The Southern Cross The Southern Cross

Read the latest edition. Latest edition

WYD coming to Adelaide


The excitement and energy of World Youth Day will be felt in Adelaide next year when the Archdiocese hosts its own WYD festival featuring more than 35 acts and speakers from Australia and around the world.

Comments Print article

Taking into account health and safety concerns and also the high costs involved, the Archdiocese decided last year that it would not host a pilgrimage to the triennial event being held in Panama in January.

Instead the Catholic Office for Youth and Young Adults with the support of an organising committee has been busy finalising plans for a WYD event in Adelaide over the Australia Day long weekend, which will correspond with WYD activities in Central America.

Tipped to be the biggest diocesan youth event since the Double M Festival in 2010, organisers are expecting about 1000 local young people to attend.

“Some people were disappointed that we weren’t going to Panama but once they heard we were doing something for WYD they were excited,” said COYYA coordinator Peter Bierer.

“Typically we would have 12 to 24 people going to WYD but this now means it opens it up to an unlimited number of people who can participate in WYD at a major level.”

While the program is yet to be finalised, the main festival will be held at Sacred Heart College on Sunday January 27.

A Welcome to Country will feature local Indigenous youth community, Yellaka, with the opening ceremony further recognising the different cultures present in the Archdiocese.

The afternoon will be filled with workshops that will include panel discussions and individual presenters. Music will be on offer throughout the venue, as well as food trucks and amusements.

A Mass which will be almost entirely youth-led will be held in the college’s gymnasium, with a concert featuring local, national and international musicians concluding the festival.

Melbourne-based Catholic singer Genevieve Bryant and local group Sacred Stone have already indicated they will perform at the event and the names of other well-known musicians attending will be released shortly.

“We’re looking to create an incredibly joy-filled, youthful atmosphere,” Mr Bierer said.

“On the Sunday we will be utilising the chapel as a way for young people to experience different forms of prayer throughout the day. We will also be connecting to the global WYD event through video streaming and a highlights video.”

The organising committee is currently seeking nominations from young people wanting to be part of WYD ‘street teams’. These teams will be responsible for passing on information about the event to their parish and school communities via their social media networks. Some volunteers will also speak to various communities to further promote what will be happening over the weekend.

Mr Bierer said in the week leading up to the local WYD event, parishes and communities would be encouraged to host events celebrating youth in the community.

Adelaide WYD will open on Friday January 25 with several events being held throughout the city.

Organisers have deliberately left January 26 – Australia Day – without any formal events so that young people can spend the day with their families.

The WYD event will officially close the Year of Youth celebrations in the Archdiocese, which Mr Bierer described as being a “wonderful way” to focus on the future of the Church.

“During the year we’ve been called out to several parishes and schools, pastoral councils and school boards to talk about what is possible, to do some listening and to help run events.

“Out of this we’ve heard a lot of discussion about how do we as communities listen to young people and involve them in leadership. We’ve heard of several parishes that have incorporated young people onto their parish council for the first time and a lot of talk about the possibilities of hiring youth ministers or putting together something more formal to coordinate ministry with young people.

“There is a lot of hope out there, a lot of excitement around young people. I think the biggest thing is the new ideas about how to do this – acknowledging that things that worked 10 or 20 years ago are no longer relevant.”

With the Year of Youth, Plenary Council’s Listening and Dialogue phase and the Synod of Bishops on young people in Rome next month, Mr Bierer said it was an “incredibly unique time” for young people in the history of the Church.

“We’re going to see if the Church is willing to listen and see new life breathed into the Church – because that’s what young people do.”

For more details about the WYD event in Adelaide from January 25-27, go to


Show comments Hide comments
Will my comment be published? Read the guidelines.

More Local stories

Loading next article