YMG Conference 12 Oct 2019

What a wonderful way to spend a Saturday at the YMG One Day Conference at our parish of St Catherine of Siena. The conference was held in the newly built CRC Caroline Springs school and there could not have been a better venue. Thank you CRC Caroline Springs for the use of your facilities.

We had about 40 plus YMG and men alike attend the conference and we were blessed with eloquent speakers, great music, spiritual guidance, praise and worship, confession, Mass and then finally ending with adoration and further confession led by Fr Ken Barker. Our day began with prayer led by our host Fr Richard Rosse, parish priest of St Catherine of Siena. We proceeded straight into the conference with Fr Paul Chandler giving his insights into Esto Vir (Be a Man) and guiding us through the three stages of masculinity.

We then broke for morning tea as we gathered to chat amongst ourselves, catch up and get to know more about one another. After morning tea Fr-John Corrigan talked to us on our conference theme, 'As for me and my house we will serve the Lord' (Joshua 24:15)' that through serving God as we are called, we will find true freedom within ourselves. He told us a story of a wealthy devoted christian man, kidnapped and held captive in isolation for many months. He was finally broken after some months and his captives could not believe how strong he had been to last so long suffering the physical and mental torture. As he had given in to their demands they offered him anything he wanted. After some thought he asked for his favourite bottle of whiskey. As he was about to drink the whiskey a voice inside him said ‘give me to drink’. That is, ‘give me that which you most desire and long for the most’. The voice came every time he tried to drink it. Finally he poured the whiskey down the toilet and started to prayer and exercise and gain strength. His captives were amazed at how strong his faith was and he even converted some his captives. He found freedom in going to to his Lord and God and serving him. Fr John told us to not put ourselves last but after placing and serving God first in our lives we should then look after ourselves, mentally and spiritually. Followed by our family and friends.

After taking a group photo, Fr-Richard Rosse led us in pray honouring Our Lady with the Angelus. After a short break we divided into three workshop groups of two rotations to hear and discuss: ‘Virtue’, led by Fr Richard; ‘Marriage and Sexuality Bitter Sweet Reality using St John Paul II's Theology of the Body' led by Matt and Julie MacDonald; ‘Striving for Holiness - Walk the Talk and talk the talk’ led by BrSheldon Burke Crs. The first workshop rotation was before lunch and the second after lunch. After the workshops, Gary Pinto gave us his testimony of the time when he was sick and out of work for many months. It was when he prayed the rosary that he was finally healed and able to get back to work. Gary then sang for us.

After tea and coffee, our guest speaker Tim Staples, all the way from USA, spoke about a ‘God is looking for a Few Good Men’. In spite of a sore throat he inspired us with his wisdom and knowledge about the bible and the many years that he worked as a marine. He told us of his calling to evangelise the Catholic word of God when he met a devout Catholic sergeant who challenged him verse for verse on the bible. It was through him that he finally converted to become a Catholic and spread the Gospel.

Vigil Mass then followed, celebrated by all the priests in attendance, led by Fr-Richard Rosse. After Mass we had a typical Aussie BBQ dinner. Men being men, we ate with gusto a deliciously cooked BBQ by some of the older men. Following dinner, Tim Staples led us into the final topic for the day ‘I CONFESS’. He gave the reasons why we need to seek confession and gain forgiveness through our priest, the Church representative on earth.

The day concluded with Fr Ken Barker leading us in adoration in the church. We are blessed and through prayer, worship and fellowships we have become closer to God.

Amen.