The energy was high as more than 400 students from 24 schools across the Diocese of Parramatta recently attended LIFTED Live Jr at Wests HQ, Rooty Hill. Organised by Catholic Youth Parramatta in collaboration with Catholic Schools Parramatta Diocese (CSPD), the annual LIFTED Live Jr event is a joyful celebration bringing Years 5 and 6 students together through spirituality and song.
There was so much excitement as students gathered together dancing and singing in the concert environment, entertained and engaged with the LIFTED Live band. With many chances to make new friends, they listened to personal reflections from guest speakers about Christ-like compassion and listening to others.
Catholic Youth Parramatta Manager Qwayne Guevara spoke to the students about the importance of listening, telling them about the Diocese of Parramatta Synod coming up in October. This is a chance for community members to come together to discuss what’s important to them in the life of the Church, leading to renewal for our Catholic community.
Qwayne, who is also the Lead Facilitator of the upcoming Diocesan Synod, is an inspirational young community leader and graduate of two local CSPD schools: Good Shepherd Primary Plumpton and St Agnes Catholic High Rooty Hill.
“Synod means walking together,” Qwayne explained. “It’s all about listening to others.”
St Monica’s Primary North Parramatta Religious Education Coordinator Andrew Baker loved the LIFTED live band and felt that the focus on the upcoming Synod sent a strong message of agency to students.
“It gives them a voice and lets them know they’re valued.” Andrew said. “They are the future of the Church and our communities.”
The program also included special guest New York singer and speaker Chris Padgett, who led a high-energy session with plenty of audience participation. He shared heartfelt reflections on his own childhood, including recollections of classmates who had not been treated with kindness by other students. With a strong focus on our Catholic commitment to the dignity of each and every person, he urged students to be Christ-like in the way that they welcome and value others.
Corpus Christi Primary Cranebrook Year 6 students Jackson and Samuel appreciated the interactive style of the event and learned a lot from Chris Padgett’s presentation.
“Every single one of us is special,” Jackson said. Samuel agreed, commenting that the day had been “a great way to teach us how we’re special in all ways.
“I think we should treat everyone equally and know that everyone’s different in all sorts of ways,” Samuel said.
The LIFTED Live events continued the next day with the LIFTED Live Unleashed session with Year 9 and 10 students.
Students from our primary and secondary schools are encouraged to participate in the Synod process. The Synod team have prepared resources for families and children to have their say about the future of the Church in Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains.
You can also attend one of our upcoming Synod consultation sessions with Bishop Vincent from 6.30pm to 9.30pm on:
- Saturday 3 June at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta
- Saturday 17 June at St Andrew the Apostle Primary School, Marayong
- Saturday 24 June at Holy Spirit Primary School, St Clair
For more information about how to have your say and to register for our consultation sessions, visit parracatholic.org/synod2023.