The biggest Catholic outdoor Mass since Pope Benedict XVI was here for World Youth Day in 2008 will be celebrated at The Domain in Sydney on Saturday, December 9.
Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP announced the major event this week, and that all Vigil masses in the archdiocese have been cancelled for that date.
Instead, Archbishop Fisher is inviting all of the city’s Catholics to attend the Mass which will conclude three days of festivities for young Catholics.
Tens of thousands of Catholics are expected to flock to the Domain for the 6.30pm Mass, which will mark the end of the ACYF held at Olympic Park from December 7-9.
“Not since World Youth Day in 2008 when Sydney welcomed hundreds of thousands of pilgrims to a week-long youth festival with the then-pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI, will we have seen so many Catholics come together to celebrate Mass,” said Archbishop Fisher, who spearheaded Australia’s hosting of that event.
The Archbishop is also keen for as many Catholic families as possible to attend the Mass.
“While ACYF is predominantly for young Catholics to come together to celebrate their faith, we hope people of all ages and many families will join us for this beautiful Mass in the heart of our city,” he said.
“It will be a wonderful opportunity to unite in prayer and open our hearts to God.”
Archbishop Fisher the chief celebrant, will be joined by the bishops of Australia and priests from across the country.
Final preparations are underway for the three-day festival which will feature international and local presenters, performers, and Church leaders including Canadian Christian singer Matt Maher, speaker and worship leader Emily Wilson, and fellow American singer songwriter Steve Angrisano.
It will include a diverse range of offerings including workshops, live music, an expo hall, prayer experiences, and service projects.
The festival will coincide with the beginning of the Year of Youth called by the Australian bishops,which they have described as a year of “dialogue and discernment.”
Shortly after the bishops called their Year of Youth, Pope Francis announced a Synod of Bishops in Rome in 2018 to focus on Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment.
The Synod’s discussions will also help prepare for the Plenary Council in Australia in 2020.
Group registrations for ACYF have now closed, but individuals can still register at youthfestival.catholic.org.au