By Emilie Ng
AUSTRALIAN Catholic Youth Festival organisers have confirmed Jason Evert, a renowned speaker on chastity, will attend the country’s largest youth event in Adelaide this year.
Festival co-ordinator James Meston has announced Mr Evert as a keynote speaker for the ACYF in December.
The popular speaker, who founded Chastity Project with wife Crystalina Evert, will be in Australia for only two days to fulfil speaking engagements at the festival.
Mr Evert is due to give a keynote talk at the festival’s Friday plenary session.
It is his first major youth ministry visit to Australia since World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney.
Mr Meston said Mr Evert would lend valuable input into the festival’s theme, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”.
“There are so many different ways to explore the theme, and we’re exploring all the dimensions of them at the festival,” Mr Meston said.
“Jason, along with his wife, has been a real spearhead for theology of the body, and popularising it for a new generation of Catholics.
“Who (is) better qualified to talk about purity at our festival than Jason Evert himself?”
Mr Evert is one of two international guests confirmed for the second annual ACYF, to be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre from December 3 to 5.
American Catholic youth minister and musician Steve Angrisano will also be attending.
“We are thrilled to have Steve Angrisano back this year,” Mr Meston said.
“He’s a Good News preacher and one of the strongest youth ministry leaders in the Church today.”
Last year’s festival in Melbourne attracted 3000 young people, but with the announcement of their international speakers, Mr Meston is anticipating 4000 will flock to the City of Churches.
Already 1000 people have booked accommodation to stay in Adelaide for the event.
“This will be the biggest Catholic youth event we’ve seen in Australia since World Youth Day Sydney 2008, and the biggest ever to be in Adelaide,” Mr Meston said.
He praised the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference for creating the ACYF, and said more youth ministry events like it would encourage “a more national Church” in Australia.
Registrations for the Australian Catholic Youth Festival will open tomorrow (June 1) at www.youthfestival.catholic.org.au.