by Sheldon Burke.
19 youth leaders from across Australia accompanied by four full time staff plus a chaplain, embarked on an opportunity of a lifetime as they participated in a ‘Youth Leaders Formation Course’(YLFC), from the 27th of November to the 22nd of December 2012 at Campion College, Toongabbie.
While most of the participants were local, there were also representatives from various Diocese around Australia including Darwin, Parramatta, Toowoomba, Brisbane, Broken Bay, Wollongong, Melbourne and two from Perth, which comprised of myself and Georgia Naughton – Watt from Ballajura Parish.
Georgia and I were blessed to learn more about our faith and undergo formation in the area of Christian Leadership, plus deepen our understanding of the Catholic Church. The month long journey involved daily masses, divine office prayers and two lectures per day by inspiring local and national speakers, who covered relevant topics such as ‘Why Mary Matters’, Apologetics, The Scripture and Leadership EQ, just to name a few.
A highlight was the ‘Parish Mission’ that was held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Cabramatta. This involved catechesis with primary school kids, evangelisation programs and a moving ‘Mercy Night’. Other notable activities included a silent retreat, shrine time at the Schoenstatt Shrine, a social outreach program and the final mass and commissioning celebrated by Cardinal George Pell. We were all blessed to be engaged in so many fun and empowering activities were we grew in discipleship, and allowed us to form lifelong friendships.
YLFC was certainly one of the best ways to have a personal encounter with Christ, and it also equipped us to become new apostles of the 21st Century. This life changing course is to be recommended to young adults who are searching for a deeper understanding of their faith, and I strongly encourage those in need to take up the challenge, and apply for future Youth Leaders Formation Courses, as it’s an experience that will remain in their hearts forever.
***On behalf of Georgia and myself, we would like to thank the Catenian Association for supporting us to attend the YLFC.