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Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SBD celebrates the closing Mass of the 2019 Australian Catholic Youth Festival, Tuesday 8 December, at Trinity College. Photo: Matthew Lau

The Australian Catholic Youth Festival is coming back – and the countdown is on to the next event in two years’ time.

After a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the premier gathering of young Catholics in Australia will return in December 2024, and the Archdiocese of Melbourne has been named host.

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference last week supported the proposal for the 2024 Festival and expressed its gratitude for the Archdiocese of Melbourne’s offer.

“We know what a great source of Christian energy the Australian Catholic Youth Festival has been over the past decade, and we have very much been looking forward to its return,” said Archbishop Christopher Prowse, chair of the Bishops Commission for Evangelisation, Laity and Ministry.

“As bishops, we are inspired by the enthusiasm we see in our young people in our local ministry. But we also recognise the great sense of solidarity and fellowship that is evident when thousands of young people gather to share their love for Jesus.”


Shepparton priest Fr Rob Galea performs following the final Mass of the 2019 Australian Catholic Youth Festival. Photo: Matthew Lau.

Melbourne Archbishop Peter Comensoli said he welcomed his brother bishops’ trust in the Archdiocese of Melbourne hosting the Festival in 2024.

“The Archdiocese of Melbourne was host for the inaugural Festival 11 years ago. We are excited to have ACYF back, and to start planning how we will welcome young Catholics from around the nation,” Archbishop Comensoli said.

“ACYF is a great opportunity for our young Church. It is a real invitation for pilgrims to enter more deeply into their relationship with Jesus and be empowered to be disciples in the world today.

“We will work closely with a national committee to determine a theme, but for the moment I just want to say to young people: put this time in your diaries and start planning your journey!”

More details about the 2024 Australian Catholic Youth Festival will be released early next year.