Young talent rocks St Patrick’s Cathedral

LIFTED Live in the Forecourt is a celebration of talented young people in the Diocese of Parramatta.
An acoustic forecourt stage provided a space for smaller acts to shine. Photo: Diocese of Parramatta/Alphonsus Fok.

By James Camden, Catholic Outlook, November 2016

The skies cleared, the clouds lifted, and the energy soared as 450 young people from across the Diocese of Parramatta descended on the forecourt of St Patrick’s Cathedral in Parramatta on 22 October 2016  to celebrate the Feast Day of St John Paul II.

Bishop Vincent shared his vision for the Church’s local mission. Photos: Diocese of Parramatta/Alphonsus Fok.

Bishop Vincent shared his vision for the Church’s local mission. Photos: Diocese of Parramatta/Alphonsus Fok.

LIFTED Live in the Forecourt is a celebration of the talent exhibited by young people in Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains and was the last of Catholic Youth Parramatta’s large-scale evangelisation events for the year; an evolution of last year’s highly successful Diocese Youth Rally.

As the sun set over the precinct, the Cathedral stairs were transformed into a spectacular stage for youth bands from the parishes of Greystanes, Marayong, Blacktown and Quakers Hill who performed short sets of popular music to the impressive crowd that had gathered.

This year the event increased its capacity with the construction of an acoustic forecourt stage that allowed smaller acts to play in between the more significant parts of the program.

This stage hosted more intimate performances from Andrew Gorkic and Sarah Agbulos who are World Youth Day pilgrims from St John XXIII Parish, Glenwood-Stanhope Gardens, Glen Lumanta who is a graduate of Patrician Brothers’ College, Blacktown, and now a professional singer/songwriter, as well as special guest Emma Fradd from NET Ministries Australia.

LIFTED Live is now a key strategy of CYP in drawing young people into a safe, welcoming, and affirming environment that mirrors the positive ingredients of popular culture, yet showcases the gifts of identifying with the young Church of Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains.

Countless priests, religious, and youth leaders of the Diocese were present to connect with those searching for inclusion in all that the Diocese has to offer in the broader mission of the Church.

Fr Paul Roberts with young people at the statue of St John Paul II.

Fr Paul Roberts with young people at the statue of St John Paul II.

A new addition to the LIFTED Live concept was the further development of the Diocesan Dance Crew – a new group that invites talented dancers to come together, choreograph and perform at the event. The crew was outstanding and within minutes had the crowd dancing.

The event celebrated many things – the return of pilgrims from WYD 2016 in Krakow, the feast day of St John Paul II, the 30th anniversary of the Diocese, and the continued growth and popularity of LIFTED Live.

However, nothing could beat welcoming Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv to a youth gathering for the first time and hearing him share his vision for the Church’s local mission.

LIFTED Live nights now complement CYP’s range of other programs designed for training and forming youth leaders in schools and parishes.

To contact CYP send an email to JCamden@parra.catholic.org.au

To view a gallery of photos from LIFTED Live, click here.

Join CYP Facebook.

James Camden is Director of Catholic Youth Parramatta (CYP).

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