Christ our Joy in the Year of Youth

Year of Youth At the end of the closing Mass at the Australian Catholic Youth Festival on Saturday, December 9, the Australian Year of Youth 2018 was officially launched by Archbishop Fisher, the Bishops’ Delegate for Youth.  At the Mass were 18,000 mainly young people, as well as most of the Australian Bishops.

Earlier at the Festival the image for the Year of Youth was displayed for the first time.  It is titled Christ our Joy and was painted by artist, Amunda Gorey in Alice Springs.

“The image tells the story of young people in the current landscape of our Australian Church as they journey toward Christ.  It is a story of rich diversity and great joy,” said Malcolm Hart, Director of the Australian Catholic Bishop Conference’s Office for Youth.

Christ our Joy is rich in symbolism, tradition and meaning. It depicts the diversity of young people through the use of varied colour, shaped and sized dots. Some are gathered in communities, others more isolated. Some are closer to God or the cross, others further away. The central figures are Jesus and Mary against a cross. They point to the Resurrection as the source of our Joy. Jesus extends a hand toward his mother Mary, and with her to the Church; with his other hand he points them all to his Father-God.

“Everyone will see, feel and sense the painting differently. Each is valued as our stories and experiences are different,” the artist, Ms Gorey, said.

It is hoped that all communities of faith will find inspiration in this image as they respond to the invitation to a Year of Youth.

The Catholic Bishops Year of Youth was launched in local communities around Australia on the first Sunday of Advent, Sunday, December 3, 2017.  Available resources include No Young People in My Parish.

For more information on the Year of Youth including resources please go to the Youth and Young Adult pages of the Ballarat Diocese website

On those pages there are also more reports and photos from the Australian Catholic Youth Festival including Amazing Young People of Ballarat and Australia.

Major events and presentations from ACYF 2017 can be viewed on demand at