Does God even exist? – The Pitfalls of Evangelisation

While walking around the word for unity I had to learn 9 new languages in order to communicate the mission. I learnt quickly though that being able to speak a person’s language does not mean they will understand, and yet to not have a word in common does not mean you can’t have a joyful conversation. Too often we try to evangelise by learning a language, instead of improving our ability to communicate. The reality that God exists and loves us is often pushed to the side in the pursuit of a comfortable language. Let’s step into the basics, beginning with our own lives!

Presenter: Sam Clear

Sam Clear is a professional speaker, author and now documentary producer, with a background in mechanical engineering and adventure, including the 15,600km walk around the world for unity from 2006 to 2008, which nearly cost him his life eleven times. Sam has facilitated nearly 400 high school reflection days and some 700 faith-based motivational seminars over the past 16 years. He resides in central Tasmania and still enjoys the occasional mountain climb.

The blood of the martyrs today

Did you know that the number of modern-day martyrs has been compared with that of ancient Rome? Today there are over 334 million Christians around the world who are persecuted and discriminated because of their faith. These Christians are the heroes of our times. They show us what it means to be a follower of Christ until death. In this workshop, you will be inspired by the witness of these Christians and how they can impact your life to give all for the one who gave all.

Presenter: Therese Nichols

Thérèse Nichols, has worked for both local and international organisations in the field of communications, media and PR. After working as a TV presenter and producer in Canada, Thérèse was appointed National Formation Coordinator for ACU. Thérèse is currently the PR coordinator for the global Catholic charity, Aid to the Church in Need, which supports the suffering and persecuted Church. Thérèse is also the founder and director of OnePlate. A social enterprise that partners with restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars across Australia to fund sustainable food projects in developing countries.

Today’s Hot Topics with Young People

Young people struggling with issues such as sexuality, gender identity and same-sex attraction often feel like the church is the last place they can go to for acceptance and support. As the walking church, how can we become the first place? This workshop will explore a framework for Catholics to respond pastorally and faithfully to young people and the issues they face today.

Presenter: Kathryn Kinglsey MG

Kathryn is a Missionaries of God’s Love Sister, passionate about encouraging young people to encounter the love and truth of God and equipping them to invite others to share in the joy and hope this brings.  She is an avid tea, sport, and board games enthusiast, has degrees in Engineering and Exercise Science, and is currently studying a Bachelor of Theology in Melbourne.

Moving from Charity to Justice

Moving out of our comfort zone. Putting our faith into action.  We explore how we can move from doing “charitable works” to working to build a “Just world”. A brief overview of 2,000 years of Catholic Social Teaching in an hour!.

Presenter: Mark Clarke

Mark is the Executive Officer, Office of Justice and Peace. He is a secondary school teacher by training but has worked in Retail, Industrial Relations and in the State Public Service – Department of Education He is passionate about social justice.

“And the answer is……”

A rough guide to discerning God’s will for my life.

Presenter: Fr. David Cartwright

Fr David Cartwright was born in Melbourne and educated by the Dominican sisters and Marist Brothers. After studying at Corpus Christi College in Clayton and Carlton, he was ordained in the Jubilee Year of 2000 by Archbishop George Pell. He holds Honours and Master’s Degrees in Theology and a Master of Arts in Spirituality. He has served in the parishes of Glenroy, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Mill Park and is currently the Parish Priest of St Fidelis, Moreland. He has served as Diocesan Prefect of Ceremonies, Diocesan Youth Chaplain, National Chaplain to the Catholic Women’s League. He has been to four World Youth Days. He has been a sessional lecturer to Catholic Adult Education Melbourne and served on the Board of the Archbishops Office for Evangelisation. He has been a Chaplain to the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem since 2001. He currently serves on the Archbishop’s Personnel Advisory Board and the Council of Priests. He has been Vocations Director for the Archdiocese of Melbourne since June 2014.

How Do I Pray? The what, when and how of beginning a friendship with God

Do I have to be on my knees to pray? What if all I know is the Our Father and the Hail Mary? What if I get the words wrong? Praying can seem like such a foreign thing if we have never really tried it before, and there are so many options so how can we possibly know which one is for me. Never fear; prayer is much simpler and much more interesting than you might think. In this workshop we will look at what it means to pray, what some of your options are, how to decide which way to pray, and how to make it an ongoing part of your life.

Presenter: Cameron Smith MGL

Br Cam is passionate about music, theology, and bringing people to know just how awesome God is. He has been a Missionary of God’s Love brother for 6 years and loves to share the Gospel in his ministry with young men and by leading people in worship. Holding degrees in science and theology, he loves sharing his knowledge and understanding with any curious questioners.

Real men don’t talk; they do (Men’s Talk)

In this workshop, Fr. Dean will be taking a deeper look at what true masculinity is and why commitment is something that a lot of men struggle with.

Presenter: Fr Dean Mathieson OFM Cap

Fr Dean is the Parish Priest of Sts Peter and Paul’s Parish in South Melbourne.  He was previously the chaplain of Young Men of God – West and is heavily involved in young adult ministry and outreach to the poor.

One More Day

There is no guarantee of how much time we have left to live, but we’ve all been given the choice as to how we can make the most of the time we’ve got left. Discover the power of one more day, and how you can live each day for what truly matters!.

