WHILE Archbishop John Bathersby of Brisbane was travelling through Egypt and the Holy Land with 70 young pilgrims from Queensland, he spent much of his time in the back seat of the bus.
Here he shared stories, laughter and thoughts.
Rockhampton diocesan youth co-ordinator and pilgrimage leader, Joy Philippi, said that young people “light up” whenever the archbishop is around and are always eager to be with him.
“Archbishop Bathersby is someone who genuinely takes the time to listen to the whole story of the young people he is with and in turn openly and wholly shares his own story,” she said. “He most definitely supports young people in knowing they belong through his actions, words and presence.
“The young people that were fortunate to pilgrimage with him were able to experience his genuineness first hand. It’s something that every young person should have the opportunity to do.”
A new project has been established in an effort to give all young people a chance to meet, listen and talk to the archbishop about Scripture, prayer and spirituality. SPARCS will be held one Friday night a month for four months beginning this month at All Hallows’ School, Brisbane.
Natalie L’Huillier of Parish Youth Ministry Services says SPARCS looks at six key areas: Spirituality, Prayer, Action, Response, Community and Social.
“It’s an event which reaches all areas of a young spirituality, as well as involving the lives of the young people and the archbishop,” Natalie said.
“It’s important that different leadership levels within the Church have that chance to come together to share thoughts on Scripture and spirituality.”
Not only will the young people be able to listen to the archbishop’s reflections and thoughts on the Gospel, but they will also be able to share their own spirituality with him and each other through small group sharing.
SPARCS will begin on Friday, February 23 from 7.30pm-9pm in St Ann’s Room, All Hallows’ School. At the end of the evening, tea, coffee and refreshments will be served as a further time to chat with other young adults and the archbishop. The other dates for SPARCS are March 23, April 27 and May 18.
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