ACYF potentially ‘culture changing’ for Tasmanian youth

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Home > Media > News > ACYF potentially ‘culture changing’ for Tasmanian youth
ACYF potentially ‘culture changing’ for Tasmanian youth

The Australian Catholic Youth Festival has the potential to be culture changing for the Catholic youth scene in Tasmania, Director of the Office of Youth Evangelisation, Tomasz Juszczak says.

Begun after the World Youth Day in Sydney in 2008, which attracted in excess of 500,000 pilgrims – including a cohort from Tasmania – the ACYF was held in Melbourne in 2013, in Adelaide in 2015 and in Sydney in 2018.

This year, Perth is expecting to attract around 5,000 pilgrims when it hosts the youth festival from December 7-9. Amongst them will be around 100 pilgrims from Tasmania.

The ACYF in Sydney saw Tasmanians bring back a fire for their faith to their school communities, says Mr Juszczak.

Last year’s Tasmanian Catholic Youth Festival and the recent Festival Day events were inspired by the desire of the young people to continue that experience.

“What this is doing, I believe, is slowly changing the culture into a culture which not only accepts the Catholic faith, but now starts to be enlivened by it, and it takes the joy of the faith and it starts to become a real part of young people’s lives.

One of the key aspects of ACYF is the genuine encounters and experiences of faith that it fosters.

“[Young people] want authenticity, and they want encounter,” Mr Juszczak said.

“But because it’s Catholic, the encounter that it allows – hopefully – is one with Jesus, rather than just temporal things that will fade away,” he said.

“The ACYF brings many youth who are unchurched, or who aren’t incredibly well-formed, and it gives them the beauty, the joy and the fullness of the Catholic faith in a way where people do encounter Jesus. And when they do that, they’re evangelised, and they receive this real fire for the faith,” he said.

“World Youth Day in Sydney was a massive game-changer when it came to youth ministry … [it] had an incredible impact on young people,” Mr Juszczak said.

“One of the things that had this great impact on them, which many of the young people came back with, was that they were not alone in the faith, and that the faith was alive. And that came through just a massive body of young people who loved Christ,” he said.

“[At ACYF] they experience that at an even greater level, because it’s not just other people around the world … it’s other Aussies, it’s other people that are local, that they see have the faith, they have this fire, and it encourages them.”

Registrations for the ACYF Tasmanian pilgrimage close on August 22.

To register or learn more, click here.