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Veritas Superfest displays ‘Dynamic Church’

A representative from the Sisters of Nazareth, pictured with Lucy Crees and Anna Watt, were one of more than 20 groups and agencies that hosted stalls at the Veritas Youth Festival.

A representative from the Sisters of Nazareth, pictured with Lucy Crees and Anna Watt, were one of more than 20 groups and agencies that hosted stalls at the Veritas Youth Festival. PHOTO: CYM

“It's a vibrant evening of engaging the young people, showing them our very dynamic local Church and giving them the opportunity to network and explore.”

That’s how Catholic Youth Ministry Worker Vincent Haber described the event headlined as Superfest, which was part of the 2015 Veritas Youth Festival at Santa Maria College on Saturday, 11 July.

The aim of Superfest, said Mr Haber, was to connect the young people who attended the Veritas Youth Festival to the various groups and agencies across the Archdiocese.

More than 20 groups and agencies hosted stalls at the event, which gave them the opportunity to showcase their charisms and the ministries they offer.

Each stall engaged with the young people by organising games and activities, handing out brochures, as well as the opportunity to speak one on one with representatives from the groups and agencies.

“What was amazing is that there were so many young people who were genuinely interested in what was on showcase during the festival,” Mr Haber said.

“Several participants commented that there was a good number of diverse options on offer that was relevant to their own personal needs and charisms,” he said.

The Disciples of Jesus Ministry displayed a strong presence at the event, with representatives from the 24:7 Youth Ministry, Acts 2 Come College of Mission & Evangelisation and the Youth Mission Team Australia on hand to speak with and interact with youth who attended.

Other stalls included the University of Notre Dame Australia, The Dawson Society, Respect Life Office, Caritas Australia, Young Christian Students, Singles for Christ and Jesus Youth.

Religious orders represented included the Catholic Religious Australia WA, Little Sisters of the Poor, Sisters of Nazareth and the Missionaries of God’s Love Sisters.

Bernadette Toohey, from the Missionaries of God’s Love Sisters, travelled from Melbourne for the conference and promoted the order’s upcoming retreat in August.

“The Missionaries of God’s Love Sisters will be back in Perth next month to conduct a weekend retreat for young women who may be discerning a religious vocation,” she explained.

“It’s going to be a great opportunity for women to experience some time to pray and discern,” she said.

Keynote speaker for the Veritas Conference and member of the Ignite Youth leadership team, Ryan Shelton, said he hopes that participants will go home with the message of truth from Veritas.

“We exist to help youth ministries, we put on our events for people to come along and experience God at these events and they can take their experiences back to their youth groups and youth ministries,” Mr Shelton said.

”Ignite Live is modern, contemporary, fun, loud, energetic and, more importantly, it’s all centred on people experiencing God and having an encounter that is real and relevant for their lives.”

Participant Lucy Crees said she was impressed by the event, particularly the information provided.

“It was very interactive, I was given lots of options, lots of activities and lots of events for the future and the community,” Ms Crees said.

“It was a one-stop, go-to place where you could get information about all the Catholic events of all different backgrounds, charisms, orders, profitable and charitable organisations, and they were all really inspiring and I got lots of information on what I’m going to do in the future.”

Participant Tom Brennan said he was attracted to the Dawson Society stall and spoke of its inspiring engagement with visitors.

“The Dawson society stall had really interested me because it is quite like a literature-focused stall which I enjoy, and seems very engaging and it seems very social in terms of its events. I think it’s a really well-presented stall that had a good feel to it,” Mr Brennan said.

The Veritas Superfest was sponsored by Catholic Super which also provided a range of gift voucher prizes for participants who completed their Superfest cards throughout the evening. It was a fun and interactive way for young people to get to know what is on offer around Perth.

In its inaugural year, the Superfest proved to be a highlight for the Veritas Youth Festival and a way to continue engagement of young people with their faith life beyond the event through everything from social justice opportunities, formal faith education, youth groups and communities.