Program



Tuesday, July 26

8:00 am
(CET)
Doors Open
8:30 am
(CET)
Blessing of Mercy Centre By Archbishop William E. Lori Followed by Mass for Staff and Volunteers
10:00 am - 12:00 pm (CET)
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL GATHERING
Hosted by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference
All Australian pilgrims attending World Youth Day are invited to join the Australian Bishops for the Australian National Gathering. This gathering will feature prayer, Scripture, witness, celebration and musical performances by Fr. Rob Galea and Genevieve Bryant. Following the gathering, pilgrims are invited to meet and greet their bishops in and around the Mercy Centre grounds.
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
(CET)
Krakow City of Saints Panel Reflection, Including Procession of Relics: Join George Weigel, Fr. Thomas Rosica and Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, S.V. for a panel reflection on Krakow’s most influential saints. The relics of St. Maximilian Kolbe, St Albert Chmielowski, Bl. Jerzy Popieluszko, St Faustina Kowalska and St John Paul II will be processed from the small arena to the large arena for veneration.
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
(CET)
CANADIAN NATIONAL GATHERING
Hosted by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
All Canadian pilgrims attending World Youth Day are invited to join the Canadian Bishops for the Canadian National Gathering. This gathering of prayer, Scripture, witness, celebration and song will be presided by Cardinal Gérald Lacroix, Archbishop of Quebec and Primate of Canada, who will be joined on stage by the nine bishops from Canada taking part in World Youth Day Krakow. Following the gathering, pilgrims are invited to meet and greet their bishops in and around the Mercy Centre grounds.

Wednesday, July 27 | FREEDOM

8:00 am
(CET)
Doors Open
8:30 am
(CET)
Pre-Catechesis programming with Real Life Catholic’s Chris Stefanick
9:00 am - 12:30 pm
(CET)
Catechesis Session featuring a special guest cardinal (TBA); Sr. Bethany Madonna, S.V. speaks on authentic freedom and our unique call to love; Jason and Crystalina Evert share their marriage witness on the courage it takes to love authentically and the freedom and joy experienced through this selfless love. Catechesis will conclude with mass.
12:30 am - 1:30 pm
(CET)
School of Mercy breakout sessions (see times and locations here)
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
(CET)
Divine Mercy Talk & Chaplet
3:45 pm - 5:00 pm
(CET)
Panel Discussion on Religious Freedom featuring: Archbishop William E. Lori, George Weigel, Jacqueline Isaac, Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil, Iraq and a special guest Christian refugee.
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
(CET)
USA NATIONAL GATHERING
Hosted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
“Mercy from the Mountaintop”
All U.S. pilgrims attending World Youth Day are invited to join the U.S. bishops for the USA National Gathering and Prayer Experience. This gathering will feature prayer, Scripture, music, witness, and celebration – all focused on how to bring the message and the works of mercy home to the United States. Pilgrims will also be able to access the live video feed of the Holy Father’s arrival to Poland. Following the gathering, pilgrims are invited to meet and greet their bishops in and around the Mercy Centre grounds.
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
(CET)
Night of Mercy Youth Festival
Featuring XLT by Life Teen with Word on Fire's Bishop Robert Barron, Life Teen's Joel Stepanek and music by Matt Maher and Audrey Assad. Join us for this special night of adoration, prayer, teaching and song.
9:30 pm - 11:00 pm
(CET)
Credo: I Believe in Mercy, a musical performance by Cenacolo Community on the outdoor stage.

Thursday, July 28 | SOLIDARITY

8:00 am
(CET)
Doors Open
8:30 am
(CET)
Pre-Catechesis programming with Real Life Catholic’s Chris Stefanick
9:00 am - 12:30 pm
(CET)
Catechesis Session featuring a special guest cardinal (TBA); Curtis Martin, founder of FOCUS, addresses the power of our solidarity as Christian disciples to affect change in today’s secular culture; Scott and Annie Powell share how God invites us to live courageously in love and to be witnesses of his love to the world. Catechesis will conclude with mass.
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
(CET)
School of Mercy breakout sessions (see times and locations here)
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
(CET)
Divine Mercy Talk & Chaplet
9:30 pm - 11:00 pm
(CET)
Credo: I Believe in Mercy, a musical performance by Cenacolo Community on the outdoor stage.

Friday, July 29 | THE CROSS

8:00 am
(CET)
Doors Open
8:30 am
(CET)
Pre-Catechesis programming with Real Life Catholic’s Chris Stefanick
9:00 am - 12:30 pm
(CET)
Catechesis Session featuring a special guest cardinal (TBA); Sr. Gaudia Skass of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy reflects on encountering the love and mercy of Christ through pain and suffering; Jeff and Emily Runyan give witness to the beauty of married love and how in the struggles of life, there is great joy. Catechesis will conclude with mass.
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
(CET)
School of Mercy breakout sessions (see times and locations here)
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
(CET)
Divine Mercy Talk & Chaplet

Saturday, July 30

8:00 am
(CET)
Doors Open
9:00 am - 11:00 am
(CET)
USA NATIONAL PILGRIM MASS Hosted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Before embarking on the walking pilgrimage to Campus Misericordiae, the site of the Evening Vigil and Closing Mass with the Holy Father, U.S. pilgrims are invited to join together in worship at the National Pilgrim Mass for all World Youth Day participants from the United States. All U.S. bishops and priests are invited to concelebrate. Following the mass, pilgrims are invited to meet and greet their bishops in and around the Mercy Centre grounds.

