“It’s hard in today’s society to be a young person of faith,” says Duy, from the Adelaide Archdiocese, which is hosting the festival from December 3-5.
“You feel as though you are on your own,” he says. “The festival is a great opportunity to meet like-minded youth and express your faith together.”
Duy is coordinating the largest South Australian group of festival pilgrims – up to 60 from the Vietnamese Catholic Community.
Will de Dassel, from the Lismore diocese, says he can’t wait to meet Catholic youth from across Australia at the festival – his second in two years.
“I really enjoyed the Melbourne festival and even though you could tell it was the first one, it was really well organised and the speakers were great,” he says. “I’m really looking forward to seeing more speakers this time round.”
The 17-year-old St John Paul College student is among 130 youth from the Lismore diocese making the 1933km journey south in December from the New South Wale’s northern coast. They are the largest single group booking of the festival.
Catholic Schools director for the Lismore diocese David Condon said the festival group included secondary school students, parishioners from public and independent schools, young adult parishioners, university students, young teachers and three priests.
Mr Condon said the diocese had more than doubled its festival attendance from 2013 in Melbourne, with many of this year’s festival group regularly attendingthe Catholic School Office’s Proclaim Lismore Students 2015 program and the annual Ignite conference in Brisbane.
“They are looking forward to revisiting the carnival atmosphere of the festival, the dynamic keynote speakers that always provide so much inspiration and learning, the praise and worship provided in music by bands…, the energetic rallies, deep prayer experiences and the opportunity to strengthen their relationship with Christ.”