Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP told students that the Catholic church wants everyone, and is a “home for all” at annual student leaders luncheon.
“The church wants everybody” said Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP. Addressing a group of 30 senior Sydney Catholic School students at Cathedral House for the annual Archbishop’s Student Leaders Luncheon.
Asked by one of the leaders about what the Catholic Church is doing to promote inclusivity, the Archbishop replied that the Church is a home for all.
“I just want them to know that they really and truly are loved,” said the Archbishop. “The church wants everybody, it doesn’t reject anybody.
“It’s very important for us to know, and to know it deeply in our hearts, that God loves every human being. God’s arms are wide open.
“[The Church] calls people to a high ideal, but we call everybody to a high ideal. We’re not picking on one group and saying, ‘you’ve got to have it up here and the rest of us are fine down here. It’s everybody that have been called to a high ideal.”
The lunch was the first of three held each year with the first one involving students from Sydney’s eastern region. They provide senior secondary student leaders with an opportunity to speak directly with the Archbishop and ask the questions they wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to ask.
Hosted by the Archbishop in collaboration with Sydney Catholic Schools the lunch helps the Archbishop to stay connected with schools and school leaders and encourages the students to continue nurturing their leadership skills beyond their secondary education.
The student leaders are invited to “The Archbishop’s place” for lunch and conversation, discussing candidly the issues of the day and connecting with Sydney Catholic Youth leaders and University Chaplaincy staff.
“It’s great to have you at my place,” said the Archbishop, welcoming the students to Cathedral House. “It’s a joy for me just to meet some of you young men and women of our education system, whether you’re at systemic schools or congregational schools.
“Please know that you’re always very welcome at my place, but the Cathedral is your place, because you are the Catholics of Sydney, so it’s your home as well as mine.
“So thanks be to God for your schools and each one of you.”
Classmates Mitchell Heywood and Semi Babale from Champagnat Catholic College said they benefited a great deal from the luncheon.
“thanks be to God for your schools and each one of you.”
“Getting to meet the Archbishop in such a personal setting was great, he was very open and we could all speak honestly,” said Mitchell.
“Especially in the question and answer section,” said Semi, “More than I thought he would be.”
Sydney Catholic Youth Team Leader and MC for the event, Chris Lee said the lunches were a great opportunity for both the Archbishop and Sydney’s young student leaders.
“It’s great to be able to meet with all these young people,” said Chris Lee. “It is great for the students to be able to talk about the real issues that they are facing, and it is great to see the Archbishop engaging in dialogue with them.
“You can tell how much His Grace cares about the young people in Sydney and the future of the Church in Australia, his concern for and interest in their lives can be seen very clearly today and at other events like these.”
The luncheon series will continue over the next few weeks giving more students an opportunity to engage with Archbishop Anthony and share a meal with him at “their place.”