107 young people and leaders including Bishop Paul Bird will be attending the third Australian Catholic Youth Festival in Sydney, December 7-9, 2017. This includes groups from parishes and schools around the Diocese – from Mildura and Portland and many places in between. Over 15,000 are expected at the Youth Festival with big contingents of young people registered from the Archdiocese of Sydney, and the adjacent Dioceses of Broken Bay, Parramatta and Wollongong. The draft Program of Festival Events is now available on the Festival website to enable participants to start planning their Festival. Ballarat Diocese Youth and Young Adult Ministry is having a booth in the Festival Encounter Expo to promote youth ministry in the diocese including a ‘real time’ activity focusing on Amazing Young People of Ballarat and Australia with some great prizes. Many thanks to the parishes, schools, leaders, families and the Ballarat Diocesan Foundation for supporting the many young people who have made the commitment to go. More information here.
The Australian Catholic Youth Festival will celebrate the start of the Year of Youth in Australia. 2018 will also be preparation-time for pilgrims to the next World Youth Day (WYD) in Panama 22-27 January 2019. Stacey Atkins from Warrnambool, a leader & pilgrim on many WYD pilgrimages, returned last week from a planning trip to Panama via Mexico. She joined two others from the Victorian WYD Steering Committee who went to Panama via Costa Rica. In all twenty-five Youth Ministry leaders from around Australia travelled to meet Panama WYD organisers, visit sites, and check out pilgrimage opportunities in Central America. Over the coming months itineraries will be developed for the Victorian WYD Pilgrimages and these will be available at the Youth Festival in Sydney and on the Ballarat Diocese website Youth and Young Adult Ministry pages. www.ballarat.catholic.org.au
Amanda Smith, Diocesan Youth and Young Adult Ministry, firstname.lastname@example.org