ALBANY Creek parish youth co-ordinator Tom Warren took one look at the list of Brisbane archdiocese’s Plenary Council 2020 delegates and thought, “Oh my gosh, those are some fantastic people”.
He said it was “nothing short of shock” to find his name on that list alongside Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Brisbane Auxiliary Bishop Ken Howell, Brisbane vicar general Monsignor Peter Meneely, Toni Janke, Dr Maeve Heaney, Patricia Kennedy, Fr Adrian Farrelly, Fr Adrian Sharp and Fr Dan Ryan.
He said the fact he would be jetting off to Adelaide to sit at the Plenary Council session in October was not just a win for himself, but a win for all young people.
And while he said jokingly, he may have been picked because he was known to be “noisy”, he wanted to make sure young people were not viewed as “just noisy”.
“I want to show that the youth do care about these things,” he said.
“I remember on my first (Plenary Council) session I was very sceptical on the process.
“But my first experience was hearing Archbishop Mark Coleridge saying we needed to be bold, we need to speak out, we need to hear what the Spirit’s saying… after that I came away inspired and wanting to be part of the process and really put my back behind it and really get into it.
“I think it’s an opportunity for fantastic change.”
He said there was a lot of focus on the fact that “we all had to be open to change”, and while a lot of focus had gone on the word “change”, he wanted to put the focus on the word “all”.
“There’s some people who might be very, very keen to change a lot of things, but in a way they have to be open to changing their minds to perhaps being more traditional,” he said.
“And switching back to the traditional people, maybe they’re the ones who have to be open to the changing of something more forward thinking perhaps.
“When I was on that process, I did see quite a few people who did like the idea of change but their version of change.
“We need to look at change as a whole and not change for ourselves.”
He said that was one of his strengths – being open minded about a “holistic” view on change.
“I am quite open minded about that and facilitating that in a group and seeing what I can do to really open their hearts up, open their minds up to what’s going to be best for the future of the church,” he said.
“I personally think, everyone has the capacity to be like Jesus Christ and when we make mistakes, when we sin, we stray further from that but it doesn’t make us less perfect on the inside.
“It’s up to us to figure out who our Jesus is and work towards that and become the best person we can be.
“Being Christian and being Catholic, I think it’s important to look after everyone around us and get to know everyone around us and love everyone around us.”