IGNITE Conference 2010 attracted more than 750 youth from across Australia to connect and worship with fellow young Catholics.
The conference from September 23-26 was held at the Mueller Performing Arts Centre, Redcliffe, with “The Portal’ this year’s theme and Colossians 1:13 the theme scripture – “He has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of His beloved Son”.
Since it began in 2001 the Emmanuel Community’s Ignite conference has grown to become the largest Catholic youth event of its kind in Australia for young adults, teenagers and children.
Along with a large array of guest speakers and workshops for all ages this year’s Ignite conference also included a Vocations and Ministries expo.
One of the organising team Paul Ninnes said surveys showed that more than 80 per cent of young people who engaged with Jesus said that had happened at a big event they attended.
He told group leaders and conference workshop presenters that attracting youth to events such as Ignite was extremely important and thanked them for their efforts in organising groups to attend.
“You can spend all year long doing lots and lots of things but quite often it’s the big events where big things happen and people make that deep and lifelong commitment,” he said.
One of the high points of Ignite 2010 was the noon Mass on September 24 presided over by Archbishop John Bathersby of Brisbane and several priests.
During his homily Archbishop Bathersby the told young worshippers he was delighted to be there and hoped to join them again in the future.
He said although he was almost at the retirement age of 75 he had never felt happier in his life as he tried to understand Jesus more deeply.
“All I want to do now until I die is to tell people about the good news of Jesus Christ,” Archbishop Bathersby said.
He also told them to never forget how quickly life raced away and not to waste that life.
“God made us to live forever and God will help us in every way possible to make an impact on other people but while here on earth we must use every moment of our lives to promote God’s marvellous kingdom to which we belong,” he said.
He encouraged the young people to persevere in their faith if faced with sudden fears or personal hesitations.
“Even Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane hesitated, as the scripture says, ‘a sudden fear came upon him’,” he said.
Ignite 2010 group leaders were encouraged to continue the momentum begun at the conference by organising follow-up gatherings back in their parishes and schools.
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