Navigating Tricky Terrain: Pastorally Responding to Today’s Hot Topics

“It is a tricky time to be a Catholic. People struggling with issues including sexuality, gender identity, life issues, and substance abuse often feel like the church is the last place they can go to for love, acceptance, support and guidance. As the walking church, how can we become the first place?

This seminar will explore how we can be faithful Catholics and authentic witness of love and truth in our families, friendships, workplaces and in the world, especially to those who differ from us in fundamental beliefs.  It will propose a framework for respectful dialogue amidst difference and demonstrate its practical application to today’s hot topics.

This workshop is for over 18 participants.

Presenters: Kathryn Kingsley and Bernadette Toohey MGL

God has a plan for ME?

“As incredible as it may seem, God has a plan for your life – and it’s a better plan than any you could dream up for yourself.  Following it will make you far happier than any plan you could make up by yourself. It will involve working with Jesus to fulfil God’s mission – taking that part in his plan that only you can take. And the rewards are eternal – for you and for others.

This workshop will help you deepen your awareness that God has a plan for you. We’ll also look at some practical tips for how to discover that plan and then how to respond to it.

Presenter: Fr Robin Koning

Pray, hope and don’t worry

Ever ask someone for advice and simply get told to “go pray about it”? Ever actually get told how to pray about it? This workshop will help you to understand what prayer is all about and why it’s so important for the soul to foster a relationship with Jesus through prayer.

St Faustina tells us that “a soul arms itself by prayer for all kinds of combat. In whatever state the soul may be, it ought to pray.” This workshop will explore a form of prayer that allows the Holy Spirit to lead us deeper into Jesus’ heart by guiding our imagination to enter into a dialogue with Jesus, along with other tips and tricks on how to kick start and maintain a regular prayer life.

Presenter: Viv Dolar

Jesus Yes, Church No

In today’s climate where it can be so challenging to be Catholic, let alone to identify as one, does the church have a place in the life of the modern-day Catholic, and can you be a good Catholic without church

Presenter: Josh Rajasingham

It’s braver to be Clark Kent than Superman: Taking a closer look at Mental Health

Whether it is our family, our friends or ourselves, all of us will be touched in some way by the reality of Mental Illness. This workshop is designed to inform, give hope and to promote understanding of how to better care for ourselves and loved ones in the area of mental health. We’ll spend some time exploring the reality of mental health in the world today, what it means to live authentically, how we are affected by shame, and how to grow in self-compassion and balance in our lives. We’ll also look at how our faith supports this journey into greater authenticity and vulnerability, and a deeper experience of our own humanity.

Fr Dan will present this workshop twice, at 1pm he will present an over 18s version and at 2.30pm there will be an all ages presentation.

Presenter: Fr Dan Strickland MGL

The Ripple Effect

“If you are who you are meant to be you will set the world on fire.” St Catherine of Siena. God has chosen you to do something great with your life and the world is thirsting for you to play your part in history. Why wait? No matter what you may think or believe, you were designed with specific God-given gifts and talents engraved into your DNA. You have been created with purpose and there is no one else on this earth who can play the role that God has planned for you. But discerning these gifts and what our purpose is can often take people a lifetime. Fear, doubt and confusion creep in so instead of doing something we become paralysed and do nothing at all. To know who you are, what you have been created for and your purpose can unlock greatness and guess what? The world is waiting for you to say yes and to begin! And the ripple effect of your yes can impact generations to come.

Presenter: Therese Nichols

“I’m a Catholic but….” Navigating Barriers to faith

This workshop explores issues which are barriers to some young people otherwise willing to engage with the Catholic faith. Issues like sexual morality, gay marriage, and the Church’s total opposition to abortion. This workshop is not about apologetics. It’s about becoming someone who demonstrates integrity and sensitivity. It’s about becoming someone who is willing to offend, but more importantly, knows how to love. It’s about becoming an authentic Christian disciple.

Presenter: Fr John Corrigan

Finding your Tribe

Have you ever thought about why sisterhood is so important? Having a strong community is crucial, but too often young women find themselves isolated and alone. Women of faith struggle to be authentically present when they are consumed by their own wounds, worries and shortcomings. Finding authentic sisterhood is a beautiful way for women to love and support one another through Christ. This inspiring workshop is for young women who are seeking to deepen relationships with one another and who wish to walk in faith with the Lord.

