World Youth Day

OLSH Group at World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia in 2008.

What is World Youth Day?

Although World Youth Day (WYD) is celebrated annually on the diocesan level, every two or three years it is celebrated internationally with young people from every continent gathering with the Pope. The young adults celebrate their faith with the Pope and with each other.

During the summer of 2016, a group of students, faculty, and parents from OLSH attended the WYD international celebration in Krakow, Poland. This trip carried special significance for the OLSH group considering the rich history of the Felician Sisters originating in Poland, where Blessed Mary Angela lived. They had the privilege of being hosted by the Felician Sisters in Krakow and were able to walk in the footsteps of Blessed Angela in Old Town and Czestechowa.

At WYD, participants experience life the way it is lived in the host country and learn how other Catholics live their faith. Ask anyone who has been to a World Youth Day and they will tell you it is an adventure you will never forget! Click here to visit the official World Youth Day website.

How It All Began

WYD began with John Paul II’s love for young people. On Palm Sunday of 1984, the Pope convened the youth of Rome to celebrate with him the Holy Year of Redemption. Their response was enthusiastic and surpassed all expectations. In 1985, the Pope established World Youth Day.

“All young people,” said Pope John Paul to the Roman Curia, “should feel followed by the Church, that is why all the Church, in union with the Successor of Peter, feels more and more committed, on a world scale, on behalf of young people, their worries, their questions, their openness and their hopes, to respond to their expectations, by communicating the certainty who is Christ, the Truth who is Christ, love who is Christ…” (December 20, 1985)

Since then, World Youth Day has been held annually in local churches on Palm Sunday and every two or three years on an international level, traveling from continent to continent, a sort of “pilgrimage” around the world.

OLSH students on the 2008 pilgrimage to the site of the overnight vigil and mass with Pope Benedict XVI.

OLSH's Participation in WYD

To celebrate WYD, a contingent from OLSH has traveled to:

Denver, Colorado in 1993

Manila, Philippines in 1995

Paris, France in 1997

Rome, Italy in 2000

Toronto, Canada in 2003

Cologne, Germany in 2005

Sydney, Australia in 2008

Madrid, Spain in 2011