ACYF was officially opened on Sunday morning as young people from all over Australia assembled in the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre. The opening plenary kicked off with live music and a special welcome from Archbishop of Perth Timothy Costelloe. Fr Rob Galea also sang the official song for ACYF 2019 called 'Listen to the Spirit'. Pilgrims were then challenged to listen to the spirit and develop the courage to rebuild the Church.
Throughout the day our pilgrims explored the various exhibitions and festival experiences, making sure to attend mass with pilgrims from across Australia. Our pilgrims even got the chance to speak to Fr Bernie Thomas who just two days earlier celebrated Mass with our staff on their spirituality day.
The evening plenary was a great way to finish the first day with a mix of song, dance, prayer, and testimonials from various Catholic youth. Our school captain Natalie Takriti was fortunate enough to be selected to introduce Bishop Umbers to the session in front of a packed arena. It was a fantastic start to the festival with much more still left to come. One of our pilgrims Robert Pittavino shared his thoughts on the day below:
Faith with fun!
Today was the first day of ACYF 2019 and as per the predictions of us pilgrims, it was great! My fellow pilgrims and I embarked on an adventurous day of where we took the opportunity to meet new people, hear so many interesting stories and first and foremost, encounter our faith in such an intimate and meaningful way. Throughout this awesome first day, my fellow pilgrims and I had the opportunity to pray, reflect, sing and dance, which was most powerful when expressed with the entirety of ACYF 2019. We shared many laughs and smiles here and there, of where we were consistently reminded on our individuality, being a gift in our Catholic tradition . We reaffirmed our core values which can sometimes be forgotten with the hustle and bustle of modern life. As well quoted by Saint Teresa of Calcutta "peace begins with a smile." We really can advocate, listen to what the spirit is saying as the Holy Spirit is God guiding you for the benefit of your relationship. We look forward to strengthening this spirit at Good Sam upon return and many more stories to tell as this pilgrimage progresses. 1 day down, 2 more to go!