& Events


ACYF 2019

18 December 2019

The Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF) is a national gathering of Catholic young people established by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC). It exists to provide young people with opportunities to deepen their relationship with Jesus, be empowered to be disciples in the world today and encounter and celebrate the vitality of the Church in Australia

The Australian Catholic Youth Festival exists to:

  • Provide a high quality formative and experiential opportunity for young Catholics to encounter Jesus Christ, in the context of the Catholic Church in Australia;
  • Listen to and discuss the issues and challenges in the lives of young Catholics in Australia;
  • Evangelise young people and empower them to be evangelists;
  • Provide young people with local examples and connections of vocations, social action, liturgy and prayer, catholic music and catechesis.

The fourth Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF) was hosted by the Archdiocese of Perth and took place at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre from December 8 - 10, 2019. 




Reports can be read below:

St Joseph’s College Mildura and Sacred Heart Catholic Parish 

We were very lucky to be able to head to Perth for ACYF with such a great group of young people. It was a terrific experience; uplifting music, challenging speakers, a lively atmosphere among all the enthusiastic pilgrims from across Australia and some welcome opportunities for heart-felt prayer. We were very impressed with how our young people entered into the festival. Each had their own hopes and expectations in coming.  We pray that they were all encouraged and challenged according to their own needs, and that the Holy Spirit breathed deeply into their hearts.

The Youth Festival began for our group on Sunday, December 8 with Bishop Paul celebrating Mass with our young people, Mrs Marg Blythman and Mrs Carmen Cox at St Brigid’s College Chapel in Lesmurdie and continued for the next three days.  The beautiful voices of Maya and Soane being accompanied by Jack and Matthew on the guitar allowed our faith journey to begin with the sound of Angels.  The Mildura group met up with fellow pilgrims from Ballarat on the final day to reflect on the challenges and opportunities of the festival and their hopes for the future.  Bishop Paul and Fr James led the reflection and Maya assisted us in a rendition of Send Us Out. Following the reflection as a group we began our pilgrimage walk to praise our Lord in the festival’s concluding Mass with over five thousand pilgrims.

The Youth Festival adopted the scriptural focus of the 2020 Plenary Council by with its theme:  ‘Listen to what the Spirit is saying’ (Rev 2:7).  We hope and pray that our young group take up the opportunity to listen to what the Spirit is saying to them and act accordingly. 

Many thanks to all our benefactors who helped us attend, the Mildura KSC branch, the Sisters of Mercy, St Joseph's College Mildura and indeed the whole Sacred Heart Parish. At a Diocesan level we must also pay special thanks to the Catholic Education Office Ballarat for their generous sponsorship and to Bishop Paul for his encouragement.

Fr James Kerr and Miss Paula Cox

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Felicty Liston

The Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF) is a gathering of Catholic young people, established in 2015 by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. In December 2019, representatives from our Ballarat Diocese attended the festival, with a total of 5,500 other young people from across the country.

The purpose of ACYF is to strengthen and deepen the faith of people aged 15 to 30 years old. The festival consisted of engaging talks, educational workshops, musical performance, as well as the opportunity for prayer and penance. ACYF aims to evangelise the young church of Australia, teaching and encouraging them to be evangelists themselves.

Young adults are provided with examples and connections of vocations, and broader exposure to potential missionaries across the world. The theme for this years’ festival – ‘Listen to what the Spirit is saying’ instilled a fiery energy through all those in attendance, building courage and allowing the love of faith to grow organically.

A pilgrimage along the Swan River, from the Convention Centre to Trinity College in East Perth, arrived at the location for an open-air Mass to end the three-day festival. Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe celebrated the final Mass and spoke a motivating homily, calling the “young church of Australia” to be brave and open their lives to Jesus. Many young people recalled the highlight of their festival experience was the opportunity for adoration. All the pilgrims gathered together on the second night to bring themselves before the blessed sacrament in astounding silence.

The Australian Catholic Youth Festival 2019 was a memorable and life changing endeavor, delving deep into the exploration of faith in young lives and receiving the chance to encounter God like never before.

Felicity Liston

We are the Catholic Church in the Ballarat Diocese
we gather in the name of Jesus from the Murray to the sea
in interwoven faith communities. Spirit filled
we celebrate and share our journey
reaching out to nurture all God's people.

Diocesan Vision Statement 2005

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Ballarat, Victoria 3353

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Catholic Diocese of Ballarat
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