Australian Catholic Youth Festival 2019 - Perth 8th -10th December 2019
“Listen to what the Spirit is saying” Revelation 2:7
This year marked the fourth Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF) and it took place took place at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre from 8-10 December 2019. The opening session of the Festival, which drew almost 6000 young people from across Australia, featured a Welcome to Country, high-tempo music, inspirational speakers and moments of prayer.
Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB, the host of the Festival as the Archbishop of Perth, welcomed pilgrims and encouraged them to bring every part of themselves to the gathering. Challenging the young people, the Archbishop said, using the words of Pope Francis: “Get up off your couches, go out and help rebuild my Church. Help it to set out on new and uncharted pathways. Help stop the Church, my Church, from falling into ruin.” The festival used the scriptural focus of the 2020 Plenary Council which will be held in Australia, by adopting this theme: “Listen to what the Spirit is saying” Rev 2:7. Each day of these 3 days were so energised and very much enjoyable for the young in praising God and searching for what the Holy Spirit was speaking in their hearts. .
The last day of the ACYF was marked by a Pilgrimage Walk at 4.00pm along the Swan river in the City of Perth to Trinity College where the ACYF outdoor Closing Mass was to take place at 6.30pm; the walk was 3 kms; it was lovely to pass the different groups and notice how calm and peaceful they were. We watched with pride as the different groups arrived and the young took their places sitting on the ground in front of the outdoor altar. The jazz music to spiritual words kept the attention of everyone: “God is calling; you are chosen….” The Eucharist was presided by the Archbishop of Perth, Timothy Costelloe and so many Bishops and priests from all around Australia. It was wonderful to see the unity of our Catholic Church. The Archbishop’s homily was centred on the rich young man: “Like the rich young man can we say that we have kept all the commandments? Are we ready to sell all we have, give the money to the poor and then to come and follow Jesus? Or are we going to go away sad because we have all that we need and have no need of Jesus?”.
Archbishop Costelloe announced that the next Australian Catholic Youth Festival will be held in a rural centre when it takes place in two years time, in December 2021. The venue has not yet been decided