Featuring our newest series – Living the Faith. This series is a collection of stories of faith from the youth of the Archdiocese of Perth.
All of this has led to me saying YES to God’s calling.
My name is Dredd, I’m nineteen years old from Perth WA and currently a youth leader for St Francis of Assisi Youth in Maida Vale.
Way before ACYF, it all began in Veritas 2017, and I was only meant to attend the Friday night rally but ended up attending the whole three days. I remember feeling overwhelmed to see the number of young people who are willing to learn more and are engaged with their faith, and I thought to myself: “How come I did not know about this sooner?”. At this time, I could describe myself as a “casual” Catholic – one who goes to mass regularly and altar serves but with not as much involvement outside of the Church. During this time, I did not feel as comfortable with my faith due to my school peers not being Catholic and that I needed to fit in. A year later, when we started our youth group and have heard the news about ACYF being here in Perth, I made it a goal to strengthen my faith and to be willing to let others know that I am not ashamed of it – whether it be at uni, work or amongst my peers. I was excited about what ACYF would bring not just for me, but for my youth group as well. I had to face the challenges involved with youth ministry such as changing the stereotypes of a youth group including topics which are relevant and are prevalent issues in my field of study, nursing, such as abortion and euthanasia.
A specific experience during ACYF that has stuck with me ever since and will be with me for a long time is when Fr Rob Galea asked each pilgrim to pray for their youth group leaders. This moment was when everything made sense to me – that the build-up for ACYF and youth ministry is not about what you can do, but the fact that you know the reason why you do it and all of this has led to me saying YES to God’s calling. This moment has strengthened my trust in Him even more and that I will just let everything be done according to His will.
Life after ACYF has brought me an unexplainable level of joy and clarity with regards to my faith, as this experience hit me differently as I started to be more pro-active with my faith and have been keener than ever to inspire others to embrace, rather than to be ashamed of their faith, and to cherish the faith that is God’s gift to us. Every now and then, I do re-watch the plenaries to relive the full ACYF experience: singing along, listening to the keynote speakers and praying in silence along with the videos.
Moving from ACYF onwards, my goal is to inspire others in the faith who are silent and ashamed, to not be, as all the opinions of this earthly world mean nothing compared to God’s very own and that we all should realise that His love is more than enough. I would strive more towards the eternal life that God has in store and that I would live day by day seeing God’s face in each person that I meet so that I could welcome them with hope, faith, and love.
Do you have a story to share? We would love to feature you in our Living the Faith Series! DM us in our social media or email firstname.lastname@example.org