YOUTH FESTIVAL BLOG: Saturday, 5 December

Day three of the Australian Catholic Youth Festival opened with morning plenary, where 3,000 Catholic Youth gathered for their last day of workshops and reflection. 

Many opportunities have been presented to young people throughout the festival allowing them to deepen their relationship with Jesus and empower them to be disciples in their own community. Melbourne Auxiliary Bishop, Mark Edwards OMI, sent the morning plenary a strong message of hope for that future journey, saying “Don’t be afraid to give your whole heart to the Lord”.

Musician and presenter, Steve Angrisano, gave Maitland-Newcastle youth another powerful take-home message, encouraging "Go make a difference - every encounter with every person is a chance to reflect God's love in what you do”. Angrisano's ability to share and connect with youth was evident by the crowd numbers his presentations attracted during the festival.

Director of Schools, Ray Collins, has also been moved and inspired by the festival, as students and teachers from across the diocese participated in a number of activities throughout the event. “I’ve never been more proud of a group of students from our schools as I have been here. Their involvement, participation, enthusiasm and joy has been evident right throughout,” said Mr Collins.

Maitland-Newcastle youth, John Leao, was enthused by the Muslim interfaith workshop, where he learned from a young woman about what it’s like being Muslim in today’s world. “It’s a blessing to have a Christian-Muslim relationship blossom,” said John. “Our faiths are very similar in parts. We all worship one God.” John is hopeful of building a better Australia and being the young Church of today and tomorrow, by fostering those interfaith relationships.

The Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle was again well represented today as Maryanne Hacker facilitated a lay and religious panel, while Bishop Bill Wright workshopped with attendees on ‘being a welcoming parish’.

The Maitland-Newcastle youth ended their visit to Adelaide by hitting the streets, post-event, to distribute over 40 breakfast packs to those less fortunate in the area. 

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God (Mt 5: 8)

Related articles: Blog: Day 1 | Blog: Day 2 Wrap Up: Mega Gallery

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Geri Williams

Geri Williams is the Online Communications and Brand Officer for the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. She is also a regular writer for Aurora Magazine.