August 9, 2023

On the final day abroad for our Diocesan pilgrims, they traveled to Montserrat Monastery, the site of the Benedictine Abbey that hosted St. Ignatius Loyola after his conversion.

The group also explored Old City Barcelona where they visited the Cathedral of St. Eulalia, Barcelona’s Cathedral.

August 7, 2023

Even though World Youth Day 2023 is over, the trip to Europe for our 21 Diocesan pilgrims is far from over.

Today, the group travelled to Barcelona for their final two days abroad. After arriving, they went on a tour of La Sagrada Familia Basilica where they had a private Mass for their delegation and pilgrims from Toledo and Boston. Father Alex Roche concelebrated the Mass and gave the homily.

August 6, 2023


To end “Catholic Woodstock” – as World Youth Day has been called by the Portuguese press – Pope Francis told 1.5 million weary-eyed and sleep-deprived young people in Lisbon not to let their “great dreams” of changing the world be “stopped by fear.”

In his homily for the closing Mass of World Youth Day Aug. 6, the pope asked for “a bit of silence” from the pilgrims who, after staying overnight in Lisbon’s Tejo Park following the previous night’s vigil, at 6 a.m. were already dancing to techno music mixed by a DJ priest before the pope’s arrival.

“Let’s all repeat this phrase in our hearts: ‘Don’t be afraid,'” he told the hushed crowd. “Jesus knows the hearts of each one of you, the successes and the failures, he knows your hearts,” Pope Francis said. “And today he tells you, here in Lisbon for this World Youth Day: ‘Don’t be afraid.'”

Here are some of our Diocesan pilgrims at today’s Mass!

Our Diocesan pilgrims were among roughly 500,000 people who were in Lisbon’s Eduardo VII Park last night to welcome Pope Francis to World Youth Day 2023.
Before a sea of waving flags representing countries large and small from across the globe, Pope Francis told young people that God has called each person to him by name, not their social media handle.

“You are not here by mistake,” he told the mass of people. “You, you, you, over there, all of us, me, we were all called by our names.”

While social networks know young people’s names, tastes and preferences, “all this does not understand your uniqueness, but rather your usefulness for market research,” he said at his first World Youth Day event.

The “illusions” of the virtual world “attract us and promise happiness” but later show themselves to be “vain, superfluous things, substitutes that leave us empty inside,” the pope said. “I’ll tell you something, Jesus is not like that; he believes in you, in each one of you and us, because to him each one of us is important, and that is Jesus.”

August 2, 2023

At World Youth Day on Wednesday afternoon/evening, our pilgrims went to catechesis sessions, attended Taize prayer, explored more of Lisbon’s historic churches and ended the night with Holy Hour for U.S. pilgrims with Bishop Robert Barron.

August 1, 2023

Our Diocesan pilgrims are wrapping up their day in Lisbon. The city is about five hours ahead of us on the East Coast.
Today, the group spent the morning touring Old City Lisbon. They were captivated by many of the city’s scenic overlooks and they were also able to visit many of the churches in the city.
The pilgrims all are making good use of their sneakers too – taking in all of the hills of the Old City isn’t as easy as the pictures show!

August 1, 2023


As festivities for World Youth Day prepare to get underway, our Diocesan pilgrims met up with Bishop Jeff Walsh and the delegation of pilgrims he is leading from the Diocese of Gaylord as well as the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw this morning!

July 30, 2023

Photos of our Diocesan pilgrims in Portugal attending the nightly candlelit prayer service and procession of Our Lady of Fatima on Sunday!

July 30, 2023

Our Diocesan pilgrims in Portugal celebrated Mass this morning at the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima. The celebrant of the Mass was Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston.

July 28, 2023

At 11:30 p.m., our pilgrims will leave on a flight for Lisbon, Portugal, as they head to World Youth Day!

We hope to share their experiences with you right here on social media!
Please join us in praying for them!