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VERITAS 2018: Youth called to ‘Open new horizons for spreading joy’


Around 900 youth were seen participating in the praise and worship session at the three-day Veritas Youth Festival 2018 opening ceremony at the Bateman Corpus Christi College last weekend. Photo: Matthew Lau.

By Amanda Murthy

Following Jesus demands courage and readiness to trade in the couch for a pair of walking shoes and set out on uncharted paths.

“To blaze trails that open up new horizons capable of spreading joy - the joy that is God’s love.”

These were the words of Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB who addressed more than 800 youth during his opening speech to officiate the three-day Veritas Youth Festival at Bateman’s Corpus Christi College last weekend.

The festival, which is in its’ third year, was themed ‘Open new horizons for spreading joy’ and co-ordinated by Catholic Youth Ministry Perth (CYM) in collaboration with other youth networks across Perth.

Archbishop Costelloe said that the theme, which is inspired by Pope Francis’ for next years’ Synod of Bishops in Rome, encourages young people of the Church to “get involved, make some noise, ask questions, expect great things from themselves, others and the Church community as well.”


Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe delivered his opening address during the Veritas Festival which ran between 6 to 8 July. The theme of the festival “open new horizons for spreading joy” ran workshops, games, praise and worship sessions and talks throughout the three days. Photo: Matthew Lau.

Archbishop Costelloe also added that Pope Francis would want the young people to practise forgiveness – to be patient, non-judgemental, and to be realistic about what they might need to wait for tomorrow.

“Jesus is the face of God the Father’s mercy.”

“If we are going to try to be good disciples of Jesus, or at least give the possibility some serious consideration, then that’s what we are called to be as well - people who in our lives and our actions, and especially in the way we treat each other, bring alive the understanding, and the patience and the quick forgiveness and mercy, of God towards us,” he said.

The opening ceremony also included a variety of games, talks and performances, including a colourful fan dance by the Indonesian community, as well as an energetic praise and worship session lead by the Ignite Live group.

Mr Olman Wally who was especially invited for the welcome country ceremony, played the didgeridoo, adding a beatbox improvisation that left the crowd cheering with applause.

CYM Acting Director Vincent Haber’s speech started with an acapella rendition of “His eye is on the sparrow”.

He quoted a scripture verse from 1 Timothy 4:12 “Do not let anyone look down on you just because you are young, but instead be an example of true believers - in love, in purity and in your action,” encouraging the youth to never be afraid to go out and spread God’s love and knowing that He will never leave us.

Mr Haber invited the youth to put God in the centre of their lives because “it is only through God that true happiness is found.”

He thanked the participants for taking the time to attend the festival, adding that the positive turnout of almost 1000 youth throughout the three days will encourage even more support for the upcoming Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF) to be held in Perth next year.

Ms Ashley Carvalho also shared a testimonial on how fully placing her trust in God especially during the tough times, proved to be the best decision – which landed her many amazing opportunities and unforgettable experiences she will always cherish.

The next two days saw an array of workshops, talks, music and prayer sessions, as well as interactive group activities.

The festival closed with a special evening Mass celebrated by Archbishop Costelloe at Bateman parish, St Thomas More Church on Sunday, 8 July.

Concelebrating the Mass were Fr Phong Nguyen, Fr Mark Baumgarten, Fr Nelson Po, Fr Garner Vergara and Fr David Ramirez.

In his homily for the occasion, Archbishop Costelloe quoted Saint Paul’s letters that he said has something special to say to young people who are either trying to work out what their place in the Church might be or trying to discover how they can become more involved and committed than they already are.


Archbishop Costelloe at Bateman parish, St Thomas Moore Church on Sunday, 8 July for the closing mass of the Veritas Youth Festival 2018. Concelebrating the Mass were Frs Phong Nguyen, Fr Mark Baumgarten, Fr Nelson Po, Fr Garner Vergara, and Fr David Ramirez. Photo: Matthew Lau.

He said that the Church can never fully be the Church that the Lord wants it to be, without the presence of the young people.

“You bring all these gifts to the Church and in doing that you remind the rest of us in the Church of just how important hope, and enthusiasm, and ideals and generosity really are for all of us.

“Maybe the rest of the Church community does not always show it, but we really need you and we love it when we see you participate with us, as we do today,” he said.

Archbishop Costelloe explained that young people at their best are full of hope, enthusiasm and ready to commit all their energy to make the best of life, something that is very commendable.

But there are also bad days when this “energy can get eaten up by lethargy and laziness, our generosity swamped by selfishness and worse, our idealism can get compromised by discouragement and hopelessness.”

When the tough times come, Archbishop Costelloe said that if we rely on God instead of relying on ourselves, we can do anything we need to do to live the life that God wants for us.

He quoted St Paul “I can do all things in Christ who gives me the strength” and ended with a reflective prayer.

“Lord, as we go from here today be with us and help us to do and to be what we cannot do or be on our own but can hope to do and be in you who give us the strength.”