A pilgrimage to celebrate World Youth Day,
with the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.
Held every three years, World Youth Day is a chance for youth and young adults to gather and celebrate our one, universal Church.
Please note! Dates for this pilgrimage have changed!
The updated dates of this pilgrimage are:
Sunday, January 20 - Tuesday, January 29, 2019 - 10 Days/9 Nights ("Core Package")
Wednesday, January 23 - Wednesday, January 30, 2019 - 8 Days/7 Nights ("Papal Package")
What you will experience
- Highlights of Panamá's Pilgrimage Sites - Visit Panamá's most sacred sights, many built centuries ago. Explore the Old City and discover the Church in Panamá.
- WYD Events (January 22-25) - Experience one-of-a-kind World Youth Day events like the Papal arrival and Stations of the Cross with the Holy Father. Also explore mini-concerts and other performances held throughout the city.
- Three-Day Catechesis (January 23-25) - Attend morning catechetical sessions given by Catholic leaders and speakers. These sessions include music, talks, testimonies, performances, and liturgies. Many Catholic "celebrities" like Bishop Robert Barron or Matt Maher are typically there!
- Overnight Vigil and Closing Mass (January 26-27) - Pray with millions (yes, literally millions!) of pilgrims from all over the world. It's anticipated that Pope Francis will preside!
- Gamboa Rainforest Resort (January 28) - Conclude the week as you "pray and play" in the jungle as we travel to the Gamboa Rainforest Resort for a day of activities. An aerial tram ride, boat ride, Mass, and other activities planned! A perfect way to close out the week together.
There are 2 itineraries available for the World Youth Day pilgrimage. Option 1 is the "Core Package" which includes a full week of World Youth Day activities. Option 2 is the "Papal Package" which includes the weekend highlights at the end of World Youth Day. Please see below for the tentative itineraries for both packages.
Core Package Itinerary - Sunday, January 20 - Tuesday, January 29, 2019
Day 1: Meet the group at a central location in Indianapolis. Bus to Chicago O'Hare.
Day 2: Flight to Panamá City, Panamá. Check into hotel and explore the city as time allows.
Day 3: Visit and tour of the Old City. Opening Mass in the afternoon, presided by the local Bishop.
- Cathedral Basilica of St. Mary - “Catedral Metropolitana”: The Cathedral Basilica of St. Mary is one of five basilicas in Panamá and is the seat of the Archdiocese. The Cathedral is located in the Casco Viejo (Spanish for Old Quarter) and took over 100 years to build. It was consecrated in 1796.
- Minor Basilica of Don Bosco: This church is one of the most visited pilgrimage sites in Panamá. It features a casket and figure containing a relic of the Italian Saint Don Bosco, who is a patron saint of young people. On January 31st of each year (Bosco’s feast day), a special procession is held through the streets of the city.
- National Shrine of the Immaculate Heart of Mary: The National Shrine of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is run by Claretian Missionaries who have been in Panamá for nearly 100 years living out their lives sharing the Gospel with people of central America. One of the biggest and most active parishes in all of Panamá.
- Church of San José: Located in Casco Viejo, this church houses the “Golden Altar,” the only surviving relic from the destruction of Panamá Viejo.
- Church of Saint Francis of Assisi: Also located in Casco Viejo, this church is small, but beautiful, and it sits right on the water. It contains architectural influences from the Gothic, Romantic, and Renaissance periods.
Day 4: Morning catechesis and WYD events.
- Morning catechesis - All throughout the city at different "language centers," various Catholic leaders and speakers will offer talks and liturgies highlighting a variety of topics relevant to young people. We attend the English-speaking sessions with pilgrims from the U.S., Canada, Australia, the UK, and more!
- WYD events - Each day and evening there are a variety of smaller concerts, prayer services, liturgies, and events going on at different locations.
Day 5: Morning catechesis, WYD events, and Papal arrival in the afternoon.
Day 6: Morning catechesis, WYD events, and Stations of the Cross in the evening with the Holy Father.
Day 7: Walk to the Vigil site and evening Vigil with the Holy Father.
Day 8: Closing Mass with the Holy Father, announcement of next WYD host country. Farewell celebration at the Miraflores Panamá Canal Visitor's Center (tentative).
Day 9: Pray and play in the jungle as we travel to the Gamboa Rainforest Resort for a day of activities. An aerial tram ride, boat ride, Mass, and other activities planned.
Day 10: Return flight from Panamá City to Chicago O'Hare. Bus to Indianapolis.
Papal Package Itinerary - Wednesday, January 23 - Wednesday, January 30, 2019
Day 1: Meet at a central location in Indianapolis. Bus to Chicago O'Hare.
Day 2 (same as Day 5 of Core Package): Overnight flight to Panamá City, Panamá. Arrive early morning and, time permitting, attend morning catechesis, WYD events, and Papal arrival in the afternoon.
Day 3 (same as Day 6 of Core Package): Morning catechesis, WYD events, and Stations of the Cross in the evening with the Holy Father.
Day 4 (same as Day 7 of Core Package): Walk to the Vigil site and evening Vigil with the Holy Father.
Day 5 (same as Day 8 of Core Package): Closing Mass with the Holy Father, announcement of next WYD host country. Farewell celebration at the Miraflores Panamá Canal Visitor's Center (tentative).
Day 6 (same as Day 9 of Core Package): Pray and play in the jungle as we travel to the Gamboa Rainforest Resort for a day of activities. An aerial tram ride, boat ride, Mass, and other activities planned.
