Young Catholics must set the world on fire with their faith, Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher told about 20,000 young people gathered in a former Olympic Stadium.
“You must be spiritual flamethrowers. You must have the awesomeness of an Australian bush fire, without the destruction,” he said at the opening of the Australian Catholic Youth Festival on Thursday 7th December.
The opening of the three-day event included US Catholic singer Matt Maher getting bishops dancing in the aisles with young people. Australian Aboriginals sang and danced, Maronite Catholic drummers mesmerised the crowd and Fr Rob Galea, a popular Australian singing priest, challenged any bishop who was brave enough to join him on stage for a some spiritual “surfing.”
Sydney Auxiliary Bishop Richard Umbers accepted the challenge and joined Fr Galea, jumping side to side in surfer poses as they belted out lyrics glorifying God.
Archbishop Fisher, the Australian bishops’ delegate for youth, told reporters: “Right from the start you could sense the Holy Spirit among them (young people)…And I don’t mean that everything’s good for them. A lot of them have doubts and questions and, probably, struggles in their lives, but you really saw a good side of young Catholic Australia this morning.”
Picture: An estimated 20,000 people use their mobile phones to light a stadium during the opening of the Australian Catholic Youth Festival on Thursday 7th December. (CNS photo/courtesy Archdiocese of Sydney).