Sunday, July 31

5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
(CET)
Gathering of Pope Francis and the Volunteers of World Youth Day Kraków 2016 – Pope Francis will be welcomed at the Mercy Centre at Tauron Arena Kraków by Bishop Damian Muskus, Archbishops William E Lori and the WYD Volunteers. The event will include the sharing of testimonies by selected volunteers, the Pope’s address to volunteers, the presentation of the WYD Cross and Icon and a celebration of faith and song.

Speakers

George Weigel

Catholic theologian George Weigel has authored and edited more than twenty books, including the best-selling biography of Pope John Paul II. As a Senior Vatican Analyst for NBC News, he can be seen and heard on television and radio, with his essays, op-ed columns and reviews appearing in major opinion journals and newspapers across the United States. His weekly column, “The Catholic Difference,” is syndicated to sixty newspapers. Considered by many to be one of America’s leading public intellectuals, Mr. Weigel currently serves as the Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

Speaking
  • Tuesday July 26 | 12-1 pm | Kraków City of Saints Panel Reflection
  • Wednesday July 27 | 3:45-5 pm | Religious Freedom Panel

Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB

Fr. Thomas Rosica is a priest of the Congregation of St. Basil. He holds advanced degrees in Theology and Sacred Scripture from Regis College in the Toronto School of Theology, the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome and the École Biblique et Archéologique Française de Jérusalem. From 1994-2000 he served as Executive Director of the Newman Centre Catholic Chaplaincy at the University of Toronto. He was appointed by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops as the Chief Executive Officer and National Director of the World Youth Day and Papal Visit of Pope John Paul II, that took place in Toronto during July, 2002.

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In 2003, Fr. Rosica became the founding CEO of Salt and Light Television, Canada's first national Catholic Television Network. At the end of the Papal transition in April 2013, the Vatican asked him to serve as English language assistant to the Holy See Press Office. He continues to relate on a daily basis with English language media around the world.

Speaking
  • Tuesday July 26 | 12-1 pm | Kraków City of Saints Panel Reflection

Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, SV

Mother Agnes Mary Donovan is the first superior general of the Sisters of Life, a community founded by John Cardinal O'Connor in 1991. After earning her PhD in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1985, she served as a faculty member and professor of psychology at Columbia University in New York and The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. As an academic, and later in her career as a practicing psychologist, she focused on child development and family issues. She then entered the Sisters of Life, a then brand-new community developing its unique charism of protecting and enhancing human life.

Speaking
  • Tuesday July 26 | 12-1 pm (CET) | Kraków City of Saints Panel Reflection

Chris Stefanick, Real Life Catholic

Chris Stefanick is an internationally acclaimed author and speaker, who has devoted his life to inspiring people to live a bold, contagious faith. Chris’s live seminars reach more than 85,000 people per year. His videos and radio spots reach more than 1,000,000 people per month, every month. And his educational initiatives are turning-the-tide in the Church. He authored what is being welcomed as the best Confirmation program in the English language: Chosen. Chris is also the founder of Real Life Catholic, a Denver-based non-profit which operates as the headquarters for his various initiatives. Above all, Chris is proud to be the husband to his wife Natalie and father to their six children. To receive Chris’s free videos and sign up for the newsletter please visit: RealLifeCatholic.com

Speaking
  • Wednesday July 27 - Friday July 29 | 9 - 12:30pm (CET) | Catechesis Emcee

Sr. Bethany Madonna, S.V.

Sister Bethany Madonna entered the Sisters of Life in 2007. While attending the University of Central Florida, she had a profound encounter with the Lord, which drew her heart toward the vulnerable unborn and their mothers. After her graduation in 2006, she worked for the Respect Life Office for the Diocese of Orlando before joining her religious community. She made her final vows in 2015, and currently lives at the community’s Motherhouse serving her sisters in the Novitiate Formation Program. She is passionate about sharing the message of life and love.

Speaking
  • Wednesday July 27 | 9 - 12:30pm (CET) | Catechesis Session

Jason and Crystalina Evert

Jason and Crystalina Evert are the authors of more than ten books, including How to Find Your Soulmate without Losing Your Soul and Theology of the Body for Teens. Jason earned a master’s degree in Theology after completing undergraduate degrees in Counseling, Theology and Philosophy from the Franciscan University of Steubenville. He frequently appears on radio throughout the United States and has been a guest on television programs airing on Fox News, MSNBC, the BBC and EWTN.

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Crystalina is the author of Pure Womanhood, and runs the website Women Made New (womenmadenew.com), which encourages, supports and empowers women to become what God created them to be. Like Jason, she is a frequent guest on radio programs throughout the country, and her television appearances include MSNBC, the BBC, Donahue, WGN-TV news, and EWTN.

The two married in 2003 and now have six children. Together, they have spoken about the virtue of chastity to more than one million people at various events throughout the world, including World Youth Days in Sydney and Madrid, and they run the ministry ChastityProject.com.

Speaking
  • Wednesday July 27 | 9 - 12:30pm (CET) | Catechesis Session

Archbishop William Lori

Archbishop William E. Lori was ordained to the priesthood by Cardinal William Baum on May 14, 1977. In 1995, after doing parish work and serving in a number of official chancery positions, he was ordained as auxiliary bishop of Washington.

Archbishop Lori was elected supreme chaplain of the Knights of Columbus in April 2005. As supreme chaplain, he has the responsibility of overseeing the spiritual welfare of the Order’s 1.9 million members and their families.

