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Our pilgrimage to WYD23!

On Friday 21 July 2023, 170 pilgrims from the Diocese of Parramatta will embark on the adventure of a lifetime and will join Pope Francis and millions of Catholics from around the world in Lisbon, Portugal for World Youth Day 2023: Tuesday 1 August – Sunday 6 August!

Our pilgrimage includes youth from our schools and parishes, teachers, clergy and staff from across Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains, led by the Bishop of Parramatta, Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv.

Preparations and spiritual formation have been taking place for over a year, as our young people – many of whom are travelling overseas for the first time – meet, pray, encounter and learn more about their faith before, during, and after the pilgrimage.

The Parramatta crew will travel through four countries: France, Spain, Portugal and Italy over 21 days. The pilgrimage will start by visiting several sacred sites in France and Spain before World Youth Day commences on 1 August 2023. At the conclusion of World Youth Day, the Parramatta pilgrims will travel to Assisi, the home of St Francis of Assisi and the spiritual home of Bishop Vincent, a Franciscan.

They will visit the sites of 10 saints, two sacred sites where our Lady appeared to the faithful at Fatima and Lourdes and the tomb of Blessed Carlo Acutis the first millennial to be beatified.

Please pray for the safe travels and spiritual formation of our pilgrims. We cannot wait for them to return home, share their stories and faith, and help to rejuvenate our local church here in the Diocese of Parramatta!

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Leaving Sydney, the pilgrimage starts off in Paris, where we will come to discover the spiritual riches on offer to pilgrims in this amazing city of contrasts.


The pilgrimage then heads to the foothills of the Pyrenees and the small town of Lourdes. It was in this small town that Our Lady first appeared to St Bernadette in 1858.


We arrive at the historic walled town of Ávila, where the atmosphere has changed little since the days of St Teresa to whom the city is dedicated.


Journeying through the beautiful Spanish countryside, we cross into Portugal, and travel to the Marian sanctuary at Fátima.


We join the streams of young pilgrims converging on Lisbon, the World Youth Day host city and our long-awaited meeting with the youth of the world and our Holy Father.


Onwards to our post-WYD retreat, where we will spend the following days entering into a time of rest, recreation and retreat, as we unwind and process the amazing past days on pilgrimage and WYD experiences.