoon of fellowship, music, speakers, and Mass. We will livestream Pope Francis's address from Panama in the evening and will hold a vigil all night long with adoration to the Blessed Sacrament. Pastoral vigil organized by Pastoral Juvenil. Event in English and Spanish.

Contact: Gabriela Karaszewski, Archdiocese Galveston-Houston,,

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

Hosting your own Stateside World Youth Day experience? Let us know by contacting and include the relevant details, links, and any promotional materials.

Hosting a Stateside Event

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.

Interested in hosting an event? 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. And check out other resources listed below!
  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.

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 to help pastoral leaders 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 a webinar highlighting Stateside Celebrations. Watch WYD Pilgrim: At Home and Abroad now!
  • Celebrate WYD domestically 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.

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