Close this search box.

What is WYD?

On a diocesan level, it has taken place every year on Palm Sunday, but as from 2021 it is held on the Sunday of Christ the King. Every two, three or four years it takes place on an international level in a city chosen by the Pope, and always attended by him. It brings together thousands of young people in a celebration of their faith and belonging to the Church.
Since its first edition, which took place in the city of Rome in 1986, World Youth Day has proved to be a laboratory of faith, a birthplace of vocations to marriage and the consecrated life, and an instrument of evangelisation and transformation of the Church.

It aims to provide all participants with an experience of the universal Church, encouraging a personal encounter with Jesus Christ. It provides a new impetus for the faith, hope and charity of the entire community of the host country. With young people as protagonists, World Youth Day also seeks to promote peace, unity and fraternity among peoples and nations around the world.


Host families



A volunteer is someone who is aware of having a mission. There is something for which it is worth giving of oneself. It is this free and generous offer that gives the volunteer the joy and consolation of knowing that he/she is playing his/her part in this world for which we are all responsible.

By being a part of WYD Lisbon 2023, the Volunteer fully embodies this year’s theme: Mary arose and went with haste. Desiring to serve the other by renouncing some of our comforts, for the joy that is found in service.

Some will have a very prominent mission taking on tasks with greater visibility, whilst others will have more discreet roles, yet equally vital to the success of WYD. It is beautiful to see how, especially in these lesser roles, people offer their time to serve, even whilst it often entails giving up participation in some of the main events. As Pope Francis tells us, “in volunteering, every service is important, even the simplest” (Meeting with Volunteers in Cracow).

Host families

Welcoming pilgrims is a way of participating in WYD, and in so doing welcoming Christ into their homes. This goes a long way in helping young people to have the best possible experience during WYD week.

To register as a host family please contact us directly (Paróquia de Cascais). We provide a link where you can very easily apply.

We thank you in advance for your YES to receive Christ through these young pilgrims, and to live this WYD in your home! Once your application has been completed, the Parish Organising Committee (COP) will contact you as soon as possible. Thank you!

What are the requirements for families to apply?

Families should provide an suitable space where
pilgrims can stay overnight, a minimum of 2 m2 per pilgrim. In any case, there is no need to provide a bed.

  • Those responsible for each houselhold, must be adults.
  • You will not need to know how to speak the language of the pilgrims you welcome. The most important thing is that the family makes themselves available to welcome the pilgrims generously and warmly, thus helping to make their experience memorable.

The responsibility and control of the suitability of the families will be the responsibility of the respective host parishes.


The invitation to participate in WYD Lisbon 2023 is aimed at young people from all over the world. Registration allows access to all WYD Lisbon 2023 events, including the following advantages for each registered pilgrim: insurance, free public transport during WYD week and the Pilgrim kit.

We would all like to go together from our parish. We are, therefore, arranging so that we can participate as a group. To make this possible, we ask you to register using the form below. Later you will be contacted by someone from the parish who will give you more information. 
If you have any queries, please send an email to


A gathering of the Parish marking the beginning of the pastoral year and at which we remembered WYD and thanked so many volunteers and host families for their service.

Read more

World Youth Day 2023


Sister churches

The estimated cost of bringing a pilgrim over is dependant on the fares from where they come from.

There are 5 different categories:

  • Cat A – €500 a €750
  • Cat B – €751 a €1000
  • Cat C – €1001 a €1250
  • Cat D – €1251 a €1500
  • Cat E – Over €1501

These fees include the expected travel fare, administrative processes and all meals throughout the trip. The Cascais Organising Committee (COP) Cascais has agreed to finance the trip of 3 pilgrims, which means raising 4500€.

The theme of Lisbon WYD

«Mary arose and went with haste» (Luke 1:39) is a verse from the Bible chosen by Pope Francis as the motto of the XXVIII World Youth Day to take place, for the first time, in Lisbon, capital of Portugal.

The logo of WYD

The World Youth Day logo is made up of two symbols  : the Pilgrim Cross and the icon of Our Lady  Salus PopuliRomani. In the run-up months to WYD, these symbols will leave on  a pilgrimage, to be heralds of the Gospel and to accompany the young people, in a  special way, in the realities in which they live.

