By Amanda Murthy
The Knights Catholic Leadership Academy (KCLA) recently celebrated the graduation of 11 students on 14 January, with a Mass at St Marys Cathedral, before proceeding with the graduation certificate presentations and sharing of a meal.
KCLA Spiritual Director and Chaplain Fr Stephen Gorddard led in the Eucharistic celebrations, which was attended by Founder of Knights Catholic Leadership Academy Tristan Kolay, KSCWA State Chairman Nigel Hayward, Southern Cross Care State Chairman Brad Prentice, Acts 2 College of Mission and Evangelisation (Acts2COME) Principals Jane and Mario Borg and Catholic Youth Ministry Acting Director Vincent Haber.
In his homily, Fr Gorddard addressed the graduates present with some words of encouragement, drawn from the Gospel reading.
When Jesus called Peter in the Gospels, there was the vision of who he was at that moment: “Leave me, Lord; I am a sinful man,” he said.
“Yet the Son of God sees beyond this, to a vision of who we are each called to be, by His grace.
Even when Peter ultimately betrays Him, Christ still sees a broader vision of who Peter can become, and calls him to “Feed my sheep,” Fr Gorddard added.
Fr Gorddard added that every graduate should feel incredibly blessed to be a part of the KLCA as God has chosen and called them in these times by His grace that sends them into the world that hungers to encounter Him.
“The deep formation you have received in your faith will bring you confidence and influence as leaders,” Fr Gorddard said.
“The immersion into our deep spirituality unveils the true joy which you will bring to your encounters with others, whose hearts seek this treasure.
“And with the skills from your training and mentoring you will be able to be fully engaged with your ministry in a planned, coordinated and sustainable way, for the mission God has placed in your heart,” he concluded.
KCLA Graduate Angela Gethen said the program helped develop her confidence as a Catholic leader, lending many valuable opportunities to practise skills such as public speaking, which are essential in sharing our faith with one another.
“We were given the opportunity to deepen our faith, and were taught the fundamentals of evangelism and Catholic Apologetics – which taught us how to stand up for the faith and spread it to others in an effective manner,” she explained.
“One of the most striking elements of KCLA was the level of pastoral care we received throughout the year.
“All of the program’s administrators were incredibly genuine, Christ-focused and inspiring individuals, and they were all fully dedicated to our wellbeing and personal development throughout the program,” she cited.
Ms Gethen added she will continue to serve as a volunteer leader with 24:7 Youth Ministry and hopes to complete a Certificate IV in Catholic Youth Ministry this year at Acts2COME.
Inspired by the workshop sessions attended during the course, graduate Isaac Bell who is currently on a pilgrimage in Rome, said he learned many new leadership skills while being strengthened in the faith.
“Through this course, I am encouraged to study my faith more in-depth so that I can follow Christ and hopefully inspire other youth’s to do the same,” he said.
If you’re a senior high school student and interested in serving as a Catholic youth leader, apply for KCLA 2019 by 28th February at www.knightsyouth.com