Hey! My name is Alexis, but people call me Lexi. I’m Australian born and raised, and I’ve lived in Perth all my life. I’m 18 years old, and I graduated in 2019 from St Norbert College, Queens Park. I love music, and I am an outgoing, positive and helpful person.
I was born and brought up in a Catholic family. As I got older, I realised I never had that relationship with the Church myself and a lot of my friends don’t really do much involving Church. So to me, I never really saw it as an essential thing; to be part of the parish and to participate in Christianity in my life.
Last year, going to the Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF) 2019 changed my life. Being surrounded by thousands of youth from all over Australia was a fun and spiritual experience for me. Going to the plenaries, workshops, talks and being with my youth group was definitely an experience I’ll never forget. I guess the fear of being alone if I was to believe and be confident in Christianity has always been difficult for me.
Going to ACYF opened my eyes. I was surrounded by all the positive energy that made me feel happier than I’ve been in a while. In the plenaries, over 5,000 young people were together all praising and singing along, which felt almost magical. Everyone was taking part; dancing (especially that Mexican wave) and being together. It felt very whole.
After ACYF, I really feel that I can believe in my faith and express it. I really do miss all the positive energy from the three days. Honestly, would definitely do it all again.
I may still be the same girl who loves going out, having fun and being with my friends, but now I am choosing to be involved with my parish at St Joseph’s, Queens Park. In December, I joined the church choir, and after ACYF, the amazing youth leaders from my parish asked if I would like to join them in the leadership team. I honestly felt so touched by how they expressed how happy they were with my new commitment and my leadership skills in ACYF. I now get the opportunity to encourage the youth to feel the same connection.
Moving forward, I know that there will always be challenges in my faith journey; with the mix of having people around me that I love but don’t believe, feeling lost at times and feeling like nothing helps. After being surrounded by so many people at ACYF, I feel I have that support of not only loved ones but of God. In my faith journey, I now feel that I can say a prayer and feel connected. And I’ve got to thank CYM and ACYF for that. Now that I’m a youth leader, I am so happy to be able to encourage youth. Hopefully, my experiences can be somewhat inspiring because of how I have become after everything.