I was first introduced to Veritas Youth Festival by Vincent from CYM. At first I was overwhelmed and honestly a little surprised by the prospect of being surrounded by so many young people so willing to share and explore their faith so openly at a time where people, namely myself, were more concerned with what they were wearing rather than who they were as human beings or what they believed in.
Before Veritas, admittedly, I was Catholic only by name. Every Sunday I attended mass, sat on the backbench, received Communion and basically couldn’t wait to leave. I have come to realise that being a young Catholic is more than attending mass. I have learned that to be a Catholic is to engage and participate in our community in order to keep the spirit of Christ alive within young people, and within myself. I attend mass to be enlightened by the word of God. I enjoy meeting new young people and learning new things. It’s interesting to discover how many young people are out there that believe in the same things I do. It’s comforting to know that in the eyes of God we’re all on the same playing field. We come from different walks of life, different worlds but we’re united in this one great thing, our faith. It’s amazing, even though it’s for an hour on Sunday that so many people gather in one place to give thanks to God and hear the Gospel and gain some insight into the workings of Christ. I have never felt more content and at peace than I do when I leave mass. I feel fulfilled.
As a logistics and car park volunteer I didn’t attend all workshops. Out of the two workshops I attended, one really stuck with me. The funny thing is I walked into the “Discerning Your Vocation” workshop by accident. I walked in late and everyone was staring so I decided the best thing to do was sit down so as to not draw more attention to myself! That was the best decision I made that day. The workshop gave me clarity on a topic I’d been questioning myself about that whole week leading up to the festival. Fr Joseph walked us through the different vocations and how to know where you fit on that spectrum. It was about learning who you are and who you might want to be. It explored our potential and our place in the world and faith. It is still unclear what the Lord plans for me but maybe what He wants for me and what I want for myself is one in the same.
On the Saturday night I was asked to give a testimonial about my life experiences, my struggles and how God showed me mercy and acceptance through certain people in my life regardless of what I was going through and the things I had done. I was scared and nervous to open myself up in such a big way to people I didn’t know. It made me feel incredibly vulnerable and small. By the end of my testimonial I felt a sense of relief but also to some degree I felt a little insecure. Were they even listening? What do these people think of me? Will they accept me despite my flaws? Then, as if they’d known me for years, strangers walked up to me, gave me hugs and thanked me for sharing my story. Once again I was amazed by the grace of my Lord who saves me every day I wake.
The highlight of the weekend for me was the commissioning mass of all the youth leaders. The mass was celebrated by Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB and made me feel like I was part of something grand. This whole experience has made me excited for World Youth Day and hopeful about my place in the Church and where my faith will take me.
Please try to remember me in your prayers, so that I may come to realise the full potential of God’s love and His plans for me.
Jonothan or more well known as Jeremiah Morgan is a popular musician, singer and songwriter within the Hip Hop community in Perth.
His collaboration with local rapper Beni Bjah is currently in the Top 10 on Triple J’s countdown.
He enjoys hanging out with his mates, watching movies and is passionate about God and youth ministry.