By Emilie Ng
LOOSE change from parishioners at Holy Cross Parish, Redcliffe helped 42 young people experience God amidst rollercoasters at Ignite Launch on Saturday, May 3.
The Holy Cross Community Youth were among the 300 young people who raced to the gates at Movie World for the “creative evangelisation” project established by Brisbane-based youth ministry, Ignite Youth.
Seminarian Dom Orih was among many parish youth leaders who asked for support from his fellow parishioners at Holy Cross Redcliffe.
“We told people at Mass to throw in all their loose change and give it to young people so they could attend Ignite Launch,” he said.
“We raised more than $1500.”
The money funded a portion of the Ignite Launch registration costs for 42 young people, some of whom were friends of youth group members and had never been to a Catholic event.
“It was a fun introduction to the kind of worship that would lift their hearts,” Mr Orih said.
“I saw the young people having fun, singing, dancing and praising God, and I was really moved.”
Until Mr Orih started his parish placement at Redcliffe, Holy Cross Community Youth didn’t exist.
“When I first came to Redcliffe, there was no youth group,” he said.
“I looked around and saw so many kids, but they were not connected, they just went to Mass and then left.
“I think one of the things that youth struggle with is thinking that Mass or the Church is boring.
“Young people need to feel connected.”
After speaking at weekend Masses about his idea to start a youth group, more than 50 signed up.
With support from the Brisbane NET team to, Mr Orih has now witnessed his youth members grow in their commitment to the parish.
Villanova College, Coorparoo Year 12 student James Kehoe also attended Ignite Launch and said the idea of going to MovieWorld with friends made Ignite Launch an “attractive” event to invite friends who aren’t as committed to the Catholic faith.
He said some friends had recently messaged him on Facebook asking how they could get involved with Ignite Youth events.
He said the Ignite Youth community was a great example of “seeing faith in action”.
Ignite Youth director Pat Keady said the “level-one introduction to the adventure of faith” was both fun and a unique way to approach evangelisation.
“Ignite Launch is a response to Pope Francis’ challenge to take the New Evangelisation to the margins, outside the enclosures of our church buildings and into the midst of the culture,” he said.
“For me it succeeded in communicating that Jesus is not a kill-joy.
“He’s all about life to the full and wants to meet you where you’re at.”