Australian Year of the Young 2018
By Rev. Timothy Costelloe, SDB
Archbishop of Perth - Australia
Perth, Australia, 12 January 2018 -- "The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has announced a ‘Year of Youth’ commenced on the First Sunday of Advent ,3 December 2017 until 25 November 2018, focussed on the engagement and faith development of young people aged 12 – 30 year olds.
The theme for the Year of Youth is “Open New Horizons for Spreading Joy. Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment.” Every local community is encouraged to mark the launch of the Year of Youth at the start of the liturgical year – the First Sunday of Advent 3rd December 2017.
I am also asking parish and communities to engage a ‘Year of Youth Action Team’ – made up of a variety of adults and young people in your community to prepare activities for the Year of Youth. I would encourage your safeguarding officer to be a part of this action team to ensure the safety of young people is at the forefront of our planning. I also encourage young people (aged 12 – 30) to step forward to become ‘Year of Youth Ambassadors’ in their local communities. They can be a voice and advocate for the initiatives of the ‘Year of Youth Action Team.
In this year, we hope to come together to engage with more young people in our Church. We need to spend these next twelve months as local communities, working together across Parishes, High Schools, University Chaplains, working with.
Let us take these next twelve months to focus on our young people who are part of our Church. Beyond the sacrament of Confirmation, we need to support them and nourish their spiritual life across our whole Church community. Even if you have only a limited number of young people involved in your church, perhaps this could be your opportunity to ask parishioners to invite their children and grandchildren to the church or also to reach out to the Catholic schools nearby and getting them involved in your local parish."
The Perth archdiocese is also happy to host the next Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF) in December 2019. This event was already announced few weeks ago in Sydney, the venue of the 2017 ACYF.
Prayer for the Year of the Young - Australia 2018
Come Holy Spirit of this Great Southland
Inspire our entire faith community,
As we prayerfully discern new horizons for spreading joy
in the lives and communities of the People of God.
Come Holy Spirit of Youth
Fill the hearts of young people with the hope and love of Jesus Christ.
Enliven our community with the creativity, energy and joy of youth.
Guide us together, as we strive to offer God’s mercy
to those who feel abandoned or outcast.
Come Holy Spirit of Faith
Empower our community to be courageous.
Unite your people as witnesses of love.
Walk with us, as we blaze new trails of discipleship,
Accompanying young people as we renew the Church together.
Come Holy Spirit of Vocation
Stir within young people an awareness of God’s call.
Reveal to us the graces of young people.
Guide us all, in finding our place and raising our voices
To build a civilization of love.
Our Lady of the Southern Cross, Help of Christians, pray for us.
St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, friend of the young, pray for us.
Resources or support
- Catholic Youth Ministry of Perth
- Year of Youth Australian national website
- Full text of the Australia Youth Synod Survey and Pastoral Letters for the Year of the Young