AMRI pilgrim to carry Irish flag at World Youth Day in Lisbon

Ms Charlene Duff, travelling with the AMRI DCU young people’s group will carry the Irish flag at the opening ceremony of World Youth Day in Lisbon, at which Pope Francis will be present. The Pope has invited young people from all over the world to meet him in Lisbon. The theme for WYD is ‘Mary arose and went with haste’ (Luke 1:39). World Youth Day (WYD) takes place from 1-6 August 2023.

The Association of Missionaries and Religious of Ireland (AMRI) for the first time will lead a group of 40 young adults to WYD. This group comprises 10 nationalities, a combination of priests, religious sisters, missionaries studying and working in Ireland, and young adults from Dublin City University Inter-faith chaplaincy.

National pilgrimage coordinator, Mr Gerard Gallagher of AMRI says:

“It will be a very joyous occasion and a privilege to join with tens of thousands of young people from around the world to greet Pope Francis and be inspired by his deep faith and vision for peace, justice and care for our Earth.”

Ms Margaret Cartwright and Sr Eileen O’Connell OP (from AMRI-Vocations Ireland) will also lead the pilgrims. The group will be based in the Colegio do Bom Sucesso, where the Irish Dominican sisters were based for centuries. The group has benefited from great support from the Dominicans and their connections in Lisbon. The pilgrims will follow in the footsteps of many great Irish men and women who have lived and trained for ministry in Lisbon.

AMRI is also assisting a further 200 young pilgrims from religious orders and congregations and their youth groups to attend WYD. Many of these groups and their congregational leaders have collaborated in a series of ‘pastoral preparations’ online and in person meeting and praying in various churches around Dublin. The groups have also collaborated on safeguarding training, visa applications, registration of clergy and social media teams.

Travelling with AMRI are representatives from the following orders:

  • Dominican Brothers
  • Dominican Sisters
  • Carmelites
  • Capuchins
  • Missionary Sisters of Our Lady (OLA)
  • Missionary Sisters of St Thomas the Apostle
  • Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary. RSHM

Other congregations who will be also attending WYD include:

  • Irish Redemptorists
  • The Spiritans – Ireland schools
  • Holy Faith school
  • Daughters of Charity
  • Vincentian schools
  • Irish Franciscans
  • Oblates
  • Salesians
  • Jesuits Ireland
  • Bon Secours Sisters
  • Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
  • Friars & Sisters of the Renewal

Other highlights at a glance:

  • AMRI will collaborate in Lisbon with diocesan groups from Ireland to lead and animate a catechesis site in Colegio do Bom Sucesso.
  • One pilgrim from AMRI – Charlene Duff, from Portlaoise, travelling with DCU has been selected to carry the Irish Flag at the opening ceremony on 1 August in Lisbon
  • AMRI will lead a catechesis on 2nd August and also take part in the official evening prayer hosted by Ireland at 6pm, which will be led by Archbishop Francis Duffy (Tuam).
  • In total approximately 200 will travel to WYD with groups associated with AMRI.
  • Approximately 1400 will attend from Ireland
  • 12 Irish Bishops will attend WYD – including Bishop Alan McGuckian S.J. (Raphoe Diocese)
  • Margaret Cartwright (Vocations Ireland & AMRI) and Anne-Marie Whelan will also be present at the Vocations Fair in Lisbon


The AMRI group departs Dublin 31st July. They will meet at 1:30 at the Church in Dublin Airport for a short prayer blessing led by Margaret Cartwright Vocations Ireland and Fr Bryan Shortall OFM Cap group chaplain.

World Youth Days began in 1985 with the invitation to young people to meet with Pope John Paul II during International Youth Year in Rome. Since then WYD’s have taken place in many countries around the globe. Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis have continued this ‘encounter’ with young people.

AMRI is the representative and support organisation for the leaders of 146 Catholic religious orders, societies of apostolic life and missionary organisations.

For media enquiries email Gerard Gallagher – 087 2347220

Some pilgrims will publish blogs on

Photographs of pilgrims – and on AMRI Facebook Page.

AMRI WYD Press Release