YOUTH FESTIVAL BLOG: Thursday, 3 December

The Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle contingent of 90 pilgrims today joined more than 3,000 young people from across Australia for the second Australian Catholic Youth Festival, held in Adelaide. 

The festival kicked off with a full house for the opening plenary, with the Governor of South Australia, His Excellency Hieu Van Le AO officially opening the proceedings.

Crowd favourites, Genevieve Bryant and Steve Angrisano, lifted pilgrims to their feet in praise of Jesus while Vicar General of Adelaide, Fr Phillip Marshall delivered a very special blessing from Pope Francis to all at the festival. Maitland-Newcastle youth also shared their own prayer and blessing for their festival peers.

Other highlights from day one included Jason Evert’s workshop, ‘what’s so great about being Catholic?’. Evert challenged the young peoples’ faith and asked them, “Not to blindly believe, but seek God and find their own answers whilst exploring their faith journey".

The youth festival allows young people to build their own experience and celebrate their faith by engaging with speakers and performers from a variety of backgrounds. The festival also provides a forum where young people can plan their day and choose activities that really speak to them. Caprice Skinner of Tarro Parish shared a highlight of her first day at the festival,
“Steve Agrisano’s speech about tragedy really opened my eyes and heart to those sets of experiences and how to move on from them". 

X Factor’s Fr Rob Galea rounded out day one of the three-day event with a room-filling performance that had a full crowd on their feet, singing His praises.

Related articles: Blog: Day 2 | 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.