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Archbishop Lori has been a member of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities and the Committee on Doctrine of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) since 2001. Since 2011 he has served as the chair of the formed Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, which works to address the freedom of religion — which the archbishop calls our “First Freedom.” During the time that the archbishop has headed up the committee, it has spoken against health coverage mandates that would coerce employers to pay for services for which they have moral objections and has urged the U.S House of Representatives to support the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as between one man and one woman. On May 16, 2012, he was installed as the 16th Archbishop of Baltimore.

Speaking
  • Wednesday July 27 | 3:45-5 pm (CET) | Religious Freedom Panel

Archbishop Bashar Matti Warda

Archbishop Bashar Matti Warda is a Chaldean Catholic cleric and the current Archbishop of Erbil, Iraq. He was ordained a priest in 1993 and in 1995 joined the Redemptorist order of Flanders in Belgium. After receiving his masters at the Catholic University of Louvain in 1999 he returned to Iraq. In 2009, the Synod of Bishops of the Chaldean Catholic Church elected him Archbishop of the Archeparchy of Erbil.

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Since the rise of the Islamic State, violence in Iraq and neighboring countries has resulted in targeted killings and the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Christians. Displaced Iraqi Chaldeans have been seeking refuge in Dohuk and Erbil in northern Iraq where Archbishop Warda, with support from various charities including the Knights of Columbus, is leading Church efforts to assist displaced families and raise international awareness of the plight of Christians in the Middle East. Charitable efforts in Erbil have been focused on providing shelter, health care, jobs, educational opportunities and pastoral care for all Christian refugees.

Speaking
  • Wednesday July 27 | 3:45-5 pm (CET) | Religious Freedom Panel

Jacqueline Isaac

Jacqueline Isaac is a California lawyer and vice president of Roads of Success (ROS), a humanitarian NGO. As an American of Egyptian descent with a passion for international affairs, she lived in Egypt during her teenage years. She has spent over a decade supporting those escaping crisis and advocating for the rights of minorities and women across the Middle East. Her focus has been on issues such as the refugee crisis, sex trafficking, female genital mutilation and HIV/AIDs.

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Isaac recently testified before the UK Parliament and U.S. Congress as to her experiences in the war-torn parts of Iraq, supporting resolutions declaring that ISIS committed genocide against Christians, Yazidis and other minorities. Isaac also served as an advisor to Rev. Dr. Safwat El-Baiady of the Evangelical Churches of Egypt, who was delegate of the Constitutional Assembly appointed as a drafter of the most recent Egyptian Constitution. She has been featured on BBC, NBC, FOX, ABC, the Guardian, Channel 4, Huffington Post, Rome Reports, Corriere Del Serra and other international media outlets.

Speaking
  • Wednesday July 27 | 3:45-5 pm (CET) | Religious Freedom Panel

Bishop Robert Barron

Bishop Robert Barron is the founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. He is also the host of CATHOLICISM, a groundbreaking, award-winning documentary about the Catholic Faith.

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A bestselling author, Bishop Barron has published numerous books, essays, and articles on theology and the spiritual life. He has also appeared on several media outlets including NBC, PBS, FOX News, CNN, and EWTN. He has spoken at many conferences and events all over the world, including the 2015 World Meeting of Families which marked Pope Francis' historic visit to the United States.

Bishop Barron's website, WordOnFire.org, reaches millions of people each year, and is considered to be one of the most-followed Catholics in the world of social media. Bishop Barron's pioneering work in evangelizing through the media led Francis Cardinal George to describe him as “one of the Church's best messengers.”

Bishop Barron's latest film and study program, on God and atheism, is titled The Mystery of God: Who God Is and Why He Matters. His next major film series, CATHOLICISM: The Pivotal Players, is scheduled to debut in Fall 2016.

Speaking
  • Wednesday July 27 | 7 - 9:30 pm (CET) | Night of Mercy

Joel Stepanek

Joel Stepanek has been actively and passionately involved in ministry for over ten years. What began as a simple internship in a parish youth ministry office evolved into an incredible adventure that led him on numerous middle school lock-ins, high school retreats, parish missions, and ultimately to meet his wife, Colleen. Joel is the Director of Resource Development for Life Teen International where he creates engaging youth ministry resources for middle and high school students. Joel is a sought after speaker who has traveled across the world speaking to teenagers and young adults.

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Joel is the author of two books, “True North: A Roadmap for Discernment” and “The Greatest Job on Earth: The Seven Virtues of an Awesome Youth Minister.” He received his Master’s degree in religious education with an emphasis in youth and young adult ministry from Fordham University in New York City. Joel lives with his wife and two children in Mesa, Arizona. is to write fragrant, prayerful music that leads to encountering Jesus Christ, even in the silence of the heart.

Speaking
  • Wednesday July 27 | 7 - 9:30 pm (CET) | Night of Mercy

Curtis Martin

Curtis Martin is the founder and chief executive officer of FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, which he established in January 1998, at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. Beginning with just two staff members and 24 students, FOCUS missionaries are now present at 123 campuses, including two international campuses (in Vienna and Graz, Austria), and four PBE parishes (in Colorado, North Carolina, Illinois and Oklahoma) where they provide service through 550 missionaries and supporting staff.

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An award-winning and dynamic speaker, Curtis is often seen on college campuses, television programs, conferences, or at priest convocations. He authored the best-selling book Made for More, co-authored The Real Story: Understanding the Big Picture of the Bible with Dr. Edward Sri and Boys to Men: The Transforming Power of Virtue with Dr. Tim Gray. He also co-hosts EWTN’s ground-breaking show “Crossing the Goal.”

Curtis Martin holds a Master’s degree in Theology. He serves as a Consulter to the Pontifical Council of the New Evangelization.

