A few weeks ago I was fortunate to attend the SFC & YFC AUSPAC 2017 themed ‘"Be Clothed in His Love and Peace" – Colossians 3: 12 – 17.
When I reflect upon my AUSPAC experience, it makes me feel glad that I decided to join YFC the time that I did, that being April of just this year! Since then, I’m happy to say that I’ve grown in my faith and have fallen deeply in love with Christ.
Upon arriving at the Philip Island Adventure Resort, I was filled with a sense of amazement and gratitude to see youths from the neighbouring states of Victoria unite together to bask in the Lord’s presence. Within the short three days of Conference, both SFC and YFC listened to inspiring talks led by Fr. Paul Newton (God’s Chosen People), Sr. Bernadette Toohey (Be Clothed in His Love and Peace), Daniel Bernardo (God’s Message Richly Dwells in Us) and Br. Bernard Mary Fonkalsrud (The Power of Unity in Christ).
We were also given the time during Mercy Night to lift up our prayers, which was accompanied with music played by members of YFC Victoria including me! It was a new experience, where I felt a newfound connection with God as I sang the lyrics to His songs.
Praise and Worship was definitely a highlight for me also. Uniting with friends as well as strangers with common hearts in faith, raising our hands and lifting our voices for the Lord was an unforgettable experience, and one that I know I will continue doing. It was a time of expression and love.
We all then partook in the creative competitions competing state against state. It was a blessing to witness everyone performing, presenting their God given talents to us all. There was Praise Parade, Band, Chorale, Dance and Cheer, in which everybody cheered for their respective states (V.I.C Victoria!!!).
I attended the ‘Are we just friends?’ workshop led by Matthew and Julie MacDonald, which enlightened me all about how to differentiate someone perceived as just a friend, or something more. It was inspiring to hear their unique story on how their love for one another blossomed, and just how God works in mysterious ways that can always surprise us.
Following after Talk 3, we were fortunate enough to have Fr. Francis Denton lead the Latin Mass. It was the first time for many people including myself, to be in such a serene and Holy atmosphere the Latin Mass took place in. It was unlike any other mass I’ve attended in the past, with regards to language and its traditional practices; yet it’s something I believe that one gradually appreciates more over time.
We commenced and ended Conference with masses led by Fr. Rene Manubag, Fr. Paul Newton and Bishop Mark Edwards, which was a good way to remind ourselves to focus on the purpose of why we all gathered together in one setting; It was nice to start in prayer and end in prayer.
Overall Conference was a rewarding experience and one that I look forward to partake in again next year in Queensland! I’d truly like to thank CFC, SFC and YFC for this spiritual enduring journey.
Written by Caitlyn Sanahon.
Caitlyn is a member of YFC Melbourne