World Youth Day Panama 2019


An invitation from Bishop Michael

Dear Young People of the Diocese of Bathurst,

Every few years, the Pope invites young people from around the world to gather with him for World Youth Day. Ten years ago, it was in Sydney. Since then, it has been in Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Krakow.

In January 2019, I invite you to join me and the group from our Diocese as we travel to WYD in Panama City, via Los Angeles.

I can’t guarantee that you’ll meet Pope Francis in person, but I can guarantee you’ll meet young people from many countries. I can’t guarantee that the journey will change your life (though that could happen). I can guarantee that you will get a new experience of being young and Catholic in our world today.

Yours in Christ

+Michael McKenna
Bishop of Bathurst

A little about Panama:

Panama is bounded by Costa Rica to the west, Colombia to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the south. Panama City’s unique location has made it a hub of trade and immigration, and is well known for the Panama Canal. Panama has a tropical climate. WYD'19 will be held during January, which is in the middle of Panama's dry season. Low temperatures in the evening average 24°C and reach an average high of 29°C during the day.

Pilgrimage Outline:

The theme for World Youth Day 2019 is: “I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” (Lk 1:38) The Diocese of Bathurst will be leading a group of over 18s to Panama for an 18 Day pilgrimage from the 14th January - 1st February 2019. The pilgrimage will include an immersion experience in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, followed by World Youth Day week itself in Panama, concluding with two days post-WYD rest and relaxation at Orange Country, California.

The approximate cost of the Pilgrimage will be approximately $4,500 - $5,000 and will be confirmed in the near future.

Expressions of interest are now opened and can be completed HERE>

Diocese of Bathurst WYD'19 Pilgrimage to Panama 

The Journey begins now!

March/April/May 2018 - Expressions of Interest Open - register your interest HERE>

March/April/May 2018 - Parish and School Information Sessions

Early June 2018 - Pilgrimage Coordinators to contact potential pilgrim

July 2018 - Bookings for Pilgrimage Open (link to be added)

1 August 2018 - First payment due

15 - 16 September 2018 - WYD Formation Weekend #1 in Mudgee

30 September 2018 - Second payment due

15 November 2018 - Final payment due

1 - 2 December 2018 - WYD Formation Weekend #2 in Bathurst

6 January 2019 - WYD Commissioning Mass in all parishes across the Diocese

13 - 20 January 2019 - Immersion experience in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, CA

21 - 30 January 2019 - WYD Week in Panama

31 January 2019 - Rest and relaxation in Orange County, CA

2 February 2019 - Arrive in Australia


What is the age cut off for the pilgrimage?
The age for the pilgrimage is 18-35. If you are currently 17, but will be 18 by the 14th January 2019, you are able to come.

Can I extend my trip after WYD? 
Arrangements like this can be made with our Pilgrimage Coordinator; however each individual case is different and subject to availability of flights etc.

What currency is used in Panama?
Panama’s official currency is the Balboa, however the US dollar is widely used. The rate of exchange for the Balboa has always been tied to the US dollar - one dollar equals one balboa.

Is it safe to travel to Panama? 
Yes, but travellers are advised to be vigilant. Smart Traveller advises Australian travellers to Panama to exercise a high degree of caution due to “high levels of criminal activity and incidents of civil unrest.”  

Do I need to apply for any Visas for the pilgrimage?
Yes. Further details will be provided once the piilgrimage is finalised.

What vaccines do I need to get before going on pilgrimage?
Panama is listed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as endemic for yellow fever. Yellow fever is a potentially fatal viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes, which is preventable by vaccination. It is strongly recommend that you are vaccinated against yellow fever before travelling to Panama. Protection begins 10 days after vaccination and will provide life-long protection. For a list of centres where you can get a Yellow Fever Vaccination, click here.

What other health risks should I be aware of?
Malaria is a risk throughout the year in Boca del Toro, Darien and San Blas but is not a risk in Panama City. Outbreaks of the mosquito-borne illness Dengue Fever and Chikungunya virus also occur from time to time. There is widespread transmission of Zika virus in Panama. All travellers should protect themselves from mosquito bites by using insect repellent at all times and by wearing long-sleeved clothing.

Contact Us

For more information, please don't hesitate to contact Deacon Josh Clayton via email: (remove XX) ministries XX @bathurst XX or phone: 6334 6400.

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