World Youth Day 2023 Lisbon

World Youth Day

Journey with us on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and onto World Youth Day Lisbon 2023 in Portugal, where we will gather with young people, celebrating our diversity and faith.

Applications for our Diocesan WYD23 Pilgrimage are currently closed. If you are interested in attending WYD23 and have not registered, please contact our Diocesan Coordinator on


World Youth Day (WYD) is the gathering of young people from across the globe with the Pope. It is a pilgrimage, a celebration of youth, an expression of the universal church and an intense moment of evangelisation for our world. Although its catholic identity is evident, WYD opens its doors to everyone, no matter how close to or distant from the church they are.

World Youth Day is celebrated every three to four years and is an international gathering with the presence of the Holy Father. It brings together millions of young people to celebrate their faith and sense of belonging to the church.

Our Maitland-Newcastle Pilgrimage | 21 July - 11 August 2023 

Journey with us on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and onto World Youth Day Lisbon 2023 in Portugal, where we will gather with young people, celebrating our diversity and faith.

Watch the gospels come alive on this most authentic faith journey live on location in the holy land of Israel. Take the chronological road of Jesus' life from Bethlehem to Nazareth and Lake Galilee to Jerusalem as we prepare for a powerful encounter into the spirit of his passion. Continue into the heart and soul of Portugal to join our holy father for the 16th international WYD in Lisbon, as young pilgrims from across the globe will gather for an unforgettable week of prayer, worship, and celebration.

Following the excitement of the WYD week in Lisbon, we depart for the tranquillity and relaxation of our post WYD retreat in Palmela. We will spend the following days entering into a time of rest, recreation, and retreat, as we unwind and process the amazing past days on pilgrimage and WYD experiences.

Our World Youth Day Coordinator

Mr Ryan Gato is our Diocesan World Youth Day Coordinator for 2023. Ryan is currently employed by the Catholic Schools Office of Maitland-Newcastle, working as an Education Officer Formation within the Religious Education and Spirituality Services team. He is looking forward to sharing this life-changing experience with the young adults of our Diocese. Ryan has been involved in faith formation and youth ministry for over ten years and has prepared and coordinated three previous World Youth Days. He brings a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to the role.

Ryan extends an invitation to all young adults to consider being a part of a pilgrimage that will encounter the universal church.

"I invite all young people to consider journeying this pilgrimage with us as a way to encounter afresh the person of Jesus Christ. Come and walk in the footsteps of Christ. Come and witness the vitality of our faith through the diversity of cultures. Come and pray in solidarity with Pope Francis. I hope you will join us on this amazing journey."

The History

Since its first edition in Rome in 1986, World Youth Day has proven to be a laboratory of faith, a place of birth for vocations to marriage and consecrated life, and an instrument for the evangelization and transformation of the Church. 

It aims to provide all participants with a universal Church experience, fostering a personal encounter with Jesus Christ. It is a new stimulus to the faith, hope and charity of the entire host country community. With young people as its protagonists, World Youth Day also seeks to promote peace, unity and fraternity among peoples and nations around the world.

The Theme

Mary arose and went with haste (Lk 1:39) is the bible quote chosen by Pope Francis as the motto of the World Youth Day that will be held for the first time in the capital city of Lisbon, Portugal. The biblical phrase (a quote from the Gospel of St. Luke) opens the account of the Visitation (Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth), a biblical episode following the Annunciation (the angel’s announcement to Mary that she would be the mother of the Son of God, and the theme of the last WYD, in Panama).