THE CHARISMS of the Archdiocese Of Perth’s agencies and movements were showcased at the Veritas Catholic Youth Festival Superfest on Saturday, 23rd April.
Participants of the 3-day conference were given the opportunity to connect with Religious Orders, Youth Groups, Charities, University Campus Ministries and other Lay Organizations, all of which ran stalls during the Superfest.
The stalls had a lot to offer for participants, ranging from games, quizzes, flyers, writing messages, reading materials and even sign-up sheets for them to be up to date with their latest news and events.
Games ranged from 24:7 Youth Ministry’s tossing of a ping pong ball into cups, to the Respect Life Office’s ‘Pope Scope’ – where various pieces of information had to be allocated to match each of the last three Popes and Catholic Youth Ministry’s prize board where participants won whatever prize their bullets hit.
The Archdiocesan Vocations Office gave participants a guest the priest quiz, and the Dawson Society of Philosophy and Culture’s quiz was available on iPads.
Pregnancy Assistance got participants to write messages on cut outs to be used for their Mothers Day function, and visitors to Young Christian Workers’ stall wrote on cloud-shaped cut outs what stresses them out and how do they #stressless.
The University of Western Australia, Curtin University, Murdoch University, the University of Notre Dame Australia and Acts 2 College of Mission and Evangelization provided stalls to help high school participants with various options for their future.
Assistant Vocations Director Fr Mark Baumgarten entertained the crowds with Catholicism-influenced parodies of pop songs, as well as DJ Calvin.
Mr Leguay, Gosnells Youth Leaders and Veritas participant, explained that coming to Veritas helped him in discerning his vocation and learning more on human rights.
“The Vocations Office probably meant the most to me because I’m trying to discern my vocation, because the only way to true happiness is to discern God’s plan for your life,” he said.“Human rights issues play a big part in my life too, so visiting the Caritas and human trafficking stalls and learning about the Youth Mission Team and the National Energy Efficiency Network is interesting.”
Fellow participant Andrew Smith was impressed with what the stalls had to offer, but narrowed it down to four.
“The Ignite stall was great because they a) they had a competition and b) the message they’re spreading of the events to get young people together for some praise and worship music, for some prayer, for some fellowship times is amazing,” Mr Smith said.
“I love the Respect Life Office and the Pregnancy Assistance tables, because the message they’re promoting to community to respect natural life from natural birth and natural death and the work they’re doing within the community is fantastic, and I had a really good chat and good time with some of the YMT people and really got to know them a little bit and that was great.”
Thornlie Parish Youth leader Travis D’Souza believes that Young Christian Workers practices the Corporal Works of Mercy, as he feels compassionate for the thirsty and homeless.
“I was attracted to the YCW stall because I really want to live out the act of Mercy and do good deeds to others.”
Archdiocesan Coordinator for Caritas Australia in Perth Sr Janet Palafox IBVM was manning the Caritas stall, and believes that the Year of Mercy will help people think about the poor.
“It is the year of Mercy and we can’t ever forget the poorest of the poor brothers and sisters that we have in Australia and around the world,” she said.
“My hope for today is that young people will realise the work that they can do to change the lives of people here in Australia and around the world.
The Youth Mission Team performed dramas throughout the Veritas conference and their Superfest stall attracted many youth.
YMT Perth member Dominic Cantrall spoke on the agency’s charism and their latest updates.
“There are people who offer others hope, who try to spread the Gospel and they’re interested in either receiving the message go the Gospel of serving with us and we’re a place where people can do that,” Mr Cantrall said.
According to Vinnies Youth stallholder Belinda Norris, they provide many practical opportunities for people to be involved with, especially in supporting the needy.
“We provide practical support to people experiencing hardship, providing support on a really personal through one to one meeting. We also have our call centre which is taking calls from the community, from people who are needing assistance from Vinnies, and being the first point of contact for them,” Ms Norris explained.
“We also have opportunities to volunteer in their shops, where people aged 15 and above can do this, especially if you have a flair for fashion and the shops are really fun.”
Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB was impressed by the way the Vocations Office and the Western Australian Vocations Network raised awareness in vocations amongst the youth.
“I think it helps people understand the importance of the priesthood and the religious life,” the Archbishop said.
“We encourage people to think about it but in the end it’s got to be a discernment on what God wants. So the real secret is to think about, talk about, pray about it so you discover whether it’s what God wants. It’s not really our choice, it’s God’s choice.”
The Superfest brought out the diversity and the vibrancy of the Catholic Church in Perth. It created a platform for the participants to experience the various agencies and groups and to ask those important questions.
The Saturday night festivity was sponsored by Catholic Super and MC’d by youth leaders Josh Low and Montana McCann
by. Mick Soh