Perth gets ready for Rio WYD 2013
Article: B Spinks, Photos: B Spinks, M Connolly
Archbishop Barry James Hickey urged the young people of the Archdiocese to stand up for their Catholic faith in all its radicalness at the official Perth launch for World Youth Day 2013 on the Cathedral House forecourt on 13 November.
The Gospel is radical, the Catholic faith is radical and young Catholics have to stand up for it by the way they live their lives, Archbishop Hickey said.
Impressed by the way the young people who love the Church’s teachings see WYD as part of their lives, he spoke highly of their support for traditional teaching.
“There’s something going on among our young people today that I like very much,” he said.
“We’ve got a new generation coming up that loves the Church, that’s not out there to criticise it, that just loves it and says ‘we’re part of it’,” he said.
To the rhythm of the atabaque (drum) and the berimbau, a group of local capoeira dancers led the youthful congregation down from St Mary’s Cathedral to the Cathedral House forecourt for this month’s Catholic Youth Ministry Sunday Sesh and WYD Rio launch in Perth.
The dancers brought a taste of Brasilian culture to the grounds of Cathedral House followed by the Mercedes College rock band, Flame Ministries band and Archbishop Hickey’s keynote address.
The theme for the next WYD to be held from 23-28 July 2013 in Rio de Janeiro is “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matt 28:19).
Archbishop Hickey encouraged the youth to witness to the radical message of Jesus by their lives and in their conversations and in this way to be disciples of Jesus in order to make other disciples of Jesus.
“Jesus said, ‘Love one another’, that’s radical. People used to hate their enemies and love their friends. Jesus said ‘no no, love everyone’,” Archbishop Hickey said.
“Have a humble heart,” he added, referring to Jesus’ radical call to humility.
“Know that you are a son or a daughter of God, and be obedient to God’s law. Don’t put yourself so high that you make your own rules and regulations. You can’t do that; you must listen to God. That takes the humility of a child.”
The drug culture, marriage breakdown and cohabitation are aspects of Australian culture that the Catholic youth must change by the witness of their lives, he said.
He called on the young people to stand up for life.
Despite the fact that ultrasounds prove that there is life in the womb, Australian culture allows for violence towards the unborn, he said, but this is unacceptable. “We must stand for something radical and say ‘No, I’m not going to go along with the crowd,’” he said.
“We look at our culture and we find people not getting married anymore. They’re just living with one another; it doesn’t work. It finishes up with fights and a lot of suffering. They’ve lost the Christian vision of being one flesh, of being one in heart and mind,” he said.
“So we want to change all that and give a dignity to marriage again,” he said.
“Be like Jesus who sat down and offered the water of everlasting life to the woman at the well. In your everyday conversations, sit down at the well with others, and be disciples of Jesus and ‘put a word in for the words of Jesus’.
“Use those little occasions that God gives you to speak a word of truth and a word always in love,” Archbishop Hickey said.
“Get organised. Bring people to you. Get them involved in the things that you’re doing so that they too may pick up the same message,” he said.
“They’re attracted by your joy, by being positive about life, by wanting to share in this great joy that your faith has given you. These are the ways you can make disciples of Jesus. You’re not bringing them to yourself, you are bringing them to Jesus,” he said.
“We can’t make converts but the Holy Spirit can.”
The Sunday Sesh launch for WYD in 2013 in Rio de Janeiro in colour...