Day 2 of Veritas began bright and early and with the help of the Ignite music team, everyone was bouncing with energy before long. Our MC’s for the day were Joey and Ashley who gave a huge thank you and acknowledged our sponsors Mercy Care and Catholic Super.
The animated Vicky Burrows then took to the stage to lead all the Veritas Festival participants on a journey through #MercyintheCity as the first key note of the day. With a focus on the corporal works of mercy and her own personal experiences, some practical examples on how we can express God’s mercy to others were highlighted.
Vicky’s message for the young people was that, “God calls us to live mercy where we are, where those who need mercy are and to witness mercy through who we are. We are called to step outside ourselves, to look at others through eyes of mercy and to be channels of God’s peace.”
After a quick morning tea, the festival participants were invited to attend a workshop which really spoke to them, enabling everyone gathered to grow deeper in faith and mercy. A few of the workshops offered are summarised below.
This talk presented by Fr Cyprian, highlighted the importance of being a disciple to all and living your faith in a fun-filled way. Fr Cyprian stressed that while at college or university, your biggest responsibility is to study and that God is with you always to the end of time (Matt: 28). Pope Francis’ call to personally engage with evangelisation was emphasised, and the importance of building solid, supportive friendships to help you on your faith journey at this time.
Members of the Knights of the Southern Cross WA, including Tiernan O’Rouke, Warwick D’Silva and Tristan Kolay led the young men attending this talk on a discussion about the challenges Christian men face in the world today. The effects of secularism in the workplace, porn and excessive alcohol consumption were discussed giving rise to a feeling of solidarity in the struggle to live a Christian life. Practical advice was given to help young men to focus on God rather than the secularism that surrounds them.
The questions of what is Praise and Worship, why we as Catholics participate in Praise and Worship, when is it appropriate and how do we create a suitable space were all answered in this workshop. The team from Singles for Christ (SFC), emphasised the expression of love and thanksgiving created in and during Praise and Worship. The differences between true and false worship were identified along with some helpful hints on how to fully participate in Praise and Worship.
The charismatic Fr Johnson systematically led those gathered through the questions surrounding the mystery of discernment. What is discernment, why should I discern and how to discern my vocation were all thoroughly discussed. The courage to be open to the workings of the Holy Spirit in one’s life is an important step in consciously moving through discernment. The role of desire, reasoning and intellect, circumstances, inclination and aptitude, and knowledge and information, were discussed so joy may be found in living out one’s vocation.
Fun, fellowship and places of faith were the three main ideas presented by Mario Borg in this workshop. Mario advocated the need for youth groups to be completely different from school, to foster fellowship and encourage faith development. Youth groups need to be places of welcoming and engagement centred on the teachings of Jesus if they are to be true representations of the body of Christ.
The young participants came out of the workshops equipped and energised from what they have heard and experienced. Many more workshops will follow today and tomorrow with more intriguing workshop topics and dynamic presenters.
Written by Sarah Hicks (Official Journo for Veritas Youth Festival)
Sarah Hicks is 23 years old. She is a Masters student at The University of Notre Dame studying Primary School Teaching. She loves baking, spending too much time in the bathroom and travelling. Her dislike of practical jokes and the word ‘moist’ does make for some hilarious situations. However she is very generous with her time and loves to make others smile.