Poland, U.S. working to ensure safety of World Youth Day pilgrims

IMAGE: CNS photo/courtesy WYD

By Dennis Sadowski

(CNS) — World Youth Day organizers in the United States and Poland remain in
touch with diplomatic and security officials in their respective countries to ensure
that pilgrims will remain safe during the festival of faith in late July.

is expected to be extremely tight in Krakow, Poland, the WYD host city, as
authorities in both countries work to prevent any incident that would threaten
visitors, said Paul
Jarzembowski, World Youth Day USA coordinator and assistant director of youth
and young adult ministries for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

He told
Catholic News Service current information indicates no threat to the
celebration, scheduled for July 26-31.

pilgrims’ families can be assured that we’re in regular communication with the
State Department, the organizers in Krakow and the Polish Embassy in the United
States,” Jarzembowski said.

can rest assured if they are vigilant and aware and up to date on the security
situation, that the U.S. and, most especially Poland, are doing everything they
can to assure their safety,” he added.

About 2
million people, including 30,000 Americans, are expected for the 14th
international gathering of young people to celebrate their Catholic faith.

USCCB will conduct a webinar on safety and security at 2 p.m. April 14. Information
is available at bit.ly/1UrnhZE.

office has devoted a section of its World Youth Day USA website to safety and
security. It details how the USCCB is partnering with other organizations to
address security concerns and offers tips on preparing for the trip, including
routine measures that travelers can take ahead of any international journey.

are also available on Facebook and on Twitter at @WYDUSA.

As the
host country, Poland is taking the lead on security arrangements, and local law enforcement
authorities have joined with the Polish military in planning for the influx of
visitors for months, Jarzembowski said.

don’t want to let fear dictate what we do with World Youth Day,”
he said.

cited the calls for prayers for peace from St. John Paul II at previous World Youth Day
events in the 1980s and 1990s when attacks by extremists posed similar concerns.

continue to meet and we continue to pray for peace and we continue to be bold by
stepping out and doing that,” Jarzembowski said.

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Note: Information about World Youth Day USA preparations is available online at

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Follow Sadowski on Twitter: @DennisSadowski.

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