World Youth Day begins next week

World Youth Day (WYD) is the largest youth event of the Church - and this year is held in Panama from 22-27 January.

WYD is an encounter of young people from all around the world with the Pope amidst a festive, religious, and cultural atmosphere. "WYD is much more than an event. It is a time of deep and spiritual renewal; its fruits benefit the whole of society" said Pope Benedict XVI.

The WYD celebrations will begin with an opening ceremony and Mass in Santa Maria La Antigua Field.

Pope Francis will arrive in Panama on 23 January, and a welcoming ceremony will be held the following day. The Way of the Cross will be held on Friday afternoon. On Saturday night, a vigil and overnight sleep out will take place in Saint John Paul II Field, Metro Park.

Sunday morning will be the highlight - Mass for World Youth Day with Pope Francis as well as the announcement of the next World Youth Day location. 

Pope Francis will also meet with the President of the Republic, Central American Bishops, visit a juvenile detention centre and thank World Youth Day volunteers before his departure on Sunday 27 January.

The official program and information can be found on the website

Watch Live

All of the major events of WYD will be streamed live from

Shalom World has been named by the Archdiocese of Panama as the official media partner of World Youth Day 2019.

The live coverage will include all major WYD occurrences, including events with Pope Francis. It will feature music bands from various continents performing on several major stages and will cover Faith & Culture exhibits held at more than 15 locations across Panama. Pilgrims from around the world will participate in catechetical sessions, pilgrimage walks, Stations of the Cross, and much more.


Time in Panama

Time in Maitland-Newcastle to watch online

Welcoming Ceremony and opening of WYD

5.30pm Thursday

9.30am Friday 25 January

Way of the Cross

5.30pm Friday

9.30am Saturday 26 January


6.30pm Saturday

10.30am Sunday 27 January

WYD Mass

8am Sunday

Midnight Monday 28 January


Official Song

The official song for World Youth Day is called Here I Am, The Servant of the Lord.

It is inspired by characteristic Panamanian rhythms and the official slogan chosen by the Holy Father "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me according to your word" (Lk 1:38). It was written and composed by Abdiel Jiménez.

Listen here.

History of World Youth Days

World Youth Day was established on 20 December 1985. During a Christmas gathering, Saint John Paul II told the Cardinals and workers of the Roman Curia that he wanted WYD to be held every year on Palm Sunday as a meeting for young people in each diocese of the world, and every two or three years as an international encounter in a destination of his choice.
In 2008, Sydney was the host of this international celebration.
Look back over previous World Youth Days here:

WYD: 10 years on

Maitland-Newcastle go to WYD Krakow 2016

Follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Brooke Robinson Image
Brooke Robinson

Brooke is Content Officer for the Communications Team in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle