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Saint Saturnius

Marist Calendar - November

Change the world! A Challenge on the part of Bishop Kevin Dowling



Marist International Festival - Third day

22/07/2008: Australia - Photo gallery

The final day of the Marist International Festival (July 12th) was dedicated to opening perspectives to the young people to enable them to undertake actions that will make a better world. Kevin Dowling, born in Pretoria, was ordained a priest in 1967 and consecrated Bishop of Rustenburg in 1991. Bishop Dowling is a defender of justice and human rights. He has taken a great interest in people infected with the AIDS virus in Africa. He has also worked for the rights of women who live in vulnerable circumstances.

With this personal experience, he made his presentation before the participants of the Marist International Festival. In the first part he related a series of anecdotes, lived experiences of the people of his diocese, to show that small community actions can result in changes in the reality that surrounds us to make it more just. In light of this testimony, the reflection “What can we do?” emerged spontaneously.

The bishop made it clear to the young people that the force that keeps him strong and hopeful, in spite of the difficulties, has been his faith in Jesus Christ. Never lose hope; abandon yourself in God’s hands; let yourself be molded by the Spirit like the potter molds the clay into a perfect work.

This witness was a true gift for everyone. At the end of the presentation the young people asked many questions in a very direct manner. The example of the bishop will be an excellent reference point for future actions when the pilgrims have returned home.

During the remainder of the day there were 24 workshops which certainly attracted the attention of the participants. Various topics were offered: AIDS, Marist History, education among the Aboriginal Australians, evangelization through music, responsibility in light of climactic change and so on. Michael Galovich, creator of the icon of Saint Benedict which will be given to the Pope at World Youth Day, gave a workshop on iconography, presenting and explaining some of his works. Brother Seán, Superior General, gave a workshop on sexuality. Brother César Henríquez did a concrete experience with a group on how to defend the rights of children in unjust situations. These activities lasted until the early hours of the afternoon.

The day ended with a trip on the ferry to Luna Park.

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