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World Youth Day


World Youth Day (WYD) is a worldwide encounter for young adults across the globe. On Palm Sunday 1984, nearly 300,000 young people attended the International Jubilee of Youth in St. Peter's Square. Inspired by the many young faithful who answered his invitation, Pope St. John Paul II called for an international celebration of youth and young adults to take place every 2-3 years. The first WYD was held in 1986 in Rome, with the theme "Always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you" from 1 Peter 3:15. Since then, an international gathering - where the location is determined by the Holy Father - has been held every 2-3 years around the world.

Each World Youth Day has its own theme - also chosen by the Holy Father - and takes on its own identity with an official logo, theme, song, and more. WYD gives each host country an opportunity to share its culture and faith with the many young Catholics who have traveled near and far.

The next World Youth Day is scheduled to take place January 22-27, 2019, in Panama City, Panamá. The theme is "I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." from Luke 1:38. The Diocese of Gaylord plans to work with other dioceses sending delegations to assist those who would like to attend WYD 2019 in Panama. Those interested should contact Wayne Winter at 989.732.5147 or

Please note that participants must be between the ages of 18 and 35 by the time of departure. We are unable to offer any exception to this requirement.



World Youth Day 2019: Panama City, Panamá

The next World Youth Day will take place January 22-27, 2019 in Panama City, Panamá. Pope Francis has announced that the theme will be Luke 1:38: "I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." This is the first WYD to be held in Central America and only the second to not be held in July/August. The Diocese of Gaylord will not be organizing a pilgrimage for this World Youth Day. For more information or assistance on connecting with another diocese or group attending WYD Panamá, contact Priscilla Winter at 989.732.5147 or via email at

Past World Youth Days

2016: Kraków, Poland - "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy." -Matthew 5:7

2013: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - "Go and make disciples of all nations." -Mt 28:19

2011: Madrid, Spain - "Rooted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the Faith" - Colossians 2:7

2008: Sydney, Australia - "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses." - Acts 1, 8

2005: Cologne, Germany - "We have come to worship him." – Matthew 2:2

2002: Toronto, Canada - "You are the salt of the earth; You are the light of the world." – Matthew 5:13-14

2000: Rome, Italy - Jubilee – "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us." – John 1:14

1997: Paris, France - "Teacher, where are you staying? Come and see." – John 1:38-39

1995: Manila, Philippines - "As the Father sent me, so am I sending you." – John 20:21

1993: Denver, Colorado, USA - "I came that they might have life, and have it to the full." – John 10:10

1991: Czestochowa, Poland - "You have received a spirit of sonship." – Romans 8:15

1989: Santiago de Compostela, Spain - "I am the way, the truth, and the life." – John 14:6

1987: Buenos Aires, Argentina - "We ourselves have known and put our faith in God’s love towards ourselves." – 1 John 4:16

1986: Rome, Italy - "Always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you." - 1 Peter 3:15