Together with his wife, Michaelann, Curtis hosts the EWTN television series “Family Matters.” Curtis and Michaelann live in Westminster, Colorado, with five of their nine children.

Speaking
  • Thursday July 28 | 9 - 12:30pm (CET) | Catechesis Session

Scott and Annie Powell

Dr. Scott and Annie Powell are the founders and directors of Camp Wojtyla, a Catholic wilderness adventure camp in the Colorado Rockies. Annie is a professional outdoor educator with a Master's degree in Adventure Education and Outdoor Programming from Prescott College and has over 10 years of experience running Christian outdoor programs for youth. Scott is a seasoned Scripture professor who has been teaching the Bible to all ages for over a decade. He is the Director of the Aquinas Institute for Catholic Thought, an outreach to the University of Colorado, Boulder, and holds a Ph.D. in Catholic Studies from Liverpool Hope University in England.

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Dr. Scott and Annie Powell met while serving as missionaries with FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students). Their combined expertise and experience in ministry and education allows them to direct a program which integrates the truths of the Catholic faith with exciting outdoor adventures and incredible wilderness expeditions. Scott and Annie have two children, Lily and Samuel, who live out this mission with them.

Speaking
  • Thursday July 28 | 9 - 12:30pm (CET) | Catechesis Session

Sister Gaudia Skass of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy

Sister Gaudia is a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, the same congregation to which St. Faustina Kowalska belonged. She joined the congregation after graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw in 2005. Working for the Faustinum Association at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Kraków, Sister Gaudia now frequently travels far from her native Poland, touring the world to speak about the message of the Divine Mercy given to St. Faustina. Sister Gaudia is a key member of the planning committee for World Youth Day 2016.

Speaking
  • Friday July 29 | 9 - 12:30pm (CET) | Catechesis Session

Jeff and Emily Runyan

Jeff Runyan is an eleven-year veteran with FOCUS, where he serves as director of FOCUS Missions. Jeff earned degrees in political science and Spanish from Colorado State University, studied international relations at the Pontifical Catholic University in Santiago, Chile and was a Rotary World Peace Fellow in Bangkok, Thailand, obtaining a certification in international peace and conflict resolution. He has a passion for international cultures and for promoting a “Culture of Encounter” through FOCUS Missions. Last summer on mission, while sailing the Brazilian Amazon, Jeff asked his girlfriend, Emily, to “go on mission with him for a lifetime.” She said yes and became his wife on April 2, 2016.

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After growing up on a farm in Nebraska, Emily graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a degree in advertising and public relations. She recognized her call to serve Christ and His Church while on mission in the Dominican Republic, which is also where she met her husband, Jeff Runyan. She served as a FOCUS missionary in Arizona, a FOCUS team director in California and now she serves on the FOCUS Recruitment team in Denver, Colorado. Emily loves seeking truth, goodness and beauty in the world we live in and sharing it with others through art. Her artwork is an expression of her love for Christ, and it is her hope that it will open the eyes, minds and hearts of others to something beyond the ordinary.

Speaking
  • Friday July 29 | 9 - 12:30pm (CET) | Catechesis Session

Performers

Shaun Garrison & Band

Shaun has been playing music for more than 20 years, and has been extensively involved with FOCUS and other ministries at various parishes and campuses across the U.S. His song writing is inspired by the hopes and struggles of life, by beauty and mystery, faith and worship. He is part of an initiative within FOCUS that is responding to the call of the New Evangelization by means of beauty, specifically through music. Listen to the new album “Origin (a beauty initiative within FOCUS)” on iTunes or visit www.focus.org/origin to hear more of the story. Shaun’s debut album, “Exceeding”, is also on iTunes. Learn more at www.shaungarrison.com. Originally from Pensacola, Florida, Shaun moved to Denver, Colorado, in 2001, where he now lives with his wife and five children.


Matt Maher

Since his 2008 major label debut, Matt Maher has become a staple in the artistic and songwriting community. An eight time-GRAMMY nominee, he has garnered multiple radio successes writing and recording songs like “Lord, I Need You,” “Hold Us Together,” “Christ Is Risen,” “All The People Said Amen” and “Your Grace Is Enough.” Maher has penned songs recorded by Chris Tomlin, Crowder, Third Day, Matt Redman, Hillsong, Casting Crowns, Jesus Culture and Bethel among others. Matt has written or co-written five No. 1 radio singles. In 2013, Maher had a career highlight performing in Rio in front of Pope Francis and a crowd of 3 million people, as well as performing in 2015 in downtown Philadelphia as part of the World Meeting of Families with The Fray, Aretha Franklin, Juanes, Jim Gaffigan, among others. In 2015, Maher was awarded his first RIAA Gold certification for his popular single "Lord, I Need You."


Audrey Assad

Audrey Assad is the daughter of a Syrian refugee, an author, speaker, producer, and critically lauded songwriter and musician. She releases music she calls “soundtracks for prayer” on the label Fortunate Fall Records, which she co-owns with her husband, and has also penned contemplative songs of worship for Matt Maher, Christy Nockels, Brett Younker, Sarah Hart, Meredith Andrews, and others — Audrey’s passion is to write fragrant, prayerful music that leads to encountering Jesus Christ, even in the silence of the heart.

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Her first solo album was awarded the iTunes Christian Breakthrough Album of the Year in 2010 as she went on to be nominated for two Dove Awards. That same year, she sang her song "Winter Snow" on Chris Tomlin's certified Gold record Glory in the Highest. In 2013, Audrey set out on her own, self-producing the album Fortunate Fall — with songs such as " I Shall Not Want" being featured in the New York Times.

