137 young people from the Archdiocese of Perth have descended upon New Norcia for Embrace The Grace 2016.
The five-day youth conference in it’s 13th year explores the theme of ‘Who Am I’ with a packed schedule of talks, prayer, music and fun.
Youth will encounter talks about their identity from guest speakers from the east such as Anthony and Anna Krohn, and local speakers Paul Kelly, Karl Brown, Fr Stephen Gorddard and newly-ordained Deacon Mariusz Grzesch.
At ETG young people will get an opportunity to meet new long lasting friends and a chance to discover who they really are through the sessions, activities and group sharing.
Embrace The Grace 2016 Co-ordinator Matthew Lim hopes that the conference will help participants find their future.
“Ultimately, I hope that people find direction in their life. It might not necessarily be the final destination, but just a general direction and positive re-affirmation,” Mr Lim said.
“Based on my own experience at this age, the world tells you many things. But those many things might exactly be what’s best for you and I hope the participants are open to God’s plan for them as well.”
Mr Lim also explained that running and managing the conference could not have been possible without his fellow leaders and volunteers.
“It’s quite good, very very busy and at the same time quite enjoyable and get me to put my faith into practice,” he said.
“Ultimately now, it’s all in God’s hands. It’s not only me, it’s a team effort and really couldn’t have done it without a lot of support.”
This is the first Embrace the Grace for Notre Dame Physiotherapy student Nicholas Piggott, who used it as an opportunity for retreat after a hectic university semester.
“I’ve always been trying to make the effort to come down in the past, and was unable to come last year. But this year, circumstances aligned and I was looking forward to the opportunity to have that retreat that we don’t really have time to do during the busy semester at university,” Mr Piggott said.
“To have that time to be able to reflect and discern a few things I had in my mind, meeting new people in the Christian circles as well as also hearing some fantastic guest speaker are the reasons I chose to come”.
The first day of ETG saw Mr Piggott establish some many friendships, whom he hopes to be in contact with post-ETG.
“From day one, I already met some new fantastic people, everyone was so welcoming, friendly and very easy to start a conversation with,” he said.
“It doesn’t have to be faith related to start with, just about anything and they’re so very well-rounded people and I can see that we will see some great friends in the future”.
By Michael Soh