Advent Blessings and Merry Christmas! As I type this update, the countdown clock at reads “32 Days.” In a little over a month we will board a bus headed to O’Hare to encounter Christ in so many profound ways that are hard to describe! That experience of the Catholic Church you have in your local parish? How amazing it will be to see the SAME faith—celebrated and proclaimed for 2,000 years—on display in so many languages, in so many faces.

Christmas affords us an opportunity to focus on the WYD theme: I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word (Luke 1:38). Mary’s loving “YES” and the Most Holy Incarnation transformed the world. By all scholarly accounts, Mary was a pregnant teenage virgin. We all face a world that is not accepting of religion, and it can be difficult to face that animosity, but nothing compared to how ostracized Mary must have felt! Mary, Mother of God, pray for us!

This mailing (and posting at will update you on misc. WYD items as you prepare for the pilgrimage. The truth of the matter is that not a lot has changed since we met in September! That said, WYD tends to wait until the last-minute to release details on things. I will be passing along details you need to know between now and January 23rd via, email, and/or the Remind text group.

A sincere mea culpa for not gathering one last time. We sincerely tried, but simply have not been able to do so. Fortunately there are only 15 of us, so it won’t take long for us to get to know each other!

May God bless you and your families this Christmas season

Kevin Driscoll
Diocese of Gary Office for Youth & Young Adults


Mailing index:

  • What’s coming in January
  • Airport shuttling
  • Google Map/Locations
  • Vigil/Mass site established
  • WhatsApp
  • Packing list
  • World Youth Day Panama 2019 Pilgrim Kit
  • WYD Catechetical Themes
  • Safety Reminder, Enroll in the STEP Program
  • WYD social media sites
  • Vicky Hathaway/Via Crucis
  • USCCB Social Media Invitation
  • Trading at World Youth Day
  • Pilgrim advice from Bishop Hying