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Upon his return from World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro in 2013, Pope Francis said, "We must never forget that World Youth Days are not 'firework displays,' flashes of enthusiasm that are an end in themselves; rather, they are stages of a long journey, begun in 1985, at the initiative of Pope John Paul II." (Angelus message in St. Peter's Square, August 4, 2013).
With that in mind, the USCCB endeavors to update the Church in the United States on the "long journey" that continues – for young people, their leaders, and "alumni" of past encounters – in the everyday experiences of faith, all of which point toward Christ and the Gospel.Seen from this perspective, then, the international World Youth Days are moments where pilgrims gather together in one place every three years to share those lived experiences, learn from one another, renew their commitment to Christ and the Church, and hear from their shepherd, the Holy Father, so that they might be inspired to continue the journey and change the world.
This summer, in preparation for the next international WYD encounter in Poland in 2016, we begin a two-year "Countdown to Krakow" (the days, hours, and minutes are already counting down at www.wydusa.org). While two years may seem a long way to go, the wait reminds us that the best things in life are rarely rushed – and often best experienced with good discernment, time, and anticipation.
These updates serve to share details that impact the logistical elements of the WYD journey in the United States. For the latest information, go to www.wydusa.org or follow "WYDUSA" on Twitter.
The official WYD website is www.krakow2016.com.This site is maintained by the Kraków local organizing committee and includes several language portals, including English and Spanish.Please consult this website (as well as their accompanying Facebook and Twitter feeds at www.facebook.com/worldyouthday/ and www.twitter.com/krakow2016/, respectively) for the most accurate and updated news about WYD planning.
In April 2014, WYD organizers from Kraków shared some details about the preliminary plans for World Youth Day in 2016. Please note that these are early plans and are subject to change:
The organizers hope that 2016 will be an opportunity for pilgrims to discover the origins of World Youth Day, as Kraków was the place where Karol Wojtiła was formed, inspired, and called to serve Christ and the Church as a young person himself.As Cardinal Dziwisz said to the WYD delegates and organizers from around the world who gathered in Rome this spring, "To truly know a poet, one must visit that poet's homeland.To truly know St. John Paul II and World Youth Day, one must come to Kraków."
wyd 2016 Logo and Prayer
In July 2014, Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz and leaders from the WYD local organizing committee released the official World Youth Day logo and prayer which accompanies the WYD 2016 theme of "Blessed are the Merciful, for They Shall Obtain Mercy" (Mt. 5:7).The logo was designed by 28-year-old graphic designer Monika Rybczyńska from Ostrzeszów, Poland, who was inspired by the canonization of St. John Paul II earlier this year and in developed it in thanksgiving for the saint's impact on her professional career.In the final stages of the logo's design, Monika was also assisted by Emilia Pyza, a 26-year-old graphic designer from Garwolin, near Warsaw, Poland.
The logo features the outline of Poland with a marker that signifies the location of Kraków as well as the face of the young people who will gather there for World Youth Day in 2016. The city and the pilgrims are situated at the foot of Christ and the Cross, from which flow the red and blue rays of Divine Mercy. The colors of the logo (red, blue, and yellow) are the official colors of the city of Kraków.
The official WYD prayer was also released in early July – which asks God for divine protection for all people, especially in the preparation for the pilgrimage to Kraków, as well as the grace that we might be more merciful and compassionate to the discouraged, doubting, indifferent, and unhappy people in our world.
The prayer in English can be found on the main page of the official WYDUSA website, www.wydusa.org.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will be organizing a special event in Kraków during the World Youth Day week for WYD pilgrims from the United States of America.Exact details (of when and where this event will take place and what will be happening) are being finalized this summer.The USCCB will also have an on-site concierge service in Kraków, where pilgrim leaders can check-in during their time in Krakow for information, concerns, and questions.More details on this will be forthcoming.
Not everyone is able to travel to Kraków for World Youth Day.For this reason, we highly encourage local parishes and/or dioceses to consider hosting "stateside" World Youth Day activities in late July 2016 for those youth and young adults who are unable to attend WYD in Poland, as well as friends and families of international pilgrims.In this way, all young people will be united as WYDUSA pilgrims: this includes those who will be present in Kraków with the Holy Father as well as those participating in their local area and via social media.
In advance of World Youth Day in Kraków, the United States' World Youth Day Office (WYDUSA) will be working on developing preparation and promotional resources in the coming months to assist dioceses and group leaders.
If you have any concerns or questions about WYD, contact the WYDUSA Office, coordinated by staff at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in Washington, D.C., at 202-541-3044 or email firstname.lastname@example.org; and continue to check back in for updates via the WYDUSA
website, www.wydusa.org or Twitter at www.twitter.com/wydusa/.
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