The Year of Youth invites the Church into discussion about the importance and dynamic presence of young people − in the Church and society. It aims to generate dialogue and active engagement on the reconnection and renewal of a new generation of young people in the life of the Church.
The Year of Youth’s aims are:
- To discern prayerfully the Australian Bishops’ vision for ministry with young people, Anointed and Sent;
- Authentic and personal engagement by Church leaders in the challenges and success in young people’s lives;
- To acknowledge the Holy Spirit at work in the lives of young people, and young people acting under the influence of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church; and
- To uphold the dignity of young people, ensuring an environment safe from physical, emotional and spiritual harm.
The Year of Youth fittingly begins with the Australian Catholic Youth Festival in Sydney, 7-9 December 2017.
The theme for this year’s festival is Open New Horizons for Spreading Joy: Young people, faith and vocational discernment. The theme draws inspiration from Pope Francis’ address to young people at the Vigil at World Youth Day in Krakow, 2016. Pope Francis continues to challenge young people of the world to boldly engage with their faith, their relationship with Jesus and the world, and “the God who encourages us to devise an economy marked by greater solidarity than our own. In all the settings in which you find yourselves, God’s love invites you to bring the Good News, making of your own lives a gift to him and to others. This means being courageous, this means being free!”