World Youth Day will include many local events - Catholic Courier

World Youth Day will include many local events

With celebrations for teenagers, young adults and the general public in the works, the Diocese of Rochester will be teeming with activity during the upcoming World Youth Day.

Vatican, World Youth Day officials release pope’s Poland itinerary

Prayer, music and food are being featured locally to complement World Youth Day festivities led by Pope Francis in Krakow, Poland, July 25-31. Highlighting the list of scheduled diocesan events are:

* Wednesday, July 27 — Young adult celebration, 6 to 11 p.m., St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry, 120 French Road, Pittsford. Participants will process from St. Bernard’s to the Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse, where Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Salvatore R. Matano. Following Mass, a candlelight eucharistic procession will head back to St. Bernard’s, where adoration and confession will be offered. Dinner and dessert also are included, as well as video footage of World Youth Day’s opening ceremonies from Krakow. Preregistration is required. To register, visit

* Thursday, July 28 — Student celebration (grades 6-12), 5 to 11 p.m., St. Jude Church, 4100 Lyell Road, Gates. Once again, Bishop Matano will celebrate Mass and a eucharistic procession will take place. Also featured will be a Polish festival with dinner and games, as well as “Meet and Greet the Saints.” Catechists and parents are welcome as well. Preregistration is required; visit

* Friday, July 29 — Stations of the Cross, 7:30 p.m., Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse, 150 French Road, Pittsford; St. Jude Church, 4100 Lyell Road, Gates; Notre Dame Retreat House, 5151 Foster Road, Canandaigua; and St. Mary Our Mother Church, 816 W. Broad St., Horseheads. St. Mary Our Mother will feature a Living Stations performed by youths from Blessed Trinity/St. Patrick parishes in Tioga County. These gatherings are open to all. Preregistration is requested but not required; visit

* Sunday, July 31 — Polish cultural celebration, St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, 34 St. Stanislaus St. (corner of Hudson Avenue), Rochester. Activities will include 9 a.m. Mass in English and 11 a.m. Mass in Polish; tours of the church and Polish art; Polish food served; veneration of a first-class relic of St. John Paul II; eucharistic adoration at 2 p.m.; and a Divine Mercy chaplet at 3 p.m. All are invited.

World Youth Day, begun by St. John Paul II in 1985, is celebrated approximately every three years. Many people from the Diocese of Rochester have participated in person, particularly when it was held in North America — in Denver in 1993 and Toronto in 2002.

However, World Youth Day 2016 will mark a first-time extensive effort for the folks at home, said Noelle Hiester, diocesan director of evangelization and catechesis; and Linda Mehlenbacher, diocesan coordinator of youth and young-adult ministry. The Rochester Diocese is joining several other U.S. dioceses and archdioceses in staging stateside celebrations.

Mehlenbacher said the local activities will help unite youths and young adults from all parts of the entire 12-county diocese.

“It’s a great way to gather them,” she remarked.

Hiester added that local World Youth Day offerings also will connect young participants with “the larger community of the church” while providing catechesis, cultural awareness and a pilgrimage experience.

“It’s the excitement of being Catholic,” Hiester said. “They’re searching for belonging. It’s really great to have an event that says, ‘We’re Catholic and we’re proud of it.'”

EDITOR’S NOTE: For further information about diocesan World Youth Day activities, contact Noelle Hiester at or Linda Mehlenbacher at

Tags: World Youth Day
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