Tens of thousands of young Catholics are streaming through the gates at Sydney's Olympic Park for the first day of the Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF).
The three-day festival will see local and international performers and presenters, as well as Catholic bishops, priests, nuns and brothers from across Australia, gather with the young people for a celebration that includes concerts, workshops, social events, forums and worship.
The festival begins with Mass celebrated by Australia's youngest Bishop, Most Rev. Richard Umbers, who is often referred to as the Bishop of Memes due to his constant use of social media to translate timeless truth into modern language.
The young people will then move to the first plenary session for the festival, where they will hear from Canadian Catholic music sensation Matt Maher, who has played to some of the biggest ever crowds in history at various World Youth Day celebrations.
This year the Lasallian Youth Ministry Team have the honour of conducting the 'Plenary Pump-Up' sessions, which will begin about an hour before each session begins. Head to the Qudos Bank Arena prior to the morning or afternoon plenary sessions to see our amazing team in action.
The first talk of the festival will be given by the Archbishop of Sydney, Most Rev. Anthony Fisher OP, who will invite them to open their hearts and minds to new horizons.
He is expected to tell them that the Church loves and needs them, and so encourage them to shine brightly: "Your faith has to burn so bright, it catches the world alight. You must be spiritual flame-throwers! You must have the awesomeness of an Australian bushfire, without the destruction!"
The young people will then disperse and will choose from a range of presentations, concerts, games and workshops, as well as having the opportunity to sit and chat in an informal setting with Bishops from across the country.