Steven Buhagiar on ACFY: ‘so many young people will encounter Jesus Christ’

By Jordan Grantham, 9 August 2017
Steven Buhagiar, Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta and wife, Mrs Stella Buhagiar. Image: Supplied.

This article is part of a series of profiles on members of the Diocese of Parramatta who have been nominated to help prepare for the Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF). To read other profiles and learn more about the ACYF, click here.

Steven Buhagiar was until very recently a Teaching Educator with Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta and was working as a member of the Mission Team. He is on the Event Management Sub-Committee of the Australian Catholic Youth Festival 2017.

What are you most looking forward to at the Australian Catholic Youth Festival?

Knowing that so many of our young people, through the various opportunities presented at ACYF17 to encounter the Person of Jesus Christ, will receive a new vision of life and set out with renewed energy to meet the world head on!

Have large Catholic gatherings supported your faith? How so?

Large gatherings give us an opportunity to meet and engage with others who we would not necessarily mingle with in normal circumstances. We get uplifted by their faith journey especially those who have overcome adversity or even life shattering experiences to be where they are today. So often it is this inspiration drawn from others which make me realise what an awesome gift our Faith is; a gift which we can so very often take for granted and live in such a mediocre manner.

Large Catholic gatherings have also shown me how normative the beliefs and practices of our Faith really are. One of the best examples of this for me was at the last ACYF event in Adelaide where, upon the entry of Bishop Peter Comensoli (Diocese of Broken Bay) carrying the Blessed Sacrament in the main auditorium, I witnessed 4000 young people immediately drop to their knees in adoration because they instinctively knew who had just entered their midst… Jesus!

What are your specific activities to support the ACYF?

I am in the event management committee and this means that I am involved with what can seem to be the boring side to the festival. For example enough seating, flow in and out of venues, tenders, transportation, signage, registration processes and food supply! However, it is these things that together make for a happy and most importantly, a safe environment for our young people to have an enjoyable and memorable experience at the Festival.

What are the challenges of your specific mission?

The main challenge has been the thought that this event just seems to be getting bigger and bigger and how are we all going to get it over the line!

But the comfort comes in the knowing that there are so many gifted people working on this project who continually astound and amaze me with the scope of their giftedness and generosity.

It also goes without saying that the love that the Archbishop of Sydney has for the youth, always means that he is saying ‘yes’ to whatever is going to give Festival participants the best encounter with Our Lord in an uplifting and youth oriented manner.

What is your favourite Catholic…

Movie?                     The Mission (1986)

Song?                         Lauren Daigle – Trust in You 

Hymn?                       Hail Queen of Heaven

Artwork?                   Mattia Preti – St Peter in Tears – Wignacourt Museum Rabat Malta

Place of pilgrimage? Sant’ Andrea Delle Fratte

Saint?                          St Louis Marie de Montfort

Church?                     St Pope Marcellus, Rome

The ACYF registration process can be completed on mobile or tablet devices. Alternatively, groups and individuals can register online at, For further information, contact James Camden, Director – Catholic Youth Parramatta – on or (02) 8838 3428.

This article is part of a series of profiles on members of the Diocese of Parramatta who have been nominated to help prepare for the ACYF. To read other profiles and learn more about the ACYF, click here.

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