Don’t be afraid to sing

Home > News and Events > September 2019 > Don’t be afraid to sing

24 September 2019

. Our Lady of Sion College, Box Hill, Year 12 students.There are now only 75 days until the Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF) in Perth. Our Lady of Sion College, Box Hill, Year 12 students and ACYF 2017 participants Grace and Sally spoke with Year 10 students and ACYF 2019 participants Alessia and Jordin about the festival, how it can change your perspective and how to have the best experience possible.

‘There was something wonderful about being with people who believed the same thing’, said Grace. ‘It wasn’t about hiding your faith, but about celebrating what we have in common. There were people of different backgrounds and ages, but there was something familiar about the way people expressed their faith.’

‘At the end of one of our days in Sydney, we went back to our hotel and were sitting in the foyer reflecting on everything that had gone on during the day’, said Sally, ‘and then we all started crying. It wasn’t about being happy or sad, but there was something overwhelming about being together and experiencing something unique. After ACYF, I realised my faith was very special to me and it really changed my perspective.’

‘As well as being a reflective time, it was also heaps of fun’, said Grace. ‘Many of us went without really knowing what to expect, but by the end of the experience none of us really wanted to go home. It might sound drastic, but it could change your life.’

For Alessia and Jordin, it was hearing from students at their school that helped them decide to be part of ACYF 2019. ‘I remember Sally and Grace speaking about the festival at an assembly and how overwhelming the experience was’, said Alessia. ‘It was something about their experience of the festival that made me want to go. It really helps to be able to hear from other students in the school who have gone.’

Jordin didn’t hesitate when applications to be part of the group opened. ‘When I got the chance to apply, I just jumped at it’, she said. ‘I knew it was something I wanted to experience. It’s a way to be reflective and work out how I feel about my faith. Everyone sees their faith a little differently, and I’m hoping that going to ACYF helps with those questions and gives me a framework for thinking about these things. It’s about how you see yourself and how you connect to God.’

Grace and Sally had some final words of advice for the 2019 pilgrims. ‘Make the most of every opportunity while you’re there’, said Sally. ‘It will stay with you for a while when you come back and you’ll realise what a unique experience it is.’

‘You’ll be really tired’, said Grace, ‘but it’s worth it. Oh, and don’t be afraid to sing.’