Australia’s premier gathering for young Catholics, the Australian Catholic Youth Festival, will now conclude the Church’s celebration of the international Jubilee Year in December 2025.
At the November 2022 plenary meeting of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, the Archdiocese of Melbourne was selected as the host city for the next Festival.
Since that time, archdiocesan and Bishops Conference staff have been preparing for the event, considering venues, logistics and, most importantly, spiritual themes.
While the Festival was proposed to be held in December 2024, the prospect of a date change emerged during that planning.
“It became clear that the Year of Jubilee in 2025 and its theme, ‘Pilgrims of Hope’, will be an important spiritual focus for the Church in the coming years,” said Archbishop Christopher Prowse, chair of the Bishops Commission for Evangelisation, Laity and Ministry.
“We want to ensure young people are central to our Jubilee Year journey and arrive at the Festival having experienced deep local conversations.
“Young people carry great hope, and we want them to share it with each other and lead our Church with the hope of Jesus into the future.”
Melbourne Archbishop Peter A Comensoli expressed his gratitude that the spiritual considerations and impact of the event are being prioritised.
“There are many logistical demands on an event of the Festival’s size, and I know young people have a great passion to gather nationally again,” he said.
“However, the Festival is more than a large event; it is a journey and commissioning of the Church. And what better way to do this than in alignment with the spiritual focus of the universal Church in the Jubilee Year.”
Archbishop Comensoli said the prayer and discernment journey towards December 2025 has already started, and the consideration of global and national initiatives, as well as the Festival’s logistical requirements are also underway.
“We will invite the young Church to begin their spiritual journey toward the festival at the beginning of the Jubilee Year in December 2024,” he said.
“We will encourage and facilitate local engagement, formation and action, culminating with a pilgrimage to Melbourne for the Australian Catholic Youth Festival.”
The dates for ACYF25 Melbourne will be confirmed later this year as the venue and event plan are finalised.
With thanks to the ACBC.