Youth festival the ‘next best thing since WYD 2008’


The fast approaching Australian Catholic Youth Festival in Sydney will be the “next best thing to World Youth Day”.

That is the opinion of Queanbeyan’s Alannah Hodge, a teaching student at Australian Catholic University’s Canberra campus.

Miss Hodge is one of the 166 young people aged between 18 and 30 from the Archdiocese set to go to Homebush for three days of faith enrichment from December 7.

The program includes musician Matt Maher, Emily Wilson, Emma Fradd, Natasha Pinto, One Plate’s Therese Nichols, as well as Orange Sky Laundry founders Lucas Patchett and Nicholas Marchesi.

Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher has cancelled all Saturday Vigil Masses on December 9.

The Mass and the four-hour pilgrimage walk from Homebush to the Domain, will bring the festival to a close.

It’s what excites Miss Hodge the most.

“Tens of thousands of people are expected to attend the historic Mass,” she said.

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“It’s surreal to think we will be surrounded by so many people of faith who still believe the Catholic Church has much to offer an ever-hurting world.

“It should be a joy-filled experience.”

Joining the Archdiocesan group will be Archbishop Christopher Prowse as well as a number of clergy including youth chaplains Fathers Paul Nulley, Trenton van Reesch, Luke Verrell, Thomas Jin and Joshua Scott. Deacons Namora Anderson and Adrian Chan will also be with the group.

Archdiocesan Youth Ministry Coordinator Huw Warmenhoven says the build-up to the festival has been exciting. He has no doubt that it will be a life-changing moment for those who apply themselves.

“Yes, the social aspect of the festival will be amazing, but great importance will be placed on catechesis by way of category workshops,” he said.

“Workshops will be broken into listening, formation and vocational discernment categories.

“The listening forum will give young people a chance to discuss and voice opinions with leaders of Church communities, whereas the discernment workshop is aimed at helping young people to reflect on the question: Where to from here?”

Individuals wanting to attend the festival can still register at

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Follow Archbishop Christopher Prowse and a large Archdiocesan youth contingent as they participate in the Australian Catholic Youth Festival on 7 – 9 December. #ACYF17 @CGCatholic 
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