Hearts and Stomachs Filled at Breakfast with the Bishop

Read more about the exciting event to launch Catholic Youth Parramatta's year
Sr Rosie Drum MGL and the LIFTED Band. Photos: Jordan Grantham, Diocese of Parramatta

By Jordan Grantham, Catholic Outlook

A hearty cheer from more than 200 young people opened Lifted: Breakfast with the Bishop on Saturday 4 March 2017, when James Camden, Director of Catholic Youth Parramatta, welcomed all gathered at the Rooty Hill RSL to tuck into the hearty fare of bacon, eggs, sausages, grilled tomatoes and much more.

Click here to see photos of Lifted: Breakfast with the Bishop.

James shared the inspiring plans for Catholic youth in Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains over the next 19 months: World Youth Day Panama, the Australia Catholic Youth Festival, and the Australian Catholic Youth Ministry Convention.

“We are the hope of right now and the hope for the future,” James said.

18,000 young people are expected at the upcoming Australian Catholic Youth Festival, where the Diocese of Parramatta will support co-hosts the Archdiocese of Sydney and the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.

“These events are called ‘Lifted’. The point of that is that we believe and we have faith in every single person in this room, that we can lift the Church,” he said.

“Keep bringing people into this community that we’re building, knowing that we really do have the strength to really make a difference and be missionary disciples going into the future.”

After satisfying natural hunger, the breakfast turned to the spiritual thirst of Australia’s youngest Diocese with a relaxed ‘Praise and Worship’ concert headlined by Sr Rosie Drum MGL.

Vidya Jolly was at the breakfast and thinks Sr Rosie is an inspiration. Vidya is a Medical Science student at the University of Technology, Sydney and graduate of Catherine McAuley Westmead.

“World Youth Day was my huge leap into faith. It showed me what community really means.”

Another catalyst for Vidya’s reversion was seeing Sr Rosie pray at St John XXIII Parish, Glenwood-Stanhope Gardens.

“Sr Rosie was gazing at the altar with pure joy and I wanted to know what she felt,” Vidya said.

Most Rev Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, gave an address where he shared childhood Vietnamese anecdotes, discussed the Royal Commission and spoke about his hopes for youth in the Diocese.

“You have the duty to repair the Church … to stop disillusionment. St Francis understood that,” Bishop Vincent said.

“The Church has to be a Church of the poor and a Church for the poor and the Church has to be a Church of the powerless, not the powerful. The Church has to be a Church of the marginalised, because that’s who Jesus was.”

Lifted: Breakfast with the Bishop attendees then shared their reactions with Bishop Vincent.

Comments about the future of the Church included a desire for more communities of prayer, pro-life opportunities and social media engagement.

Rebecca Reynolds is a graduate and new teacher at her alma mater Catherine McAuley Westmead. “Young people can build up the Church mainly by the way we live our lives – projecting peace,” Rebecca said.

The breakfast thrilled Sarah Guillaume, a year coordinator at Delany College, Granville.

“We can give authentic formation and let students fall in love with the teachings of the Church,” Sarah said. “Enthusiasm comes from conviction.”

Members and friends of the Diocesan Youth Council announced exciting initiatives, such as monthly Parra-Matters! events, new CYP website plans, LIFTED for Mission Program, School Evangelisation Teams, CYP Mission Teams, WYD, Project Compassion and the Institute for Mission.

Sr Rosie, James and the LIFTED band then returned to the stage to conclude with great tunes like Lord I Need You and All are Welcome.

Click here to see photos of Lifted: Breakfast with the Bishop.

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