Popular US singer-songwriter, Steve Angrisano, inspired and captivated his young audience during a performance for primary school students at Casimir Catholic College in Marrickville on 1 June.
The performance was the second last of 28 that the charismatic musician and evangelist gave during his tour down-under for the Year of Youth. He performed across the country appearing in Perth, Tasmania, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.
Students from 40 primary schools attended Angrisano’s Marrickville performance, which included stories, games and songs. His central message was the power of kindness and how it can lead to holiness.
Mr Angrisano told The Catholic Weekly he wanted to impart to young people that holiness is attainable for everyone.
“When you’re willing to be courageous and follow the example of Jesus in washing the feet of other people, and being the kind of kid who’s not afraid to say, ‘Hey, stop making fun of her!’ that’s enough, that’s holier than we know.”
“A lot of kids think holiness is being holier than thou, unattainable, walking around with bibles in their hands. But really I think it’s just being that sacrificially loving and caring reflection of God’s love.”
Mr Angrisano said one of the fruits of last year’s ACYF is the growing realisation in Australia that while educating young people about God is important, it’s also vital to provide real encounters with God through prayer, worship, reflection and music.
“A retreat day, a prayer experience—an opportunity to just listen to God in your own life is sometimes more important.”
Year 6 student at St Peter Chanel’s in Regent’s Park, Alannah Adams, said she was inspired by Angrisano’s music and in particular his encouragement to “be kind to everyone.”
Classmate Hillary Riofrio Escobar was also impressed by the performance. “I love how he inspired us with his story,” she said. “He told us we always need to be there for other people and then trust in God, follow his footsteps. He actually blew me away with his story and his songs.”
For Sebastian Hedges from Year 6 at St Brendan’s Annandale the take-home message was “be kinder than necessary.”
“Kindness is very contagious,” he said.
“I liked how he talked about how the Holy Spirit gives you strength,” Zac Horist from Year 5 at St Brendan’s added. “You don’t need to wear special clothes, you don’t need to be a special person to be kind. Anyone can do it, anywhere.
“He was very inspiring and I feel like I’m going to be kind to everyone, I’m going to spread the Word of God.”
Year 5 student at St Vincent’s in Ashfield, Celeste Kovac, said the performance “lifted” her spirit. While Nicole Casupanan from Year 6 at St Vincent’s said she wanted to “live up to” his message to be kind to others.