Australian Catholic Youth Festival about to begin

Some 220 young people and leaders from secondary schools and parishes will represent the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle at the Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF). 

ACYF is a national gathering of Catholic young people established by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC). The Archdiocese of Sydney is hosting the event at Sydney Olympic Park from December 7-9, 2017. Bishops from each diocese will join their people, and over 17,000 pilgrims from all over Australia are expected.

The Festival will launch the Year of Youth, celebrating ten years since Sydney hosted World Youth Day 2008. The theme is ‘open new horizons for spreading joy - young people, faith and vocational discernment’. This is drawn from the words of Pope Francis, spoken at the World Youth Day Vigil in Krakow last year. 

“My friends, Jesus is the Lord of risk, he is the Lord of the eternal ‘more’. Jesus is not the Lord of comfort, security and ease. Following Jesus demands a good dose of courage, a readiness to trade in the sofa for a pair of walking shoes and to set out on new and uncharted paths. To blaze trails that open up new horizons capable for spreading joy, the joy that is born of God’s love and wells up in your hearts with every act of mercy.”

There will be a variety of activities, such as workshops, Mass and worship, social justice activities and games. 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.

The event will conclude with Mass in the Domain, and all are welcome to attend. Our diocesan pilgrims will reach the Domain by walking over the harbour bridge, as they did in 2008 for the conclusion of World Youth Day with Pope Benedict XVI.

All the action of our pilgrims at the Festival can be followed through and our social media channels.

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Brooke Robinson Image
Brooke Robinson

Brooke is Content Officer for the Communications Team in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle