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250 Marists gathered from across Australia to celebrate the Marist bicentenary

 

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Young Australians ‘Awaken’ at National Marist Youth Festival

13/07/2017: Australia

From 30 June to 3 July, St Joseph’s College in Sydney was transformed into celebration mode as 250 students, young adults, volunteers, staff and Marist Brothers gathered from across Australia to celebrate the Marist bicentenary. We were blessed to be joined by young adults from the Province of Southern Africa and the Philippines, who brought an international voice to the celebration.

The festival theme ‘Awaken’ invited young people to reflect on the legacy of Champagnat’s charism over the past 200 years and to once again awaken to the situations and circumstances of today’s rapidly changing world, and respond as ‘agents of change’ in the lives of children and young people.

The festival provided 24 engaging workshops covering a range of topics including faith, theology, justice, human rights, spirituality and ministry to the peripheries. For the first time, participants encountered the Lavalla 200> Community from Mt Druitt and were provided with an overview of the community’s vision and mission objectives for young people in western Sydney.

We were blessed to have inspirational keynote speakers including Brother Tony Leon from Rome and the energetic Catholic songwriter/performer, Steve Angrisano from the United States.

Speaking at the conclusion of the four-day festival, Awaken co-ordinator Brother Greg McDonald reflected on the significance of the gathering.

“The festival has been a unique opportunity for the Province and the Marist Association to not only celebrate our Marist bicentenary with our young people, but also encounter their youthful desire and vitality for future Marist life and mission," affirmed Br Greg.

"We want to tap this energy by inviting our graduating school students to participate in a range of emerging Marist youth ministry projects throughout the Province and support them in their young adult lives through the provision of good formation and accompaniment experiences,” he added.

Awaken marked the 30th anniversary of Marist Youth Festivals in Australia.

Br. Emili Turú, Superior General, sent a message to the participants:

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