It is a pilgrimage, a celebration of youth, an expression of the universal Church and an intense moment of evangelisation for our world. Although its Catholic identity is evident, WYD opens its doors to everyone, no matter how close to or distant from the Church they are.
WYD is celebrated every three to four years and is an international gathering with the presence of the Holy Father. It brings together millions of young people to celebrate their faith and sense of belonging to the Church.
Our World Youth Day Coordinator
Mr Ryan Gato is our Diocesan WYD Coordinator for 2023. Ryan is currently employed by the Catholic Schools Office of Maitland-Newcastle, working as an Education Officer – Formation within the Religious Education and Spirituality Services team. He is looking forward to sharing this life-changing experience with the young adults of our diocese. Ryan has been involved in Faith Formation and youth ministry for over ten years and has prepared and coordinated three previous WYDs. He brings a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to the role.
Ryan extends an invitation to all young adults to consider being a part of a pilgrimage that will encounter the Universal Church.
“I invite all young people to consider journeying this pilgrimage with us as a way to encounter afresh the person of Jesus Christ. Come and walk in the footsteps of Christ. Come and witness the vitality of our faith through the diversity of cultures. Come and pray in solidarity with Pope Francis. I hope you will join us on this amazing journey.”
Ryan also shared that those who have participated in a previous WYD would be all too familiar with the energy and passion expressed by the young people that gather.
"At first, the enormity of the crowds with all their flags, chants, and cultural paraphernalia can be somewhat overwhelming. However, you quickly realise that these young people are the youth of our universal Church – and any thoughts or feelings you have about the vitality of the Church change, for it suggests that indeed, it is very much alive. My first WYD in Madrid was very much like this – feeling somewhat unsure of what it might entail, I soon realised that this was not going to be an isolated event but rather an opportunity among many for the Church to celebrate and walk with young people. WYD introduced me to the universal Church, and at the same time, opened the doors to a myriad of opportunities within my local diocese. In what might seem like a one-off pilgrimage, the experience continues to reverberate throughout my life, relationships, and faith.”
Our Maitland-Newcastle Pilgrimage | 21 July – 11 August 2023
Journey with us on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and onto World Youth Day Lisbon 2023 in Portugal, where we will gather with young people, celebrating our diversity and faith.
Watch the Gospels come alive on this most authentic faith journey live on location in the Holy Land of Israel. Take the chronological road of Jesus’ life from Bethlehem to Nazareth and Lake Galilee to Jerusalem as we prepare for a powerful encounter into the spirit of His passion. Continue into the heart and soul of Portugal to join our Holy Father for the 16th International World Youth Day in Lisbon, as young pilgrims from across the globe will gather for an unforgettable week of prayer, worship, and celebration.
Following the excitement of the WYD Week in Lisbon, we depart for the tranquillity and relaxation of our Post WYD Retreat in Palmela. 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.