The Aotearoa Catholic Youth Festival came to a successful close last night after two packed days of festivity, dialogue and contemplation.
The weekend of workshops, bishops’ Q&A sessions, dance, art and performances drew a capacity crowd which basked in the sunny skies Auckland put on over the weekend. The festival events at St Mary’s College in Ponsonby were opened by President of the New Zealand Bishops Conference, Bishop Patrick Dunn and attended by Canadian Christian music sensation, Matt Maher and Catholic youth from around New Zealand.
The workshops and keynotes over the two days were filled to capacity and explored a diverse range of topics from faith, spirituality and relationships to practical sessions on care of our planet and living and working in our communities.
Participants danced, took part in discussions and presentations, browsed the many stalls, spent time with friends and new acquaintances and enjoyed all that was on offer at the festival. Highlights included keynote sessions with a range of youth leaders and workers in our Catholic community, dance and cultural performances and informal sessions with the bishops and clergy.
Following the Expo lunch, the weekend wrapped up with diocesan-directed discussions on ‘taking it home’ and the climatic concert with Matt Maher and support acts, Monique Holden and Grace Worship. The concert, attended by around 1600 people, was held at the nearby Victory Centre.
Aotearoa Catholic Youth Festival supporters include Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand, Catholic Enquiry Centre, The Catholic Institute of Aotearoa New Zealand, the New Zealand Catholic Education Office, the Catholic Foundations of the Diocese of Palmerston North and Archdiocese of Wellington, Pandoro, and Pleroma Christian Supplies. Radio Rhema and Life FM are the official sponsors of the Matt Maher concert.