In February of 2016, Audrey released Inheritance — a collection of hymns and originals that pays homage to both her childhood heritage and her Catholic faith. The original "Even Unto Death," was co-written with Matt Maher to honor the lives and courage of the Christian martyrs in the Middle East.


Comunità Cenacolo

Founded by Sister Elvira Petrozzi in 1983, the Comunità Cenacolo (Community of the Cenacle/Upper Room) is an international Private Association of the Faithful, which assists young men and women who struggle with addictions to alcohol and drugs.

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Believing that the Christian life in its simplicity and fullness is the answer to every difficulty in life, Sister Elvira founded the Community to welcome these young people for a 3-year period, during which they live a simple, disciplined, family lifestyle, based on the rediscovery of the essential gifts of prayer and work, true friendship, sacrifice and faith in Jesus. Those who successfully complete the program often begin serving others, particularly those who are suffering in the way they did prior to entering the community.

Community celebrations include musicals, known for their outstanding costumes, staging, and powerful performances by the members themselves. Their latest production, Credo: I Believe in Mercy, will be performed at the Mercy Centre at Tauron Arena Kraków on Wednesday, July 27, and Thursday, July 28, from 9:30-11:00 p.m. CET on the Outdoor Stage.

Liturgies

We encourage all pilgrims to join us for the concelebrated liturgies at the Mercy Centre:

  • Tues July 26 8:45 am (CET) Mass in Small Arena

  • Wed July 27 11:00 am (CET) Mass in Large Arena

  • Thurs July 28 11:00 am (CET) Mass in Large Arena

  • Friday July 29 11:00 am (CET) Mass in Large Arena

  • Saturday July 30 9:00 am (CET) Mass in Large Arena sponsored by USCCB.

All priests who wish to concelebrate Mass or to administer the Sacrament of Reconciliation at the Mercy Centre must be able to present the following documentation:

  • Official clergy WYD registration

  • Government photo ID

  • Sacramental accreditation letter from diocese or major superior

Priests should also bring:

  • Alb and stole

Priests wishing to hear confessions at the Mercy Center will need to check in at the registration table on level 0. Once you check in, you will be given a stole for hearing confessions.



Speakers

Pilgrims are invited to stay for lunch at the arena and attend one of the lunch hour ‘School of Mercy’ talks to engage the themes of the KofC Mercy Centre in a deeper and more personal way. The following speakers will host ‘School of Mercy’ talks throughout the arena at designated locations. The themes of these talks will range from: personal conversion stories, Theology of the Body, our featured saints, and the persecution of Christians. Additionally, members of the College Knights of Columbus and the Sisters of Life will be available outside to help facilitate small group discussions (look for them in the shade!).

Father Manfred Deselaers, Ph.D.

Fr. Manfred Deselaers is a member of the International Auschwitz Council. Shortly after his ordination to the priesthood in 1983 for the diocese of Aix-la-Chapelle (Aachen), Fr. Deselaers became a board member of the Society for Christian-Jewish Cooperation. In October 1989 he went to Poland to help in the efforts towards German-Polish reconciliation. Sent by his Bishop Heinrich Mussinghoff, Aachen, and in agreement with Cardinal Franciszek Macharski (Kraków) he now dedicates his life to German-Polish Reconciliation and Christian-Jewish Dialogue at the Centre for Dialogue and Prayer in Oświęcim. In 2001 he became a member of the Board and is responsible for the Program Department. Since its reconstitution in 2008 he has been Vice President of the Kraków Foundation “Centrum Dialogu I Modlitwy” (Centre for Dialogue and Prayer) in Oświęcim.

Speaking
  • Wednesday July 27 | 12:45 - 1:45 pm (CET) | LEVEL B — Conference Room 1 | Understanding Auschwitz

Jacqueline Isaac

Jacqueline Isaac is a California lawyer and vice president of Roads of Success (ROS), a humanitarian NGO. As an American of Egyptian descent with a passion for international affairs, she lived in Egypt during her teenage years. She has spent over a decade supporting those escaping crisis and advocating for the rights of minorities and women across the Middle East. Her focus has been on issues such as the refugee crisis, sex trafficking, female genital mutilation and HIV/AIDs.

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Isaac recently testified before the UK Parliament and U.S. Congress as to her experiences in the war-torn parts of Iraq, supporting resolutions declaring that ISIS committed genocide against Christians, Yazidis and other minorities. Isaac also served as an advisor to Rev. Dr. Safwat El-Baiady of the Evangelical Churches of Egypt, who was delegate of the Constitutional Assembly appointed as a drafter of the most recent Egyptian Constitution. She has been featured on BBC, NBC, FOX, ABC, the Guardian, Channel 4, Huffington Post, Rome Reports, Corriere Del Serra and other international media outlets.

Speaking
  • Wednesday July 27 | 12:45 - 1:45 pm (CET) | LEVEL B — Conference Room 2 | The Persecuted Church in the Middle East
  • Thursday July 28 | 12:45 - 1:45 pm (CET) | LEVEL B — Conference Room 2 | The Persecuted Church in the Middle East
  • Friday July 29 | 12:45 - 1:45 pm (CET) | LEVEL B — Conference Room 2 | The Persecuted Church in the Middle East

George Weigel

Catholic theologian George Weigel has authored and edited more than twenty books, including the best-selling biography of Pope John Paul II. As a Senior Vatican Analyst for NBC News, he can be seen and heard on television and radio, with his essays, op-ed columns and reviews appearing in major opinion journals and newspapers across the United States. His weekly column, “The Catholic Difference,” is syndicated to sixty newspapers. Considered by many to be one of America’s leading public intellectuals, Mr. Weigel currently serves as the Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

Speaking
  • Wednesday July 27 | 12:45 - 1:45 pm (CET) | Restaurant | Kraków, City of Saints

Piotr and Teresa Małecki

Piotr and Teresa Małecki have shared more than 50 years of marriage together. As lifelong friends of St. John Paul II, they offer the unique perspective of having personal stories of the saint, including Piotr’s memories of serving as Father Karol Wojtyla’s first altar boy at The Collegiate Church of St. Florian in Kraków.

