The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference will host the first Australian Catholic Youth Festival in December 2013, the ACBC announced in a media statement.
The Festival will be held in the Archdiocese of Melbourne from Thursday December 5 to Saturday December 7 and gather up to 4000 young Catholics from year 9 students to those 25 years of age.
The Festival will be the largest national gathering of Catholic young people since WYD 2008 and will be held five years after Pope Benedict XVI visited Australia for the Sydney WYD.
Bishop Anthony Fisher (pictured), the Bishops Delegate for Youth, said the concept of a national youth event has been discussed for many years: “The Bishops Commission for Pastoral Life and the Australian Catholic Youth Council has invested a good amount of time reflecting on the purpose and structure of a national youth event.
"It will be an exciting and vibrant gathering of young people full of music, talks, prayer and exhibitions. The Festival will provide young people with an opportunity to encounter Christ through the Catholic Church in Australia, and provide Bishops and Church leaders an opportunity to listen to and engage with young people on the issues and concerns in their lives.”
Archbishop Hart, the president of the Australian Catholic Bishop Conference and the Archbishop hosting the Festival, is very excited that the Catholic youth of Australia will go on pilgrimage to Melbourne for this inaugural national youth event.
“I welcome all young people who will come to Melbourne for the Festival. I hope they can make a pilgrimage to the wonderful St Patrick’s Cathedral and to the birthplace of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop nearby. I look forward to meeting and talking with them.”
RELEASE Announcement of Australian Catholic Youth Festival date