Chosen weekend attracts youth from across Australia
A large contingent of young Canberrans were among over 200 young adults from different parts of Australia that made their way to Melbourne for the CHOSEN weekend.
The weekend was based out of Mannix College, Melbourne and was run by the Jesus Youth Movement (JYM) which advocates new evangelisation as a priority for the Church.
In one sense, its mission is simple and clear: To propose once again to young people the entire Gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ. In this context, Jesus Youth Australia organised a National Youth Conference named ‘CHOSEN’ to help young people encounter Jesus in a life changing way.
But July 12 to 15 was never meant to be just another ordinary youth gathering.
You did not choose me but I chose you and I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last’. (John 15:16)
Off to a lively start
From the first evening Rally on Thursday the 12th the mood was electrifying. Bishop Terry Curtin set it off with his lively inaugural address and MasterPlan gave the eager crowd a taste of their talent.
Masterplan, an International Catholic band, is an initiative within the JYM in the UAE. The Band had played centre stage at WYD Poland and WYD Spain and has performed in three continents!
MasterPlan led the Chosen Morning and Evening Rallies, Impact Sessions, Soul Cafe and assisted with liturgical celebrations.
Moving on, time just seemed to fly during this conference. Each day included a morning and evening rally, workshops to choose from (25 Workshops across 4 days and over 18 speakers), Holy Mass and Eucharistic Adoration, Soul Cafe (Music performance by Fr Chris Eaton MGL & MasterPlan), Indoor Games, and many attractive sessions.
The sacrament of Reconciliation was available throughout all the days of the conference at Mannix Chapel. Personal sharing and testimony of young leaders had a deep impact on the participants.
During breaks one could witness coffee catch ups, chess games, table tennis tournaments, and more. The warmth of the participants far exceeded the chill of Melbourne. Participants too inspired the crowd through dance and drama performances which were at ‘Got Talent’ levels.
Religious speakers included Bishop Terry Curtin, Bishop Mark Edwards, Bishop Bosco Puthur, Fr Ken Barker MGL, Fr Chris Eaton MGL, Sr Kathryn Kingsley MGL, Fr Alex Vickers OP, Fr Robert Krishna OP, Fr Joseph Abutu and Fr David Cartwright.
Paul Ninnes (RealTalk Australia), Ellen Hales (Youth Ministry Development Officer, Lismore Diocese), Dony Peter (Leadership Trainer & Life Coach), Brendan Lindsay, Matthew MacDonald, Penny Badwal, Leeanne Grima, Jake Santito, Jethin Thottan (Worship Leader), Dr Priya Allencherry, Jento Arakkal (National Coordinator, Jesus Youth Australia) and Dr Abish Antony were the gifted lay preachers.
Auxiliary Bishop very impressed
Auxiliary Bishop to Western Region, Archdiocese of Melbourne, the Most Reverend Mark Edwards OMI described the ‘Chosen’ conference as very impressive.
“It took those attending on a journey with multiple opportunities to encounter Jesus,” he said.
“I was there for a morning session where those attending broke into groups of three and the two prayed over/for the other one. And then rotate.
“I thought it powerful. At one stage, also, we prayed for those trying to work out their vocation. In turn we prayed for those who were trying to discern their profession, whether/who they should marry, and those thinking of religious life or priesthood. Each group stood as we prayed for them.
“About 10 stood when we were praying for those discerning religious life / priesthood!’
Highlights of the conference were Rallies with MasterPlan, Eucharistic Adoration, Inspiring Talks by speakers, Music time, Inviting young people to surrender lives to Jesus, Healing Adoration, praying as a community for those contemplating religious life and lots of rap sessions by Fr Chris Eaton MGL.
From basking in the love of Father God, to receiving Christ’s mercy and finally being empowered by the Holy Spirit, the angels and saints in heaven surely rejoiced as the multitude turned their eyes and lives unto their Maker.
On asking several youth on what they would have liked to see done differently their response was, ‘Nothing!’.
Some claimed they were healed, some said they were blessed, some said they were new creations and all agreed they were ‘Chosen’.
The CHOSEN Conference 2018 encouraged young people to take a bold commitment to live as missionary disciples of Jesus Christ in Australia.
Chosen 2018 has become another opportunity to encounter Christ for many young people – ‘open new horizons for spreading joy; which is the theme of Year of Youth 2018.