Young people rally to share their faith

The forecourt of St Patrick’s Cathedral attracted more than 300 young people from across the Diocese of Parramatta for the first Diocesan Youth Rally.
The youth band from Mary Queen of the Family Parish, Blacktown rocked the steps of the cathedral. Photos: Alphonsus Fok.

The forecourt of St Patrick’s Cathedral attracted more than 300 young people from across the Diocese of Parramatta for the first Diocesan Youth Rally, held on the Feast of St John Paul II.

The rally on 24 October 2015 was coordinated by Catholic Youth Parramatta (CYP), the Diocese Youth Council and the World Youth Day Committee.

The rally is a new initiative of Catholic Youth Parramatta, who hope to facilitate a similar event a couple of times throughout the year. The concept provides young people with a welcoming, festival-like experience where connected Catholics can invite a friend.

As the sun set over the precinct, the Cathedral steps were transformed into a spectacular stage for youth bands from Our Lady of the Angels Parish at Rouse Hill, Mary Queen of the Family Parish at Blacktown and Youth for Christ to perform short sets of music throughout the evening.

Each group entertained the crowd with a selection of appropriate chart-topping music and worship songs from their ministries.

The Chair of the Diocese Youth Council, Fr Paul Roberts, opened the rally with an inspiring and motivational call to follow the example of St John Paul II as he welcomed and encouraged the young people of the Diocese to enjoy and embrace their coming together from all reaches of Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains.

The recent unveiling of the statues of St John Paul II with young people provided an opportunity for young people at the rally to truly celebrate the occasion with the founder of our Diocese and father of World Youth Day.

A wall of mercy allowed participants to write a prayer of intercession or light a candle before the statues.

Throughout the program young people preparing for various national and international pilgrimages to the Philippines and Poland for World Youth Day 2016, and Adelaide for next month’s Australian Catholic Youth Festival were treated to bursts of formation about the life, spirituality, impact and history of St John Paul II.

The talented Youth Mission Team performed a drama and Polish dancing by the Lajkonik Group gave the crowd a taste of what to expect in St John Paul II’s homeland, Poland, during WYD.

A number of youth groups took up the opportunity to run stalls that provided food or fun activities to involve young people. Any profits earned are being pooled back into their parish fundraising for WYD or other worthy causes.

The WYD Pilgrimage Leadership Team, Small Group Leaders and Chaplains were announced on the night:

Pilgrimage Leadership Team

David Bourne

James Camden

Sr Rosie Drum MGL

Ian Jordan

Sophie Ryan

Ian Smith

Mark Tuffy

Asante Viswasam

Greg Whitby


Small Group Leaders

Karina Anthony

Genevieve Banks

Amanda Bentley

Christopher Bettiol

Monique Boyer

Steven Buhagiar

Raimie Caramancion

Carmen Cassar

Martin Crew

Simone Di Matteo

Christian Dulawan

Lisa Howell

Christian Illigan

Len Lara

Chris Lee

Attila Lendvai

Malia Lolesio

Philip Margerison

Luzviminda Mercado

Patrice Moriarty

Nathan Mulheron

Anthony Ndaira

Danuta Paton

Joseph Portelli

Anne Prendergast

James Prendergast

Mary Reyes

Michelle Rosewell

Alison Ryan

Gerard Sadaya

Alicia Shaw

Tim Vane-Tempest

Donnie Velasco

Mei Velasco

Sr Lucy Vo

Michelle Yager



Rev Jolly Chacko MS

Rev Clifford D’souza MSFS

Rev Ruben Elago MSP

Rev John Paul Escarlan

Rev Andrew Fornal OP

Rev Shane Reade SDB

Rev Peter Strohmayer OSPPE

Rev Robert William


For more images of the event click here




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