This article was published 12 months ago for the gathering of 100 young adults from throughout the globe to strengthen the social justice spirit in their local and international community’s. Lets hope the thoughts, plans and inspiration of those 5 days are still alive in all of us today
In the freezing foot hills of Sydney’s Blue Mountains last night ( Wednesday 9 July) nearly 90 young adults gathered together to commemorate the inaugural Edmund Rice International Young Adult Justice Gathering. The winter weather, however frosty, was just no match for the cosy campfire reception which greeted delegates upon their arrival its warmth setting the tone for the days that would follow.The first of its kind, this gathering has brought together both inspired and inspiring young adults from around the globe charging them with the task of ensuring that the charism of Edmund Rice is carried forward for generations to come. If the size of their smiles are anything to go by it seems that the future of Eddies vision could be in no safer hands than these.
The keenest of young Catholic minds have travelled from Ghana, Ireland, England, Sierra Leone, East Timor, the Cook Islands and Papua New Guinea to explore both the passion and the possibilities for the future of this Congregation. Through the course of the week delegates have the opportunity to explore of a list of social justice issues more varied even than the origins of the participants themselves, including the global response to poverty, eco-justice, inter-faith dialogue and the struggle of same sex couples to reconcile their faith and their sexuality. A veritable melting pot of complex and challenging real world issues which is sure to transform and inspire the hearts and minds of the next generation of world leaders.
Native owners of the Mulgoa site, the Dharug people, were acknowledged and honoured with a spectacular display of traditional Aboriginal music and dance. The warming welcome of the campfire combined with the fiery passion of the delegate’s hearts saw the start of steely bonds being forged as delegates shared stories and raucous laughter at their own attempts to perform traditional Indigenous Australian dance moves. Br Kevin Moss welcomed all with an introduction to the story of the Dharug people and a brief history of the Mulgoa site upon which we had gathered as a group. The power and potential of groups of like minded people gathering together was further emphasised by Fr. Paul Marshall later in the evening as he led us in a powerful cosmic reflection under the stars. Staring up at the various constellations that night we were humbled to consider how much the impact of the fiery light of these stars was magnified for being part of its like minded group.
At last the process was underfoot and we were glimpsing the possibilities for the fire of our shared passions. Taking up the challenge of Br Philip Pinto at the recent Congregational Chapter we were inspired to take risks and embrace new thinking for a new world, a world we will navigate with the guiding lights of our presence, compassion and liberation.
Friday, 11 July 2008 – Thanks to Heather Sullivan for this report