There is an accessible version of this website. You can click here to switch now or switch to it at any time by clicking Accessibility in the footer.

ACYF 2019 CLOSING MASS: Don’t walk away from Jesus, follow Him!, Archbishop Timothy Costelloe


Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB celebrated the Australian Catholic Youth Festival Closing Mass at the Trinity College on 10 December. Photo: Josh Low.

By Amanda Murthy

The invitation to respond to the Living Jesus’ call with openness, courage and humility, was at the heart of Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB’s message, during his homily spoken at the 2019 Australian Catholic Youth Festival Closing Mass, held at the Trinity College oval on Tuesday, 10 December.

The 6.30pm outdoor Mass attended by some 5000 people, included the presence of Apostolic Nuncio to Australia His Excellency Most Reverend Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana, some 32 Bishops, together with more than 100 local and national Priests, Religious Sisters and Brothers, Deacons’, Perth Archdiocesan agency representatives, ACYF pilgrims and the wider Perth Catholic community, most of who travelled by bus from their respective Parishes – marking the end of the three day festival.

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference Office for Youth and ACYF Director, Malcolm Hart, took the stage to thank everyone involved behind the scenes and the youth for their participation throughout the memorable festival.


A group of pilgrims enjoying the music entertainment which took place at the conclusion of the ACYF Closing Mass on 10 December. Photo: Iceberg Media.

“It is the greatest of gifts in my life, and such a grace to be able to accompany you, the youth and to serve you in this festival,” Mr Hart cited.

“Take the time to Listen to What the Spirit is saying to you, but also take the time to remind yourselves of these great moments you shared with one another at this festival, and remember it for years to come,” he added.

Singer Songwriter Father Rob Galea accompanied by a choir, led in the opening hymn, to sing the official ACYF song, ‘Listen to the Spirit.’

In addressing the pilgrims, Archbishop Costelloe began his homily by drawing inspiration from the Gospel reading, about a wealthy man who asked Jesus, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?, before posing the same question to those present.


More than 5000 people gathered to celebrate the ACYF Closing Mass, marking the end of the biennial Youth focused event, held on 10 December. Photo: Matthew Lau.

“For the young man in the Gospel story, the thing that prevented him from saying “yes” to the adventure of being a disciple of Jesus was his wealth and his inability to imagine his life without his money,” Archbishop Costelloe stated.

“That may also be the case for some of us here tonight, but perhaps for many of us that is not what is holding us back. 

“For us tonight, the important and even urgent question is this: what is stopping me from giving my whole hearted “yes” to the Lord? 


Some of the Australian Catholic Bishops stand with Apostolic Nuncio to Australia His Excellency Most Reverend Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana at the ACYF Closing Mass on 10 December. Photo: Iceberg Media.

“This is a challenging question but if we are willing to ask it of ourselves and courageous and honest enough to really consider our answer carefully, then like the rich young man Jesus will be offering us the adventure of a lifetime,” Archbishop Costelloe added.

Reiterating that while there are many answers to the question, “Lord, what must I do?”, Archbishop Costelloe explained that the answer Jesus gives to each person will depend on their own circumstances and what is holding them back from being the person God created them to be – however, assuring the congregation that the key message from Jesus to each person would be ‘Come and follow me.’

“So don’t walk away sad from the opportunity Jesus holds out to you for a heroic life,” Archbishop Costelloe exclaimed.

“Don’t walk away sad from the chance to make your life a wonderful gift to others,, don’t walk away sad from the chance to live your life to the full just as God intended you to when He called you into existence and don’t walk away from Jesus because He is our Way, He is our Truth, He is our Life.  


“Jesus is alive, He is here with us and He is calling to each one of us! 

“Tonight, take the chance, take your courage in both hands, and open your hearts and your lives to him,” Archbishop Costelloe added.

At the conclusion of Mass, Archbishop Costelloe expressed his gratitude to all who contributed to the success of the festival, noting his biggest ‘thank you’ to the 5500 pilgrims who were willing to say ‘yes’ and to be opened to attending ACYF.

Assuring the community gathered, there will be another ACYF in the next two years, Archbishop Costelloe announced that the next festival of its’ kind, will be held in a rural centre when it takes place in December 2021.

“Having been to four of our five major capital cities, next time we’re going to try and host ACYF in one of our rural centres,” he said.

“All I can say is stay tuned and start preparing already and look forward to the announcement hopefully early in the new year on where the next ACYF will be held,” Archbishop Costelloe concluded.


To watch the full live coverage of the ACYF Closing Mass by Shalom World, please Click Here