WYD Pilgrims Commissioning Mass This Sunday

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
8 Jul 2016

World Youth Day pilgrims from Sydney will be commissioned to participate in WYD 2016 in Krakow, Poland

This Sunday at St Mary's Cathedral, WYD pilgrims from the Archdiocese of Sydney will be commissioned by Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP as they set out for Krakow, Poland on several WYD journeys. The pilgrims along with their family and friends will attend Mass where there will be a special blessing and prayer of commissioning following afterwards by a group photo with the Archbishop on the steps of the Cathedral.

Normally accustomed to accompanying WYD delegations from Australia, Archbishop Fisher has expressed his regret that due to his ongoing recovery from recent illness, this time he will not be able to travel. However, he will be giving his blessing to the 860 pilgrims from the Archdiocese and accompanying them in prayer.

Bishop-elect Richard Umbers will accompany the delegation from Sydney in the Archbishop's place and Auxiliary Bishop Terry Brady will also be travelling with the group.

The large delegation from the Archdiocese of Sydney comprises 654 from Sydney Catholic Schools including 453 students and 201 staff and teacher pilgrims along with over 200 post school aged youth.

The group from Sydney makes up almost one third of the entire delegation from Australia. Approximately 3,000 Australians will head to Poland for the World Youth Day hosted in Krakow, the home of Saint John Paul II, considered the father of the World Youth Days that began under his inspiration in the 1980's.

The Sydney pilgrims will be taking various routes to Poland including the pathways of Christ through the Holy Land, Saints of Italy, Marian Shrines of France in the footsteps of John Paul II through Poland.

A long tradition of Sydney pilgrims participating in the international WYDs

Bishop-elect Umbers will lead the pilgrimage to the Holy Land and Bishop Brady will lead the pilgrimage in the footsteps of John Paul II through Poland.

The pilgrimages all converge in Krakow for the week of World Youth Day from 25 to 31 July where the Australians will join with expected millions of youth from around the world to meet with Pope Francis and enter into the theme of this WYD, "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy"(Mt 5:7).

Krakow has become known as the city of mercy with the Catholic spirituality drawing richly from the tradition of Polish religious sister, Saint Faustina who received the Divine Mercy revelations from God, and from Saint John Paul II who made the devotion known throughout the world and had mercy as a predominant theme of his pontificate.

The image of the
Divine Mercy devotion

Young Australians have a long tradition of participating in the international WYDs. Since Sydney hosted the World Youth Day in 2008 a large delegation of students and young adults have joined the national delegation from Australia to be present at the Madrid WYD in 2011 with Pope Benedict and the Rio de Janeiro WYD in 2013 with Pope Francis.

The young pilgrims will be invited to enter into the theme of mercy and consider how they might allow themselves to be transformed into bearers of mercy in the way they live their faith and pass on the Gospel witness to others.

The Mass will be celebrated at 10.30am on Sunday 10 July at St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney. All pilgrims and their families are invited to be seated by 10.15am.

For more information about the Sydney's WYD journey see