One year from today, Friday 9 December 2016, thousands of young people will gather for the final Mass of the Australian Catholic Youth Festival to be held in Sydney from 7 to 9 December 2017.
The three-day festival is a youthful and energetic celebration hosted by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference in partnership with the Archdiocese of Sydney. The surrounding dioceses, including the Diocese of Parramatta, and Catholic agencies are generously supporting this whole of Church celebration.
The event will be held at Sydney Olympic Park and at other key locations in the city. It is expected to attract 15,000 young people who will celebrate their faith together while also acknowledging 10 years since Sydney hosted World Youth Day in 2008.
The large national festival grew out of Australia’s involvement in the World Youth Days and a desire over many years to gather Australia’s Catholic youth together. 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. The first festival was held in Melbourne in 2013 and the second in Adelaide in 2015.
Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, Archbishop of Sydney and Australian Catholic Bishops Delegate for Youth, is looking forward to welcoming young people from every diocese across the country.
“I look forward to welcoming the youth of Australia to Sydney in December 2017 for the Australian Catholic Youth Festival,” Archbishop Anthony said. “Who could forget the energy and the buzz when we welcomed tens of thousands of young people to our city for World Youth Day in 2008. Now, nearly a decade later, young people from across the country will join Church leaders to celebrate and pray for the young Church of Australia.”
The festival marks the beginning of the Year of Youth in 2018, proclaimed by the bishops of Australia to celebrate 10 years since World Youth Day was hosted in Sydney. The theme of the festival is, ‘Open New Horizons for Spreading Joy: Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment’. This theme will carry on throughout the Year of Youth.
With one year to go, Archbishop Anthony set in motion an electronic countdown clock by which all involved can track their preparations and build expectations for the largest Catholic national youth event to be held in the history of the Catholic Church in Australia.
The festival website is live, click here.
To watch the One Year Out promotional video, click here.