by Divvya Doss
On the 10th of August 2014, the St. Mary MacKillop parish of Ballajura in conjunction with CYM organised a Youth Rally to celebrate St Mary MacKillop’s feast day. The evening began with a youth mass, celebrated by Fr John Jegorow and Deacon CJ. It drew a large amount of youth and young adults from the Ballajura catchment, as well as an even larger number from other parishes.
The Youth Rally began with a jaw-dropping display of talent from the band, Youth for Christ. The band reflected so much energy and passion that the attendees could not be seen seated during the entire set. With assistance from Seminarian Gerome, young people were participating in the songs and swiftly learning the accompanying actions. The energy and vibe from watching the young people get involved and witnessing the band so spirited, was itself electrifying.
Fr John led us in prayer, to open the formal part of the rally. The first item on the agenda was an inspiring talk given by Paul Kelly about the life of St Mary MacKillop. Paul Kelly is the head of religious education at Aquinas College, and has a wealth of knowledge about Australia’s first saint. It was thought provoking to hear about the trials and ‘crosses’ St Mary MacKillop endured while fulfilling her mission. Listening to St Mary’s afflictions really illustrated her spiritual strength, and the trust she placed in God. While it is always awe-inspiring to listen to the lives of saints, it was particularly uplifting to listen to Paul’s words about St Mary MacKillop – being Australia’s first saint.
Following Paul’s talk, Georgia Naughton-Watt from the Ballajura parish presented her testimony. Georgia, a 21-year-old university student, is definitely not your average university student. After being accepted into the University of Western Australia into a Law/Arts double degree, Georgia decided that taking a gap year to teach English in Vanuatu was something she had to pursue. Her passion stemmed from watching a documentary as an eight-year-old child, on sponsoring a child from a developing country. This ignited a flame within Georgia, outlining her mission to follow St Mary MacKillop’s motto of ‘never see a need, without doing something about it’. Georgia explained that it was not a direct call, but it was the development of a few events in her life that helped her direct her path.
Finally, we had Fr Jean-Noel Antoine Marie speak from St Charles Seminary about vocations. Fr Jean-Noel’s talk was very empowering, adding in his personal reflections in his path to approaching the seminary. Fr Jean-Noel encouraged all young people to look within their own hearts and discern their vocation. A handful of the seminarians from St Charles joined Fr Jean-Noel to discuss vocations with the youth after the rally.
The night ended with a prayer, and more musical delights from the Youth for Christ band. With over 100 in attendance, the night was a huge success! We’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped facilitate the event.