Students eye Plenary 2020

ACSA students gather at Cathedral House on 22 November to mark their end of year with Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP.

Having already won global attention for a masterful open letter addressed to the recent Synod on Youth, the Australian Catholic Students’ Association is preparing a submission to Plenary 2020.

ACSA held its end of exams thanksgiving mass on 22 November.

Its NSW Chairperson, law student William Brazier, said the submission currently being prepared is an attempt to “best reflect the majority view of ACSA’s membership: that the Church cannot hope to take shape amidst confusion and ambiguity in its instruction on social and ecclesiastical matters.”

The ACSA’s recommendations for the Plenary Council will be an appeal to the Council to promulgate clarity where there is confusion and promote the established Magisterium of the Church where modernity errs.

ACSA will provide a youthful voice on the most effective methods in which to implement this much-needed return to clarity.

“Young people’s minds in their first years of tertiary study are stretching to answer the ‘big’ questions,” Mr Brazier said.

“During this time, the Church needs to be a well-founded pillar, to support young people with unambiguous teaching and worthy liturgy, which will give them the direction they deserve.”

Christopher Wilks, ACSA president and one of the authors behind ACSA’s recent open letter, says “the growth of the collective identity of university students has been exponential over the past three years.

“It is important to bring young Catholics together, especially in a world where many have nothing to grasp,” he said.

“The world can be an ugly place, and the outward beauty of our churches should reflect the transcendental beauty of God.”

“But we can only shape the Church when we are ourselves formed, only the Church can provide real meaning to our world.”

Students from universities across Sydney gathered together at St Mary’s Cathedral for the Mass celebrated by Bishop Richard Umbers to give thanks to ACSA’s patroness, Our Lady Seat of Wisdom for their year.

Following Mass, students and Bishop Umbers gathered at Cathedral House for drinks and canapés with Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP.

Reflecting on the Synod of Bishops on young people, Archbishop Fisher said that whilst young people face diverse issues in different parts of the world, a similarity between them is that many are “grasping the big questions”.

“Young people’s minds are stretching in different directions,” he said. “We want you to know that the Church wants to be there when you are resolving these basic convictions, issues of discernment and faith.”

Mr Brazier said ACSA “is unique because it is necessarily composed of the next generation of Catholic professionals and academics in Australia.

“With the deficiencies in those two fields, it seems more pressing than ever to become involved in an organisation that unites Australian students, allowing us to joyfully and enthusiastically promote and propagate the social teaching of the Church.”