The Pilgrim Cross

Built in 1983 fo the Holy Year, and standing at 3,8 metres in height, John Paul II entrusted the Pilgrim Cross to the young people on Palm Sunday the following year, to be carried around the world. The Pilgrim cross, made out of wood, has since this time been to five continents and almost 90 countries. It has been seen as a true sign of faith.

The pilgrim cross, having travelled by foot, boat and even on  cranes and tractors has been through the jungle, visited churches, youth detention centres, prisons, schools, universities, hospitals,  monuments and shopping malls. It has had to face many obstacles: from air strikes to transportation difficulties  such as not being able to fit in any of the available airplanes.

It has asserted itself as a sign of hope in particularly sensitive  locations. In 1985, it went to Prague, now the Czech Republic, in what was at the time a divided Europe. From behind the iron curtain it conveyed communion with  the Pope. Shortly after 11 Setember 2001, it travelled to Ground Zero, in Nova Iorque, where nearly 3000 people lost their lives to terrorist
attacks. Likewise, it visited Ruanda in 2006, after the country had been ravaged  by civil war.

The icon of Our Lady  Salus Populi Romani

Since the year 2000 the pilgrim cross has been accompanied by the image of Our Lady  Salus Populi Romani, in which the Virgin Mary holds baby Jesus in her arms. This icon was introduced by Pope John Paul II as a symbol of Mary’s presence amongst young people. Measuring 1,20 metres in height and 80 centimetres in width, the icon of Our Lady  Salus Populi Romani is associated with one of the most popular Marian devotions in Italy. There is an ancient tradition of carrying it in a procession through the streets of Rome, to ward off dangers and misfortunes or to put an end to plagues. The original icon is housed in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, in Rome, and is visited by Pope Francis, who takes flowers and prays there both before and after every apostolic journey.

Pilgrimage of the WYD symbols throughout the Portuguese dioceses

The two symbols of WYD began their pilgrimage in November 2021, in the Algarve. Since then they have travelled through Beja, Évora e Portalegre-Castelo Branco.

The will arrived in the Diocese of Lisbon in July 2023.

LOC (Local Organising Committee), DOC (Diocesan Organising Committee), VOCs (Vicariate Organising Commitees) and POCs (Parish Organising Committees).

On this journey to WYD, we will get to know various organisational groups that are in charge of energising and mobilising young people on their path.

As our Cardinal Patriarch has stated, we must begin to familiarise ourselves with some acronyms, among them the LOC (Local Organising Committee), DOC (Diocesan Organising Committee), VOCs (Vicariate Organising Commitees) and POCs (Parish Organising Committees).

Here in Cascais, there are several POCs that are already at work preparing activities and events that will start this month and throughout March in various locations.

The cross of DOC in Cascais

As the WYD symbols are only due to arrive in the diocese of Lisbon in July 2023, the Diocesan Organizing Committee (DOC) have chosen the WYD cross as the symbol that, until such time, will journey throughout the 18 vicariates of the Diocese, with the aim of awakening communities to the path of preparation for WYD.

On the 23rd of every month, the DOC cross will be passed on to another vicarage and remain there for a month whilst visiting the various parishes in the district, providing moments of prayer, evangelisation and meetings amongst various members of the local DOCs. 

The DOC cross in our Parish.

The POC Cross will arrive in Cascais on the 23rd of February and make its way to our Parish on the 18th of March. She will be received on the night of prayer of the Youth Teams of Our Lady, at 9.30 pm on Thursday, and will then visit some schools in the parish, pass by the scouts and stay with us until Sunday.

To celebrate the passing of these symbols, which are intended to inspire and unite communities around World Youth Day, there will be a concert on Friday night at the Estoril Congress Centre, with the band Quatro e Meia. On Saturday, the cross will be at the WYD stand both at lunchtime and later at 6pm. It will accompany the prayer of the rosary which will be said next to the statue of Pope John Paul II, in the garden of the main Parish Church. On Sunday, it will be present at the 10 am mass, in the tent, and in the afternoon, it will accompany the young people along the Cascais boardwalk, continuing towards Estoril.

Come join the party!

Parish Organising Committee (POC)
Francisco Torgal

The POC will coordinate everything, joining their needs to the availability of volunteers in the parish. This will help in coordinating the different groups.

Head of Volunteers
Joana Palma

The head of the volunteers will coordinate all who have made themselves available to help at a parish level.

POC contacts