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Australia: Sidney, 7 December, opening of the festival that marks the start of the Year of Youth. Moving closer to the Synod

It’s a countdown to the “Australian Catholic Youth Festival”, opening in Sidney on December 7th. 15 thousand people, aged between nine and thirty, are expected to arrive to reflect on “Opening new horizons to spread joy: youth, faith and vocational discernment”, a topic inspired by the words spoken by Pope Francis the day before the WYD in Cracow in 2016, which looks to the Synod on Young People 2018. At the Australian Bishops’ resolve, the Festival will mark the start of the “Year of Youth”, which shall be an opportunity to “talk about the importance and crucial involvement of young people in Church and society” and shall lead to a “renewal and new involvement” of young people. A huge organisational machine has been going on for months for the Festival, which shall be built around four plenary sessions. Then, there will be lots of workshops, a Student Leadership Centre to attend leadership training courses, an “X-change Space” to talk with bishops and priests about issues of mutual interest, a “holy space” to pray, take confession and attend Mass, an interactive legal centre, an Expo venue to show the wealth “of the ministries and mission of the Catholic Church in Australia”. All this will have its highlight on Sunday, December 9th, in a grand final event that will start with the pilgrimages that will walk through Sidney and will end at the Domain, where, after a big concert, the final Mass will be officiated at 06.30 pm.

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