The Adelaide Fire Weekend, now in its third year, was held at St Mary’s College, Grote Street, during the middle weekend of the school holidays, and featured a program of interstate and local speakers, praise and worship and the sacraments.
Event organiser and Missionaries of God’s Love Sister Bernadette Toohey said after a cancelled event in 2021 due to COVID, the team was excited to be back on track, bringing people from all over Adelaide together for a dynamic weekend of prayer, faith formation, community and being equipped for evangelisation.
“You could feel that people were just enjoying being able to gather together again from all over the city and beyond,” said the Adelaide-born and raised Sister.
“Something that a lot of people commented on was that they hadn’t realised how vibrant and alive the Catholic Church is in Adelaide.
“Something that was amazing too, was seeing people connect with and meet new people, who were of a similar age and practising their faith here in Adelaide.
“Making these networks happen is just incredible.”
The weekend was hosted by the Disciples of Jesus Covenant Community and drew together an impressive array of gifted Catholics from Adelaide and interstate. Speakers included Tim and Lara Kirk from Canberra, Missionaries of God’s Love Fr Cameron Smith, Rosie Drum and Kathryn Kingsley as well as Adelaide-based presenters Dan Ryan, Fernando Farrugia, Joey Lam, Jess Sachse, Shireen de Souza and Adam and Ewa Starrs.
A highlight for many families was having a children’s retreat run by Joanna and James Howe. A live praise and worship band, led by Patrick Trainor and Melbourne-based Nicole Digal, was also a feature of the event.
Sr Bernadette said several Diocesan priests attended to hear reconciliation during the weekend and this was a valuable and much appreciated aspect of the program.
For many participants the opportunity to be “prayed with” and “by others” was the overall highlight. “Through the prayer teams I was able to receive prayer for some struggles I’ve been having with my faith and came away with a deeper assurance that God loves me, sees me and has created me as I am,” commented one participant.
Others described the experience of prayer ministry as a huge blessing and felt it helped to lift a heavy weight of burden from their shoulders, according to Sr Bernadette, who is currently based in Sydney.
The positive response to the weekend has buoyed the organising team which is already looking ahead to a similar event next year.
“We felt like there was such a buzz and a warmth to our time together and we’d love to gather again next year and reach even more people,” Sr Bernadette remarked.
“It’s always amazing to see what the Holy Spirit does when we gather as a community of believers on the journey together.”
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