YOUTH FESTIVAL BLOG: Friday, 4 December

Bishop of Maitland-Newcastle, Bill Wright, sent his greetings back home as youth from across the diocese gathered for the second day of the Australian Catholic Youth Festival on Friday, held in Adelaide. 

"It’s been a great festival so far, and the Maitland-Newcastle people who are here have already made a big contribution,” said Bishop Wright, in praise of those who have represented our diocese on stage yesterday during the opening plenary. He encouraged other young people to consider attending the next festival in 2017.

Fr Rob Galea and Gary Pinto lead the morning plenary in prayer and song, celebrating the Year of Mercy, while Polish Ambassador, His Excellency Paweł Milewski, gave a personal call out to Australian youth to make the pilgrimage to Poland for World Youth Day 2016, to be held in Kraków.

Sr Hilda Scott's ability to engage and speak with young people meant her workshops were filled again today as she answered many burning questions of faith from the audience, and offered guidance to those seeking to find God and participate in Church life. Brooke Robinson, of City Parish, has already participated in four of Sr Hilda’s workshops during the festival and admires her sense of peace. “She knows God’s love and is able to express it so easily to others,” said Ms Robinson.

Bishop of Broken Bay, Peter Comensoli, got back to basics with his workshop on seeking understanding and confirming faith, inspiring young people to discover the origin of their faith. Bishop Comensoli also highlighted the festival as being an opportunity for Australian Catholic youth to grow in the gifts they have received from God and to be courageous in sharing the Good News with other young people.

As excitement built in the afternoon, the Marist Brothers broke out in dance with attendees, drawing a crowd to the Expo Hall with a dance-off to Daft Punk’s ‘One More Time’. 

The festival kicked it up a notch for the evening plenary, with Fr Rob Galea, Gary and Natasha Pinto covering John Farnham’s ‘The Voice’, and Fr Morgan Batt, Archdiocese of Brisbane, ‘dropping’ into the plenary via abseil.

Bishop of Broome, Chris Saunders reached out to more than 3,000 young people, calling them to value Pope Francis’ Laudato Si as, "a document of hope for humanity”, whilst Bishop Comensoli lead a peaceful Adoration and Benediction, closed with a powerful rendition of ‘My God is an Awesome God.”

Related articles: Blog: Day 1 | Blog: Day 3 | 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.