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World Youth Day


World Youth Day 2019

is in Panama

 22-27 January 2019

2019 World Youth Day Pilgrimage

WYD Panama City Direct!

Ballarat Diocese is no longer planning its own pilgrimage to Panama via Costa Rica.  Instead it is encouraging pilgrims to participate in the Australian national pilgrimage WYD Panama City Direct!  Details of this pilgrimage will be announced shortly.    This pilgrimage will be supported by a pre-travel formation session and a post-travel Retreat, both free and to be held in Ballarat Diocese.

Final registration details and cost will soon be available – estimated at $6,000 including all travel, accommodation, meals, and entry to all WYD events. 

The Australian WYD Pilgrimage is an opportunity for young adults to deepen their personal faith, experience Catholic Christian faith in different cultural contexts, form enriching relationships with other young Catholics, and enable reflection and insight into their own journey in life and faith.

Panama map Any questions please contact Amanda Smith,   Diocesan Youth and Young Adult Ministry
 5337 7125 or




What is the age cut off for the pilgrimage?
The age for the pilgrimage is 18-35 (age at 16th January 2019).

What about insurance?
Travel insurance at a competitive price has been specially tailored to WYD and will be included in the travel cost.

What currency is used in Panama?
Panama’s official currency is the balboa, however the US dollar is widely used. The rate of exchange for the balboa has always been tied to the US dollar- one dollar equals one balboa.

Can I drink the water?
With the exception of Bocas del Toro, you can drink the tap water all along the country.

Is it safe to travel to Panama?
Panama is a popular tourist destination.  All the WYD venues including retreat venues, and all the areas that pilgrims will be travelling and staying in are regular tourist areas where normal travel caution and awareness should be exercised.  Some other areas of the country are less safe.  Pilgrims will liaise with the locally experienced Cosmos Director who will be part of each pilgrimage.  In general, pilgrims are expected to stay with their pilgrimage groups /small groups.

Do I need to apply for any Visas for the pilgrimage?
Australian passport holders can enter Panama & Costa Rica without a visa for tourist visits under 90 days.  Cosmos will advise should there be any changes.

Panama requires visitors to have the equivalent of $US500 or a credit card and a return or onward travel ticket, to enter the country.  A departure tax of $US50 may be payable.

What vaccines do I need to get before going on pilgrimage?
Panama is listed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as endemic for yellow fever. Yellow fever is a potentially fatal viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes, which is preventable by vaccination. You will need a certificate of vaccination to be allowed to re-enter Australia.  You will need to arrange your own vaccination before you depart.  Protection begins 10 days after vaccination and will provide life-long protection.

What other health risks should I be aware of?
Mosquitoes can spread the Zika virus, though they are less prevalent in the dry session (January to April).  However all travellers should protect themselves from mosquito bites by using insect repellent at all times and by wearing long-sleeved clothing.  Zika virus may affect pregnant women and they are advised not to travel there.  Both women and men planning conception around the time of travel should seek advice from their doctor.

World Youth Day 2019 Prayer here

Australian World Youth Day 2019 Prayer here


World Youth Day 2016 - Krakow
was held from 26-31 July 2016

Blessed are the Merciful, for they shall receive Mercy Matthew 5:7

World Youth Day 2016:

20 pilgrims from the Ballarat Diocese participated in the Victorian WYD Pilgrimage to Krakow where 2 million young Catholics from around the world joined Pope Francis in exploring and celebrating Catholic faith.

Our pilgrims were from Mildura, Horsham, Portland, Casterton, Warrnambool, Timboon and many of the parishes in the Ballarat city area.  Pilgrims included a number of young teachers from St Joseph’s Primary and Emmanuel College in Warrnambool, and Lumen Christi, St Francis Xavier, St Thomas More and St Patrick’s Primary in Ballarat.





We are the Catholic Church in the Ballarat Diocese
we gather in the name of Jesus from the Murray to the sea
in interwoven faith communities. Spirit filled
we celebrate and share our journey
reaching out to nurture all God's people.

Diocesan Vision Statement 2005

All Enquiries

PO Box 576
Ballarat, Victoria 3353

Phone +61 3 5337 7111

Where to find us

Catholic Diocese of Ballarat
5 Lyons Street South
Ballarat, Victoria 3353