Students and staff grow in faith through the Australian Catholic Youth Festival

Parramatta Marist High students at the Australian Catholic Youth Festival
Parramatta Marist High students at the Australian Catholic Youth Festival

Students and staff from schools across Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains were enthusiastic participants in the Australian Catholic Youth Festival held in Sydney from 7 to 9 December 2017. This uplifting event provided young people and their teachers with a joyful opportunity to grow in faith. 

The vibrant festival was a fitting launch for the Australian Catholic Church’s Year of Youth in 2018. More than 19 000 young people participated in the celebrations, including a 2 500 strong contingent from the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta ably supported by Catholic Youth Parramatta. Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta secondary schools were well represented as well as staff from a number of primary schools and the Catholic Education Office.

They were joined by thousands of other young people from around Australia to celebrate their Catholic faith through prayer, worship, music, catechesis, workshops, panel discussions, social justice activities and the sharing of stories and experiences about what it means to be a young person of faith in Australia in 2017. The theme of the Festival was ‘ Open new horizons for spreading joy’. The Festival concluded with a very special and sacred Eucharist in the Domain where many participants were joined by their families and parishioners from across greater Sydney.

The festival included a powerful address from Diocese of Parramatta Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv about his experiences as a refugee. Bishop Vincent also launched the Diocese of Parramatta pilgrimage to World Youth Day 2019 in Panama as part of the festival program.

Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta World Youth Day Project Manager Mark Tuffy is looking forward to festival participants building on this valuable formation experience to share their Festival experiences as school communities celebrate the Year of Youth in 2018 and beyond. Students and staff have also shown great interest in being WYD pilgrims in 2019. 

“These meaningful events bring young people together to celebrate their faith and create memories that last a lifetime. Their experience from the Festival, hopefully will open new horizons for spreading joy,” Mark said. 

Students were well prepared for the festival through the formation sessions conducted at school and through the Deanery Formation evenings.  Feedback from students and staff has been overwhelmingly positive. 

Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta students and staff can register their interest in the World Youth Day 2019 pilgrimage here
Posted By CathEd Parra at 11/12/2017 5:36:02 PM

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