Young adults invited to join World Youth Day pilgrimage to Portugal

By Joyce Duriga | Editor
Wednesday, February 1, 2023

The Archdiocese of Chicago is inviting young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 to participate in its joint pilgrimage with the Diocese of Joliet to World Youth Day 2023 in Lisbon, Portugal.

The pilgrimage runs July 29 through Aug. 7, and costs $3,885 from Chicago with an option to add a side trip to Madrid, Spain. The pilgrimage can accommodate 100 people and the deadline to register is April 1.

World Youth Day is a gathering of hundreds of thousands of young adults with the pope that takes place over the course of a week every two to four years, each time in a different country. It celebrates young people, demonstrates the universality of the church and is a moment of evangelization for the church. The event is open to anyone, Catholic or not, and is meant to foster an encounter with Jesus Christ.

Pope Francis is expected to attend the events and Cardinal Cupich will be among the many bishops present.

“It sounds cliché, but World Youth Day is a chance of a lifetime to experience the universal church,” said Father Tim Monahan, vocations director for the Archdiocese of Chicago. He is helping to promote the pilgrimage in the archdiocese. “I’ve been to four and each time they are incredibly powerful experiences.”

He admits they can be exhausting because there is a lot of walking. Masses and many events take place outdoors, sometimes in rainy or hot conditions. The last night, pilgrims sleep outside for a vigil before Pope Francis celebrates Mass with them the next day.

“The biggest thing is looking around and seeing truly hundreds of thousands of Catholics waving flags from all over the world and this joy and unabashed Catholicism, just saying, ‘We’re together. We’re Catholic. We’re with our bishops. We’re with the Holy Father,’” Monahan said. “World Youth Day will always be memorable. I really want to encourage our college students, our young adults, our young professionals, make whatever sacrifice you need to to go on the pilgrimage. You will learn so much about yourself, but above all you will connect with the universal church in a new way.”

In the past, many American dioceses took high schoolers on the pilgrimage, but the Vatican has clarified that World Youth Day is for young adults, Monahan explained.

“It’s confusing for us because we hear ‘youth’ and we think high school, but on the worldwide level, when the Vatican has World Youth Day, they really want it to be for those in their 20s and 30s. I would say there is a definite maturity necessary to be able to go and fully take advantage of the experience,” he said.

For information, visit


  • world youth day

Related Articles