(SNR) - The next World Youth Day (WYD 2016) pilgrimage planned by the Office of Family Life and Evangelization will include walking in the footsteps of St. John Paul II and visiting the Czech Republic, the homeland for many Nebraskans’ heritage.
Jeff Schinstock, diocesan youth director, said pilgrims are excited to go and see the places where John Paul II lived. The pilgrimage will begin with a trip to Czestochowa to visit the miraculous “Black Madonna.”
The following day, the group will travel to the concentration camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau where Saints Maxamillian Kolbe and Edith Stein gave their lives. The pilgrims will take time to pray there before continuing on to Wadowice, the childhood home of the late Holy Father. The itinerary includes visiting his childhood home and the Church of the Presentation where he was baptised and confirmed.
In addition, “Missionary Week” (formerly known as “Days in the Diocese”) is a cultural immersion where the diocesan pilgrims will be hosted by a parish.
World Youth Day activities themselves will take the Diocese of Lincoln pilgrims to a series of events with Pope Francis. Evening prayer, stations of the cross and an overnight vigil and Mass are highlights.
Finally, Schinstock said, for most of the group there is a short excursion to nearby Prague. “An opportunity to venerate the original statue of the Infant of Prague at Our Lady of Victory Church, walk the famous Charles Bridge, and Church of Our Lady before Tyn in Old Town Square will be some of the high points,” he said.
The last full day, the group will take in a walking tour of Prague, spend time at the ancient Prague Castle and the gothic St. Vitus Cathedral and St. George Basilica, visit the Church of St. Nicholas, and more aspects of the unique Czech city.
“It’s been an honor to accompany pilgrims from our diocese,” said Schinstock, who took 110 pilgrims to World Youth Day in Madrid and 50 to Rio de Janerio. He said pilgrims from all diocesan parishes are welcome to participate in their parish WYD trips, or the diocesan pilrgimage. To attend with the diocesan group, pilgrims should be at least 16 years old at the time of departure. Adult chaperones are also welcome. To sign up, visit http://www.lincolndiocese.org/pilgrimages/world-youth-day.