Australian Catholic Youth Festival touches the heart

Home > News and Events > 2016 > Australian Catholic Youth Festival touches the heart

Students at Autralian Youth Festival22 February 2016

Over 130 students from ten Catholic secondary schools across the Melbourne Archdiocese attended the Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF) that was held in Adelaide in December 2015.   

Bishop Mark Edwards, Auxiliary Bishop for Education said, ‘I went to #ACYF2015 to support the young people of Melbourne and found that I was supported. I joined 3,322 participants including 479 youth from Melbourne, 18 bishops, 92 priests, 57 sisters, 30 brothers, 10 deacons placed in the engaging spaces of the Adelaide Convention Centre and in the presence of God himself. #ACYF2015, really an awesome experience.’   

The Festival is conducted for those young people from Year 9 up to 25 years of age who are looking to gather together and share something of their faith journey. Young people from around the country join in prayer, praise and worship – attending workshops from local and international presenters, with the highlight being the closing celebration of the Eucharist.    

This is the second ACYF to be held and is in response to the gathering of youth from around the world who came to World Youth Day in Sydney in 2008. After this wonderful event, the Australian Bishops sought to ‘keep the energy alive’ and wanted a similar (but smaller) gathering that young Australian Catholics could participate in – hence ACYF was born.     

 'The faith, energy and sheer critical mass of people,’ said Bishop Edwards, ‘was electrifying and
engaging. There was a strong feeling of community andStudents at Australian Youth Festival many opportunities to deepen our faith. The witness, devotion, humour, songs, entertainment and talks at the plenaries were winning and faith-filling moments for the massed group and, at the other end of the crowd spectrum, the many, many experiences of the Sacrament of Reconciliation were genuine and moving moments of individuals reaching for and being touched by God’s mercy. The young heart of the Church gathered together and uninhibited in its expression of faith and community was really alive.’   

It is hoped even more students from a greater number of schools will attend the next ACYF.      

‘I am going to Sydney in December 2017. Come along and bring your friends!’ Bishop Edwards said.