Australia’s bishops have used World Youth Day 2016 to announce a special Year of Youth for the nation, building on the legacy of WYD08 in Sydney.
The bishops, under the auspices of their secretariat, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, made the announcement at a media conference in Krakow on Tuesday.
The year will mark a decade since the landmark Sydney event and will begin in December 2017 with the Australian Catholic Youth Festival in Sydney.
The announcement was made by the archbishop of Canberra-Goulburn, Archbishop Christopher Prowse, Melbourne auxiliary bishop and bishops delegate for youth,
Bishop Mark Edwards, the director of the ACBC youth office, Malcolm Hart, and several Australian WYD pilgrims.
The ACBC youth office previously stated the Year of Youth would begin on the first Sunday of Advent, 29 November.
At the conclusion of the last Australian Catholic Youth Festival in Adelaide in 2015, the archbishop of Sydney, Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP told hundreds of young participants:
“The Australian Bishops and their youth council identified an opportunity to celebrate a significant milestone in the life of the Church in Australia.
“It is crucial the Church upholds young people as a priority and re-affirms and sustains its work with them in the spirit of WYD08,” he said.
Last December, the ACBC youth office said that the Year of Youth would be modelled on the Australian Year of Grace which ran from 2012-2013 and which overlapped with the Year of Faith called by Pope Benedict XVI.
“It is an invitation for the Church in Australia to draw young people into a dialogue with Christ to share their gifts with the Church and society, and to raise their hopes for the Church’s future with their parish and fellow faithful,” the office announced on its Facebook page.
“The primary focus for the Year of Youth is the local faith community.
“The Youth Council will work to support existing initiatives and to supply resources for reflection and discernment to empower ministry teams to capitalise on the Year of Youth throughout 2018.”