Sydney has just hosted its fifth annual iWitness Conference for young people - a tremendous sign from the Church downunder.
The iWitness Conference was pioneered by young Catholics from Sydney is response to WYD08. For five years now it has brought together some hundreds of young Catholics for a four-day event. The organisers draw on some of Australia's best speakers, bishops, priests and laypeople.
The focus of the event is to deepen the relationship of young people with Christ, and this year the conferemce did this by opening up the Sacramental life of the Church. With Morning Office, Holy Mass and Eucharistic Adoration taking place each day, the opening talk was titled "The Sacraments: a grace-filled life". Following this each of the seven sacraments was presented in turn, some by a number of speakers. This input was then followed with separate input for both young men and young women, with talks on "The masculine spirit" and "The feminine genius". The final talk was titled, "Christian marriage confronts a secular society".
The days were punctuated with down-time and periods of recreation. I took part in the iWitness Conference twice and was extremely impressed by what I experienced; I wish I had been there earlier this month for this year's Conference. I took the above photo a few years ago at the event; in this picture a group is polishing up the brasswear before Mass. May the Church in Sydney grow in grace!