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Juan Pablo Padilla is the Pastoral Juvenil Coordinator for the Young Adult Ministry Office of the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Monday, July 11, 2016

World Youth Day in Chicago

When was the last time you participated in a pilgrimage? If you have ever been part of a pilgrimage, perhaps you remember the wonderful experiences that you encountered and how that helped shape your faith life. Or perhaps, you've never had the opportunity to go on a pilgrimage? Going on a pilgrimage is not like taking a vacation, and while there is nothing wrong with vacationing, a pilgrimage is a journey of spiritual growth.

At the end of July, young adults from around the world will gather and celebrate World Youth Day with Pope Francis in the city of Kraków in Poland. World Youth Day is an opportunity to get out of our "comfort zone" and meet young people from around the world. It is an event that has occurred every two or three years in places like the Philippines, Germany, Brazil and Spain. This year, more than 120 pilgrims will take part in the Archdiocese of Chicago’s official pilgrimage, beginning on July 24. On July 30 and 31, all pilgrims will be invited to participate in a Prayer Vigil, as well as a celebration of the Holy Eucharist with Pope Francis. A group organized by the Young Adult Ministry Office of the Archdiocese of Chicago will also be joining other groups from the Chicago area with the goal of coming together as Church of the United States, while in Poland, and ultimately join together with other young people from countries around the world.

For a number of reasons, financial or otherwise, not all young people will be able to travel to Poland to take part in this pilgrimage. That is why the Young Adult Ministry Office has been working to ensure that young adults can experience a piece of Kraków here at home. On July 30 and 31, the Young Adult Ministry Office will be celebrating World Youth Day together at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines. Pilgrims of World Youth Day Chicago will be joined by other young adults from various Midwest states, including Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan.

If you are 18 years old or older, and would like to take part in World Youth Day Chicago, join us for the start of this overnight celebration on July 30, beginning at 5p.m. During the late evening, there will be moments of worship, music, prayer and adoration. Invite your friends so that together we can all experience an encounter with Jesus, in our brothers and sisters of different cultures and languages, right here in Chicago.

The Young Adult Ministry Office | Pastoral Juvenil Hispana is very excited about this opportunity to share our faith as one body, in communion with our Lord Jesus. With great hope, we begin our journey as a vibrant, renewed and revitalized Church. Let us be the builders of a "civilization of love" in a world that is in great need. Visit us on the web at

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