As a Catholic in modern society, it is an expected ‘initiation’ to be questioned for our faith in a world that may sometimes misinterpret the term of ‘freedom of speech’. This has impacted the presence of young people in our churches today, which has continued to drop drastically, forcing our communities to explore why.
It is a big responsibility to know that we are the ‘future’ of our Catholic generation, and it can sometimes feel overwhelming. However, the call to action to stay true to our Catholic teachings gives me hope that one day we will have communities that are vibrantly evangelising and active.
It was an absolute honour to be a part of history in the making, in an environment that treated the 10 youth delegates present with equal acknowledgement and respect. It was empowering to be provided the space to have an exchange of testimony and find common ground for improvement. There were many conversations of different topics but they all had one element in common; there was no sense of ownership. Criticism started with the sentence: ‘The Church needs to do this…or do that’ yet we forget that ‘WE’ are the Church, we make the change. It dawned on me that change hasn’t happened not because it can’t, but similarly like other issues, because no one wants to take ownership as ‘my’ problem; this mindset needs to change.
At the conclusion of the Assembly, as young people we initiated our new action called Parish Crawl. It was highlighted that many do not feel supported in their parish communities and feel disconnected as a collective of our Archdiocese.
The purpose of this action provides an online Facebook forum accessible to all and an opportunity to support in ministry to be present, alternating parishes on the first Sunday of every month.
Our first Parish Crawl was scheduled for 9am Sunday Mass, November 6, at the Church of the Nativity, Aberfoyle Park.
Feedback on the Assembly from my fellow youth delegates included:
‘I enjoyed the opportunity to discuss topics that have been needing a push into our Catholic system and a chance to speak with likeminded people while being challenged by others about perspective. Overall it was a great experience. My highlight was the opportunity to hear many great speakers during my panel workshop about their current role and goal within the Catholic Church.’ Aloisio Saukuru
‘I gained knowledge about how much more important my mission is than I had considered. If I do not act for the good of my Church and community then who will? As Catholics we cannot simply continue as he have been; we must return to faithfulness, love of others and reaching to those who need us and not being content where we are. We must, however, also look interiorly to understand how God wishes our faith to flourish and be imparted and nurtured in others and in community. My highlight was the atmosphere of determination that I felt and experienced, that we do not want to sit idly by for our Church but to take on instead real action and commitment.’ Aidan Scrafton
‘The most rewarding experience was understanding I was being heard and that all the discussions weren’t people just agreeing with one another but also disagreeing as these displays how important this movement meant to everyone.’ Joseva Saukuru
On behalf of all young people in our Archdiocese, we thank you Adelaide for recognising that change needs to happen, and for including us as an equal voice in this journey of discussion and discernment. This is our story, our time for change and our future.
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