A record number of students from the Archdiocese gathered at Marist College on Wednesday August 7 for the third annual Shine Gathering.
This year 520 students from 12 schools across the Archdiocese participated in the Gathering, up from 450 students last year.
Project Officer for Catholic Schools and the New Evangelisation, Nathan Galea, said he was excited by the continued growth of Shine which he described as a chance for young people who’ve chosen the Youth Ministry course to come together from all over the Archdiocese.
“We’ve got people from Pambula and the South Coast, people from around Canberra, out in the country, places like Temora and Cootamundra,” he said.
“There’s something special about when we come together and, at a time in the Church when there’s not necessarily a lot of engagement level, we know, as Pope Francis has called us, to go to where our young people are and then to call them on and to show them the gift of our Faith and what it is that our Catholic Faith has to offer.”
Archbishop Christopher Prowse, who was one of the opening speakers at the Gathering, was also pleased with the continued growth of the event and said he was proud to welcome the present and future leaders of the Church – the now of the Church.
“I’m really happy it has been organised by youth, for youth and for the evangelisation particularly of youth in the Archdiocese,” Archbishop Christopher said.
“We’re well placed to be what Christ wants us to be, to be his presence in the world today as Missionary Disciples.”
The event was a gathering of year 9 and 10 students who had chosen an elective within the Religious Education curriculum focused on the CSYMA youth ministry program. The popularity of the elective is an indicator of the success of the CSYMA model now being implemented across the Archdiocese.
The Shine Gathering started with an introduction and Welcome to Country by Nathan Galea, a welcome from Marist College by Headmaster Matthew Hutchison and a Welcome from Catholic Education by Angus Tulley, before Archbishop Christopher addressed the students and urged them to be open to what the day had to offer.
Throughout the day, students participated in ice-breakers, workshops, singing, testimonies and a range of other activities.
The theme of this year’s Shine Gathering was “The Truth: Life = Love”.