Inspired by Pope Francis’ ‘Call to Holiness’, 130 Catholic school students from Year 10 to Year 12 explored the theme BE (the right) ATTITUDE at the Catholic Schools Youth Summit in Fremantle recently.
Held at Notre Dame University, the summit was a chance for students to explore Catholic leadership, meet peers from other schools, and focus on meeting the call to holiness through service and compassion.
Following the official welcome, Caritas Australia Justice Educator Nathan Leber began the day encouraging students to explore practical ways to be holy.
“I think the biggest thing is to realise that it’s achievable,” Dr Leber said.
“A lot of the time when we talk about holiness, we think of things that we can’t achieve.
“It’s giving them the idea that it is possible, that they don’t have to lock themselves up in a monastery, they can do it in their everyday life.”
CEWA Aboriginal Education Consultant Kylie Agale led a session on the power of storytelling and enabling people to connect and build relationships.
After the keynotes, students attended their choice of workshops presented by leaders from the Catholic community, as well as their student peers.
CEWA Talent Identification Consultant Shane Glasson led an engaging session on developing resilience in a complex world.
Dr Glasson encouraged students to identify moments in their lives where they had faced hardship or stress, and to identify how they dealt with the situation.
The students then reviewed the situations, applying theoretical perspectives including Stephen Covey’s concept of the Circles of Concern and Influence, and Martin Seligman’s theories of positive psychology.
Catholic Youth Ministry representatives ran a session on how young people can make a difference in the world.
In the Don’t be Afraid of Being Holy: A Guide on How to Leave a Mark on this World session, students created hashtags and discussed how they could be influencers of good on social media.
Other sessions included The Power of Prayer with Rev Father Renald Anthony, assistant priest in Kalgoorlie and If Freo’s Walls Could Talk, which saw Notre Dame University students tell the historic stories of the local area.
Servite College students played a significant role in facilitating the summit, with students running the Leadership Is/n’t workshop as well as the final plenary session, which looked at the attitudes young people can embrace as a way of being holy every day.
The summit concluded with a prayer, and students left Fremantle armed with new perspectives on faith and how they can use their attitudes to embrace holiness in everyday life.