Given the proximity, Bishop Bill is hoping that a 500 strong contingent from the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle will participate.
“The ACYF is a wonderful opportunity for young people from our region to experience faith formation in a new way, to gather with thousands of others their own age and to be empowered to be Christ’s disciples in the world today. I encourage our schools and parishes to support the Festival and help as many young people as possible to attend,” said Bishop Bill.
In order to optimise the experience of the Festival for attendees, the diocese has appointed a Steering Committee to oversee the local organisation.
Baden Ellis is Chair of the Steering Committee and Diocesan Festival Co-ordinator. Baden is Deputy Chair of the Diocesan Council for Ministry with Young People (DCMYP) and has attended a number of World Youth Days and the previous two Australian Catholic Youth Festivals.
Maryanne Hacker is the Head of Human Resources on the Committee and will look after child protection, risk assessment, critical incident management and group leader liaison. Maryanne is Secretary of the DCMYP and has also attended multiple WYDs and Festivals.
James Elliott is Head of Registrations on the Committee and will look after registrations, code of conduct and risk assessment. James is Chair of the DCMYP and is another WYD veteran.
Fr Greg Barker is Head of Chaplaincy for the Committee and will lead a group of Chaplains attending the Festival from our diocese. Fr Greg is also a member of the DCMYP and has attended many World Youth Days. Fr Greg will be responsible for the spiritual wellbeing of participants as well as formation prior to the Festival.
Sam Hill will act as Parish Liaison on the Committee and will be responsible for providing parishes with information and gaining their support, organising for past Festival participants to speak at Masses and recruiting group leaders from parishes. Sam is a member of the DCMYP and has attended past Festivals.
Brad Fuller will act as CSO Liaison on the Committee and will be responsible for providing schools with information and gaining their support, organising for past Festival participants to speak at assemblies and recruiting group leaders from schools. Brad is an Education Officer in the RE & Spirituality Team in the Catholic Schools Office.
Jo Isaac will act as Head of Promotions and will be responsible for promoting the Festival throughout the diocese, as well as reporting on the Festival in December. Jo attended WYD last year.
Shaun Serafin is Head of Finance for the Committee and will look after registration payments, expenses, budgeting and invoicing. Shaun has attended past Festivals and is Treasurer of the DCMYP.
Brooke Robinson is the Diocesan Support Officer on the Committee and will provide all administrative support. Brooke has attended both the ACYF and WYD previously and will also assist in reporting on the event in December. Brooke is also a member of the DCMYP.
The Festival is open to people from Year 9 to 30 years. You can register now at www.mn.catholic.org.au/acyf
If you would like to know more about the Festival you can email Youth.Festival@mn.catholic.org.au and a member of the Steering Committee will get back to you. People over the age of 30 interested in being a Group Leader at the Festival are also welcome to get in touch with the Committee to register their interest and find out more. Please like MNnews today on Facebook to keep up-to-date with everything ACYF as the year progresses.