Up to 20,000 young people from across Australia are making final preparations to travel to Sydney Olympic Park next week for the Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF).
With just seven days to go before the national festival begins, anticipation is building among Australian Catholic youth, as well as bishops, presenters and performers.
A key attraction for many attendees will be world-renowned Canadian performer Matt Maher, whose career has seen him play before a single crowd of more than 3 million people in Rio, Brazil in 2015. It will be Maher’s first visit to Australia since 2008.
Attendees will also hear from 2016 Young Australians of the Year, Nicholas Marchesi and Lucas Patchett, whose Orange Sky Australia charity offers a free mobile laundry service for the homeless, Triple J Unearthed artist Emma Fradd, X Factor finalist Father Rob Galea and Sister Hilda Scott OSB, a much soughtafter speaker and spiritual who was featured in the ABC reality television series, The Abbey.
The festival will culminate in the largest open-air Catholic Mass Australia has seen since Sydney hosted World Youth Day in 2008. Tens of thousands of people are expected to gather in Sydney’s Domain on the evening of Saturday, 9 December 2017 for the Mass, to be presided over by Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP.
“It is wonderful to see the evident excitement and anticipation of our attendees after a year of planning and preparations,” said Archbishop Fisher. “My hope and prayer is that this will not only be an opportunity for our young people to celebrate their faith, but also an event which will reach all of those who our young pilgrims encounter.
“During World Youth Day in Sydney, we saw that the clear joy of our young people was contagious, spreading throughout this beautiful city. I am looking forward to seeing that happen again.”
Beginning on 7 December 2017, ACYF is a three-day event of concerts, workshops, social events, forums and worship, and boasts a stellar line up of international and home-grown presenters.
The festival will also mark the national launch of the Year of Youth for the Catholic Church in Australia, a year focused on the importance and life-giving presence of young people in the local Church and society.
ACYF also boasts its very own official ACYF 2017 App, which can be downloaded now from iTunes or the Google Play store, and is designed to help attendees plan what to do each day at the festival.
For more information, visit www.acyf.org.au.
With thanks to the Archdiocese of Sydney.