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World Youth Day Update 

In just about one year, we will be on our way to WYD Lisbon! In fact, if your group is going to be participating in Days in the Diocese, you will already be in Portugal one year from now!  After such a long time since WYD Panama 2019, at long last it is starting to feel like this is really going to be taking place!

Group Air request to Lisbon – We are in very close proximity to the timeframe to request air to Lisbon for WYD.  Each airline has a different policy in terms of when the air is released.  We are fortunate to have a great relationship with most carriers to Europe, Air Portugal (TAP) being one of them. We have been in discussions with TAP for the last several years regarding WYD and they have been using us a “bouncing board” of group policies.  Despite our pleas for “flexibility” they have had to be a bit firm in the policies based on the expected demand that they will have for their flights to Lisbon and the fact that they use smaller planes.  Also, TAP is limiting the number of seats per flight for WYD groups so we will as well.     

With that said, there are other airlines that we will be using, however, regardless of airline, we will need to request the appropriate number of seats for each flight and thus, each seat will require a deposit. Because of this, it is very important that we have the close estimate of your needs for your group, and as important will be the deposit for each seat. We do not need the names at this point; however it will be important to have an idea of how many you need, think you will need, or hope to get.   

THIS WYD HAS BEEN A CHALLENGEThere is no way to get around the fact that this WYD has been huge challenge at every turn!  From the delay in announcing the dates, to the delay due to COVID, to the travel and uncertainty that COVID has created, to the uncertainty with Ukraine, and now the economic crunch and looming recession that we hear about. The challenges have been on both sides-working with vendors and ever- changing policies on our end, and trying to get pilgrims to register on your end.  Any previous experience and understanding of WYD preparations are out the window as our primary objective has had to shift to being as flexible and easy to work with as possible.   Knowing it is hard to get pilgrims to sign up, we have not required any minimum, we are doing all we can to avoid or minimize penalties, adjust payment policies, and whatever we can to help groups recruit pilgrims.  In doing so, we have had to also ask for flexibility as we work with a number of hotels that want deposits and do have strict policies.  As we narrow down the number of pilgrims from each group, we will then begin the process of assigning the hotels.  In both the case of the air space and the hotels, the only way we can guarantee anything is if there are deposits in place with us as we cannot risk holding considerable additional air space or hotel rooms with the possibility of not having them filled and the risk of penalties on it.   

 The point of all this, is that we have done what we can to be flexible in terms and conditions and will continue to do so, however, if it is your intent to travel with us, and you have not submitted any deposits or registrations, we will need to discuss your intent as we will not have the ability to hold any space without deposits.   If there is interest at a later time, we can definitely research what is available and reprice it accordingly. 
Thank you for your understanding on this as we are now at the most critical planning phase of WYD Lisbon.  We are excited about this pilgrimage and what lies ahead and hoping that all of you will have excited pilgrims to join!

We are also in the process of planning several WYD DOSA Fundraisers. If you have registered a delegation, you will receive an email this week as we are looking for venues and would love to be able to utilize our parishes attending WYD.  We will also need to know how many pilgrims will be participating in the Camino by Friday, August 12th. 

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