Australian Bishops launch Year of Youth to celebrate 10th anniversary of World Youth Day 2008
Josh Low with a fellow West Australian delegate at the 2015 Australian Catholic Youth Festival, held in Adelaide from 3 to 5 December 2015. Photo: Daniel Hopper/ACBC.
Director of the Australian Catholic Bishops Office for Youth, Malcolm Hart, said the Year of Youth will utilise the anniversary of WYD 2008 to highlight the impact a concerted effort and focus on young people have in the life of the Church.
“The Australian bishops have established a three-year cycle of events to support and sustain youth ministry into the future,” Mr Hart explained.
Following WYD08, the bishops established the Australian Catholic Youth Council as a strategic advisory body, and created an Office for Youth to implement the Australian Catholic bishops’ vision for youth ministry, Anointed and Sent.
Commencing the Year of Youth in Sydney, the Australian Catholic Youth Festival in December 2017 will be the largest national gathering of the Catholic Church in Australia with an expected attendance of 15,000.
“The challenge for a World Youth Day host city is how to make the event fruitful 10 years on,” Bishop Edwards added
Bishop Edwards continued, saying that the anniversary of WYD08 provides an opportunity to refocus commitment to a three-year cycle of events setting a new standard for continuously renewing the Church’s mission of evangelisation in young people.
Highlights of the launch of the Year of Youth and 2016 WYD Australian gathering included an inspiring call to action from Bishop Comensoli, an insight into ‘Polish and Australian Spirituality’ by Bishop Columba Macbeth-Green, an inviting homily preached by Bishop Patrick O’Regan, and music by Victorian priest, Fr Rob Galea.
Prayers of the faithful were said in five different languages, representing the multicultural nature of the Church in Australia.
Bishops Edwards concluded that, during the Year of Youth, it is crucial the Church engages with young people as a priority and re-affirms and sustains its work with them in the spirit of WYD08.
Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe addresses some 3,000 youth at the 2015 Australian Catholic Youth Festival. Photo: Daniel Hopper/ACBC.