MORE than 260 young people explored the theme ‘Want Peace/Work for Justice!’ at the 12th National Justice Festival for young adults, held in Ballarat from January 7-11.
The five-day biennial festival was a live-in experience for young adults, aged 17-30, who were looking for an opportunity to explore links between their life, their faith and issues of social justice, ecology, peace and development.
The festival was hosted by Melbourne’s Marist Young Adult Ministry at Ballarat Grammar School.
International guest speakers included director of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns based in Washington, Marie Dennis and Marist Brother Jose Angel Henriquez from the Marist Brothers’ Central America province.
Giving the Australian perspective on social justice was director of indigenous services at Aboriginal Catholic Ministry in Adelaide, Shirley Peisey and director of the Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education in Sydney, Phil Glendenning.
Young people explored daily sub-themes through morning and evening tent gatherings; guest speaker presentations; small and large group dialogue and discussion sessions; creative expressions including music, drama, art, song and dance; quiet times for reflection; liturgy and meditation and informal conversations.
Festival co-ordinator, Marist Brother Tony Clark said it was a huge success with young people travelling from all states and territories as well as New Zealand.
‘They were an excellent group of young people,’ he said.
‘They met in small contact groups after the tent gatherings and explored the theme of the day in the context of their own lives.’
He said everybody got on well together, including the large team of volunteers needed to run the festival, and shared their talents with each other.
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