'Mary arose and went with haste' (Luke 1:39)

We are delighted to welcome you to this Youth Section of the Meath Diocesan Website. Our main focus will be the World Youth Day 2023 taking place in Lisbon, Portugal. Since the Great Jubilee Year 2000 young people from across the diocese have undertaken pilgrimages to the world gatherings in Rome, Toronto, Cologne, Sydney and Krakow. Now Bishop Tom looks forward to joining with many young people (ages 18-35) from as many parishes as possible to fly the flag for Ireland and participate in the week long events celebrating World Youth Day 2023 1st -6th August.


What is World Youth Day?

World Youth Day (WYD) is the gathering of young people from all over the world with the Pope. It is also a pilgrimage, a celebration of youth, an expression of the universal Church and an intense moment of evangelization for young adults. Although its Catholic identity is clearly evident, WYD opens its doors to everyone, no matter how close to or distant from the Church they are.  

It is celebrated at the diocesan level on The Feast of Christ the King at the end of November each year, and every two, three or four years as an international gathering in a city chosen by the Pope, with the presence of the Holy Father. It brings together millions of young people to celebrate their faith and sense of belonging to the Catholic Church.   

Since its first edition in Rome in 1984, World Youth Day has proven to be a laboratory of faith, a field of new friendships sown, a place of birth for vocations to marriage and consecrated life, and an instrument for the evangelization and transformation of the Church.  

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


«Mary arose and went with haste» (Lk 1:39) is the bible quote chosen by Pope Francis as the motto of the World Youth Day that will be held for the first time in the capital city of Lisbon, Portugal. The quote from the Gospel of St. Luke, opens the account of the Visitation, a biblical episode following the Annunciation (the angel’s announcement to Mary that she would be the mother of the Son of God, and the theme of the last WYD, in Panama).  

Mary of Nazareth is the great figure of the Christian journey. She teaches us to say yes to God. She was the protagonist of the last edition of WYD and will be so once again in Lisbon. 

In the biblical episode of the Visitation, the action of standing up presents Mary as both a woman of charity and a missionary woman. Leaving in haste represents the attitude depicted in Pope Francis’ indications for WYD Lisbon 2023: «may young people’s evangelization be active and missionary, for this is how they will recognize and witness the presence of the living Christ». 

Addressing young people in particular, and challenging them to be courageous missionaries, the following was written by the Pope in Christus Vivit:  « Where does Jesus send us? There are no borders, no limits: he sends us everywhere. The Gospel is for everyone, not just for some ».   


Official Prayer

Our Lady of the Visitation, you who arose and went with haste towards the mountain to meet Elizabeth, lead us also to meet all those who await us to deliver them the living Gospel: Jesus Christ, your Son and our Lord! 

We will go in a hurry, with no distraction or delay, but with readiness and joy. We will go peacefully, because those who take Christ take peace, and welldoing is the best wellbeing.

Our Lady of the Visitation, with your inspiration, this World Youth Day will be the mutual celebration of the Christ we take, as You once did. Make it a time of testimony and sharing, fraternization, and giving thanks, each of us looking for the others who always wait.

With you, we will continue on this path of gathering, so that our world will gather as well, in fraternity, justice and peace. Help us, Our Lady of the Visitation, to bring Christ to everyone, obeying the Father, in the love of the Spirit! 

See www.lisboa2023.org and follow what’s happening in Lisbon, at the Vatican and for the youth around the world who eagerly anticipate the World Youth Day 2023

What Happens?

Over the course of a week, young people from all over the world are welcomed, mainly in public (gymnasiums, schools, pavilions …) and parish facilities or family homes. In addition to the moments of prayer, sharing and leisure, the young people enrolled in this celebration participate in various initiatives organized by the WYD team, in different locations across the host city. The highlights are the celebrations (central features) for which the Pope is present, such as the welcoming and opening ceremony, the Way of the Cross, the vigil and, on the last day, the closing mass. 

Book Now!

To book your place please contact the Diocesan WYD committee at meathyouth@gmail.com Also check out our Facebook and Instagram. Over the weeks ahead we will be posting lots more about our preparations and events for you to meet others getting ready for WYD’23. Come on and join with us on this Journey of Joy in the Lord Jesus Christ.


Meet The Team

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Sr. Kelly Francis CFR

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Fr. Kevin Heery

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Frances Cunningham

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Fr. Mark English

Aimee Battersby

Fr. Fergal Cummins

Sr. Agnes CFR

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Oisín Walsh

Stephen Browne