Living the Faith Series is a collection of stories of faith from the youth of the Archdiocese of Perth.
My name is Madison but people call me Madi, I’m 17 years old from Perth. I’m currently a youth leader at St Emilie’s in Canning Vale and I am a year 12 prefect at my school.
Way before I attended ACYF
Way before I attended ACYF, I attended CYM teens camp in 2016 and that was a stepping stone for a desire for growth and knowledge in my faith. I am heavily involved with the church in both my school and in my parish. But I felt alone and a little insecure about it. Going to a Catholic school with not a lot of practising Catholics is hard but I am open about my faith which has helped me through. Going through school has not been easy and people would also put me down for it.
Desire and love for our God
ACYF changed me and my life in so many different ways. Through the plenaries, talks, panels and prayer, I learned and gained so much and made me feel like I found more of my place in this world. Kneeling down in adoration with 1000s of young people from all over the country in such silence was the most beautiful sight!
It was very encouraging and comforting to know that even though I feel like I’m alone, there are 1000s of other young people from all over the country with the same desire and love for our God. Hearing the song Adoration (live) by Matt Maher, which is one my favourite songs, was so breathtaking and peaceful words cannot encapsulate it. Even though there was a large capacity of people it was still intimate.
Something that really struck me
I went to ACYF with my school and I was talking to my religion teacher and she said something that really struck me and went something like, “Madi, I know being young and having faith isn’t easy and it doesn’t get any easier when you get older, but just keep hold of it because it will help you through life and keep you grounded”. It was so comforting to hear those words from someone who is a mentor and someone who guides me.
The whole experience took away all my fears
My life after ACYF is different to what it was prior. I have more confidence in myself and my faith. I have this greater sense of hope and desire to serve and grow in faith. I live with less fear and more trust in the Lord. The day after ACYF, I had knee surgery and the whole experience took away all my fears and anxieties. I also asked to become an official youth leader at my parish after being a part of the leadership team for a year.
Moving forward I hope to use what I’ve gained and experienced at ACYF to serve my youth group and school. I hope to inspire those who are insecure in their faith and help them fully embrace it and know God, so they can also grow in faith.