World Youth Day 2016

World Youth Day 2016- Krakow, Poland

The Catholic Church will hold World Youth Day for the fourteenth time in 2016 in Krakow, Poland.  It is an event of much joy and celebration where young people from all around the world gather to celebrate and grow in their faith in Christ.  This wonderful, vibrant faith filled gathering and celebration of young Catholics from all corners of the globe was initiated by Pope St John Paul II in 1984 in Rome, when a number of young Catholics from around Europe gathered for several days to celebrate their faith and converse in open dialogue with the Holy Father.

For the first celebration of WYD in 1986, bishops all over the world were invited to schedule an annual youth event to be held every Palm Sunday in their dioceses. Since then, it is celebrated at the international level every two to three years in different locations around the world. The 1995 World Youth Day closing Mass in the Philippines set a world record for the largest number of people gathered for a single religious event (with 5 million attendees). World Youth Day has become a most significant event in the life of the Catholic Church. Its prominence as a faith pilgrimage, has seen World Youth Day come to Australia (Sydney) in 2008, Madrid in 2011 and more recently, Rio De Janiero in 2013.

As a college, we have been very fortunate to have students participate in World Youth Day since 2005, when two Year 11 students (now Fr Matthew Baldwin and Dr Sarah Dowling) travelled to Cologne Germany, and now the opportunity arises in 2016 for the college to participate in this inspiring gathering yet again.

The Victorian Bishops in conjunction with the Catholic Education Office Melbourne have decided to coordinate one joint World Youth Day Pilgrimage to Krakow Poland in July 2016. Krakow is a significant destination for World Youth Day 2016, as it is the home of the Patron of World Youth Day, Pope St John Paul II.

The Catholic Education Office Melbourne will sponsor the experience for two students from each Catholic secondary college. The cost per pilgrim is likely to be about $6000, for which the Catholic Education Office will commit $2000, the college $2000 and the students the remaining $2000. It is envisaged that the pilgrimage party of the combined students will be away for 16 days from approximately 22 July- 6 August 2016.

The pilgrimage will include:

All World Youth Day activities in Krakow,
A visit to Czestochowa to the Black Madonna at the Jasna Gora Shrine,
The religious sites of the city of Krakow where St John Paul II served as Archbishop,
An opportunity to visit Auchwitz including the room of St Maximilian Kolbe,
In addition the students will attend a two-day retreat after World Youth Day at a site in the Polish mountains.

The students will be directly supervised by Catholic Education Office staff and teachers and other official representatives of the Archdiocese of Melbourne.

With this in mind, Salesian College Rupertswood invites this year’s Year 10 students to consider undertaking the pilgrimage to Krakow Poland for World Youth Day in 2016. Students are asked to consider the criteria for selection (see below) and be prepared to submit a written application which specifically addresses the set criteria and also attend an interview if short listed.

Closing dates for applications from Rupertswood students is Tuesday June 2, 2015.  Those applicants short listed for an interview will be notified by June 5 with interviews taking place in the week beginning Monday June 8.

Given that World Youth Day is a significant event for the Archdiocese and will form a highlight of the 2016 school year, we ask that our current Year 10 students and their families carefully consider this wonderful opportunity. Further information about World Youth Day and the specifics of the planned pilgrimage will be available shortly. In the meantime, we encouraged you to visit the official World Youth Day website at

Selection Criteria to be addressed in the written application:

  • Must be a baptised Catholic
  • Be 16 to 18 years of age in 2016,
  • Have full parent support,
  • Be able to demonstrate a level of maturity, self-motivation, organisation and confidence when away from family,
  • Be a member of their local Catholic Parish,
  • Be able to demonstrate that they are an active participant within the life of the Catholic Church in Melbourne:  This would be evidenced by an active involvement in parish youth activities such as St Vincent De Paul and youth liturgies,
  • Be able to demonstrate that they are actively involved in the “Faith” aspect of Salesian College “Rupertswood”: 

This would be evidenced by involvement in: 

  • School Masses and other liturgical celebrations such as Ash Wednesday and Easter Prayer Services
  • School Prayer generally
  • Social Justice Activities
  • Religious Education classes
  • School retreats
  • Other Leadership Forums

Be fully committed to attending all Catholic Education Office Melbourne world Youth Day preparation Events, and

Submit written references demonstrating the above criteria.

An application form can be obtained from the Deputy Principal, Mission and Faith or the Religious Education Leader in the RE Centre from Monday May 25.