A PART OF YOUNG ADULT MINISTRY Since World Youth Day is geared towards young adults between the ages of 18 and 35, a parish should focus on a plan to outreach, evangelize, catechize, and bring them into community and leadership within the parish with the ultimate goal of drawing them into a deeper personal relationship with Christ. By incorporating the WYD experience within the context of a parish’s ministry for young adults, the WYD experience will be a fuller and richer experience for the individual while connecting them to a local faith community. As you may be aware and as the research suggests, reaching this generation will take extra efforts on our part. We should encourage the Catholic young adults already connected in their faith and community to go on this journey, but also reach those who could benefi t from this experience. We know of many stories where many young Catholics have had their lives changed because of their experience at WYD and this has led many to discern their vocation to priestly, religious or married life. If you do not currently have a ministry for young adults or are looking to strengthen your current efforts, please contact the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for further assistance.
WYD GROUP LEADER It is important that there be a leader assigned to be responsible for the parish’s WYD group. This person will coordinate the parish efforts which will include planning the logistics, catechesis, and other preparation details for WYD. They will also serve as a liaison between the parish and the archdiocese regarding WYD matters. Some qualities the group leader should have include: previous travel experience (preferably attended a previous WYD), good communication and interpersonal skills, coordinating abilities, financial management skills, ability to handle stress, and a passionate and faithful Catholic life.
FOOD Food distribution methods for WYD are still to be announced, but as with any travel experience, pilgrims will be experiencing local cuisine and food. Some of the food will be familiar, some unfamiliar. It is important that food allergies or sensitivities are stated at registration, and pilgrims should bring any medication that will assist in the event of an allergic reaction.
SECURITY When travelling to a foreign land, especially one that will be occupied with hundreds of thousands of people from around the world, security will be an issue. Pilgrims should take every measure to ensure their security. You can access information about current travel advisories and recommendations at: http:www.travel.gc.ca
TRAVEL All Archdiocesan pilgrims/groups are responsible for making their own travel arrangements. There are several travel agencies that have helped groups within the Archdiocese before. It helps to have someone familiar with WYD working with you. Private travel insurance is recommended. The Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton will do its best to connect individuals without a parish group to an established parish group. Contact us if you will not be creating a parish group, but would like to connect your parishioners to another parish group. Travel from Days in the Diocese in a host city/diocese to World Youth Day in Panama City is the responsibility of each group and not the WYD Organizers. Those wishing to have pre or post WYD tours are encouraged to discuss this with their travel agent or tour operator. There are many beautiful places to visit in Panama and the opportunity to take in some of the extra sights and sounds should be considered. For more information about travel recommendations, including health advisories: www.travel.gc.ca
WYD REGISTRATION Registration usually begins one year before the start of WYD. We expect online registration to begin in January 2018. There are a variety of options with your registration depending on your needs for accommodation and meals. The archdiocesan policy states that pilgrims must be at least 18 years old at the time of WYD. Therefore, parish and school groups traveling to Panama will be young adults between the ages of 18 and 35 years old. Pilgrims over the age of 35 are welcome to attend WYD with the understanding that the catechetical sessions, talks, service opportunities, and other activities are geared towards the 18 to 35 age group. This policy will be strictly enforced. This includes minors traveling with parents or family.
FEES Fees for WYD have not been announced yet. As in previous WYDs, you will be invited to include a voluntary nominal fee to contribute to the Solidarity Fund, which has been set up to facilitate the participation of young people rom countries with economic difficulties. Past experience would suggest $300-500 CAD per person which includes simple accommodations and meals. Preliminary costs to budget for (approximate): • Airline ticket: $1,200 - $1,600 • WYD fee: $300 - 500 • Transfers/Bus/Train fees: $200 - $300 (depending on distance/transportation mode/etc.) • Paid Accommodations: $700- $1,200 (if the pilgrim wants to opt out of simple accommodation. Those must be booked as soon as possible) • Miscellaneous (phone, sim card, souvenirs, emergencies etc.) $200-$400
SIMPLE ACCOMODATION WYD packages will include simple accommodation options. If choosing the housing option through WYD, pilgrims should be prepared to be provided with “no frills accommodation” in schools, gyms, churches, or family households. You may also expect to travel up to 1.5 hr each way by public transit to get you to/from your accommodations to the main event sites. If you are interested in hotel or hostel accommodations for your group, you should contact your travel agent or tour operator for more details. All pilgrims should bring a sleeping bag and a mat for the overnight vigil.
