The vibrancy and zeal which young people bring to the church could be felt as you entered St Luke’s Woodvale on Saturday night; with joyful and prayerful young faces scattered throughout the church as well as conversation and laughter echoing out from the hall following Mass.
St Luke’s Parish Woodvale, was host to an Inter-Parish Youth Gathering on Saturday 22nd March. Around 40 young people from seven different parishes gathered for Mass followed by a meal. The purpose of the event was “to emphasize the presence of young people in the church”. By attending a regular Parish Mass, parishioners experience a greater number of young people than usual and are reminded of the important role of young people in the church.
The event somewhat embodies Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s call to young people at WYD 2011: “Dear young people, the Church depends on you! She needs your lively faith, your creative charity and the energy of your hope. Your presence renews, rejuvenates and gives new energy to the Church.”
The social time after Mass is an opportunity for youth from different parishes to get to know each other, build community and encourage each other in the faith. Collette Newbond from Whitfords parish said “I thoroughly enjoyed Saturday night. It was a great opportunity to meet up which people from your own parish as well as forming new connections with youth from other parishes.”
This is not the first event of its kind, with Inter-Parish Youth Gatherings like this one already having been held at Wanneroo, and Glendalough parishes. The gatherings were the initiative of Andrew Devitt from North Beach, but the idea has been supported by various other youth leaders who have hosted the event at their parish. The enthusiastic support of parish priests has been phenomenal. On Saturday night Mass was concelebrated by three priests, Fr Antony Suresh even travelled from North Beach to join his youth for the Liturgy. Organisers look forward to the event continuing at many other parishes in Perth’s northern suburbs.