This workshop will be presented in the Women’s Hub.

Presenter: Julie Nguyen

The Eucharist: A Celebration of Love

Join Br Josh in discovering the beauty of our liturgy, especially the Mass, and what it is all about. This workshop will help you to understand the Mass more deeply, challenge you in the ways you think about the Mass, and help provide you with tools for engagement in the Mass. Br Josh will break open the parts of the Mass to show you more deeply how God’s Love is shown to us in the liturgy and how we can respond in love.

Presenter: Br Josh Nash OMI

Discernment is not a dirty word… or is it?

Where to from here? What is God’s plan for my life? How do I know? Who will help me? Will I be happy? There are proven and tested ways to discern God’s plan for my life. This workshop will provide some practical advice in discerning if marriage, consecrated life or the priesthood is God’s plan for me.

This workshop is for over 18 participants.

Presenter: Fr David Cartwright

Beacons of Courage in Tough Times

Who is the bravest person you have ever met? The courage of others can be inspiring. We look at the stories of young people in our times who have shown extraordinary courage to defend truth and stand up for justice. Where do they get this strength and clarity of goal setting? Where does human courage finish and grace take over? Where can we find the supernatural strength to carry out the biggest dreams of service to others that we carry in our hearts? How much it helps to ponder questions like these, get inspired and set goals for ourselves.

Presenter: Andy Mullins

Being Yourself in the heart of Another

This workshop will present two main messages of Pope Francis from the Synod of the Youth and World Youth Day Panama.
1. You are ready for something greater. Don’t give a faint yes but trust in God’s promise. Even when we don’t know the whole journey, embrace our life. Boldly get involved, live your youth. Be fresh – the church needs your freshness.
2. You are the church of NOW – Your dreams matter. Your mission, your vocation, your life itself is now. You are not in a waiting room. Do not let your dreams become flat, petty and insipid. Realise you have a mission and fall in love. Say ‘yes’ to the dream God has sown in you.

Presenter: Bishop Mark & Angela Markas

Christmas on the Streets – homeless, not hopeless

Established in December of 2016, and run completely by volunteers, Christmas on the Streets (COTS) is a not-for-profit charitable organisation befriending, supporting and changing the lives of men and women experiencing homelessness. This workshop will explore the reality of a growing issue in our very own backyard, tell the stories of the souls on the streets and share the miracles that unfold when people come together for a greater good. Inspired by Jesus’ words in Matthew 25 and Mother Teresa, Roseanne will not only reflect on the journey of how she too came to echo St. Thérèse of Lisieux and say “at last I have found my vocation. My vocation is love!” upon founding COTS, but inspire others to do the same.

Presenter: Roseanne Rofaeel

Mission: Manhood

This workshop is designed to empower young men to reach their full potential as made in the image and likeness of God by becoming their authentic self in a culture and society that inhibits us from becoming who we were created to be. The workshop will look into who the man is, what he is called to do and what he needs to do in order to fulfil that mission. Topics such as our personal call to holiness, authenticity, fatherhood, vocation, virtues and prayer-life will be looked at. Come and join us as we build-upon the foundation for our true masculinity, Jesus Christ.

This workshop will be presented in the Men’s Hub.

Presenter: Br Sheldon Burke CRS and Deacon Christopher De Sousa

The problem with pornography (men only)

This workshop will consider how pornography affects the male brain and how what some people think is harmless fun can become incredibly addictive. We will look at strategies for overcoming pornography use.

This workshop is for men only.

Presenter: Fr Nicholas Pearce

What can we do about modern slavery in Australia?

The workshop will enable young people to grow in their understanding of modern slavery and where modern slavery is present in Australia today. They will be challenged to take action in concrete ways through the slavery free Easter chocolate campaign, and to shop ethically by using the Ethical Fashion Guide. .

Presenters: ACRATH – Fr Peter O’Neill, Sr Helen Weeden, Mr Joseph Dunn

Shining a light on love and relationships

In a culture of confusion and darkness, Andrew and Tara explore the light that Christ’s plan for love and relationships offer. This workshop sheds light on the faults of the modern day approach and focuses the great joy that comes from striving for holiness. This interactive workshop provides personal, prayerful and practicable advice on relationships, dating and marriage in the 21st century.

Presenters: Andrew and Tara Sciberras