To live ‘life to the full’ is the motto of the iWitness conference, which will return to Sydney in December.
The conference was first held in 2008 after organisers saw a need for young Sydney Catholics to continue the spirit of World Youth Day in growing closer to Christ.
That first conference saw 150 young adults come together to hear talks from speakers across Sydney and to grow together in faith and fellowship.
Organised by the same group of friends who keep coming back each year, the number of participants has doubled in eight years.
Speakers last year included Frs Daniel McCaughan and Gregory Morgan, Sr Mary Rachel OP; Marian Community of Reconciliation representative Eileen Leyne, and Fr Thomas McFadden OFM Cap.
Time for talks, prayer and reflection is balanced with outdoor activities including a giant water slide and bubble soccer, in addition to Daily mass, perpetual Adoration, a candle-led group rosary and opportunities for confession and spiritual direction.
An added joy of iWitness is “the witness of vocations arising from the conference in the form of both marriage and religious life”, said Catholic Youth Services’ Natalie Ambrose.
“It is wonderful to see past attendees returning to the conference as seminarians or postulants … There is a sense of solidarity built in seeing young adults flourish in the treasures of the faith, to see them at prayer, to see them form strong Catholic friendships, to see them mingle with young, fervent religious, to see them pursue their vocations wholeheartedly and to see this conference as one part of their formation in the Catholic faith.”
Organisers were always delighted “to see many young Catholics gathered together in a prayerful and lively atmosphere”.
“Their enthusiasm is infectious and there is a real sense that the spirit is moving at the conference. iWitness strives to help ignite a flame within young people’s hearts, to keep it burning brightly for those in whom it is already lit, to strengthen, nurture and create lasting friendships among young Catholics and to spark the enthusiasm of the next generation so that they – and us – can truly live ‘life to the full’.”
The iWitness Conference, featuring four Sisters of Life from New York City, returns to the Collaroy Centre from 10-13 December with. Visit lifetothefull.com.au or call Catholic Youth Services on 9764 4357.