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Young share vibrant faith


More than 100 young people shared their experiences of faith and hopes for the local Church at the Diocesan Youth Assembly held at Nazareth College, Findon Campus, last month.

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The day included a panel discussion with young participants in the recent Plenary Council of Australia and Diocesan Assembly, group conversations, prayer and music.

Catholic Office for Youth and Young Adults coordinator Peter Bierer said what made the day so special was the “respect and acknowledgment of the diversity of experiences of the participants”.

Peter Bierer

“There was a real sense of people listening to one another, wanting to work together, and celebrate being the young church of the Archdiocese of Adelaide,” he said.

“It was a model of what church can be – for the rest of us!”

Participants aged 16 to 30 were joined by parish, school and community leaders, including Archbishop Patrick O’Regan.

The results of the discussions will feed into the Diocesan Pastoral Council, the Council for Ministry for Young People and diocesan agencies.

Cabra College student and Aberfoyle Park parishioner Hannah Smailes, 16, said the day was filled with “loads of positive energy, super friendly people and plenty of really powerful, deep conversations”.

“There was just such a great vibe – everyone was so engaged and excited and just really embraced the opportunity to have their voices heard.”

Developing connections with other school leaders, Vinnies and the Council for Integral Ecology were other highlights for Hannah, who will be Mission captain at Cabra next year.

Brother and sister Pietro and Rachele Trentin, from the Neocatechumenal Way at Mary Help of Christians parish, Morphett Vale, said the day was “fun and insightful”.

Emma Sexton, Francesca Maeise, Pietro and Rachele Trentin.

“It was good to meet other people who share such strong and similar needs in the parish, ideas for the diocese and beliefs in Christ,” said Pietro, 22.

Rachele, 18, said she liked the group meetings as she was able to “listen to the opinions of others whilst giving her opinion and being listened to”.

She also liked “confronting big issues” which were not normally addressed with her friends.

Pietro and Rachele said they were encouraged to hear about change and proposed action on suggestions raised.

The assembly took place on the 36th World Youth Day, celebrated in dioceses around the globe as the Church prepares for the 2023 WYD in Lisbon, Portugal.

Pope Francis pointed to the important role that young people have to play in the world, especially as they have faced enormous setbacks and difficulties due to COVID-19.

But, he added, the experience of the pandemic has also revealed the virtues of young people, including our “inclination to solidarity”.


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