Travelling from dioceses across Australia, around 3,000 young people arrived in Adelaide overnight by air, rail and road to celebrate a three-day faith filled festival.
The Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF) takes place from Thursday 3 December to Saturday 5 December 2015 at the Adelaide Convention Centre.
As the final rehearsals are underway and set up concludes, the excitement is building amongst volunteers and staff as they await the arrival of thousands of young people at the opening plenary this afternoon.
The Festival is being hosted by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference in partnership with the Archdiocese of Adelaide.
Young people from Year 9 to 25 years will participate in five plenary gatherings where everyone will come together and celebrate as the young Church in Australia. The final plenary will culminate with a closing Mass.
Over 60 exhibitors, from a diverse range of Catholic organisations, have set up interactive stalls and demonstrations to allow young people to experience the breath of the Church in its many expressions.
Bishops, priests and religious from around Australia are attending the Festival. International speakers include, Jason Evert, Founder of the Chastity Project, and singer-songwriter Steve Angrisano. National talent includes, Sr Hilda Scott OSB, Fr Rob Galea, Genevieve Bryant and Gary Pinto.
Director of the Office for Youth, Malcolm Hart, said, ‘the Festival offers young people an extraordinary opportunity to encounter the diversity and work of the Catholic Church. I wholeheartedly encourage young people to engage and explore all aspects of the Youth Festival through workshops, prayers and of course fun’.
Very Rev Peter G William’s Homily at the ACYF Commissioning Mass – Listen here:
The Diocese of Parramatta goes to Adelaide!
A group of 170 young people from the Diocese of Parramatta is attending the Festival – the largest gathering of Catholic youth in Australia.
The event is part of a new strategy of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference whereby national youth events will be held on a three-year cycle involving World Youth Day, the Youth Festival and the Youth Ministry Convention.
In our Diocese we have made a significant commitment to treating this cycle of events as part of a broad plan for youth evangelisation in Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains.
The financial support of individual parishes, schools, Catholic Education Parramatta and Catholic Youth Parramatta have made it possible for a large number of young people to attend this week’s Festival. Some might never receive an interstate or international Catholic experience of this kind.
Before our youth and young adults started out on their journey to Adelaide, they were commissioned by the Diocesan Administrator, Very Rev Peter Williams, at St Patrick’s Cathedral on 29 November 2015 with their family and friends present.
He challenged delegates to overcome fear in our world with hope for a peaceful future and to show the other young people of Australia the vibrancy of our Diocese as they attend the plenary sessions and multitude of workshops at the Adelaide Convention Centre.
The Festival 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.
One of the unique opportunities is for young people to dialogue in small groups with bishops from across the country on hot topic issues and questions of faith and culture.
For more images of the Diocese of Parramatta’s Commissioning Mass, please click here