Today was a special day for our pilgrims for two reasons. First, we were able to unwind and enjoy Perth prior to the commencement of ACYF tomorrow; and secondly, as Sam pointed out, we were invited to enjoy mass at St Mary’s Cathedral at 6pm with a number of other diocese and bishops from across Australia, along with our Bishop, Bill Wright, and Perth’s Archbishop, Timothy Costelloe.
“To all the young people here for the Australian Catholic Youth Festival, you are so welcome here,” Costelloe said during his homily tonight at St Mary’s Cathedral.
But the warm welcome didn’t end there. After mass, the Archdiocese of Perth invited us to join them for dinner in the courtyard of their Cathedral House.
In my experience, when you mix various groups of people together from different communities, they tend to stick together and avoid mingling, but this definitely wasn’t the case at dinner. I witnessed bishops speaking to young people from outside their diocese, young people forming bonds with other young people from opposite coastlines, and laughter all around me.
One of the key components of ACYF has always been ‘dialogue’, and if tonight is any indication I can’t wait to see what happens when the festival begins tomorrow.
Tomorrow ACYF will officially begin, with 5,500 attendees expected to attend at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Some key features will include:
- the ‘Encounter Expo’, with more than 80 stalls featuring Catholic agencies, organisations, religious orders, ecclesial movements and all types of Catholic groups from across Australia that offer a range of interactive and experiential activities to explore the breadth and depth of the Church’s mission in Australia;
- musical performances from local and international artists, including Australian singer-songwriter Fr Rob Galea and US singer Joe Melendrez; and
- presentations from local and international speakers, including Katie Prejean McGrady and Grace Forrest.
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