Local Catholics set to attend World Youth Day Stateside in Chicago

By Rachel Koepke | The Compass | July 13, 2016

GREEN BAY — While millions of young Catholics will be gathering in Poland for World Youth Day 2016, a group of young adults from the Diocese of Green Bay is heading to Chicago for World Youth Day Stateside. The group, led by Valerie Oswalt, will be leaving Green Bay on Saturday, July 30, and returning Sunday, July 31.

A large crowd, including Chicago youths and other World Youth Day pilgrims, gather to welcome St. John Paul II to Toronto in 2002. Young adults from the Diocese of Green Bay will attend the World Youth Day Stateside event in Chicago July 30 and 31. (CNS photo | Nancy Wiechec)
A large crowd, including Chicago youths and other World Youth Day pilgrims, gather to welcome St. John Paul II to Toronto in 2002. Young adults from the Diocese of Green Bay will attend the World Youth Day Stateside event in Chicago July 30 and 31. (CNS photo | Nancy Wiechec)

The diocesan group will stop at Holy Hill for lunch, prayers and some free time to explore the grounds. While at Holy Hill, the group will meet up with young adults from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee for Mass before continuing to Chicago.

Pilgrims from all over the nation will be staying at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe just outside Chicago. Once there, participants will have the opportunity for reconciliation, workshops, prayer and various speakers. There will also be Eucharistic adoration and a prayer labyrinth. At 3 a.m., a live streaming of World Youth Day Mass with Pope Francis in Krakow, Poland, will begin. Mass will be celebrated Sunday morning with the Shrine community. The group will leave Chicago after lunch and return to Green Bay Sunday evening.

“You can build relationships within the Diocese (of Green Bay), within the state, and then also nationally because there’s going to be people coming from all over the States and they’re all in your age group,” said Valerie Oswalt, leader of the pilgrimage for the Diocese of Green Bay. “It will also be a good blend of cultures, which is what World Youth Day is all about.”

This pilgrimage is open to all young adults ages 18-39. Spots are available until July 17. For more information about the pilgrimage from Green Bay, see www.gbdioc.org/wyd2016.html. For more information about World Youth Day Stateside, see www.yamchicago.org/wydchicago 2016.

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