Think “Coachella meets St. Peter’s Square.”

That’s how one participant from the Diocese of San Diego described World Youth Day, where hundreds of thousands are expected to join Pope Francis in Lisbon, Portugal, from Aug. 1 to 6.

The diocesan Office for Youth and Young Adult Ministry will be leading its own delegation of 25 young adults. It will be led by the office’s director, Maricruz Flores, and one of its associate directors, Brilema Perez.

The other associate director, Evelyn Beale, who joined the office’s staff in early June, will also be attending World Youth Day, but as a member of an international group sponsored by Bon Secours Young Adults and Maryknoll Young Adults.

Various local parishes will be sending their own groups of pilgrims, including Santa Sophia Parish in Spring Valley, with a group of 35; St. James Parish in Solana Beach and its St. Leo Mission with 15 and 22, respectively; St. Patrick Parish in Carlsbad, with 16; and St. Pius X Parish in Chula Vista with six.

St. Augustine High School will have a 40-member delegation, and the University of San Diego will be sending a group of 11.

Cardinal Robert McElroy will also be heading to Lisbon, where he will celebrate Mass on Wednesday, Aug. 2, for pilgrims from his diocese.

Before their departure, all San Diego-area pilgrims are invited to a Commissioning Mass celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Ramón Bejarano. About 150 people are expected to attend the Mass, which will be celebrated at 7 p.m., Tuesday, July 25, in the diocesan Pastoral Center’s chapel….

From the Southern Cross