Summer & Schools Camps Guide
World Youth Day still within reach
Catholic young people will be converging on Krakow, Poland, in late July for World Youth Day, celebrated in the homeland of the founder.
The event, usually held every three years, was created by Pope St. John Paul II in 1985, with the first World Youth Day held in Rome in 1986. It is an encounter between the pope and young people. Pope Francis celebrated Masses and greeted young people at the last World Youth Day in 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
While many young people plan for years to attend World Youth Day, either in parish groups or on their own, it's still possible to make plans to be in Krakow July 25-31.
Cassie Cole, vice president of marketing and operations for San Diego County-based JMJ Youth Pilgrimages, is planning on making her own pilgrimage to her third World Youth Day. She also worked behind-the-scenes at a fourth, in Madrid.
She has seen firsthand how the World Youth Day experience "deepens the faith" of young people.
JMJ is handling plans for 2,500 young pilgrims this year, she said.
For those traveling alone or in small groups, there is a chance to join with Krakow United, a group of English-speaking, young adults, ages 18 and older, from across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.
Each pilgrim is responsible for booking flights to Krakow, and will be met by a pilgrimage guide, who will escort the pilgrims to their choice of accommodations. Those choices include hostel or hotel.
Teens accompanied by a parent would be eligible to join this group.
The Krakow United pilgrimage, she said, includes not only World Youth Day, but two day trips. Cost begins at $1,999 for the pilgrimage, which does not include flights.
Accommodations can range from the simple — camping on a gym floor, for example — to beds in a university dormitory.
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