FORGET the drugs and alcohol – there’s a rave party culture that’s opting for good, clean fun without the regrets.
A former lay missionary from the Philippines Fredney Gales is helping to foster a culture of young people who can confidently reject the allure of a drug-imbued night out.
After working as a lay missionary for seven years, Mr Gales has spent the past two years co-ordinating Youth for Christ events in his home city, Sydney.
He believes young people often have no place to speak openly about chastity and sexual purity.
“I think the basic things that the youth are influenced by right now, and which the media promotes, are promiscuity, drugs, alcohol,” Mr Gales said.
“There are not many environments where young people can be told that these things will lead to their death.”
At the recent national Youth for Christ Conference in Brisbane, the host city for the first time in 11 years, there were plenty of opportunities to have good, clean fun, including a rave party.
Ditching the pills and the booze, the ministry team lined up a string of secular songs boasting positive, wholesome messages “for them to know that we as young people can enjoy ourselves without the influence of drugs and alcohol”.
The 400 delegates also received ample time for faith formation, with workshops on proclaiming the Word of God at Mass, singing in the Mass, studying the Catechism, organising youth camps and leading household prayer gatherings.
YCON2016 youth also split up into groups to discuss the challenges young people face when striving to live a pure, chaste life.
“These forums address those things, that as Catholics, we need to know where we stand,” Mr Gales said.
“We can still have fun in a good, clean and Christian environment.”
Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge and archdiocesan vocation director Fr Morgan Batt celebrated Masses during the weekend.
Besides music at the pseudo rave party, praise and worship has always been a major aspect of the Youth for Christ conference.
Over the years, the co-ordinators have gone from using Protestant music to writing their own music with a heavier emphasis on Catholic lyrics.
The inspiration came from the Philippines’ biggest praise concert, LiveLoud, which is headed for Sydney in October.
“Leading the young people in prayer and having joyful music allows them to experience God,” Mr Gales said.