World Youth Day in Adelaide: An Invitation to Something New

WYD19 ADL Logo.jpg

It wasn’t long after I began in the Catholic Office for Youth and Young Adults that the decision had been made to not organize a diocesan pilgrimage to World Youth Day in Panama in January 2019. Instead, we determined this would be a great opportunity to reinvest the World Youth Day (WYD) resources locally into a celebration of WYD that more young people in the Archdiocese of Adelaide would be able to participate in. We also realized early on that this celebration needed to be something different.

Today in Australia there are many opportunities for young people to gather for Catholic festivals, conferences and retreats such as the Australian Catholic Youth Festival. We did not want to replicate these events. We also realized that there has not been a local diocesan youth gathering since the canonization of Mary MacKillop in 2010. World Youth Day is an opportunity to do something new.

We have designed a celebration for young people, Catholic and otherwise, that will be joyful, reflective, formational, and fun. We have a variety of different kinds of presenters, some well known, others who may be less know bu who have a unique and important story to share. The musical acts range from nationally recognized acts to local church groups. Our workshops and speaker panels were chosen to represent and address some of the key issues and concerns facing young people in the Archdiocese today.

We designed the festival day to suit not only young people ages 16-35 who are actively part of the Catholic Church, but for all young people. We have also intentionally built themes of leadership for students, teachers and young adults into the program.

Leading up to the World Youth Day festival, we are inviting local parishes, communities, regions or deaneries to hold their own youth celebration or activities. COYYA is offering 10 $1000 grants to support these WYD initiatives.

COYYA will also be hosting a few events in the lead up to the festival including a special speaker event and young adult pilgrimage. More information regarding these events will be released soon.

At a time of uncertainty in the local and global Church, young people are a source of hope and joy and World Youth Day is a chance for the Church in Adelaide to tap into that hope and joy.

Tickets and information regarding World Youth Day and the adjacent events can be found on the COYYA website:

Already, but not yet: Living in the tension with young people | Fuller Youth Institute

"We crave resolution. Yet as Christians, we must learn to live in the tension of the unresolved. It is in these unstable, unsettling spaces that deep faith and spiritual maturity often emerge and develop. It is also in these unresolved spaces that young people need us most."

3 steps toward breaking down ministry silos | Fuller Youth Institute

"You can bet silos are alive and well in your church when you find yourself battling with other ministry leaders for volunteers (as opposed to thinking through the best fit for that volunteer based on his or her gifts and interests), caring more about weekly attendance numbers in your own ministry than the overall thriving of your congregation, or perhaps praying the worship leader in your church gets a new job offer so you can finally make some updates to music. The list could go on and on. To break down silos and move the work of growing young from a youth ministry conversation to the overall church, here are three practical suggestions..."

Press Conference for the presentation of the Instrumentum laboris. by Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri

"The Synod’s primary aim is to make the whole Church aware of her important and not at all optional task of accompanying every young person, without exclusion, towards the joy of love; secondly, by taking this mission seriously, the Church herself will be able to reacquire a renewed youthful dynamism; thirdly, it is also important for the Church to take this opportunity to carry out vocational discernment, so as to rediscover how she can best respond today to the call to be the soul, light, salt and leaven of our world."

59 Percent of Millennials Raised in a Church Have Dropped Out—And They're Trying to Tell Us Why

An interesting perspective on why Millenials do not feel comfortable with church. This opinion piece is written by an American from an evangelical perspective.

Repost: "The growing parish: Expanding your music ministry along with your community"

Oregon Catholic Press offers suggestions for introducing new music in the Sunday liturgy as a way of helping parish communities grow! These are great tips for introducing music that is welcoming to young people and new and established parishioners.

Document Written by Young People at the Pre-Synod Meeting in March 2018

Over 300 young people representing countries from around the world, gathered in Rome in March to discuss the upcoming Synod of Bishops "Young People, Faith, and Vocational Discernment". Australia's representative, Angela Markas, addressed the meeting on the first day. The young representatives provided insight into the lives of young people across the globe, their challenges and hopes for the world. They also provided recommendations for the Synod of Bishops in October. 

The representatives also produced a document (which included the input of over 15,000 young people on Facebook). Click here to read the document. 

"Going, Going, Gone" New Research from the US on Why Young People Disaffiliate with the Catholic Church.

"Going, Going, Gone" New Research from the US on Why Young People Disaffiliate with the Catholic Church.

Last month new research about why young people are leaving the Church was released in the US. One of the co-authors of the report "Going, Going, Gone", John Vitek, was in Australia and presented the research at the Australian Catholic Youth and Youth Ministry Research Seminar. While the research was focused on American youth, there are many similarities with the Australian Church. 

Introducing New Horizons

Introducing New Horizons

Last month we kicked off the Year of Youth in the Archdiocese of Adelaide. We didn't do it with a gigantic youth festival, concert or rally. Instead, we gathered leaders from the Catholic Church in parishes, school, communities, agencies and other sectors to learn about the Year of Youth and the realities facing young people in South Australia. The 135 participants in attendance reflected on what they heard, conversed, and began taking steps to make responsive plans in their own contexts.