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As a couple, Teresa and Piotr were involved with the parish plays directed by Father Wojtyla, later becoming part of Wojtyla’s network of friends known as Srodowisko (Environment). As part of this group, they received countless insights into Father Wotyla’s theology, philosophy, the nature of love and the bond of marriage. Wojtyla later celebrated their wedding Mass, after being convinced by Teresa that she was mature enough for marriage at the young age of twenty.

An accomplished musicologist, Teresa is the former vice-dean of the Krakow Academy of Music, while Piotr is a distinguished physicist.

Speaking
  • Wednesday July 27 | 12:45 - 1:45 pm (CET) | Vocations Café | St. John Paul II and Srodowisko: Friendship with a Saint

Kathryn Jean Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez is the former editor and current editor-at-large of the widely read and cited daily webzine, National Review Online. She is also a Senior Fellow at the National Review Institute and a nationally syndicated columnist with United Media’s Newspaper Enterprise Association. An award-winning opinion journalist who has been praised for her “editorial daring,” Lopez’s work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Post, The Human Life Review, First Things, Stars and Stripes, and on the websites of the New York Times, CNN, and other international publications. She writes frequently for a variety of Catholic publications, including Our Sunday Visitor and The National Catholic Register.

Speaking
  • Wednesday July 27 | 12:45 - 1:45 pm (CET) | OUTSIDE — Small Arena Restaurant | How to Defend the Faith Without Raising Your Voice

Jason and Crystalina Evert

Jason and Crystalina Evert are the authors of more than ten books, including How to Find Your Soulmate without Losing Your Soul and Theology of the Body for Teens. Jason earned a master’s degree in Theology after completing undergraduate degrees in Counseling, Theology and Philosophy from the Franciscan University of Steubenville. He frequently appears on radio throughout the United States and has been a guest on television programs airing on Fox News, MSNBC, the BBC and EWTN.

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Crystalina is the author of Pure Womanhood, and runs the website Women Made New (womenmadenew.com), which encourages, supports and empowers women to become what God created them to be. Like Jason, she is a frequent guest on radio programs throughout the country, and her television appearances include MSNBC, the BBC, Donahue, WGN-TV news, and EWTN.

The two married in 2003 and now have six children. Together, they have spoken about the virtue of chastity to more than one million people at various events throughout the world, including World Youth Days in Sydney and Madrid, and they run the ministry ChastityProject.com.

Speaking
  • Wednesday July 27 | 12:45 - 1:45 pm (CET) | OUTSIDE — Outdoor Stage | Finding Your Soulmate without Losing Your Soul
  • Thursday July 28 | 12:45 - 1:45 pm (CET) | OUTSIDE — Outdoor Stage | The Four Loves of JPII

Eric Mahl

Eric Mahl grew up in the small town of Monroeville, Ohio where he was a standout athlete. He earned a scholarship to play division one football at Kent State University and, in 2005, was signed by the Cleveland Browns. After leaving the NFL, he spent three years working and discerning his vocation. Following this period of discernment, he decided to part with all of his belongings so as to fully give himself to the Lord and live out the message of Divine Mercy. His journey led him to the shrine of Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts where he now lives, works, and prays in service with the Marian Missionaries of Divine Mercy.

Speaking
  • Wednesday July 27 | 2 - 3 pm (CET) | LEVEL B — Conference Room 1 | Be the Spark!
  • Friday July 29 | 12:45 - 1:45 pm (CET) | LEVEL B — Conference Room 1 | Be the Spark!

Leah Libresco

Leah Libresco was raised in an atheist household before graduating from Yale University in 2011 with a BA in political science. She gained notoriety as an atheist blogger who focused on such diverse topics as math and morality. She often wrestled with Catholic ideas, and her blog titled “Unequally Yoked” started as a place where she could interrogate and consider arguments raised by her then-boyfriend, a practicing Catholic. Readers were startled in June 2012 when Leah announced her conversion to Roman Catholicism. Leah has since been interviewed by CNN, MSNBC, and several other media outlets.

Speaking
  • Wednesday July 27 | 2 - 3 pm (CET) | LEVEL B — Restaurant | Faith as a Foreign Language: Learning to Pray as a Convert
  • Thursday July 28 | 12:45 - 1:45 pm (CET) | LEVEL B — Restaurant | Faith as a Foreign Language: Learning to Pray as a Convert
  • Leah Libresco and Fr. Dominic Verner, O.P. | Friday July 29 | 12:45 - 1:45 pm (CET) | LEVEL B — Restaurant | Navigating Conversations with your Non-Catholic Friends

Sr. Faustina Maria Pia, S.V.

Sister Faustina Maria Pia, S.V. earned a bachelor’s degree in human services from Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, and a nursing degree from Springfield Technical College in Massachusetts. She professed her first vows in the Sister of Life in August 2012 and is currently based in New York, having served as assistant to the director of postulants at St. Frances de Chantal Convent in the Bronx. Sister Faustina Pia has spoken at retreats and events on various topics, including the power of a woman's love, the beauty of a life consecrated to serving women in crisis, the transformative power of God's merciful love and the dignity of all human life, which was the topic of her Duke Catholic Center Lecture series.

