Mercy in Action: WYD spirit lives on at Canberra youth rally

Students gathered at St Clare's College in Canberra-Goulburn on 14 September for a youth rally.
Students gathered at St Clare’s College in Canberra-Goulburn on 14 September for a youth rally.

The beautiful streets of Krakow, Poland, may only be memories in the minds of young people who attended World Youth Day (WYD), but for high school students from Canberra-Goulburn Archdiocese, the celebrations were far from over.

Senior students from Catholic high schools all around Canberra gathered at St Clare’s College in Griffith on 14 September to take part in Mercy in Action, a post-WYD event based on the Gospel verse Matt 5:7 – “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”

The youth rally kicked off with a performance by Canberra musician Ariana Strmota, before launching into games and an introduction to the rally’s theme, reflecting on the true meaning of mercy through the example of Jesus Christ and His incredible self-sacrificial love.

Andrew Lemalu of the archdiocesan National Evangelisation Team (NET) took the floor to share his personal experience of God’s love and mercy.

A performer at the youth rally.
A performer at the youth rally.

Sam Clear then inspired students with accounts of his 2006-2008 pilgrimage around the world, and discussed the practical applications of both corporal and spiritual acts of mercy.

An encouraging talk by Sr Kathryn of the Missionaries of God’s Love was followed by guided reflection and a performance by Maddie Chynoweth and Lucy Sugerman.

St Clare’s College student Sophie Barton, in Year 11, said the evening was “a really positive and energetic night where I met lots of young people from all around Canberra”.

“I know that everyone that came enjoyed the night and can’t wait for next year’s rally.”

The rally inspired students to bring God’s mercy and compassion into the lives around them.