In my work with Catholic Youth Parramatta, I broke open Pope Francis’ Christus Vivit at our Lifted Retreat in July. Young adults from all over the Diocese of Parramatta focused on the theme “Dare to be Different” found in paragraph 36.
Youth retreats are always wonderful opportunities for young people struggling to hold values that set them apart from many their peers to be in the midst of, and draw strength from, other like-minded young people. Pope Francis’ invitation and challenge for young Catholics to befriend the world but still know that they have much to offer it inspired many of us.
In the midst of new friendships, new and renewed commitment to their Catholic faith was found.
As one participant said, “Lifted Retreat lives up to its name: it helps you be freed of what holds you down and helps you go back out there into the world again, strengthened as a witness.”