Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF)
From the 3rd of December to the 6th of December, six fortunate Year 10 girls travelled to Adelaide and had the amazing opportunity to attend the second Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF). Emma Bennett, Melissa Ruz, Niamh McIntyre, Soriya Farah, Lilie Joseph and Paige Perry attended the festival with Miss Mirabello and Mr Currao, as well as Mrs Barnes who was supervising at night.
This year’s festival theme was “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God” Mt 5:8. The festival provided opportunities for young Catholics to deepen their relationship with Jesus and become empowered to be disciples of the Church in the world today.
The trip consisted of long hours and limited sleep, however, it was all worth it because it was an experience of a lifetime. Not only did we grow in faith and love for God, we also met an unbelievable number of amazing people from schools all around Australia, in particular those of the Archdiocese of Sydney. Together we united and grew in love, friendship and faith. The approximately 3500 participants of the festival from all around Australia gathered together at the beginning and end of each day, with live music, prayer and inspirational talks from priests, bishops and other religious figures. The rest of the time, we had the opportunity to attend a range of activities, seminars, expos and had lots of fun. Throughout the festival we were able to establish not only a closer relationship with each other, but with students and teachers from other schools (particularly our brother schools Marist Kogarah and Marist Penshurst, as well as St Ursula’s and OLSH), our teachers and God.
One clear message communicated through the festival that made an impact on each of us was that God loves each and every one of us no matter the mistakes we have made, and He invites us to open our hearts to Him. We are thankful for the teachers who gave up their time to accompany us on this amazing trip, and are grateful for all the friends and the memories that we made. We had one of the best times of our lives at ACYF which we will never forget, and recommend others to attend the 2017 Australian Catholic Youth Festival in Sydney.
Youth Ministry and Student Leadership Coordinator