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Join East Anglia group at World Youth Day in Portugal

The pilgrimage to World Youth Day Portugal 2023 is set to be launched in East Anglia in March, reports Hamish MacQueen, Director of Diocesan Youth Service.

We’re really excited to be launching our preparations for our Diocesan Pilgrimage to the next International World Youth Day (WYD) in Lisbon in 2023! It might seem a long way off, but we wanted to start preparing early to allow time for the group to get to know each other, fundraising, and reflecting on the theme. “Mary arose and went with haste.” Luke 1:39.

This WYD is particularly exciting because the last one we took a large group to was back in 2016 – that will be seven years ago by the summer of 2023! There was one in Panama in 2019 but we were only able to take a small group of over 18 year olds. We are hoping to take a large group to WYD 2023.

World Youth Day was started in 1984 by Pope John Paul II and takes place every two to four years in a different country. As well as Panama, recent WYDs have been held in Madrid, Rio and Krakow. Young people from East Anglia have not only found the pilgrimage enjoyable – it’s also incredibly faith nurturing, and for some life-changing!

What is it?
An invitation by the Pope to all young people to come and celebrate their faith, learn more about it and join him for an all-night vigil and Mass. It is held in a different country each time, usually with well over one million people in attendance.

When is it
To start with, it’s more than just a day! WYD week in Lisbon starts on August 1, climaxing in the final Mass on August 6. We usually go the week before to experience the ‘Days in the Diocese’ programme which precedes WYD week.

Who is it for?
All young people who will be age 16+ by the last week of July 2023. That means if you are over 14½ already, you will be old enough to come.

How do I find out more?
Come to our launch event on March 13, 2022, starting at 1pm (please bring a packed lunch) and ending by 4.30pm after Mass with the Bishop. It will be held at Newmarket Parish Centre, 14 Exeter Road, Newmarket CB8 8LT.

Pictured above are East Anglia pilgrims at a previous World Youth Day in Poland in 2016.