Archbishop Anthony Fisher with Ashleigh Green, left, and Angela Markas
Melbourne’s Angela Markas has been encouraged to “be yourself” as she prepares to represent young Australians at a Vatican gathering next month that will help inform this year’s Synod of Bishops on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment.
Miss Markas, 22, met with members of the Australian Catholic Youth Council this week and shared the story of her faith journey and the faith of the Chaldean Catholic community of which she is a member. Continue reading →
Young people across Australia are being called to share their views about life, faith, and their experience of Church through an online survey published today by the Australian Bishops.
The survey seeks to capture the opinions and perspectives of young people as part of a national consultation process that will inform an international conversation in Rome next year.
Australians aged between 16 and 29 years are encouraged to complete the survey. The questions cover a range of topics including: the experience of being listened to, using social media and technology, friendships and influences in today’s world, opportunities for engagement with Church activities such as, outreach programs, youth masses, community leadership or parish events.
At a recent gathering of young people in Rome which has informed and helped to prepare this process, Ashleigh Green, a young social worker from Sydney said, one of her hopes for the Church in Australia is that ‘we can better engage our most disadvantaged and marginalised young Australians’.
‘I hope that we can use the common yearning for social justice as an avenue to engage youth and I hope that we can create new spaces for community within the Church,’ Ms Green added. Continue reading →
With seven months to go, online registration officially opened this morning for the Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF) in Sydney from 7-9 December 2017.
Among the first to register were a number of the Bishops of Australia while gathered in Sydney for their biannual Plenary Meeting.
The Festival registration process can be completed on mobile or tablet devices. Alternatively, groups and individuals can register online at, www.acyf.org.au.
Groups are encouraged to register early with an additional incentive of a complimentary registration per organisation, for all groups of more than ten, that register before 31 May 2017. Continue reading →
The Catholic Bishops of Australia invite Catholics across the country to join in celebrating a Year of Youth from the beginning of Advent 2017 to the end of 2018.
The Year of Youth celebrates ten years since World Youth Day was hosted in Sydney during 2008.
It will focus on the theme, ‘Open New Horizons for Spreading Joy: Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment’. The emphasis is on local discussion and dialogue in parishes, schools, youth groups and dioceses.
Delivering the invitation, Archbishop Denis Hart, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference said, ‘In 2018, we want to engage with youth in new ways and they with us, helping young people to encounter God in Jesus Christ and his Church. Open your hearts to the life God intends for you and so make a real difference in the world’.
On behalf of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Hart said, ‘As Bishops we invite you, the youth of Australia, to open your hearts to Christ. You are deeply loved by Jesus and the Church. We appreciate your gifts and contributions, and we want to journey with you. Continue reading →
It is good to be here with you at this Prayer Vigil!
At the end of her powerful and moving witness, Rand asked something of us. She said: “I earnestly ask you to pray for my beloved country”. Her story, involving war, grief and loss, ended with a request for prayers. Is there a better way for us to begin our vigil than by praying?
We have come here from different parts of the world, from different continents, countries, languages, cultures and peoples. Some of us are sons and daughters of nations that may be at odds and engaged in various conflicts or even open war. Others of us come from countries that may be at “peace”, free of war and conflict, where most of the terrible things occurring in our world are simply a story on the evening news. But think about it. Continue reading →
Do you want a complete life? Pope Francis asked thousands of young people gathered from all over the world to celebrate World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow.
‘So I ask you: Are you looking for empty thrills in life, or do you want to feel a power that can give you a lasting sense of life and fulfilment? Empty thrills or the power of grace? To find fulfilment, to gain new strength, there is a way. It is not a thing or an object, but a person, and he is alive. His name is Jesus Christ.’
‘Jesus can give you true passion for life. Jesus can inspire us not to settle for less, but to give the very best of ourselves. Jesus challenges us, spurs us on and helps us keep trying whenever we are tempted to give up. Jesus pushes us to keep our sights high and to dream of great things.’
Gathered at Blonia Park, Krakow for the papal welcome on Thursday 28 July, young people listened attentively as Pope Francis said, ‘It pains me to meet young people who seem to have opted for “early retirement”.Continue reading →
The moment we have been waiting 3 years for has arrived.
We have been waiting since the day Pope Francis announced in Rio de Janeiro that the next World Youth Day would take place in Poland – in Krakow. We are pleased to welcome the Cardinal and delegation from Rio de Janeiro. I thank you for coming to us to pass the happiness of World Youth Day.
The clock fitted on the facade of St. Mary’s Basilica in the heart of historic Krakow counted the days, hours, minutes and seconds to the moment which we are now experiencing.
But a more important clock, registering the thoughts and feelings in our hearts, spiritually prepared us for the meeting that we are beginning today of young disciples of the Master of Nazareth from all over the world.Continue reading →
More than 3,000 young people from across the Australian dioceses and half of the Australian Catholic bishops gathered at Tauron arena on Tuesday 26 July 2016 to celebrate their faith, national identity and the beginning of World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland.
The two-hour gathering was filled with prayer, testimonies from young people, music and catechesis. Bishop Patrick O’Regan preached the homily and Bishop Peter Comensoli delivered a ‘call to action’ to young young. Two young people, Chris Lee from Parramatta diocese and Sr Elizabeth from Port Pirie diocese, gave witness to how they have received God’s mercy in their lives. Their authentic accounts described how we can discover God’s mercy when we show mercy to others, it is through our acts of mercy that God reveals his merciful heart to us. Sr Elizabeth said, ‘I thought by being committed to God, I would simply receive his mercy’.
Bishop Mark Edwards, Australian Bishops Delegate for Youth; Kelly Paget, Diocese of Broken Bay and Sunil Mohanaraj, Archdiocese of Adelaide were the MC’s.
Genevieve Bryant, Fr Rob Galea and the Salvatorians Soul band provided the festival music that had the entire gathering on their feet within seconds. Malcolm Hart, Director of the ACBC Office for Youth, unveiled an invitation to all of the young people to get involved in the the ‘Year of Youth’ 2018.
There was a beautiful period of reflection as the musicians sang a decade of the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
Watch highlights from the Australian gathering below.
First published in the Herald Sun on 20 July 2016.
More than 3000 Australian youth are brimming with excitement at the prospect of attending a Papal mass with 2.5 million devoted Catholics in Poland.
Among Victorians heading to World Youth Day in Krakow are five students from Catholic Regional College Sydenham.
Andrew Owen, 16, said he had travelled overseas before but this would be different: He had a spiritual purpose.
“It’s not a holiday. It’s not a time for us to relax. It’s time for us to build connections, to think, reflect and be spiritual with other people. It’s about understanding our faith better,” Andrew said.
The students agreed seeing Pope Francis and celebrating the open air mass would be the highlight.
Geraldine Vytilingam, 16, said: “It’s literally a dream come true. I’m really excited to meet Pope Francis. I think he is an incredible example of mercy.”Continue reading →