DIOCESE OF GARY ITINERARY – WORLD YOUTH DAY 2019
as of September 1, 2018
Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Pilgrims meet at designated pickup location(s) in Northwest Indiana TBD to board coach bus that will take us to Chicago O’Hare International Airport for our red eye flight(s) of just slightly more than 5 hrs. to Panama. Depart O’Hare at 12:29 AM Thu., Jan. 24. To maximize your time in Panama, pilgrims should do their best to sleep on the plane.
Thursday, January 24 & Friday, January 25
Pilgrims arrive in Panama at 6:47 AM Eastern Standard Time. In January, Panama is one hour ahead of Central Standard Time. Group will be met in Panama City by English speaking guide and transferred to hotel.
Thursday and Friday are days in which pilgrims will be encouraged to live it up and enjoy everything WYD has to offer! OYYA will provide pilgrims with a menu of options, including Catechesis, Youth Festival activities, exhibits, places of worship and prayer, etc.
Thursday evening is traditionally a large welcoming gathering led by the Holy Father. After the gathering, pilgrims will have the opportunity to participate in WYD Youth Festival evening activities, including concerts, theatre, dance, exhibits, gatherings and more.
On Friday evening, we’ll take part in the Stations of the Cross with the Holy Father.
Breakfast included at hotel. All lunches and dinners Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are provided as part of WYD package. (Instructions will be provided.)
Saturday, January 26
We will make our pilgrimage walk to the site of the Evening Vigil and Closing Mass. This traditionally includes a very long walk, so pilgrims should be prepared.*
The Vigil will begin in the early evening in preparation for the arrival of the Holy Father. The evening will then feature an address to the Youth by the Pope and Holy Eucharistic adoration. All will spend the night under the stars.
This experience is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced! It’s a campout with hundreds of thousands who share your love of Christ, laughing, singing, praying, and joining the Pope in worship. Pilgrims will be informed about what to bring to best prepare for this unique experience.
WYD 2016 Vigil, Krakow, Poland
Sunday, January 27
The culmination of your pilgrimage is this unforgettable celebration of Mass with the Holy Father. The Pope will concelebrate Mass with thousands of bishops and priests, and he will address young people and those who are not so young, to send them out to the world to witness to their faith, as the Lord did with his Apostles. Later that evening, a nice, farewell dinner at a restaurant TBD, included as part of your package.
Monday, January 28 & Tuesday, January 29
Itinerary TBD. Beach Day and/or Rainforest visits likely, at no additional cost.
Tuesday, January 29
Today we say goodbye to WYD and board our plane for the return trip to Chicago. Return flight leaves at 6:37 PM EST and arrives in Chicago at 11:09 PM CST. A coach bus will return all pilgrims to a designated location in Northwest Indiana.
*A note about walking: Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims will descend upon Panama City. Coach busses are not allowed within a certain radius of WYD events. Public transportation will be very crowded. Pilgrims should come to WYD ready to walk extensively, especially on Saturday and Sunday, January 26 & 27 (the walk to and from the vigil site). While pilgrims may opt out of anything they wish, they are encouraged to challenge themselves—walking on pilgrimage is a time-honored and deeply spiritual tradition in the Catholic faith. Pilgrims should see these moments during our itinerary not as merely “really long walks,” but opportunities to grow closer to Christ. Alternative transportation will be sought- but cannot be guaranteed- for those with health or mobility concerns. Taxis may be an option, but will be an additional expense incurred by the pilgrim.