Spreading joy is the aim at the Australian Catholic Youth Festival

With less than one week until the Australian Catholic Youth Festival, the Australian Catholic Bishops Office for Youth has launched the official song for the festival.

Tim Hart’s lively anthem Joyful Generation has been selected as the official song. Mr Hart, who lives in the Southern Highlands in the Diocese of Wollongong, was selected to develop his song for the festival from applicants across the country. Applicants were asked to capture the Australian Catholic Youth Festival theme Open New Horizons for Spreading Joy’.

Multi-talented Mr Hart is a singer-songwriter, primary school teacher, music minister, husband and dad, and took inspiration for his song from his experience as a pilgrim at World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow, Poland.

“Trying to capture the essence of Christian joy, I kept coming back to Pope Francis’ message. These words made us feel like we were deeply loved,” he explained.

“The lyrics explore this idea in connection to the risen Christ who is merciful and whose salvation lifts our spirits, and gives us reason to be joyful people.”

After a long process of choosing, developing and recording the song, all involved are eager to present Joyful Generation live at the festival next week. Mr Hart acknowledges it was a team effort to guide the song into the ‘upbeat, can’t-help-but-get-on-your-feet-and-shout-it-out’ vibe,” he said.

The three-day Australian Catholic Youth Festival will feature music, workshops, forums and worship at Sydney’s Olympic Park from 7-9 December. It boasts a stellar line-up of international and home-grown presenters and performers.

The Festival will conclude with Mass in The Domain at 6.30pm on Saturday, 9 December. With tens of thousands of Catholics expected to attend, it will be Sydney’s largest Catholic Mass since World Youth Day in 2008.

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