By Vincent Haber
Not even the strong wind or rain could stop 300 young people from across Perth to travel to Notre Dame University in Fremantle, to attend the Extreme Mission: Live Loud youth event last 15th of August 2013.
This annual event which falls on the Feast of the Assumption of Mary was hosted by the University of Notre Dame in collaboration with the Catholic Youth Ministry Perth. Together they coordinated an event that proclaimed the Gospel relevant to the youth today, with live music, drama, a testimony by a World Youth Day pilgrim and plenty of food.
The theme being ‘extreme mission’, aimed at encouraging the youth of Perth to go out and be not afraid to spread the Gospel, to live their faith aloud and to be bold disciples of Christ.
The event was graced by Bishop Donald Sproxton, Auxiliary Bishop of Perth, who in the last minute willingly replaced Archbishop Timothy Costelloe who was still recovering from an illness after his WYD pilgrimage in Brazil.
Bishop Don shared two key messages that evening inspired by Pope Francis during his talk. He said, that we have been called by God to be people of hope, to live with hope and be signs of hopefulness to the world, and that we need to be open to a God that surprises.
One of the highlight of the event was the Question and Answer portion where the audience got the chance to engage with the Bishop and ask him questions. A question that stood out was one asked by a Notre Dame Student about the Church going through some changes because of the aging population, which would mean that the responsibility will be left with the young people. The question asked was, how this is going to impact the Church in the future.
The Bishop’s response was simply, “It’s going to be good”, which was received well by the audience, due to the loud applause and cheers. To end, he encouraged the young people, “to not be afraid, to step up, to offer ideas and be involved in the life of the Church”.
Other highlights of the event were the positive response of the crowd to the invitation to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and the celebration of the Eucharist which was concelebrated by over 10 priests.
Sam Liau, a youth leader from Santa Clara Parish Bentley attended the event with his fellow youth leaders from his Parish. He said, “It was awesome to see many young people gathered together in the same faith, hopefully there’s more to come.”
The youth are ready for the challenge to be missionaries and make disciples of all of nations. Clearly, the future of Catholic Church in Perth is in good hands.
The event was also a follow up and a reunion for all the pilgrims who attended World Youth Day in Rio