Hearty food and discussions at CYP LIFTED Breakfast Forum

By Mary Brazell, 14 May 2019
Qwayne Guevara at the CYP LIFTED Breakfast Forum. Image: Mary Brazell/Diocese of Parramatta.

 

A diverse cross-section of youth and young adults from Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains have shared their thoughts on the engagement of young people in our Church at Catholic Youth Parramatta’s (CYP) LIFTED Breakfast Forum.

This year’s event was held on Saturday 11 May at the Mercure Hotel Parramatta, where attendees enjoyed a full buffet breakfast.

View images from the CYP LIFTED Breakfast Forum here or below.

CYP Breakfast Forum 2019 (48 of 97)

James Camden, Director, Catholic Youth Parramatta, kicked off proceedings with a warm welcome, telling attendees that the Breakfast is an annual tradition now in its 17th year.

James also apologised that he had made a mistake in booking Bishop Vincent Long for the wrong date, and disappointingly could not attend the breakfast.

“I remember as a 16-year-old coming in the car with a little team of youth leaders and being really excited about this [Breakfast with the Bishop] because it was that chance to share with each other, it was that chance to hear the vision of what was happening and it was a good chance for the bishop to listen to us…and the breakfast was always good too,” James said with a smile.

“He [Bishop Vincent] wishes he could be here, but he is looking forward to hearing about what we collect and bring back to him – it will be your ideas, your vision and your desires for the future.”

The first session was spent discussing Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Christus Vivit, as St Andrew the Apostle Parish, Marayong, parishioner Sebastian Duhau gave context and insight into its creation.

Sebastian Duhau at the CYP LIFTED Breakfast Forum. Image: Mary Brazell/Diocese of Parramatta.

Sebastian, who works in youth ministry for the De La Salle Brothers’ Lasallian Mission Council, attended the 15th General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in Rome on ‘Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment’ in October 2018.

Sebastian said that Christus Vivit works in a ‘trilogy’ of documents that define the synodal process, which includes the pre-synod document Instrumentum Laboris, and the final synod document itself.

“The Pope recently redefined the rule of the synod, which means that the synod document that got produced at the synod actually stands as its own document, which meant that he didn’t need to write a letter, he didn’t need to write an exhortation at the end of it, but he felt compelled to,” Sebastian said.

“One of my favourite paragraphs in this letter is paragraph 41. It serves as a massive callout to everyone who is just stuck, everyone who is not willing to embrace change or see the need for change or do anything differently.

“What that letter serves best as is a challenge for each of us to go and discern what can be done differently, what are we doing just for the sake of doing, and what are we doing because we’re too lazy to change it. What can we change, what are we willing to change, how far are we actually willing to push the boundaries?” Sebastian asked.

Four young people from around the diocese then shared their own reflections on the papal document.

John Basco, Sundance Fuller, Mitchell Simpson and Christina Rujicica at the CYP LIFTED Breakfast Forum. Image: Mary Brazell/Diocese of Parramatta.

John Basco, youth minister at St Anthony of Padua Parish, Toongabbie, spoke about chapter seven of Christus Vivit and how the chapter isn’t a step-by-step manual for youth ministry.

High school student and World Youth Day Panama pilgrim Sundance Fuller reflected on chapters three and five, emphasising Pope Francis’ call to young people as the ‘now’ of God, the ‘now’ of the church.

High school student and World Youth Day Panama pilgrim Mitchell Simpson spoke about paragraph 44, and how his attendance at the Australian Catholic Youth Festival was his ‘yes’ moment.

Christina Rujicica from the Young Christian Workers movement spoke about a key theme of the exhortation – ‘sowing seeds’ – and that in chapter eight, when God calls someone to vocation, it is not about what you are, but what you will one day be.

The next session allowed the participants to share their thoughts and ideas for the upcoming Diocesan Forum, with a focus on three key areas – community, outreach and leadership.

Discussions at the CYP LIFTED Breakfast Forum. Image: Mary Brazell/Diocese of Parramatta.

Representing 32 youth ministries in the Diocese, the participants were asked what we are doing well, what could we do better and what could be revolutionary at a parish or school level and a wider diocesan level.

The breakfast finished with a unique, first-time Q&A session with James, Sr Rosie Drum, Assistant Director, and Qwayne Guevara, Local Engagement Manager.

The audience asked about the Plenary Council 2020 process, what different experiences the team gathered from World Youth Day in Panama, and how to engage youth in schools and parishes who aren’t practicing their faith.

Over the coming months, the CYP Team will be proposing some responses to the wealth of insight collected from the young people present.

View images from the CYP LIFTED Breakfast Forum here or below.

CYP Breakfast Forum 2019 (11.05.19)

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