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 The list of parishes in the diocese that will be sending pilgrims includes: St. Paul the Apostle, Chino Hills, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Ontario, St. Joseph, Upland, St. Christopher, Moreno Valley, St. Catherine of Siena, Rialto, St. Catherine of Alexandria, Riverside, St. Andrew Newman Center, Riverside, St. Mel, Norco, St. Louis, Cathedral City, Sacred Heart, Palm Desert, Our Lady of Soledad, Coachella, St. Anthony, Riverside, Our Lady of the Desert, Apple Valley, Holy Innocents, Victorville, and St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, Yucaipa. This covers all six vicariates of the Diocese.

 “[I’m looking forward to] praying the rosary in different languages from people all over the world because it reminds us that we are a community of one,” said St. Catherine of Siena parishioner Raymond Palacios, who will be traveling to Rio for World Youth Day.

 In addition, 6 priests, 2 deacons and 4 seminarians will be traveling with the diocesan group organized by Kathy Cho, Director of the Ministry with Youth Office, in collaboration with Father Paul Schmidt, SVD, Chaplain at Notre Dame High School in Riverside, who has participated in the World Youth Days in Rome 2000, Toronto 2002, Cologne 2005, Sydney 2008, and Madrid 2011.

 “The engaging authenticity of Pope Francis has made a vivid impression on our young people,” said Fr. Schmidt. “It will be a historic encounter with someone who embodies the spirituality characteristic of Latin America that owes much to the refreshing influence of St. Francis of Assisi, St. Ignatius, and their followers.”

 There are pilgrims joining the Diocese of San Bernardino group from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, California; Archdiocese of Seattle, Washington; and Diocese of Phoenix, Arizona. Father Matt Lowry, Chaplain at Northern Arizona University’s Holy Trinity Catholic Newman Center in Flagstaff is bringing nine students to join the Diocese of San Bernardino group.

 Pope John Paul II initiated World Youth Day in 1986 as a way to reach out to young Catholics. It is celebrated in the Diocese of Rome every Palm Sunday. Internationally it is celebrated in different cities around the world every two or three years. The last international World Youth Day was celebrated in Madrid in August 2011. In 1993, it was celebrated in Denver. Other international World Youth Days have been held in Buenos Aires, Argentina (1987); Santiago de Compostela, Spain (1989); Czestochowa, Poland (1991); Manila, Philippines (1995); Paris, France (1997); Rome, Italy (2000); Toronto, Canada (2002); Cologne, Germany (2005); and Sydney, Australia (2008).