The Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF) is a national gathering of Catholic young people established by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC). It exists to provide young people with opportunities to deepen their relationship with Jesus, be empowered to be disciples in the world today and encounter and celebrate the vitality of the Church in Australia.
Diocesan Group Coordinator for ACYF, Samantha Hill recently attended a national briefing day in Perth to find out details of the upcoming Festival.
Sam has been involved with organising all Diocesan Festival groups for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle and is excited about the opportunity it will give this year’s participants.
“I’m really looking forward to our young people having the opportunity to take charge of their formation and choose what they want to participate in during the festival that suits their personal formation needs,” Sam said.
What is the theme?
This year’s ACYF theme is Listen to what the Spirit is saying (Revelation 2:7). The theme links to the Plenary Council 2020, which has encouraged Catholics to consider “What do you think God is asking of us in Australia at this time?”
This question opened up dialogue in the Church in Australia, which will continue at the Festival, particularly during the bishop’s exchange. Our Australian bishops are ready and eager to enter into discussions about issues that are most important to today’s youth.
When will the next ACYF take place and who can attend?
ACYF takes place every few years, and this year will run from 8-10 December at the Perth Convention Centre. Perth is the fourth city to host the festival. Other Festivals were held in Melbourne, Adelaide and most recently, Sydney in 2017.
It is open to any youth, from those in Year 9 at school, through to those up to 30 years-of-age. Organisers in Perth are expecting between 4000 and 5000 pilgrims, including a contingent of approximately 50 youth from the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.
Keen to know more and get involved?
The Catholic Diocese of Maitland- Newcastle group will leave Newcastle on Friday 6 December. The Saturday will involve exploring Perth and attending the Vigil Mass at a local parish. The Festival runs from 8-10 December, and includes a pilgrimage walk to the site of the closing Mass at Trinity College.
On Wednesday 11 December, our pilgrims will return to Newcastle.
There will also be an option for over 18’s to stay for a post ACYF retreat. Pilgrims taking that option will arrive home on Saturday 14 December.
To read about the last festival in Sydney, click here.