Presenter: Shaphan Williams

Shaphan moved from Western Australia to Melbourne three years ago with his wife, Jessica and their three young, energetic kids. He is currently the Mission Pastor at Bridge Church in Melbourne and was formerly a youth and young adult’s pastor in Albany. He is a passionate supporter of the Eagles (AFL), loves the beach and is committed to living his life for what counts in eternity!

Let’s Talk about Porn!

A recent study of Australian teenage boys shows that over that 73% report that they have watched an X-rated video.  With an increased awareness of the damaging effect of pornography on the brain, and how it effects our ability to relate to others, Fr Nicholas will help unpack why Porn is so addictive, and give some great strategies to help tackle this tricky issues and to become the man you want to be..

Presenter: Fr. Nicholas Pearce

Father Nicholas Pearce is the Assistant Vocations Director for the Archdiocese of Melbourne and Parish Priest of Holy Family Parish Mount Waverley.  He is currently studying a Masters in Psychology and has a passion for youth ministry and helping young Catholics reach their full potential.

Navigating Life

Through sharing of his personal story, Chris Lee explores how the decisions made in your young adult life form who you are for years to come. Find out how to support your physical and mental wellbeing to become healthy disciples.

Presenter: Chris Lee

Chris is the Team leader for Sydney Catholic Youth he is also the co-founder of Conviction Group and played an integral role in the direction and values of the Organisation. He is also an ambassador for the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation and spent 4 years as a presenter for the Wakeup Foundation educating young students in schools.  After a physical altercation on a night out, Chris is now permanently blind in his left eye and had to undergo cheek reconstruction surgery on the right side of his face. Over the past 6 years has spoken to thousands of young people about risk taking decisions. Chris is an advocate for cultural change who aims to motivate young people to take responsibility for their decision making and capitalise on the opportunity life presents.

Learning from the Saints – Doing little things with great love

Trying to live a holy, Christ centered life can be a real struggle for most people, especially in this modern world. During this workshop, Brother Bernard Mary, from the Conventual Franciscans, will introduce you to some fantastic and relatable saints of the Church who stove to bring Christ into even the simplest of situations. We can learn much from our heavenly brothers and sisters, and looking at their example gives us hope that we too can achieve amazing things if we allow God to use us as His instruments on earth.

Presenter: Br Bernard Mary Fonkalsrud OFM Conv

Br. Bernard Mary Fonkalsrud is a Conventual Franciscan Friar belonging to the ‘Our Lady Help of Christians’ Provincial Delegation of Australia. Before joining the friars, Br. Bernard M. gained his Bachelor of Teaching / Bachelor of Arts (Secondary Humanities) through the ‘Australian Catholic University’. He taught History and Geography in a Catholic high school before discerning his vocation to Religious Life. He entered the Conventual Franciscans in 2013, undergoing his first three years of formation in the United States of America; whilst there he resided mainly at the ‘National Shrine of St. Maximilian Kolbe’ in Chicago, Illinois, and was able to be immersed in the deep Marian spirituality of the great saint and the ‘Militia Immaculata’ (M.I.) movement which he founded. Since returning to Australia, Br. Bernard M. has undertaken theological studies and is currently completing a Masters of Church History at the ‘Catholic Theological College’ in Melbourne with aspirations to return to teaching in Catholic high schools, now as a Conventual Franciscan Brother. He is also overseeing the establishment of the M.I. movement in the two parishes which the friars minister in, St. Joseph’s, Springvale, and St. Mark’s, Dingley Village..

Why do I feel out of control? A Christian approach to emotions

Have you ever wondered why you feel happy, sad, angry and confused all in one day, sometimes all at the same time? We wonder why other people seem to have it all together. We can also feel guilty about our feelings, and then we feel bad about that and on it goes. Inspired by the wisdom of the Church and St Thomas Aquinas, we will examine the beauty and importance of our God-given emotional life; we will seek strategies to order our emotions and so flourish as beloved daughters of our loving Father.

Presenter: Sr Anastasia OP

Sr Anastasia OP is a St Cecilia Dominican, born and raised on the south coast of NSW, currently assigned to teach high school maths and religion at Catholc Regional College in Melbourne. After working as an engineer, she helped organise World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney, which inspired her to enter religious life in 2010. She has been involved in youth ministry in both Australia and the United States, and is delighted to attend RISE 2018.

The Feminine Expression of Human Dignity and Purposeful Living (Woman’s Talk)

This is a workshop for young women to explore the nature of what it means to be a daughter of God, and how women are to manifest this calling in their daily lives. In so doing, participants will look at the Catholic Church’s perennial and developing teachings about the important and fulfilling role of women in both society in general and within the life of the Church, as well as the examples that various women saints have given on how to lead lives of authentic happiness and holiness.

Presenter: Renee Prien

Renee Prien, 28, hails from Toronto, Canada and lives in Melbourne with her husband and daughter. After moving countries to study physiotherapy at the age of 19, she faced questions of purpose, identity, and faith. Renee has learned that through God her ordinary life can be made extraordinary. She is also an advocate for a joyful and authentic femininity. Having previously worked in palliative care, she has a special interest in gerontology and today works in community care as a physiotherapist.