U.S. Pilgrim Fiat Festival at World Youth Day to Be Livestreamed

FOCUS, Knights of Columbus and USCCB partner on Jan. 23 event featuring Cardinal O’Malley, Bps. Barron, Caggiano and Cepeda, Sr. Bethany Madonna S.V., Curtis Martin and others 

DENVER, Jan. 17, 2019 — The Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), Knights of Columbus and United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) are collaborating to host “Fiat,” a two-part festival event during the international World Youth Day (WYD) in Panama City, Panama, Jan. 23. 

Special guests include Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley O.F.M. Cap., Bishop José Arturo Cepeda, Bishop Edward Burns, Bishop Robert Barron, Bishop Frank Caggiano, Sr. Bethany Madonna S.V., Curtis Martin, Steve Angrisano, Iván Díaz, Sarah Kroger, the FOCUS Collective and Catholic young adults from across the U.S. who will share their faith stories. 

The name “Fiat” comes from this year’s WYD theme, Luke 1:38: “I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” 

Doors open at 1 p.m. ET for the free event at the Figali Convention Center in Panama City. Although coordinated with English-speaking pilgrims in mind, there will be bilingual aspects. The event is open to all WYD attendees. It is recommended for pilgrims to arrive early as space is limited. 

The inspirational talks will be livestreamed at https://www.facebook.com/focuscatholic/ at 3-5 p.m. and 7-10 p.m. ET (with a 5-7 p.m. break). The schedule includes the following lineup of speakers: 

·       2-5 p.m. ET: Welcome followed by panel and testimonies from Bishop Burns, Bishop Caggiano, Drew and Kim Rose Dillingham and Sarah Halweg, with music from PJ Anderson 

·       7-10 p.m. ET: Adoration with Praise and Worship music from Steve Angrisano and Iván Díaz, along with talks from Curtis Martin, Bishop Cepeda, Sr. Bethany Madonna, Bishop Barron and Cardinal O’Malley 

More than 30 college students from the U.S. will go on a FOCUS mission trip before WYD in remote Panama to bring the spirit of WYD to all corners of the country through fellowship and catechesis. The students will then go to Panama City to participate in WYD and help with the Fiat Festival. 

In total, more than 12,000 pilgrims from the United States accompanied by 32 U.S. bishops will be present at the international WYD events in Panama. Many groups are planning to attend the Fiat Festival. 

“We welcome all WYD pilgrims to both parts of this event to celebrate our common mission to strengthen our faith and the Church,” said Jeff Runyan, FOCUS’ senior director of International Relations. “FOCUS’ mission is to pursue greater intimacy with Christ and to share the Gospel with the world through friendship and community — which is the heart of this event.”  



The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is an assembly of the hierarchy of the United States and the U.S. Virgin Islands who jointly exercise certain pastoral functions on behalf of the Christian faithful of the United States. The purpose of the Conference is to promote the greater good which the Church offers humankind, especially through forms and programs of the apostolate fittingly adapted to the circumstances of time and place. This purpose is drawn from the universal law of the Church and applies to the episcopal conferences which are established all over the world for the same purpose. www.usccb.org

About the Knights of Columbus

The Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest Catholic service organization for adult men. The Knights serve communities on a local and global scale through many activities including coat drives for kids, Special Olympics, disaster preparedness and relief, and assisting people who are persecuted. 

They’re everyday people helping people every day. Whether it’s aiding the less fortunate, local volunteering, networking with others of shared values and beliefs, or participating in fun, family-inclusive events, the Knights of Columbus welcome and value Catholic men seeking community and ways to put their faith into action. www.kofc.org


The Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) was founded in 1998 and invites college students into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church, inspiring and equipping them for a lifetime of Christ-centered evangelization, discipleship and friendships in which they lead others to do the same. During the 2018 – 2019 academic year, nearly 700 missionaries are serving full-time on 153 college campuses, located across 42 U.S. states and at five international locations. Tens of thousands of students have been involved with FOCUS, who after graduation have the opportunity to move into parish life to continue their missionary work. Among these FOCUS Alumni, 732 have made decisions to pursue Catholic religious vocations. By 2022, FOCUS expects — God willing — to have 75,000 students transitioned into many of America’s 17,000+ Catholic parishes. FOCUS missionaries are typically recent college graduates who devote two or more years of their post-collegiate lives to reach out to peers on campus. www.focus.org

FOCUS On-site Contact at WYD: Angela Wasko, 515-890-9057, [email protected]