First-Ever Virtual Pilgrimage to World Youth Day to Assist Those ‘Staying Home’

July 8, 2011 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON— For the first time ever, individuals can make a virtual pilgrimage to World Youth Day (WYD) using a social media tool developed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Communications Department. USCCB has created a Facebook application and a website for non-Facebook users ( ) where individuals can create an avatar and use it to participate in the virtual pilgrimage. The application can be added to any Facebook fan page. A Google map provides visuals of where pilgrims are coming from throughout the world and another shows the pilgrims on a detailed map of Madrid.

Additionally, USCCB has created a Facebook fan page ( where virtual pilgrims can go to create their avatar, view live video feed from Madrid, follow key twitter feeds and blogs and upload photos and videos.

Those in Madrid also can contribute to the page from the event. USCCB staff present at the event will post content from Madrid. The page will also feature posts from a team of young adults and young adult leaders who will attend WYD and blog on behalf of the USCCB Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church.

About 900 people already have created avatars and joined the virtual pilgrimage. World Youth Day 2011 will be held August 16-21, in the Spanish capital.

For more information about the virtual pilgrimage or how to add the Facebook application to a fan page, please contact Catherine Panzica at @email.
Keywords: World Youth Day, virtual pilgrimage, Facebook application, Madrid 2011.