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Sister Faustina Pia was raised in Somers, Conn. Among her seven siblings are a twin sister, Gertrude, and another sister who entered a religious order, Sr. Mareja, M.C., serving as a Missionary of Charity in Benin.

Speaking
  • Wednesday July 27 | 2-3 pm | LEVEL B — Vocations Café | Ocean of Mercy: Experiencing God's Love and Mercy
  • Friday July 29 | 2 -3pm (CET) | LEVEL B — Restaurant | Ocean of Mercy: Experiencing God's Love and Mercy

Vicki Thorn

Vicki Thorn, founder of the National Office for Post Abortion Reconciliation and Healing and Project Rachel, has for decades helped women to heal from broken relationships and the pain of abortion. A corresponding member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, her work has also led her to study current research about the biochemistry of sex and the effects of hormonal birth control. She has a degree in Psychology from the University of Minnesota, holds a certificate in Trauma Counseling from UWM and is a corresponding member of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

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A bereavement facilitator trained by the A.A.B and a prenatal loss facilitator certified by Resolve Through Sharing Prenatal Loss, Vicki has also written and spoken about the sociological changes in society since the 1960s, as well the stress of abortions and women in crisis pregnancies. She speaks on the topic of abortion's aftermath in women and men as well as the process of post-abortion healing throughout the world, and has spoken in Australia, Austria, the Bahamas, Chile, China, Curasol, England, France, Germany, Guam, Hong Kong, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Poland, Romania, Sardenia, Scotland, Slovakia and Ukraine.

Vicki and her husband, William, are the parents of six children and have 10 grandchildren. As a couple, they were inducted into the Pontifical Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre. She has received the People of Life Award from the Pro-Life Secretariat of the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops for her pro-life service to the Church.

Speaking
  • Wednesday July 27 | 2 - 3 pm (CET) | LEVEL 0 | The Biology of the Theology of the Body
  • Thursday July 28 | 12:45 - 1:45 pm (CET) | LEVEL B — Conference Room 1 | The Biology of the Theology of the Body
  • Friday July 29 | 2 - 3 pm (CET) | LEVEL B — Conference Room 1 | The Biology of the Theology of the Body

Archbishop Mieczysław Mokrzycki

Archbishop Mieczysław Mokrzycki of Lviv, Ukraine, studied theology at the Catholic University of Lublin and was ordained a priest in 1987. In 1991 he undertook pastoral work in Ukraine, earning a doctorate at the Angelicum University of Rome five years later. He worked as parochial vicar, secretary to the bishop, and as an official in the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. In 1996, he became personal secretary to Pope John Paul II; after the saint's death in 2005, Mokrzycki became secretary to Pope Benedict XVI, and was named coadjutor archbishop of Lviv in 2007. He was honoured by President Lech Kaczyński with the Polish Officer's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, for outstanding services to the Church in Poland.

Speaking
  • Wednesday July 27 | 5-6 pm (CET) | LEVEL 0 | He Liked Tuesdays Best: The Life of St. John Paul II

Fr. Dominic Verner, O.P.

Fr. Dominic Verner, O.P. graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Electrical Engineering, but left that profession behind to enter the Order of Preachers in 2010. He became a Dominican Friar to follow in the footsteps of St. Dominic, who was a brother to all and who was alive to the drama of salvation at work in every soul. Fr. Dominic has studied and written on the development of natural rights and has a special research interest in the roots of religious freedom in Christian revelation. Currently serving as assistant chaplain at Providence College, Fr. Dominic oversees the faith formation program on campus.

Speaking
  • Thursday July 28 | 12:45-1:45 pm (CET) | LEVEL B — Vocations Café | One Justice Under God: The Right to Hear the Gospel
  • Leah Libresco and Fr. Dominic Verner, O.P. | Friday July 29 | 12:45 - 1:45 pm (CET) | LEVEL B — Restaurant | Navigating Conversations with your Non-Catholic Friends

Scott and Annie Powell

Dr. Scott and Annie Powell are the founders and directors of Camp Wojtyla, a Catholic wilderness adventure camp in the Colorado Rockies. Annie is a professional outdoor educator with a Master's degree in Adventure Education and Outdoor Programming from Prescott College and has over 10 years of experience running Christian outdoor programs for youth. Scott is a seasoned Scripture professor who has been teaching the Bible to all ages for over a decade. He is the Director of the Aquinas Institute for Catholic Thought, an outreach to the University of Colorado, Boulder, and holds a Ph.D. in Catholic Studies from Liverpool Hope University in England.

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Dr. Scott and Annie Powell met while serving as missionaries with FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students). Their combined expertise and experience in ministry and education allows them to direct a program which integrates the truths of the Catholic faith with exciting outdoor adventures and incredible wilderness expeditions. Scott and Annie have two children, Lily and Samuel, who live out this mission with them.

Speaking
  • Thursday July 28 | 12:45 - 1:45 pm (CET) | OUTSIDE — Outdoor Stage | Marriage and the Gift of Self

Sister Gaudia Skass of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy

Sister Gaudia is a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, the same congregation to which St. Faustina Kowalska belonged. She joined the congregation after graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw in 2005. Working for the Faustinum Association at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Kraków, Sister Gaudia now frequently travels far from her native Poland, touring the world to speak about the message of the Divine Mercy given to St. Faustina. Sister Gaudia is a key member of the planning committee for World Youth Day 2016.

