To get the chance to explore and deepen your faith is a chance that anyone should reach out and take in their lifetime. To be able to take that opportunity with 19,000 other students, teachers, priests, nuns and bishops from around the country in Sydney is something that we will be grateful for forever.
To be able to hear our faith through wonderfully vibrant music was something that we were pleasantly surprised by at the start of the conference, opening our eyes to new ways we can express our faith in the school and parish community. It was uplifting to hear from bishops and priests that the church has full faith that the youth can, and will, bring the church out of its current hardships and through to a joyful, vibrant and proud horizon. In particular, the messages of Sr Hilda Scott and Archbishop Christopher Prowse (of the archdiocese of Canberra and Gouldburn) rang in our ears with their reassurance that God is with us and with His help, we can achieve great things.
A meet up with La Salle College and Trinity College for a photo op with Archbishop Timothy Costelloe was a heartwarming experience. Sharing food and incredible faith experiences with students and teachers from these schools enriched our sense of communion and spirituality with our Perth contingent.
We received many opportunities to see sights around Sydney that were both important to our faith and the Australian culture. Being able to kneel at the tomb of Saint Mary MacKillop was both a sight that all Australians should see and an experience that they should feel as it was so moving to kneel at the sight of Australia’s first Saint. Being able to walk through Luna Park and then pilgrimage along the Sydney Harbour bridge gave us a great sense of gratitude to be able to see these great Australian icons, while also giving us a sense of perspective on what a wonderful country God has given us to be stewards of.
It is to be awed at that this short trip had the ability to humble us and make us cry and then bring us to our knees in fits of laughter. It is these experiences that have definitely the changed the way we look at our faith and God for the better, and it is through these experiences that God has called us to be active members of his church in all that we do. God Bless.
ACYF Holy Cross Pilgrims