The Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF) is a national gathering of Catholic young people established by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC). It exists to provide young people with opportunities to deepen their relationship with Jesus, be empowered to be disciples in the world today and encounter and celebrate the vitality of the Church in Australia. The Festival will use the scriptural focus of the 2020 Plenary Council by adopting the theme: ‘Listen to what the Spirit is saying’ (Rev 2:7).
Our Wollongong pilgrims have arrived safely in Perth! After check-in and orientation, we embarked on a familiarisation walk to Perth CBD and Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, where ACYF is held over the next few days. After a brief tour of the venue, we headed back to our accommodation and spent the evening on the rooftop terrace to rest and enjoy the company of our fellow pilgrims.
Tomorrow, the pilgrimage continues as we make the trip to City Beach for a day of activities in preparation for the days to come. Our day will conclude with Saturday Vigil Mass with Bishop Brian Mascord. Anticipation is certainly building as we journey together towards the official opening of ACYF on Sunday 8 December.
Our diocesan coverage of ACYF will be updated daily, including reflections from our pilgrims. Stay tuned!
Please pray for us over the next few days as we embrace the church’s invitation to ‘Listen to what the Spirit is saying’ (Rev 2:7).
ACYF 2019 Prayer
Holy Spirit, Breath of God,
you come to us in the stillness and silence
of this Great South Land.
Give us the courage to open our hearts and ears,
to listen to your voice as we seek to foster
the growth of your Church in Australia.
Grant us the desire to know Jesus
and say our ‘Yes’ to his invitation
to spread the joy of the Gospel.
We ask for the gift of hope
as you guide us in our search for purpose
and meaning in our lives.
We pray together as young people
that we may love and care for all of creation.
We make this prayer through Jesus Christ our Lord,
our brother and our companion,
who lives with You and the Father forever and ever.
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Our diocesan logo is theologically rich and very succinct. As a hand, it depicts our mission as a diocese and as individuals within the diocese, of bearing (bringing, carrying) Christ’s love to one another and to the world around us. In this, we are the hand of Jesus Christ, and we are offering ourselves to him so that he might work through us.
We can be the bearers of his love only as a response to his call and in the strength of his grace. We are reminded of this in two ways—through the symbol of the dove (the Holy Spirit) also present in the logo, and by the incorporation of the cross that segments the logo. The presence of the cross is a reminder that bearing the love of Christ will inevitably cost us if we live it authentically. However, in the way that the Cross is the portent of redemption and life—an echo of the tree of life in the book of Genesis—so becoming bearers of the love of Christ will also bring us to life.
The four fingers of the hand also represent the four regions of our diocese. The first is bluerepresenting the beautiful water of the Shoalhaven. The second is a blue and green combination representing the waters and escarpment of the Illawarra. The third is greendepicting the hills and plains of the Macarthur. The fourth is dark green illustrating the forests of the Southern Highlands.