CULTURE AND CROWDS: You are traveling to a foreign country where millions of people are converging. The crowds and culture, even though they can be very exciting and encouraging, can also be overwhelming. It can even be dangerous if pilgrims are not careful and prepared for what they will encounter. Read up on the culture, climate and possible pitfalls before you leave to be sure that you are as prepared as possible. WEATHER: The weather for this World Youth Day is likely to be more extreme than some past celebrations, however Panama in January should be more mild. Temperatures may soar during the daytime, and can be interspersed with cool evenings. Be prepared to bring the proper types of clothing for the weather that you will experience.
PLANNING AHEAD: All the aspects of the trip (catechesis location, bus or subway routes, events from the Cultural Guide you would like to attend, etc.) will be planned out as much as possible before the group departs Edmonton. Make sure that you read your emails and preparation material received from the group leaders thoroughly and ask whatever questions you need to in order to be prepared for all the events the group will be part of in Panama. Keep in mind that some important information might be available just before departure or even at arrival.
VACATION VS. PILGRIMAGE: Always remember: going to World Youth Day is NOT a vacation but a pilgrimage. You will be faced with many challenges while in Panama, from unfamiliar or scarce food, to possibly-not-the-best lodgings (sometimes the only showers available are cold outdoor ones), to long wait times and huge crowds, to missing/being late for/having to leave early from key events. It’s important not to come with expectations about what will happen, or what you want to see. If you go to World Youth Day with the goal of seeing the Pope, or getting up close for main events, etc., then you risk missing the things that God is wanting to bless you with. Coming with a heart that is seeking Christ above all will ensure that the experience will not leave you feeling like you have “missed out” on something, butinstead will leave you open to simply “being” and letting God lead you deeper into Himself in whatever way He knows you need!
SAFETY AND MOVEMENT OF THE GROUP: In order to help you to move around effi ciently and to maximize safety, pilgrims will be broken into small groups. Groups of 5-6 can travel more effectively, and your risk of losing people along the way lessens signifi cantly. It is essential that every person has a partner from within their small group who is always with them, even to go to the bathroom. No person should ever be alone at any point in time, even if it is just to walk down the street to get a bottle of water. For the larger events (catechesis, the opening celebration, welcoming of the Holy Father, Stations of the Cross, closing vigil and Mass), the whole group will likely travel together in order to sit together at your destination. Trying to find other groups in World Youth Day-sized crowds is very unlikely.
WYD Information Sessions There will be multiple information sessions and gatherings starting in 2017.CPlease refer to our website for an updated calendar. WYD Group Leader Meetings There will be more frequent WYD meetings for Group Leaders to network, share, and collaborate with one another beginning 2017. Please contact the CAEDM World Youth Day Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org to be notified of these meetings. Young Adult Events & Gatherings Over the past few years, there have been many more young adult events and gatherings taking place in parishes, ministries, and other areas of the Archdiocese. We encourage you to bring your groups to these gatherings as they will supplement your preparation for WYD and connect pilgrims with other young adults. You can share events at your parish and we will post it on our calendar. World Youth Day Send-Off Before your departure, CAEDM will organize an archdiocesan gathering in Winter 2018. This event will likely consist of Mass with the Archbishop, a blessing to all pilgrims, catechesis, food, and a social. More details to follow. Post World Youth Day Gathering Upon your return we will organize an archdiocesan gathering in Spring 2019. This event may consist of Mass with the Archbishop, a few testimonies, food and a social. Social Events We will plan Archdiocesan wide social events so that we can get to know each other in a relaxed and fun environment. Events will include socials, ski trips, camping, bowling etc.