Sacramentum, equipping young adults with deeper knowledge of faith

20 May 2020

By Amanda Murthy

Sydney Archdiocese Faith Education Officer Vincent Haber delivered a talk titled “JPII, I Love You”, exploring the life, contributions and struggles of the former Pope. Photo: Joshua Low.

By Amanda Murthy

Participants of the Sacramentumyoung adults online conference spent last weekend from 15 to 17 May deepening their faith, learning more about prayer, forming connections with one another, and getting their difficult questions answered as they delved into Jason Evert’s book, Saint John Paul the Great: His Five Loves.

The themes highlighted in the book were young people, human love, Mother Mary, the Eucharist, and the cross.

Organised by Catholic Youth Ministry Perth (CYM), the conference premiered with a special message by CYM Director Adeline Bock and Sacramentum Event Coordinator Theodorus Hartanto, who took the time to thank speakers, organisers and participants for tuning in.

“We encourage you to take this time to slow down and to be really present, listen to the various talks, taking the information you receive to prayer and reflection, and to participate openly, asking the Holy Spirit to guide you,” Ms Bock said.

UNDA Chaplain Father Mariusz Grzech led in the morning prayers for the first online Sacramentum conference for young adults, held from 15 to 17 May. Photo: Matthew Lau.

Vincent Haber, Sydney Archdiocese Faith Education Officer delivered the opening plenary session by exploring the life of St John Paul II in his “JPII, I Love You” talk.

Mr Haber explored some of the struggles endured by St JPII, including the death of his mother at a very young age, the death of two seminarians in his 20s, two attempted assassinations on his life during his papacy, and explaining why St JPII never gave up.

“Despite all of his sufferings, St JPII never gave up because it helped and taught him how to become dependent on Christ, and he knew that He could be transformed,” he cited.

“With suffering comes compassion, kindness, generosity and love. That is something we can all take on board and apply in our own journey of life.

“St JPII said that in suffering, more than anything else, which clears the way for grace that transforms human souls. When we genuinely embrace suffering, it can be transformed into an act of intercession and awaken one’s heart to the pain of others,” he added.

Aquinas College Religious Education Co-ordinator Paul Kelly spoke about “The role of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the lives of her children”, and conducted a Q&A session afterwards, at the first online Sacramentum conference for young adults, held from 15 to 17 May. Photo: Sourced.

Participants were then given access to view pre-recorded talks by presenters including:

  • Paul Kelly, Aquinas College Religious Education Coordinator, on “The role of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the lives of her children”;
  • Dr Peter Cristofides, University of Notre Dame Lecturer, on “Carrying our cross as the hope of truth in the midst of suffering”;
  • Natalie Thomas, UNDA Tutor, on “About human love”;
  • Dr Marco Ceccarelli, Centre for Faith Enrichment Director, on “The joy of announcing the Gospel: Evangelisation of and for young people in contemporary Australia”;
  • Somascan Brother Sheldon Burke CRS on “Mercy…What is it?”; and
  • Michael Chong, Evangelisation Australia Chairperson, on “The Eucharist is the heart of the Church”.

Throughout the conference, participants, led by Archdiocesan priests, were able to engage in various forms of prayer including the rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet, morning prayers, daily Masses and a closing Mass celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton.

Another unique feature, were the live discussion opportunities with some of the speakers, where questions on the topic presented were asked by participants through a chat platform, then answered by the speaker, enabling the young adults to clarify, ask and learn more about their faith.