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ACYF 2019: Three days to go: Perth ready to host and celebrate the vibrant Church of Australia


Youth pilgrims will get several opportunities to engage with the Australian Catholic Bishops throughout the Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF) at Plenary Sessions held from 8 to 10 December. Photo: Giovanni Portelli.


By Eric Martin and Amanda Murthy

The Archdiocese of Perth will be officially launching and distributing their latest handbook titled The Power of Freedom (dedicated to Youth and Young Adults) as yet another gift to the young Church of Australia, who will be attending the upcoming 2019 Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF).

The free resource will be launched during the Perth Local ACYF Gathering event, to be held on Tuesday, 10 December, at the Riverside Theatre at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The exclusive session for locals will include performances by The Subih Brothers, a praise and worship session led by Instrumenta Dei and Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB present to personally address the pilgrims.

With just three days to go, pilgrims from across Australia have already started arriving in Perth, with many groups scheduled to attend Mass at St Marys Cathedral on Saturday 7 December ahead of the festivities.

The festival will end with a Closing Mass held at Trinity College, with an expected 7000 to attend, including the wider Perth Catholic community. 

During the festival, many exciting features will enable the young Church of Australia to share ideas, interact, pray, ‘Listen to what the Spirit is Saying’, and learn more about the work of the Church.


There will be more than 80 stalls set up at the ACYF interactive and dynamic Encounter Expo, showcasing the work of the Church in Australia from 8 to 10 December. Photo: Alphonsus Kok.

The Encounter Expo, for example, will be an opportunity for festival goers to gain an abundant harvest of information about ways to connect with other Christians, grow and develop in one’s personal faith journey and, most importantly, be inspired to take on one of the many opportunities for sharing that faith with others

Exhibitors such as Alpha will highlight the effectiveness of the program’s 11-week series of sessions exploring the Christian faith for new believers, explaining how each talk looks at a different question around faith and is designed to create conversation.

Alpha is run all around the globe in cafés, churches, universities and homes, with no two groups looking exactly the same, but generally sharing three key things in common: food, a talk and good conversation.

The Arete Centre for Missionary Leadership aspires to train pastoral and ministry leaders in embracing the Christian model of servant leadership, to live up to their God-given potential and to grow in knowledge needed for the Church’s mission in the world today.


The Experential Prayer Room available during the ACYF from 8 10 December will showcase different styles of prayer. Photo: Alphonsus Kok.

Exhibitor Harvest Journeys has for more than 30 years been dedicated to coordinating Catholic pilgrimage experiences for the faithful.

Many ACYF 2019 pilgrim groups are accompanied by a Catholic priest who will work to help pilgrims develop a greater understanding of the faith journey by providing spiritual guidance, scriptural and prayer formation, as well as access to the Sacraments.

Another highlight of the festival, is the Experiential Prayer Room that has sessions running consecutively, showcasing the different styles of prayer.

With no particular schedule in place, pilgrims are welcomed to enter the space located at the Worship Centre (Level 3, Bellevue Room 2), at any time during festival hours, at their own space.