Quite often when people hear about ACYF they think that all you do is pray. You are encouraged to pray, but at the same time you learn more about yourself. Everyone greets you with a smile and you immediately feel welcomed. You’re able to interact with young people of like mind, make friendships with people from all around Australia and learn about how your faith really affects the person you are.
In the closing Mass, a particular student leaned over and touched my shoulder. He had a big smile on his face and tears in his eyes. This student is not Catholic, yet he was moved by the power of prayer in the room. He felt the presence of something greater than ourselves.
The students in my group found the workshops and plenary sessions engaging and useful. They were able to relate them to the subjects they were studying for their HSC but also to their personal lives.
The music was exceptional and everyone loved dancing and singing along. It was one big celebration because we were all there due to a common theme: our faith.
I think the most valuable thing about attending the Festival is learning about yourself. Taking students along to the Festival and seeing their growth in just a few days is remarkable. You learn so much about yourself and you will find that you will have a different outlook on life. The things that used to worry you won’t anymore! You will learn how to deal with things and how to embrace your faith.
The experience in Sydney with 15,000 people participating will be absolutely amazing, with 15,000 people who are there because they are like you. 15,000 people who share the same interests you do. 15,000 people are there because their faith matters to them.
Join the Australian Catholic Youth Festival Maitland-Newcastle Group, 7-10 December 2017. Registrations are now open.