A pilgrimage to celebrate World Youth Day,
with the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis.
Held every three years, World Youth Day is a chance for youth and young adults to gather and celebrate our one, universal Church.
Dates of this pilgrimage are:
Sunday, January 20 - Tuesday, January 29, 2019 - 10 Days/8 Nights
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 (January 28) - 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.
Package Itinerary - Sunday, January 20 - Tuesday, January 29, 2019
Day 1: Meet the group in St. Paul and overnight bus to Chicago (meeting time and location TBD)
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.
Day 9: Visit the Gamboa Rainforest Resort
- An opportunity to "play and pray" in the jungle as we will drive out to the Gamboa Rainforest Resort. Activities include an aerial tram ride, a boat ride, Mass, and more! A perfect way to conclude a beautiful week!
Day 10: Return flight from Panamá City to Chicago and bus to St. Paul (return time and location TBD).
Space is limited to 30 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 $205/person)*
- Visit to Miraflores Panamá Canal Visitors Center, 3-hour city tour given by local guide, and attendance at the Gamboa Rainforest Rally
- All entrance fees, activities, and tours
- Round-trip airfare from Chicago O'Hare to Panamá City (estimated at $1000/person)*
- Round-trip, motor coach transfer to/from St. Paul area to Chicago O'Hare
- Airport/hotel transfers
- 8 nights accommodations in 4-star hotel property in 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, lunch and dinner 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, and drinks at meals
- 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 package (January 20-29, 2019) is estimated at $3,499 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
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 St. Paul and Minneapolis, in coordination with Verso Ministries.
Who can participate?
The pilgrimage is open to young adults, youth (must turn 16 during the calendar year of 2019), and chaperones.
Families are also welcome to register. Children under 16 must be accompanied by at least one parent or legal guardian.
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.
- Following registration, please submit the following items to the Verso Ministries office within one week's time. Email completed materials to email@example.com or mail to P.O. Box 986, Notre Dame, IN 46556.
- Deposit - $500 due upon registration
- Second payment - Due by July 1, 2018 - $750 per person
- Third payment - Due by August 15, 2018 - $750 per person
- Final balance - Due by October 1, 2018
- Invoices will be emailed 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 June 1, 2018: $500 per person
- On or after June 1, 2018, through July 31: $750 per person
- On or after August 1, 2018, through September 30: $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?
Pricing assumes a minimum of 30 guaranteed pilgrims. Pricing may be subject to adjustment for a different size group.
*Also, 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.