Festival inspires youth from across Australia
|Diocesan students at the Australia Catholic Youth Festival.|
Australian Catholic Youth Festival is a gathering of Catholic youth from all over Australia, first established by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference in 2011.
The theme for the 2013 festival was based on ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me’ (Luke 4:18), which echoes the Australian Bishops’ vision for youth and youth ministry in Australia.
From 5-7 December 2013 in Melbourne, the majority of the festival activities took place at St Patrick’s Campus at Australian Catholic University.
Close to 140 Year 10 students and teachers from the Diocese of Parramatta and across Australia attended the festival.
Year 11 students from McCarthy Catholic College, Emu Plains, Natalie Dawson and Olivia Armstrong, said the Australian Catholic Youth Festival was something you had to experience for yourself.
“We took many pictures to remember the festival but looking back, not even pictures and videos can begin to describe the amazing experience,” Natalie said.
Olivia said they attended a variety of lectures, workshops and worship gatherings, which inspired them and showed them how young people can make a difference by getting involved in their local communities and helping those in need.
“Some of our favourite workshops were the Vinnies’ social justice workshop and the detention for detention workshop,” Olivia said.
Religious Education Coordinator from St Patrick’s Marist College, Dundas, Jason Scanlon, said the pilgrimage was both a great opportunity and challenge to young people.
“These relationships build a solid foundation where young people can strengthen, grow and develop their faith through song, worship, sacraments and discussion,” Jason said.
“These festivals provide our Catholic youth with an experience that goes further than any school retreat, creating an environment where Christ can be experienced in a profound way.”
The Australian Catholic Youth Festival is proudly supported by the Bishops’ Delegate for Youth, Bishop Anthony Fisher OP, and the Diocese of Parramatta.
WYD ignites the flame of faith in Penrith students
|Close to 140 Year 10 students and teachers from the Diocese of Parramatta and across Australia attended the festival attended the 2013 Australian Catholic Youth Festival.|
Following World Youth Day Rio in 2013, six pilgrims from McCarthy Catholic College, Emu Plains, St Columba’s High, Springwood, and Caroline Chisholm College, Glenmore Park, recognised the need for a youth group catering to the interests of students. They met with coordinating teachers from their schools to get the group called Ignite up and running.
Ignite youth group coordinator and McCarthy teacher, Briony Mowbray, said the students wanted to work more closely with their parishes and give young people an opportunity to share their faith.
On 22 November 2013, Ignite held its first event, an afternoon Mexican Fiesta, with more than 70 students from Years 9-12 attending at McCarthy.Parish Priest of Padre Pio Parish, Glenmore Park, Fr Robert Reidling, who was a WYD Rio chaplain, came along to support the event and lead the group in prayer.
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