Speaking
  • Friday July 29 | 12:45 - 1:45 pm (CET) | LEVEL B — Vocations Café | Mercy and Happiness

Fr. Wilfred Raymond, C.S.C.

Father Wilfred (Willy) Raymond, C.S.C., a priest of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, is the President of Holy Cross Family Ministries and the former National Director of Family Theater Productions, a member of Holy Cross Family Ministries. Since September 2000, he has led the Catholic media ministry founded in Hollywood in 1947 by Servant of God Patrick Peyton who was known as the “Rosary priest” and the Catholic media pioneer. Family Theater Productions evangelizes culture using mass media to entertain, inspire and educate families, all to fulfill its famous motto, “The family that prays together stays together.”

Speaking
  • Friday July 29 | 12:45 - 1:45 pm (CET) | OUTSIDE — Small Arena Restaurant | Superheroes and Mercy

Breakouts

Wednesday, July 27

School of Mercy
Lunchtime Breakout Sessions

Pilgrims are encouraged to bring their lunch to one of the following locations to go deeper in their faith:

12:45 — 1:45 pm (CET)

LEVEL B — Conference Room 1: Fr. Manfred Deselaers - Understanding Auschwitz

LEVEL B — Conference Room 2: Jacqueline Isaac - The Persecuted Church in the Middle East

LEVEL B — Restaurant: George Weigel — The Souls of St. John Paul II

LEVEL B — Vocations Café: Teresa & Piotr Malecki — St. John Paul II and Srodowisko: Friendship with a Saint

LEVEL 0: Saint of the Day: St. Faustina Kowalska, Apostle of Divine Mercy

OUTSIDE — Small Arena Restaurant: Kathryn Jean Lopez — How to Defend the Faith without Raising Your Voice

OUTSIDE — Outdoor Stage: Jason & Crystalina Evert — Finding Your Soulmate without Losing Your Soul

2:00 — 3:00 pm (CET)

LEVEL B — Conference Room 1: Eric Mahl — Be the Spark!

LEVEL B — Conference Room 2: FOR LOVE ALONE (video) and Panel on the Vocation of a Religious Sister

LEVEL B — Restaurant: Leah Libresco - Faith as a Foreign Language: Learning to Pray as a Convert

LEVEL B — Vocations Café: Sr. Faustina Maria Pia, S.V. - Ocean of Mercy: Experiencing God's Love and Mercy

LEVEL 0 — Vicki Thorn — The Biology of the Theology of the Body

SMALL ARENA CHAPEL: Hour of Mercy: Adoration, Talk on Divine Mercy, and Chaplet

3:45 — 5:00 pm (CET)

Panel Discussion on Religious Liberty

5:00 — 6:30 pm (CET)

USCCB National Gathering: “Mercy in America” featuring prayer, music, and witness talks.

5:00 — 6:00 pm (CET)

LEVEL 0: Archbishop Mokrzycki — He Liked Tuesdays Best: the Life of St. John Paul II


Thursday, July 28

School of Mercy

Lunchtime Breakout Sessions

Pilgrims are encouraged to bring their lunch to one of the following locations to go deeper in their faith:

12:45 — 1:45 pm (CET)

LEVEL B — Conference Room 1: Vicky Thorn — The Biology of the Theology of the Body

LEVEL B — Conference Room 2: Jacqueline Isaac — The Persecuted Church in the Middle East

LEVEL B — Restaurant: Leah Libresco — Faith as a Foreign Language: Learning to Pray as a Convert

LEVEL B — Vocations Café: Fr. Dominic Verner, O.P. — One Justice Under God: the Right to Hear the Gospel

LEVEL 0 — Saint of the Day: Bro. Albert Chmielowski, Our God’s Brother

OUTSIDE — Small Arena Restaurant: Scott & Anna Powell — Marriage and the Gift of Self

OUTSIDE — Outdoor Stage: Jason Evert — The Five Loves of St. John Paul II

2:00 — 3:00 pm (CET)

LEVEL B — Conference Room 2: FOR LOVE ALONE (video) and Panel on the Vocation of a Religious Sister

SMALL ARENA CHAPEL: Hour of Mercy: Adoration, Talk on Divine Mercy, and Chaplet


Friday, July 29

School of Mercy

Lunchtime Breakout Sessions

Pilgrims are encouraged to bring their lunch to one of the following locations to go deeper in their faith:

12:45 — 1:45 pm (CET)

LEVEL B — Conference Room 1: Eric Mahl — Be the Spark!

LEVEL B — Conference Room 2: Jacqueline Isaac - The Persecuted Church in the Middle East

LEVEL B — Restaurant: Leah Libresco and Fr. Dominic Verner, O.P. — Navigating Conversations with Your Non-Catholic Friends

LEVEL B — Vocations Café: Sr. Gaudia Skass, O.L.M. - Mercy and Happiness

LEVEL 0: Saint of the Day: St. Maximilian Kolbe, Apostle of Consecration to Mary

OUTSIDE — Small Arena Restaurant: Fr. Willy Raymond, C.S.C. — Superheroes and Mercy

2:00 — 3:00 pm (CET)

LEVEL B — Conference Room 1: Vicky Thorn - The Biology of the Theology of the Body

LEVEL B — Conference Room 2: FOR LOVE ALONE (video) and Panel on the Vocation of a Religious Sister

LEVEL B — Restaurant: Sr. Faustina Maria Pia, S.V. - Ocean of Mercy: Experiencing God's Love and Mercy

SMALL ARENA CHAPEL: Hour of Mercy: Adoration, Talk on Divine Mercy, and Chaplet