If anyone tries to tell you that young people are not interested in what the Church has to offer, don’t believe it.
Around 150 young people gathered at Holy Cross College, Ryde, for the Inner-westfest youth event featuring musician Gary Pinto on 7 November.
The evening began with a relaxed get-together followed by a testimony and songs by Gary, and ended with Eucharist Adoration and an opportunity for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Ryde-Gladesville parish priest Fr Greg Morgan FMVD said the event was part of the Gracefest and Eastfest initiatives in recent years, which build upon the successes of the World Youth Days and last year’s Australian Catholic Youth Festival.
It was organised by the Inner Western region of the Sydney Archdiocese, Sydney Catholic Youth and Sydney Catholic Schools, with support from parishes, Holy Cross College, Youth Mission Team, and the Dominican Sisters of St Cecilia.
“Through these events we want to give our young people an encounter with Christ, using music, prayer experiences, and personal testimonies,” said Fr Greg.
“It was a really lovely event, the Eucharistic adoration was beautiful and Gary’s testimony about his conversion was very inspiring.”
Youth minister at Holy Name of Mary, Hunters Hill, Jessie Wade said the night was a “beautiful” answer to prayers.
“For a while our parish has wanted to come together with other parishes in the deanery and facilitate the meeting of like-minded Catholics to spread God’s love on a larger scale, and we were definitely able to do that last Wednesday,” she said.
“There aren’t many times you get to participate in the beautiful gift of Adoration with someone like Gary Pinto so it was definitely a night to remember and hopefully not the last.
“It was a great way to celebrate the Year of Youth.”
Sydney Catholic Youth team leader Chris Lee said it was great to be see the local Catholic communities coming together to reach out to young people in the region.
“Fr Greg Morgan and the youth ministers should be extremely proud of what they have achieved,” he said.