Day 7 (same as Day 10 of Core Package): Free morning to explore Panamá City. Late afternoon return flight from Panamá City to Chicago. Overnight bus ride to Indianapolis.
Day 8: Arrive Indianapolis (early morning).
Please note that these are tentative itineraries and are subject to change.
Space is limited to 50 participants. Register today to ensure your spot!
Pilgrimage package includes:
- Pilgrimage preparation and follow-up materials
- A dedicated pilgrimage guide who will accompany the group in Panamá
- WYD Registration fees (estimated at $300/person)*
- Visit to Miraflores Panamá Canal Visitors Center
- All entrance fees, activities, and tours
- Round-trip airfare from Indianapolis to Panamá City (estimated at $1000/person)*
- Airport/hotel transfers
- Accommodations in 4-star hotel property (Core Package ) or 3-star hotel property (Papal Package) with double-occupancy rooms, including taxes (with option to upgrade to single-occupancy or elect triple/quad occupancy)
- Bellman and chambermaid gratuities
- Breakfast daily at hotel
- During WYD (Days 3-8 of Core Package and Days 2-5 of Papal Package), most meals provided with WYD voucher system
- Farewell celebration dinner
- If possible, WYD registration materials and backpack pick-up
* Final prices for flights and WYD registration fees have not yet been determined. Final pricing will be dependent on final airfare and WYD registration costs.
Pilgrimage does not include:
- Passport, visa, or luggage fees
- Any personal purchases
- Meals while traveling, as well as some lunches and dinners
- Recommended travel insurance (optional add-on)
- Gratuities for guide(s) and driver(s)
- Anything else not explicitly stated as included
Registration is now open!
Cost of the Core Package (January 20-29, 2019) is estimated at $3,299 per person.
- Single-occupancy supplement for Core Package (limited availability): $969
- Triple-occupancy for Core Package: Save $75
- Quad-occupancy for Core Package: Save $150
Cost of the Papal Package (January 23-30, 2019) is estimated at $2,619 per person.
- Single-occupancy supplement for Papal Package: Not available
- Triple-occupancy for Papal Package: Save $50
- Quad-occupancy for Papal Package: Save $100
Please note that singles, triples, and quads are all subject to availability. If you are a single traveler, or a group of 2 or 3 and would like to find a roommate, we will do our best to match you with another roommate. If you elect triple/quad occupancy but we cannot find you a roommate, you would be charged the double-occupancy rate. If you are a single traveler and we cannot find you a roommate, you would be required to pay the single-occupancy supplement for a single room.
This trip is being organized by the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and Verso Ministries.
How old do I have to be to participate?
The pilgrimage is open to young adults, youth (juniors and seniors in high school at the time of travel), and chaperones.
How do I register?
- Register online now or call us at (574) 383-9396.
- For your convenience, registration can be made online and the $500 deposit can be made with a credit card or debit card.
- Deposit - $500 due upon registration (priority deadline is February 1, 2018)
- Second payment - Due by April 1, 2018 - $750 per person
- Third payment - Due by July 1, 2018 - $750 per person
- Final balance - Due by October 1, 2018
- Invoices will be emailed in March, June, and September for the final three payments. The final three payments (not the deposit) may be paid by electronic bank transfer, check, or money order. Debit/credit cards are accepted but our payment processor charges a 3.5% fee to process.
- Late payments may be subject to a $150 late fee.
Please note: Payment plans can be arranged if needed. Please contact us if you would like to pay in several installments.
How do I pay?
- During registration, the $500 deposit can be paid online with a credit card or debit card.
- The final payments may be paid check, money order, or electronic bank transfer for no fee. If you wish to pay the remaining balance by credit card, a 3.5% payment processing fee will be added to the final balance. Checks and money orders can be made payable to "Verso Ministries LLC".
- Payments can be mailed to:
- Verso Ministries LLC
- P.O. Box 986
- Notre Dame, IN 46556
- Payments can be mailed to:
Registration is open until filled. If space is still available, registrations may be made at any time.
Late registrations made after October 1, 2018, must be paid in full and include the $150 late fee. Registrations made after this date also may be subject to an alternate pilgrimage cost depending on flight availability. Please contact us directly if you have any questions.
What is your cancellation policy?
The $500 pilgrimage deposit is non-refundable. Cancellations are possible at any time, but refunds are subject to cancellation fees at the rates listed here.
- Cancellation after deposit and before April 1, 2018: $500 per person
- On or after April 1, 2018, through June 30: $750 per person
- On or after July 1, 2018, through September 31: $1,500 per person
- On or after October 1, 2018: Entire fee
Any cancellation charges incurred from other supplies or vendors (flight, lodging, ground transportation, etc.) may come in addition to the administrative fees listed above. Cancellation fees are for individual pilgrims.
Why is this is an "estimated" final package price?
Flight pricing will not be available from the airlines until late February and WYD registration costs are not yet released. Therefore, the package pricing is estimated to include $1,000 per person in airfare and $300 in WYD registration fees. Our final pricing will adjust once airfare and WYD registration fees are confirmed. If prices are higher than anticipated, the final package fee will increase. At the same time, if prices are lower than estimated, the package price will decrease.
Pricing also assumes a minimum of 35 guaranteed pilgrims. Pricing may be subject to adjustment for a different size group.
*Please note: Final airline taxes and fees may fluctuate until flights are ticketed (about 30 days prior to departure). Any excess fees levied by the airlines beyond the original total price at time of booking will be the responsibility of each pilgrim.
If you have any questions about pricing and when final pricing decisions will be communicated, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.