It has been referred to as a “Catholic Woodstock” and a 21st-century version of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Whatever the description, the expectation is that more than one million youth will make a pilgrimage to Krakow, Poland June 26-31 for World Youth Day. The modern miracle is that perhaps millions more can swell the ranks of the pilgrims via a digital app… and, more importantly, encounter Christ with others and build up faith.

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The WYDUSA office provides the following guide.

Staying Connected: Live Streaming from WYD Krakow 2016

If you are celebrating World Youth Day in the United States instead of Krakow, check out our updates and livestreams from Krakow on the following sites:

That website is part of a collaboration between the USCCB’s World Youth Day Office and the Catholic Apostolate Center. The site also includes blog posts, videos and a variety of World Youth Day resources.

[See similar sites for Australia, Canada, Great Britan and Ireland]

Pallottine Father Frank Donio, the Catholic Apostolate Center’s director, said that pilgrims experiencing World Youth Day in Krakow or in stateside celebrations or digitally through their mobile phone should remember the goal of any pilgrimage – “to be open to an encounter with Christ, with the Church, with others that builds up faith.”

The priest said experiencing World Youth Day as a digital pilgrim offers “a new way to evangelize,” as people anywhere can join in on that experience, which can be life changing. He hopes that pilgrims at the scene or following it on their mobile devices will be inspired to share their experience with family members and friends, at home, at work, at school and in the public square.

As anyone following the recent “Pokemon Go” craze knows, people can be distracted by their smart phones and miss something important, like a car in their path, or in the case of World Youth Day, the pope passing by.

The Pallottine priest, offering a word of caution so digital pilgrims don’t miss something special unfolding at World Youth Day, said,  “The key thing is not be to focused so much on the phone, but on the moment.”

It is those moments that the USCCB’s Palmer is determined to capture, so digital pilgrims feel like they’re right there with the World Youth Day pilgrims in Kraków.

Pope Francis’ goal, and the goal of World Youth Day, is to gain followers for Jesus, not social media followers for the pope.

The theme will focus on mercy, one of the topics Pope Francis talks about most.

For more background on participating digitally visit CRUX.

See also John Allen’s overview of what is happening around the main events.


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