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Road to Panama World Youth Day starts in Newmarket

The next World Youth Day will be in Panama City in 2019, a group from East Anglia will be going and there is a diocesan launch event in Newmarket on November 26.

"It doesn't seem long ago that we returned from Poland after having an incredible time at World Youth Day 2016," said Hamish MacQueen, Youth Service Director.

"But we need to start early to give people a chance to prepare for the 2019 event. Part of this is about raising money but just as important is getting to know each other and reflecting on the theme "I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word (Luke 1:38)', which we will be doing in our preparation days."

World Youth Day was started by Pope John Paul in 1984. It's much more than a day ' usually over a week. It brings together young Catholics from around the world to celebrate their faith and learn more about it ' it's an encounter of the young people of the world with the Pope and the Christian community of the host country.

Recent World Youth Days have been held in Madrid, Rio and Krakow. Young people who have attended from East Anglia have not only found the pilgrimage enjoyable ' it's also been incredibly faith nurturing and for some even life-changing.

"I felt this trip has definitely changed my faith for the better and has gone as far as to change my life," said Joseph Kalusza-Gilbert, St Ives Parish, talking about WYD 2016.

The World Youth Day Panama 2019 East Anglia Diocese Launch will take place at Newmarket Parish Centre, 14 Exeter Rd, Newmarket CB8 8LT on November 26, which is National Youth Sunday.

The afternoon starts at 1pm (please bring a packed lunch) and will finish by 4:30pm after Mass celebrated by Bishop Alan

World Youth Day is for young people who will be 17 or older by September 1, 2018, and adult leaders.

Pictured above is Pope Francis at World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow.