The Australia Catholic Youth Festival will feature a variety of activities such as plenary sessions, workshops, dialogue spaces, prayer experiences, live music, social justice activities and much more.
Highlights from the festival will include international singers Matt Maher, Steve Angrisano and Emily Wilson will be performing, as well as Fr Rob Galea, Gary Pinto, Emmanuel Worship and Genevieve Bryant.
ACYF has proven to be an excellent experience for young people who have attended the festival in previous years. Ambassador for the festival, James Bertalli, aspires to be a 2020 Paralympian and is proud to promote ACYF after great experiences at previous ACYF events.
“I wasn’t quite sure what it was all about and I was quite uncomfortable about going because I’d never done anything like this before,” he says. “But before long, I’d met some people from my own diocese who were there and I went to a lot of the rallies and talks and I really enjoyed it. If I hadn’t gone to that, I wouldn’t be where I am now with my faith.”
Ashleigh Green, a social worker for CatholicCare is another ambassador for the festival who has fond memories of attending previous festivals. “These celebrations have a really great atmosphere,” she says. “You can really feel the presence of the Holy Spirit there.”
“Often, young people in parishes can feel isolated and a bit alone, but when you come to something like this, you see you’re not alone and that’s a really powerful feeling.”
The event starts tomorrow (7 December, 2017) with 20,000 young people expected to attend and the biggest youth gathering in Australia since Sydney’s World Youth Day in 2008. Ashleigh says it has the power the ‘change hearts and lives.’
“It’s going to have something that touches and inspires everyone, so I would say to those attending, step out of your comfort zone and give it a go.”