A delegation of young people and adults, including Bishop Robert P. Deeley, will travel to Kraków, Poland, to participate in the 2016 World Youth Day festivities. The journey will begin with a special Mass, celebrated by Deeley, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland on Friday, July 22, before the 35 members of the Maine delegation depart for the 10-day trip, according to a news release from the Diocese of Portland.

World Youth Day is a worldwide encounter with the Pope which is typically celebrated every three years in a different country. The event is an opportunity for participants to experience the universality of the Church and to share the hope of many young people who want to commit themselves to Christ and others. Over 30,000 Americans are expected to travel to Poland for the event, joining an estimated 2.5 million others from around the world.

Among the World Youth Day festivities that will be attended by the Maine delegation are the opening Mass on July 26; catechetical sessions with participating bishops on July 27-29; the official welcome of Pope Francis on July 28; the Stations of the Cross with Pope Francis on July 29; and a closing Mass with the Holy Father on Sunday, July 31, according to the release.

In addition to World Youth Day events, the Maine delegation will travel to several historical locations during the trip, including Warsaw; the Jasna Góra Monastery in Częstochowa, home of the shrine of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa; Auschwitz, to visit the site of the German concentration camp; Wadowice, the birthplace of Pope Saint John Paul II; and the Divine Mercy Sanctuary in Kraków, the resting place of Saint Faustina Kowalska.

Participants in the diocesan trip to Poland include representatives from Good Shepherd Parish in Saco; Prince of Peace Parish in Lewiston; Parish of the Resurrection of the Lord in Old Town; St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Westbrook; St. Brendan the Navigator Parish in Camden; St. Michael Parish in Augusta; and St. Thérèse of Lisieux Parish in Sanford.

The delegation will return to Maine on Monday, Aug. 1. For more information, contact Dave Guthro, communications director for the Diocese of Portland, at 321-7810 or [email protected].