Archdiocese of Glasgow
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WYD2011 Madrid, Spain

Pilgrimage dates: 9th -23rd August 2011


       In recent years the archdiocese has enabled many young people to participate in the World Youth Day pilgrimage, as one of the many pilgrimage options available to young people.

       World Youth Day has proven value as an  experience of community, prayer, liturgy,   catechesis and of different cultures sharing Catholic faith and life. It is a wonderful encounter with Christ and the Universal Church on a truly global level.

The pastoral challenge is to maximise the way in which this valuable experience continues to enrich the young pilgrims as they return home seeking to live their faith more deeply as part of a wider faith community.


The key to meeting this challenge is thorough formation at the local level, before and after the pilgrimage, just as we accompany RCIA catechumens and candidates before Easter, but also through and beyond Eastertide as they journey in faith.


We suggest the following process as a way of ensuring the fruits are long-lasting and transformative for the pilgrims, their families and their parish communities.


Step 1 Identifying Our Needs as a Parish


Is there an area of parish life which could benefit from the involvement of one or more young adults?

Examples include:


· Music ministry

· Reader

· Passkeeper

· Parish prayer / study / service groups

· Leading children’s liturgy

· Parish messenger

· Organising parish social events

· Parish Pastoral Council

· Preparing liturgical spaces

· Parish bulletin / webpage

· Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion

· Peer ministry to other youth


Step 2—Identifying a Young Leader


Having identified a need in the parish, we hope Parish Priests would then invite a young adult to make a commitment to take on that apostolate in their local parish until Easter 2012 (at least). If funds and energies permit, you could perhaps approach more than one person or make a joint project with another parish or your deanery.


Candidates need to be aged 18 to 35 on  

5th August 2011. 

The cost will be in the region of £750 per person.

  (Cost includes travel by coach/ ferry; simple accomodation in Madrid; World Youth Day fee and more...)

The application form, available only from parishes in the Archdiocese should be returned, with a £100 deposit, to Jillian Whalley at the Pastoral Office, 196 Clyde Street, Glasgow G1 4JY by 29th March 2010.  (Further instalments will be due by 3rd May 2010 (£200), 28th June 2010 (£200) and 13th September 2010 (£250)). Payment should be made by cheque to ‘Archdiocese of Glasgow’.

Step 3—Formation

       Our contribution, as a diocesan agency, will be to offer formation  experiences throughout 2010-2012 at a local level to encourage and develop the service the young people will offer in their parishes. The formation will include  general catechesis, prayer and  tailor-made experiences geared towards the various apostolates concerned.


Step 4—Pilgrimage

In 2011, this preparation will encompass the themes and spirituality of the World Youth Day in Madrid, Spain in August 2011.

The pilgrimage itself will be a 2 week encounter with the global church in catechesis, prayer, liturgy, festival and   adventure.


Step 5—Living as Witnesses

After the World Youth Day, the pilgrims will be energised and focussed on fulfilling their mandate and sharing the benefits and graces of their experience with the Holy Father and the World Church. 

Because of the formation phase, they will already have a ready made support network as well as the good will of         parishioners and clergy who have supported them through fundraising and prayer.

If you would like further information, you can contact us at or call us on 0141 433 9521.


World Youth Day: 8th-23rd July 2008

Sydney, Australia

Some of the Glasgow Pilgrims gather before the Stations of the Cross at Barangaroo

51 pilgrims from the Archdiocese of Glasgow made the journey to World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney, Australia.

Below you can see a few snaps and some of the experiences of our young adult pilgrims:

Where we stayed....simple accomodation at Asquith Girls High

Our pilgrims gather for prayer at Barangaroo

keeping warm after the Vigil at Ranwick Racecourse

Claire Monaghan, a pilgrim from St. Patrick's, Dumbarton, shares her homecoming experience:

"Although being very involved in my own parish I was unable to attend all of the meetings leading up to World Youth Day, so i was quite nervous about what my time in Sydney was going to be like.  My faith has always played a huge part in my life but in my own way and I was worried that World Youth Day would be too intense and to be honest a bit boring!

How wrong was I?  From the first moment, arriving in our host parish church hall (St. Paul the Apostle, Albion Park) I felt excited and that feeling never left me for the rest of my stay.  In Wollongong we celebrated Mass every day and each day the gospel related to our situation at the time. It was a great way of realising we were already taking part in God's work without a conscious effort to do it.

Archbishop Mario gathers with pilgrims across from St. Mary's Cathedral, Sydney

Chris Docherty, one of our group leaders spoke with us before heading back home and said that when we go home yes, tell people your experience and everything that you did but also remember you will get some grief about it and some won't understand and will laugh at it.  Chris was right! After sharing my experience, people have laughed at it but also like Chris said we can't let that bother us. We just have to treasure our experience and not let others reactions' take away from it. 

It's hard to put into words what World Youth Day has done for me because I'm not completely sure myself; but i think over the course of the next few weeks what I will have learned and gained from WYD will hit with a bang and then i will know exactly what to say.

Pope Benedict once said that the church is still young and WYD 2008 showed this with flying colours. It was amazing to be able to voice, sing and celebrate my faith openly and with support from 400,000 other young people.

There will always be a stigma attached to religion if you choose to be open about it, but i believe in God The Father, God The Son and God The Holy Spirit and I am thankful for all the opportunities and  help the church has provided me with throughout my life."

Pilgrims at St. Paul's parish in Albion Park (Diocese of Wollongong) where we were hosted for the 'days in the diocese'

James McBride, from Holy Family and St. Ninian's, Kirkintilloch:

"This was my first experience of WYD and I enjoyed every minute of it.  I remember my parish priest telling me in early 2007 that WYD would be a fantastic occasion for any young Catholic to be involved in, that it would be hugely enjoyable and help strengthen my faith. He was spot on!!!

I had a terrific time Down Under.  It was a great adventure and I feel very privileged and fortunate to have shared this experience with so many kind and caring people, from my Host Family to my fellow pilgrims.

It's not always easy being a Roman Catholic in Scotland.  Sometimes we are made to feel ashamed of who we are and what we believe in.  This should not be the case.  We have no reason to be embarrassed of what we believe to be important.  Instead, we have many reasons for why we should be proud.  For me, a large part of the WYD pilgrimage was having the opportunity to spend time with other young people who also shared my belief in God and His Church.

I made many good friends, some of whom I've already met up with since we arrived back home.  I'm truly grateful for each one of them.

Now, all I need to do is make sure I don't miss out on Madrid in 2011, LOL."

Pope Benedict arrives at Randwick Park

Chilling out at Kiama

Pilgrims gather for a celebration before the pilgrimage

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