The theme of the inaugural Australian Catholic Youth Festival, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, was brought to life in December, when 3400 young people, clergy, religious and group leaders gathered. The Archdiocese of Melbourne has this report.
The event, held at Melbourne's Festival Hall and Australian Catholic University Fitzroy Campus, was the largest national gathering of Catholics since Sydney’s World Youth Day in 2008.
It featured workshops, liturgies, presentations and many opportunities to socialise.
Highlights of the festival included the three plenary sessions at Festival Hall, in particular the opening on Thursday afternoon at which Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Apostolic Nuncio in Australia, greeted the young people on behalf of Pope Francis.
Led by speakers and musicians, participants at the plenary sessions sang, waved glow sticks, danced, prayed and reflected together.
Bishops and lay people addressed the crowd. Archbishop Christopher Prowse called on young people to reflect on their participation in the ACYF and their individual Catholic vocation in the light of three great questions inspired by St Ignatius of Loyola: What has God done for me? What have I done for God? and What do I want to do for God in my life?
Tessa Ganley from Port Pirie, in South Australia, challenged her fellow participants to be the change they want to see in the world and not to turn a blind eye.
FULL STORY Inaugural Youth festival hailed as historic success (Archdiocese of Melbourne)