A group of 30 young pilgrims from the Archdiocese of Dublin is making their way to Panama, joining thousands from around the globe for World Youth Day with Pope Francis.

The group is made up of young people from Dublin parishes, third level students and several young people from around Ireland and Europe and who live in Dublin.

Pope Francis personally chose Panama and he will be there from 22nd to 27th January leading young people in an encounter of faith, friendship and reflection on what it means to be Catholic today.  It is one of the largest events of its kind in the world and will be hosted in 33 locations around Panama City, engaging young people from all over the globe in various expressions of faith, art and culture.

There will be seven stages in the main arena in Panama City, hosting an enormous range of events and activities as well as satellite stages in shopping centres, theatres, museums and in churches serving as adoration centres.  One of the novelties of the Youth Festival programme  is the “WYD 2019 Cup,” a friendly soccer tournament that will be held Wednesday 23 January 23 in Costa del Este.

The Dublin group will arrive in Panama this Friday (18 January). They will all stay with families in a host parish, Parroquia Santiago Apostle. There, along with  groups from Latvia and New Zealand they will take part in a social justice programme with local young parishioners visiting the elderly and housebound and help to  prepare and deliver  food to  families in need in the locality.

On Saturday, six members of the Dublin Group will be taking part in a vital environmental debate Youth for the Common House – Safeguarding of Creation inspired by the Pope Francis’ global message on the environment, Laudato Si.

The Dublin group will also take part in the Opening Ceremony for the arrival of Pope Francis, the Way of the Cross and Vigil and Concluding Mass on Sunday 27 January.

Throughout their stay, they will be using social media to promote the pilgrimage and to keep in touch with a mirror event, which is happening in Dublin.   Panama in Dublin will take place in the Emmaus Centre in Swords on Saturday and Sunday (26th and 27th).  It includes a range of faith led activities. They will also be linking in live to the events in Panama, in particular Pope Francis’ address at the opening ceremony, vigil, and closing Mass. Young people from parishes throughout Dublin will be taking part.

ENDS