We flew to Perth last Saturday for our stay at Mazenod WA where we were welcomed and supported (particular mention go to the staff who drove us around in their buses). We had a great coming together with Oblate youth groups, Iona, Mazenod WA as a united Oblate Youth Australia gathering.

On Saturday night Mass was celebrated with Fr Fini followed by great get to know you activities. Thanks to Emma Rice for all the work organizing the collective group and activities and Fr Fini for the leading us spiritually and pastorally. There were three incredible days at the festival with music, talks, Mass, adoration, chants and making new friends among the near 6000 participants, with over 1000 coming from Melbourne. We followed this up with a Perth version of City Day, a swim at Cottesloe beach, watching a sunset, BBQ and lawn bowls! Our final day was spent at St Patrick’s Basilica in Fremantle where the Oblates first arrived 125 years ago. Very tasty fish and chips was followed by the long journey home which culminated in parents collecting their sons at 2am on Friday 13th December. The boys did us proud.

Coming from a full spread of faith commitment with some having only come because their friends invited them to the deeply committed. All were moved in unique and special ways. Some having an experience of God’s love for the first time, some moved by the mercy of God in reconciliation, others touched by the silent power of adoration, others moved by the music or talks, others by the friendships and encounters with others. It was a transformative experience for all.

I’d like to thank the great work of our leaders, Joshua Rajasingam, Cristiano Grosso, Joshua Chia and Jeremy Wijeyesekera who gave so much, not just to get the job done, but to do it with style. Thanks to Joe Moore for all the initial organizing.

These photos will give you some idea of the experience.

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