World Youth Day

This summer, young pilgrims from our diocese joined more than a million people from across the globe in a joyful encounter of faith and friendship.

More than 40 young adults from our diocese travelled to Lisbon for World Youth Day, a global celebration of our faith with the Holy Father himself.

Throughout the week-long pilgrimage, the group embarked on the ultimate journey of faith. They attended daily Mass, liturgies, and catechesis sessions, and made the most of opportunities for confession and adorations, as well as sampling the wide range of talks, concerts, and events.

The week reached its pinnacle on Sunday 6th August, when more than 1.5 million pilgrims attended Mass with the Holy Father, following an outdoor vigil the night before.

Our pilgrimage came to an end the following day with a prayerful visit to the shrine of Fatima.

Bringing together people of all cultures and backgrounds, World Youth Day is an inspiring symbol of our Catholic Church, a Church of “many parts, but one body”, united by the Holy Spirit.

This connectivity is at the very heart of World Youth Day, as our young pilgrims found new friendships through their shared faith with people across the diocese and the world.

Diocesan Youth Ministry Chaplain, Fr Michael Deas, said: “World Youth Day was amazing for our young people from the Diocese of Salford because sometimes they can look around and feel like there aren’t many young people in their parish, they may feel self-conscious about admitting they have faith in Jesus, but there they could be free in their expressions of faith and learn from all the other young people from around the world, knowing that it’s something bigger. We’re part of something bigger. It’s a global Church.

“I think for us – for our diocese – the most important thing that I saw impact the young people was them journeying together, developing friendships and knowing there were people living just down the road that they might not have known existed before. It’s about developing those friendships back at home, building a community.

“That’s what we do next. It’s about bringing that wonderful experience of World Youth Day back home to our diocese, and what they do with that, with our support. 

“And it’s that which fills us with hope; that’s what inspires people like me – there is hope that the young people will keep our faith going here in the Diocese of Salford.” 

All pilgrimages are powerful opportunities to leave behind the busyness of everyday life, to step away from our usual thoughts and distractions to make time and space for God.

As such, we were delighted to share our pilgrimage with people at home in our diocese through our Pray at Home series. If you would like to revisit these resources, please explore the drop down buttons below.

The Schedule

Lectio Divina

This evening, we invite you to join us in a special Lectio Divina on the story of The Visitation and this year’s WYD theme of “Rise Up”. Take a look at the image below and follow the steps to pray along with us today.

Join us as we begin our World Youth Day at Home Pilgrimage ahead of the Opening Mass by reflecting on how World Youth Day can help us grow in faith.

Rise Up Reflections – Thought of the Day
In our Rise Up Reflection today, we explore a little more about the theme of integral ecology and we, as individuals, feed into the world around us.

The main objective of today's reflection is to explore the general theme of WYD and to introduce young people to the experience of being loved and called by the Lord, like Mary. This experience propels us to go higher and to go out toward others, and to be reconciled with God, with our brothers and sisters, and with creation. Questions: How can I "propel" myself to reach out to others? What do I need to do to come back to the Lord? Do I "rise up" and call for justice for my brothers and sisters around the world? For creation? Do I take enough care of what God has entrusted to me? My family, friends, creation itself? What part am I called to play in the world?

Rise Up Reflections – Thought of the Day
Today’s reflection is based on the theme of social friendship. Taking the Gospel story of the Wedding at Cana as our inspiration, we consider how we are called to respond to the needs around us and how prayer can play a powerful part in helping others.

Today we reflect on the specific ways we can follow Jesus and imitate Mary and so give substance to our "yes". We consider how we might participate in God's dream for humanity and to actively contribute to transforming reality. We remember, too, that praying is also a way of taking action, that we are called to intercede for our wounded humanity, as Mary did at Cana. Questions: Do I follow Mary's example by interceding for my friends, family, and those in need? How have I taken concrete action to help those around me? What opportunities do I have to show kindness to my brothers and sisters around the world?

Feast of St John Vianney
Today we celebrate the feast of St John Vianney, patron saint of parish priests. And as young people from our diocese continue their World Youth Day pilgrimage, we catch up with one of our priests, Fr Gavin Landers, to find out more about how a pilgrimage to World Youth Day helped him to hear God’s call to priestly life.


Rise Up Reflections – Thought of the Day
Our third reflection is all about God’s love and mercy. We invite you today to spend time in silent prayer, to contemplate on our relationship with God, the times we’ve encountered His love and mercy in our lives so far, and how we might continue to nurture our relationship with Him.

Today - the third day of our reflections - we reflect on the importance of silent contemplation and how this helps us draw closer to Jesus, "the man of the third day". We invite you today to spend time in silent contemplation, to re-examine the journey of your life so far and your relationship with God. Questions: When have I encountered God's love and mercy before? Do I, like the shepherds, rise in haste to seek out God in my daily life? Do I, like Mary, take time to recognise the workings of God in my life? Do I treasure these in my heart? Do I take the opportunity to spend time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament? Do I make the most of His mercy through the Sacrament of Reconciliation?

Stations of the Cross
This evening, pilgrims in Lisbon will be joining the Holy Father for Stations of the Cross and we would love for you to pray along!

The Stations will begin at 6pm and will be posted on Instagram and Facebook so you can pray along with us in real time.

Can’t join us at 6? Check our social media pages later or click below to pray in your own time.

Stations of the Cross

The Call to “Rise Up”
This World Youth Day theme is “Rise Up” – an inspiring challenge based on the example Mary sets in The Visitation. Join us once again as we explore this theme a little more and find out what it might mean for us in our own diocese.

Tonight, thousands of pilgrims are set to sleep under the stars in a beautiful vigil ahead of tomorrow’s Mass.

This peaceful vigil is a wonderful opportunity for young people all over the world to come together in prayer and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

This evening, we invite you to explore the resources below to pray along with us at home.

Additional Resources

WYD’s Vigil Prayer

Suggested readings

Rosary – The Joyful Mysteries

Dawn Homily
On today’s feast of The Transfiguration, we’re celebrating Mass with the Holy Father himself! To prepare our hearts and minds for this wonderful celebration, we’re sharing an early morning homily about this great feast.

Pope Francis Homily

Please click here to read more about Pope Francis’ homily at this morning’s Missioning Mass.

Day Pilgrimage to Fátima
No pilgrimage to Portugal would be complete without a visit to Fátima and we’re delighted to explore this wonderful place with you today!

Click here to discover more about Fátima and how it can inspire us in faith today.

Additional reading: The-Story-of-Fatima

Solemnity of the Assumption
As we begin to settle back into the pattern of our everyday lives, we take this final opportunity to reflect on everything we have learned through this wonderful pilgrimage.

We’re delighted to be joined by Salford Youth Ministry Chaplain, Fr Mark Paver, in a special homily exploring more about today’s solemnity and how it reaffirms the call to follow the example of Our Lady in all that we do.

Get social!

We’re eager to make this wonderful pilgrimage a fruitful prayer experience with people right across the diocese, so please do get in touch with your own Pray at Home activities! Simply tag Salford Youth Ministry in your social media posts and send any photos to

Of course, no social media post is complete with a hashtag, so keep in loop with #RiseUpSalford #SalfordWYD and #SalfordPrayatHome