My name is Aldo Mado and am one of the Youth Leaders in Santa Clara Parish in Bentley. I just graduated from my four-year Mechatronics Engineering Bachelor Course. I have been involved in the Youth Leadership since 2016, and in total, I have been to three Australian Catholic Youth Festivals (ACYF) (Adelaide 2015, Sydney 2017 and Perth 2019). The very first ACYF I went to was a life-changing event. Realising I was not the only one in the faith gave me so much inspiration. At this event, I reflected on how I can do more than just participate in mass every Sunday. I was brought up in a Catholic family and had been relying on God for most of our life. By going to ACYF, it gave me a deeper understanding of the Catholic teachings, especially where the Church stands in some controversial topics in today’s secular society. Jason Evert’s talks were the highlight of the journey, learning how to be in a relationship/how to date appropriately- with God in the centre of it all.
ACYF in Adelaide was one of the reasons why I joined the Leadership team the following year. While I went to Adelaide ACYF as a participant, I went to the Sydney and Perth ACYF as a leader. I was bringing other young people in faith to experience what the Catholic Church can offer in Australia. One thing that stuck with me since Adelaide was the plenary’s atmosphere at the beginning and end of each day. The praise and worship were one of the beautiful things I wanted my fellow young people to experience. Seeing the faces of our group singing and praising, along with thousands of other young people brought joy to my heart.
At ACYF 2017 in Sydney, the fact that the entire Sydney Olympic Park was full of young Catholics stood out to me the most. Matt Maher was a highlight and made me fall in love deeper with praise and worship.
While at ACYF 2019 in Perth, the main highlight was, of course, Joe Melendrez. I was so surprised to find out that Joe did an album on all the mysteries of the Rosary. I think this has enabled more people to relate to the music genre he performs. Watching other people in the room, enjoying and jumping to the songs brought a smile to my face.
Since ACYF, I would like to walk further, learn and share of the Catholic Church and its teachings. I am determined to bring more young people to the next ACYF and other Catholic events around Perth.