By the Archdiocesan Office for Youth
The Archdiocesan Office for Youth was blessed to welcome Steve Angrisano, the featured artist at the Australian Catholic Youth Festival, back to Melbourne last month. Steve is a Texas-based musician, composer and youth minister who has featured at seven World Youth Days, several US National Catholic Youth Conferences (NCYC), LA Congresses, March for Life Rallies and many diocesan youth conventions around the world.
Steve kicked off his week in Melbourne with “Celebrate with a joyful heart”, a workshop for people involved in parish music ministry. Steve, a master story-teller, inspired more than 80 participants with tips, songs and lessons learnt along his journey. From practical considerations of instrumentation and music selection, to helping an assembly move beyond the “sit and stare” syndrome, workshop participants explored a number of ways to make parish prayer and worship more powerful. After 13 years of ministry, Steve has honed the craft of creating a relaxed “safe-to-sing” environment.
After a day visiting the Diocese of Ballarat, Steve conducted workshops with students at Mater Christi College in Belgrave and Avila College in Mount Waverley. Students soaked up Steve’s message of the adventure of a life of faith. He challenged students to recognise that our loving God calls us to make a difference in the world and to be witnesses of the faith that we profess.
“Hearing about Steve’s experiences and what he had learnt from them, made me rethink my own actions and how they could have affected others around me. Even though I am not the most religious person on the planet, Steve still made me realise that God is around us always, even if we think he isn’t. This made me feel empowered, humbled, and put a smile on my face,” said student Joanne Lykokapis from Avila College.
On the Thursday evening of his Melbourne stay, Steve led the music at Six30 Holy Hour, a weekly hour of adoration at St Patrick’s Cathedral. His genuine and sincere desire to bring everyone into closer relationship with the Lord was prayerfully evident as he accompanied the prayer during adoration.
Following Six30 Holy Hour more than 100 young people joined Steve and the Archdiocesan Office for Youth for dinner and plenty of entertainment at CulturED Café. Guests were treated to stories of Steve’s own teenage years, and a beautiful rendition of a song dedicated to a student he ministered to who witnessed the Columbine High School tragedy.
Steve’s visit culminated in “Magnificat”, an evening which gathered almost 400 young people at Sacred Heart Church in Carlton for night of praise, music and Adoration. Steve was joined by the local musical talents of the Holy Redeemer Youth Band and Alyssa Comito to prayerfully explore the inspiration of love and devotion that is the gift of Mary our Mother. A powerful testimony from Alana O’Reilly and an engaging drama from Melbourne’s National Evangelisation Team challenged and inspired the congregation of young people. “Magnificat” joyfully, prayerfully and musically celebrated Mary and our faith in Christ, encouraging all to follow in the example of Mary’s “yes”.