Burgers, music and faith post pandemic

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Bishop Richard Umbers and Dr Tracey Rowland with FIDELIS leaders at the launch in April. Photo: Giovanni Portelli
Bishop Richard Umbers and Dr Tracey Rowland with FIDELIS leaders at the launch in April. Photo: Giovanni Portelli

FIDELIS meets need across the city’s young

While Sydney is a big and bustling city, for some young adults who want to grow in their Catholic faith it can still seem a lonely place.

Enter FIDELIS (Latin for faithful), which sees young professionals and students flocking once a month for a meal and live music, catechetical formation and prayer hosted across the archdiocese’s parishes.

FIDELIS is a joint initiative of Sydney Catholic Youth, Universities Catholic Chaplaincies, University Notre Dame Australia, Australian Catholic University’s campus ministry and Campion College.

The April launch featured a food truck and live music, a discussion and [email protected] with Bishop Richard Umbers and UNDA’s Professor Tracey Rowland plus time for Eucharistic Adoration.

“It’s also good to have something to go to that builds community, I’ve met a lot of young people across Sydney which has been cool.”

Ante Furjanic, 19, said he’s keen to attend regularly amid his study, work and soccer commitments.

“I thought it was a good idea and brought a few of my mates with me. At the end of the day I’ve got to keep God first and if I’m only keeping an hour a week for God at Mass then I’m not really acting how I say,” he told The Catholic Weekly.

“It’s also good to have something to go to that builds community, I’ve met a lot of young people across Sydney which has been cool.”

Anna Harrison, 22, went to last month’s FIDELIS night held at St Thomas Becket church in Lewisham with her flatmate.

“I’m blessed to already belong to strong Catholic networks so I was really surprised to see there were so many people there who I didn’t know,” she said.

People gather for the launch of FIDELIS for young adults hosted by a Sydney parish on the Wednesday of every month. It features a meal, live music, catechesis and liturgy. Photo: Giovanni Portelli
People gather for the launch of FIDELIS for young adults hosted by a Sydney parish on the Wednesday of every month. It features a meal, live music, catechesis and liturgy. Photo: Giovanni Portelli

“To find that there are pockets of young faithful people throughout all of Sydney is really exciting. It’s good to have that time and space to pray and then reflect and be able to ask questions with priests, religious and lay people who really know their stuff about the faith the Church teaches and who will share their insights,” she said.

UCC coordinator Tony Mattar said that people had embraced FIDELIS and were promoting it themselves.

“We put one post up on Instagram and I see it popping up everywhere; people are sharing it and bringing their friends along without us even asking them to,” he said.

“I think it’s growing organically because they’ve come out of two years of the pandemic, of searching for meaning through a time of isolation and loneliness and they are now finding a home which offers both community and formation.

“In the Church we often have one without the other, and I think we’ve found a good balance here, we’ve only run two evenings so far and there’s been a great spirit of community and fraternity.

“They are really welcoming these opportunities to meet like-minded people in a social environment …”

“We’re also getting great support from parishes reaching out and offering to host these events all across the city.”

SCY team leader Milad Khalil said he also believed people were craving opportunities to gather after a hard few years of lockdowns and restrictions.

“They are really welcoming these opportunities to meet like-minded people in a social environment where they can also experience deeper catechetical formation and beautiful liturgical experiences,” he said.

The next FIDELIS will be on 29 June from 6pm at St Joachim’s Lidcombe, with guest presenter Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP.

Follow FIDELIS on Instagram @fidelisyoungadults