Pope Francis’ exhortation for young people to ‘put faith in action’ was the theme at the second annual Catholic School Youth Summit (CSYS), held recently at the University of Notre Dame Australia (UNDA).
The summit, which was held on Tuesday 27 June, brought together 121 students and 27 teachers from 25 schools across Western Australia for a day of music, workshops and stories, along with presentations from a range of guest speakers.
These included rapper Fablice Manirakiza (aka FLYBZ) who also attended the inaugural summit last year and shared his story of coming to Australia from war-torn Burundi, and how his faith had influenced his life and music.
Other speakers included Perth Catholic Mission Office Director Francis Leong, Caritas Australia Justice Educator Anita Finneran, Professor Richard Rymarz from the Australian Institute of Theological Education, Shakespearan teacher and director Paige Newmark, Talent Identification Project Leader at Catholic Education Western Australia (CEWA) Dr Shane Glasson, CEWA Director of Religious Education Dr Debra Sayce, and representatives from Indigenous Communities Education & Awareness Foundation (ICEA) and UNDA itself.
Many other school and community leaders were in attendance, including UNDA Vice Chancellor, Prof Celia Hammond and CEWA Executive Director Dr Tim McDonald, who said it had been a great opportunity for engagement.
“It was terrific to work with Notre Dame again this year to put on the second Catholic Schools Youth Summit,” Dr McDonald said.
“This is a unique event bringing together students from a variety of schools and backgrounds to be inspired and challenged – it’s incredibly exciting to be in the room with our future Catholic leaders as they come together to talk about actively living the Gospel and serving others.”
The theme for this year’s summit was taken from Pope Francis’ call for the world’s youth to #getoffthecouch and put faith into action, encouraging them to ‘set out on new and uncharted paths’.
“The time we are living in does not call for young couch potatoes but for young people with shoes, or better boots laced,” Pope Francis said.
Along with talks and workshops, the summit gave students the opportunity to look around the campus at Notre Dame and experience university life and to network with others from across the state.