Catholic Youth Parramatta have launched their 2020 program with a bang.
With the help of special guest musician Melbourne Catholic singer-songwriter Gen Bryant, the youth agency of the Diocese of Parramatta celebrated a new year of empowering the young people of Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains.
View images from LIFTED Live here or below.
Hundreds of young people were also present at the first LIFTED Live event for 2020, held at West HQ, Rooty Hill on Thursday 13 February.
The Catholic Youth Parramatta team of James Camden, Director, Rosie Drum mgl, Assistant Director, and Qwayne Guevara, Local Engagement Leaders, shared their highlights of the 2020 program and introduced the new Social Justice Coordinator of the Diocese of Parramatta, Patrice Moriarty.
Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, spoke to his young Church about Pope Francis’ call for all of us to care for our common home.
“We’ve had an adverse season of bushfires, of endless drought and even more recently, flooding. I believe that our response as Christians, as Catholics, as Gospel people is to see what the Holy Spirit is telling us through these events, which is to listen to the cry of the Earth, as it were, and to respond in a fitting way. Otherwise, we would be out of sync with God’s plan and purpose for us,” Bishop Vincent said.
“I encourage you to do that in whatever way you can and together, in 2020 and beyond, we can be truly the people of the Gospel, the mouthpieces of God’s truth and hope.”
Four young people were encouraged to share their responses to Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Christus Vivit in their lives.
Dance teacher Olivia Dahdah from the Diocese of Broken Bay spoke about how she uses her gifts and talents in dance as a form of worship, which she showcased in a live performance.
“Christus Vivit was incredibly encouraging for me because I loved the emphasis our Pope put on this inherent and intrinsic call on each and every young person’s heart to bring newness, to be risky and to ruffle a few feathers,” Olivia said.
“Whatever gifts and talents you have been given can be used to glorify God and can be used as your personal form of prayer.”
James Madry from Holy Trinity Parish, Granville, who is a member of the NSW Rural Fire Service, explained to the audience his first-hand experience of the devastating fire season experienced throughout eastern Australia and asked the crowd to think about the communities who are still affected by the fires.
“A few years ago, Pope Francis declared that there is a new path to canonisation for people who give their lives in the service of others. Our Pope is telling us that for someone to lay down their life for someone else is a way to become a saint.
“Those firefighters who lost their lives, I’m not sure of their religious background, could be seen as saintly,” he said.
Two young performers Chris Watters from Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, Kellyville and Stacie Touche from St Patrick’s Cathedral Parish, Parramatta, performed a duet as a reflection to the bushfires, as video clips of the devastation played in the background.
The LIFTED Band, made up of members from across the Diocese, lead the audience in reflective prayer, before Gen Bryant reenergised the crowd with a finale rendition of her song Raise Up Your Voice.
“You are all blessed with incredible gifts. Imagine what we could do with this world if we all just shone in the unique way that we can,” Gen told the crowd.
“We need to stay strong by reaching out to our friends, to our communities and of course, to God.”
The next event on the CYP calendar is the Youth Ministry Masterclass on Saturday 29 February at Campion College, Toongabbie.
This year’s Youth Ministry Masterclass will have exciting sessions led by experienced youth ministers in the Diocese of Parramatta. It is for all who serve in youth ministry, with programs for both beginning leaders and those who are more experienced.
To register, please visit www.parracatholic.org/cyp-youth-ministry-masterclass/
For more information about CYP’s 2020 program, please visit www.parracatholic.org/cyp/