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13/01/2015: Australia

 

The 2015 National Marist Youth Festival commenced last night at the Australian Technology Park in Redfern, with a colourful opening liturgy prepared by the MYM Teams from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. 180 participants from across Australia were welcomed to Gadigal Country by Indigenous elder, Uncle Charles Madden. Br Jeff Crowe officially opened the Festival and Br Emili offered an appetizer on his keynote address ‘Just Living – Hearts without borders’.

This morning Sr Brigid Arthur, CSB, shared her passion for the rights and dignity of asylum seekers and refugees and encouraged the young audience to seek the truth in the pursuit of justice and human rights. Before lunch, Laura John, the Young Australian youth representative at the United Nations, spoke of her travels around the country, listening to the voices on young Australians and their hopes and dreams for our nation.

This afternoon a variety of creative workshops on various faith and justice issues are being conducted, leading into Exposition before dinner. The evening will conclude with Taize Prayer, which Brothers have been invited to attend.

No surprises that the young people have connected so quickly and formed strong bonds. There is a terrific energy and enthusiasm among this new generation of young Marists as they seek to unpack what it means to live justly in the spirit of Jesus, Mary and Marcellin today. The presence and participation of Brothers and staff from various Marist ministries is giving a full Marist flavour to the festival.

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