Get Ready for Krakow - WYD Registration Now Open!

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
16 Oct 2015

Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP will lead a pilgrimage tour of the Holy Land en route to WYD in Krakow

With nine months to go, registration for World Youth Day in Krakow is now open and more than 500-600 pilgrims from across the Archdiocese of Sydney are expected to register within the next few weeks.

The Archdiocese of Sydney's Catholic Youth Services (CYS) opened registrations for WYD16 in Poland yesterday. Registration is available online at the CYS website which also offers pilgrims a chance to sign up for one of four fantastic travel options en route to Poland in July next year.

The Archbishop of Sydney, the Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP will lead a pilgrimage to the places where Christ once walked on earth. Starting in Jordan, pilgrims who sign up for the tour will have a chance to travel to the old town of Jerusalem, encounter the Mount of Olives and Garden of Gethsemane before walking the Way of the Cross to the site of Christ's crucifixion and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Archbishop Fisher in Poland as part of the preparations for next year's WYD 2016 in Poland

Pilgrims will then travel to Bethlehem where Our Lord was born, and have a chance to see the famous Shepherd's Field where the angels announced Christ's birth, before setting sail on the Sea of Galilee where Jesus preached and calmed the storm. In addition, the tour will include a visit to the Mount of Beatitudes where Christ delivered the Sermon on the Mount as well as a visit to the Church of Annunciation in Nazareth  and Cana of Galilee where Jesus worked his first miracle. This tour including air fares from Australia and the week in Poland is tentatively dated to begin around 16 July with pilgrims returning home on 6 August.

The second great tour on offer is the chance to follow in the footsteps of St John Paul II. In what is predicted to be a hugely popular tour, begins in Rome where pilgrims will be able to visit and pray beside his tomb in St Peter's Basilica and will then trace those places that were central to the life of Poland's greatest son, the father of World Youth Day and the Pope who led the Church across the millennium and into the 21st century.

Canonisation celebrated in Wadowice, Poland the hometown of St John Paul II

From Rome, pilgrims will visit the historic hillside town of Assisi before travelling to Poland where they will visit the Shrine of the Black Madonna. They will then visit St John Paul II's home town of Wadowice, pray at the church where he was baptised and where he attended Mass each morning as a schoolboy. The pilgrimage will also visit Auschwitz, the Nazis horrific concentration camp where so many were put to death, including many friends of St John Paul II. This is also where St Maximalian Kolbe and St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, who was born Edith Stein, were martyred.

This tour, known as the Footsteps of John Paul II, is the official uni student pilgrimage and is open to all young adults, although the CYS suggests students travel together as a group wherever possible.

Father of World Youth Day, St John Paul II in Poland for WYD in 1991

The third tour available en route to Krakow as part of the WYD16 package offers the chance to visit the Marian shrines of Europe beginning with Lourdes where a 14-year-old French girl, Bernadette Soubirous experienced the visitation of Our Lady in 1858. The tour will also take in the much loved shrine at Fatima in Portugal where the Holy Mother appeared to three young children in a series of separate apparitions in 1917. Travelling across Europe the these two most beloved shrines will also give pilgrims a chance to see some of the most beautiful parts of Europe.

The fourth tour, which many pilgrims may choose to take, offers a retreat in Zakopane, the historic town in the south of Poland which lies at the foot of the Tatra Mountains. Flying from Warsaw to Zakopane, pilgrims will have a chance to join other young people from across the globe in the lead up to WYD16. There, surrounded by spectacular scenery, pilgrims will embark on a retreat to prepare for the festival of faith in Krakow and will have opportunities to experience the sites and culture of the old town, explore the Wawel Royal Castle and spend time in Kazimierz, the Old Jewish Quarter where Steven Spielberg shot his film, Schindler's List based on the award-wining book of the same name by Australia's premier author, Thomas Keneally.

St John Paul II prays beside the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes which will be part of the Marian Tour for WYD pilgrims

With WYD registrations now open, not only are 500-plus young people from across the Archdiocese of Sydney expected to register but a further 500-600 Year 10 and Year 11 students from Sydney's Catholic Schools are also expected to be registered by the Archdiocese of Sydney's Catholic Education Office (CEO).

When WYD16 in Krakow begins on 25 July 2016, the Archbishop of Sydney, the Most Rev Anthony Fisher will be leading what is predicted to be a near record contingent of 1200 young adults from across the Archdiocese and the city's Catholic high schools.

The Co-ordinator of Sydney's hugely successful WYD08 in Sydney, Archbishop Fisher was also very much involved with WYD11 in Madrid and with WYD13 in Rio de Janeiro.

The Archbishop's ability to connect and inspire young people is well known, as is his role as the Australian Bishops Delegate for Youth and for his leadership of the Australian Catholic Bishops National Office for Youth which was established in May last year with a mission to evangelise and minister to youth and youth ministers across Australia.

The spectacular setting of Zakopane the historic town in southern Poland

The young people and Catholic high school students led by the Archbishop will join an estimated 3 million pilgrims in Krakow for the weeklong festival of faith.

From now until WYD16 check out the latest news, facts, video blogs and pilgrim resources on Xt3 at

To register as a pilgrim for WYD16 in Krakow see

For more information and details of tours available en route to Krakow leaving Australia round 16 July see