CLIFTON Space remains available for anyone still interested in joining a contingent of 100 Catholic youth, young adults, adults and families from the Paterson Diocese, including Bishop Serratelli, for a once-in-a-life time pilgrimage to World Youth Day (WYD) in Krakow, Poland, from July 24 to Aug. 1, 2016. There, Pope Francis will gather with Catholics from around the world, united in Christ. Pope Francis will emphasize the importance of family and explore the Beatitudes during WYD, which also will highlight the life and ministry of Pope St. John Paul II, former Archbishop of Krakow.
So far, 80 local pilgrims have registered for WYD with another 20 spaces available. During the pilgrimage, they will join with Catholics around the globe for spiritual events with Pope Francis and other WYD activities; attend daily Mass in various locations with Bishop Serratelli and other priests in the diocesan contingent; and visit key historical, cultural and religious sites in and around Krakow, including those related to John Paul II and St. Faustina Kowalska, who widely promoted a devotion to the Divine Mercy.
“Many of the young people, who are attending World Youth Day are about 18 years old now, which means that they were eight years old, when John Paul II died. This pilgrimage will show them why he is so important in Church history and will bring him to another generation,” said Father Philip-Michael Tangorra, assistant diocesan coordinator for evangelization and chaplain at William Paterson University, Wayne, who has been coordinating the WYD pilgrimage with Anne Breslin, owner of Great Experiences Travel in Oradell.
Members of the diocesan contingent will have the opportunity to take side trips to locations central to John Paul II’s life, including his birthplace in Wadowice, and important pilgrimages sites, including the Shrine of Czestochowa, where they will celebrate Mass, and the Divine Mercy Shrine of St. Faustina — timely in this Jubilee Year of Mercy, as declared by Pope Francis, said Father Tangorra.
“World Youth Day will be an opportunity to experience the universality of the Church — what it means to be Catholic,” said Father Tangorra, who added the reservations for the diocesan WYD contingent are open to youth, young adults, adults and families.
Pilgrims from the diocese will stay in two hotels in the heart of Krakow — one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in Europe — in a central location, where they can enjoy all the culture, shopping and sights and sounds in and around its main square, Breslin said.
“World Youth Day will be extraordinary,” Breslin said.
The WYD itinerary is as follows:
• Sunday, July 24 to Monday, July 25: Depart for WYD on a non-stop flight and arrive in Warsaw, followed by a tour of the capital city.
• Tuesday, July 26: Arrive in Krakow and enjoy a walking tour to Jagiellonnian University, whose graduates include John Paul II; Wawel Castle; the Royal Palace; and the local cathedral, where the future saint celebrated his first Mass as a newly ordained priest. Join youth from all over the world for the WYD opening ceremony.
• Wednesday, July 27: Participate in catechetical sessions and other activities in the morning as part of the Youth Festival. Visit Wadowice, John Paul II’s birthplace, in the afternoon, and then return to Krakow, or stay in the city for WYD activities.
• Thursday, July 28: Spend the morning participating in catechetical sessions. Welcome Pope Francis to WYD in the afternoon.
• Friday, July 29: Spend the morning in catechetical sessions. Visit the Congregation of the Sisters of Divine Mother of Mercy and the tomb of St. Faustina in Lagiewniki in the afternoon or stay in Krakow for WYD activities. After dinner, there will be an opportunity to participate in the Stations of the Cross.
• Saturday, July 30: Spend the morning in Krakow. Begin a walking pilgrimage to the site of the vigil with Pope Francis in the afternoon.
• Sunday, July 31: Participate in the conclusion of WYD activities. Travel in the afternoon to the Monastery of Jasna Gora in Czestochowa, the third largest site of pilgrimage in the world and the national shrine of Poland. Return to Krakow in the afternoon.
• Monday, Aug. 1: Depart for a flight back to the diocese.
In an address on Jan. 31 at the Vatican, Pope Francis noted that John Paul II established WYD — a “pilgrimage of young people from every continent under the guidance of the Successor of Peter” that “has truly been a providential and prophetic initiative.”
“Together let us thank the Lord for the precious fruits, which these World Youth Days have produced in the lives of countless young people in every part of the globe! How many amazing discoveries have been made, especially the discovery that Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life! How many people have realized that the Church is a big and welcoming family! How many conversions, how many vocations have these gatherings produced!” Pope Francis said.
[Information/reservations: call Anne Breslin, Great Experiences Travel. (201) 261-8484.]