KRAKÓW, Poland, July 25, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Two of the major themes of Kraków's history are Divine Mercy and religious freedom. Both of these themes – along with others – will be highlighted during World Youth Day 2016 at the Knights of Columbus-sponsored Mercy Centre at Tauron Arena Kraków, which serves as World Youth Day's international English-language catechetical and youth festival site.
Programming begins Tuesday, July 26, at 12:00 p.m. CET with the Kraków "City of Saints" Panel Reflection featuring George Weigel, John Paul II biographer and senior Vatican analyst for NBC News; Basilian Father Thomas Rosica, CEO of Salt + Light Television and English language assistant to the Holy See Press Office; and Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, superior general of the Sisters of Life. The relics of Kraków's five most renowned saints, including World Youth Day patrons St. John Paul II and St. Faustina, will be made available for veneration prior to the panel reflection.
Catechesis sessions from July 27-29 will include personal witnesses on the beauty and sacredness of married love and "School of Mercy" breakout sessions during lunch, led by prominent Catholic speakers.
A panel discussion on the global state of religious freedom at 3:45 p.m. CET leads Wednesday evening's programing, closing with the Night of Mercy celebration.
Kraków provides a fitting backdrop for the religious freedom panel, July 27. In the 20th century, Kraków suffered through both Nazi and Soviet domination. It was ground zero for the Holocaust, and witnessed persecution of the Catholic Church by both totalitarian regimes as well. Panelists on this topic will include: Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, who has served as the chair of the U.S. Bishops' Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty; George Weigel; and Vice President of the humanitarian NGO, Roads of Success, Jacqueline Isaac, who will share stories from her visit to war-torn Iraq. An American of Egyptian descent, Isaac has spent more than a decade advocating for the rights of minorities and women across the Middle East, and recently testified before the U.K. Parliament and U.S. Congress.
The Night of Mercy celebration features Bishop Robert Barron, auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles and founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries; Joel Stepanek, director of resource development for Life Teen International; and eight-time Grammy nominee Matt Maher and Dove Award nominee Audrey Assad. The festival closes out with the musical performance, CREDO: I Believe in Mercy, by the Cenacolo Community, a group of young people who have experienced God's mercy through freedom from addiction.
"We are pleased to be able to provide this center and its quality programming for the many English-language pilgrims coming to World Youth Day in Kraków," said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. "Our hope is that those who come to this site will grow in their faith in a way that helps shape the rest of their lives."
All main stage events at the Mercy Centre at Tauron Arena Kraków will be broadcast through livestream and made available at wydenglishsite.org. For more information, please view online program details.
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SOURCE Knights of Columbus