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This Week's Host

Darius Villalobos

About the Blogger

Darius Villalobos is the Director for the Young Adult Ministry Office (YAM) for the Archdiocese of Chicago. He is a young adult and has over a decade of experience working with youth and young adults as a catechist, youth minister, and retreat director.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Celebrating the Kick-off to World Youth Day 2016 on Palm Sunday

We, at the Young Adult Ministry Office, are very excited to celebrate Palm Sunday and the international World Youth Day this year at Holy Name Cathedral on March 29th. World Youth Day is an international celebration by the Church to recognize the importance of young people in the life of the Catholic community of faith. Started by St. John Paul II in 1985, the World Youth Day experiences continue to be the largest gathering of young Catholics throughout the world.

The next World Youth Day pilgrimage, which takes place every two or three years, will be in July of 2016 in Kraków, Poland. We are so blessed to have a large Polish community here in the Archdiocese of Chicago that is very excited to have this event hosted in their home country. Though July 2016 may seem far away, we are starting our preparation for this amazing pilgrimage experience by gathering together at this year’s Palm Sunday and World Youth Day celebration with a Prayer Gathering at 3:00 PM in the Courtyard of Holy Name Cathedral. Last year, we started this annual tradition of “Blessed,” by  gathering  young adults throughout the Archdiocese, praying and reflecting on the theme that Pope Francis has given us for World Youth Day this year (“Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see God” – Matthew 5:8), and celebrating the young Church of Chicago.

Though the word “youth” is in the title, it is very much a young adult event! Most pilgrims who go to World Youth Day are between the ages of 18 and 30. Our hope is that young adults will feel welcome to participate in all of the activities leading up to World Youth Day 2016, especially our Palm Sunday Kick-Off event with Archbishop Blase Cupich! We hope to bring some of the World Youth Day experience here to Chicago by praying the Divine Mercy prayer in four languages (English, Spanish, Polish and Tagalog) to highlight the diversity of communities we have in this Archdiocese. We will also have live music and invite everyone to join us for the 5:15 PM mass at Holy Name Cathedral.

If you want to learn more about World Youth Day 2016 and our plans in preparing for this wonderful pilgrimage experience, check out our website at There you will find information about the pilgrimage from Chicago, information about upcoming events and how to get involved with one of our planning committees.

We invite you to join us at Holy Name Cathedral on Palm Sunday for this prayer gathering with our Archbishop. Bring your friends and help us kick-off the road to WYD 2016!

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