Home' The Southern Cross : November 2015 Contents Page 12 November 2015
Australian Catholic Youth Festival 2015
The largest South Australian group
attending the Australian Catholic Youth
Festival (ACYF) has pulled out the
welcome mat for their interstate peers due
to arrive in Adelaide 24 hours before the
gathering’s December 3 opening.
Adelaide Archdiocese Vietnamese
Catholic Community festival coordinator
Duy Nguyen said his group of up to 60
youth was keen to meet and greet young
Catholics from across Australia.
The group of 14 to 24 year olds is the
largest single group booking attending the
festival from the host State.
“It’s hard in today’s society to be a young
person of faith,” said Duy. “You feel as
though you are on your own,” he said.
“The festival is a great opportunity to meet
like-minded youth and express your faith
The largest single group booking of the
festival is 130 youth, from the Lismore
diocese, who are keen to make the
1933km journey south next month from the
New South Wales northern coast.
St John Paul College Year 12 student Will
de Dassel, from the Lismore diocese, said
he couldn’t wait to experience the second
ACYF to be held. The 17-year-old attended
the inaugural ACFY in Melbourne in 2013.
“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 said. “I’m really
looking forward to seeing more speakers
this time round.”
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
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 attending the
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.”
Melbourne singer-song writer Genevieve
Bryant says the theme song for the
Australian Catholic Youth Festival evolved
from a simple question: Where is God?
Genevieve’s song Pure of Heart has been
chosen as the anthem for this year’s
festival being held in Adelaide from
December 3 to 5.
“I wanted to write a song that captured the
theme of the festival and the vibe that’s
created when so many young people come
together to celebrate their faith,” she said.
The festival’s theme, “Blessed are the
pure of heart for they shall see God”, led
Genevieve to question God’s everyday
presence. “You are the broken hearted,
you are the heart of justice, you are the
grace that fills our hearts,” she sings.
She will present a workshop at the festival
to inspire youth to use music as a bridge
between school leavers and the Church.
Genevieve told Adelaide’s ArchD Radio
last month that she gained a deep
understanding of the liturgy through her
involvement with her local parish choir in
Melbourne. She was choir leader at the
age of 16. “The more I played at church,
the more I started to notice what was
going on and connected with the liturgy
and got a real deep understanding of how
much music is part of the liturgy,” she said
in the radio interview.
After finishing secondary school,
Genevieve went on to study music and
liturgy at university and realised music
ministry was her calling despite the
practical setback that much of the ministry
is unpaid. “It was a really trying time
where I just quit my job and just prayed
and hoped that the right doors would be
opened and I would be able to keep living
and surviving on music ministry.”
Genevieve has produced the albums Make
a Change and Little Things. She has also
been involved in composing and recording
the album Evergreen Live. In recent years,
Genevieve has toured Australia presenting
workshops and performing at parishes and
In 2013, she took to the inaugural ACYF
stage in Melbourne with Father Rob
Galea and US Catholic musician Steve
Angrisano. It was a moment she says
inspired her to get involved in writing the
theme song for this year’s festival.
“I just remember looking across at them
both...and thinking what am I doing up
here? It was a pretty cool experience
looking out and just seeing thousands
of young people so excited about being
together and sharing their faith – it was just
Genevieve says she began teaching herself
piano after she inherited the instrument
from her grandmother. She taught herself
guitar and began composing lyrics in high
Organisers of the youth festival selected
Pure of Heart after calling for expressions
of interest from artists across the nation
earlier this year.
“The youth festival...is committed to
supporting and encouraging young
Australian artists who make a powerful
contribution to the Church,” said Malcolm
Hart, Australian Catholic Bishops
Conference Office for Youth director.
The festival song can be heard at www.
youthfestival.catholic.org.au or visit
ArchD Radio 107.9 life FM on Facebook.
Youth groups ready to ignite faith together
BIG WELCOME: The largest SA group booking for the ACYF is youth from the Vietnamese Catholic Community (left) who are keen to meet and greet the largest single
group booking of the entire festival – youth from the Lismore diocese (right).
Festival theme song’s search for God
By Rebecca DiGirolamo
Photo: Fiona Basile
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