Catholic Outlook

Catholic Youth Parramatta News


Young people invited to share their hopes and dreams

Young people from across the Diocese gathered for breakfast with Bishop Anthony in December. Photo: Patrick Lee.
Young people from across the Diocese gathered for breakfast with Bishop Anthony in December. Photo: Patrick Lee.

By Annabelle Bhandoo, Catholic Outlook, February 2012

What a way to finish a fantastic year in Youth Ministry for 2011! More than 250 youth and young adults joined Bishop Anthony Fisher OP for a Breakfast with the Bishop, Youth Forum and Christmas Celebration.

This gathering was organised by Catholic Youth Parramatta (CYP) and held in St Patrick’s Cathedral Hall on 17 December 2011.

Bishop Anthony opened the Youth Forum by saying that he’s excited to hear what the young people want from the Church, what they want for the Church, what they want to do with the Church in Western Sydney.

He invited them to share their hopes and dreams for the Diocese, how young adult ministry might be improved, as well as reaching out to those young adults who are disconnected from the Church or not members of the Church yet.

The young people took this task seriously and many inspiring ideas and insights were put forward. Topics ranged from: using multimedia for evangelisation, how to best respond to current issues, e.g. same sex ‘marriage’, euthanasia, refugees, and sex before marriage.

Other topics included social networking, ideas for youth ministry in the Diocese, especially formation, catechesis, and more.

The final part of the event was the Christmas (Birthday of Jesus) Celebration, and no birthday celebration is complete without the cutting of the cake.

Bishop Anthony and a young person from each of the seven deaneries in the Diocese cut the birthday cake to celebrate the birth of Jesus, our Saviour.

This was followed by an array of Christmas desserts. Though Christmas was still a few days away, the joy and excitement it brings could be felt among those present and many stayed on to catch up with friends or to meet new people from around the Diocese.

Annabelle Bhandoo is the Diocesan Youth Worker.

Get involved this year!

Catholic Youth Parramatta has many great events lined up for Youth & Young Adults in 2012. As well, the next World Youth Day is coming up fast. It will be held in Rio in July 2013 and there’ll be information given and preparation for that.

Make sure you check the CYP website: . Get involved by contacting our Diocesan Youth Director, Fr Suresh Kumar MSFS, tel (02) 8838 3419, or Annabelle Bhandoo tel (02) 8838 3418, email:

CYP Diary Dates in February 2012


The Youth Safety Manual – A Reference Guide for Parish Youth Ministry Leaders across the Diocese is currently being updated. The manual was issued by the Diocese of Parramatta Youth Office in May 2009.

Paul Davis, the Diocesan Professional Standards Manager, will conduct this session on the updated Child Protection Policy Review/Youth Safety Manual on 11 February.

It is very important to be informed of the latest changes/additions to the child protection policy. All youth leaders and anyone in a leadership role in youth ministry within the Diocese is requested to attend. 

Date: Saturday 11 February 2012

Place: St Patrick’s Cathedral Hall, 1 Marist Place, Parramatta

Time: 10-11.30am

RSVP to CYP: 6 February 2012 tel (02) 8838 3418, 


All youth and young adults, especially from the Blue Mountains Deanery, are invited to participate in the Diocesan Youth Mass.

Date: 19 February 2012      

Place: St Finbar’s Catholic Church, 46 Levy St, Glenbrook

Time: 4.30pm Confession prior to Mass at 5pm. BBQ after Mass

RSVP to CYP: 13 February 2012 tel (02) 8838 3418 or 


Catholic Youth Parramatta is inviting all youth leaders and potential youth leaders to come together at the beginning of the new year in the presence of God and each other.

The retreat will include great guest speakers, group workshops, private reflection surrounded by nature as well as socialising and fun. It's a great way to start our youth ministry in 2012!

Date: 25 February 2012

For: Youth Leaders & potential youth leaders aged 18-35 years      

Time: Registration at 9am for 9.30am start

Cost: $5 donation (morning tea & lunch are provided)          

RSVP: for catering purposes by Monday 20 February

Place: Mt Schoenstatt Conference & Retreat Centre, ‘The Family Room’, 230 Fairlight Road, Mulgoa

RSVP: Annabelle (02) 8838 3418, 0408 420 331, 

To receive news about CYP events and activities subscribe to an RSS feed at: 

‘Without Christ I am nothing’ youth camp

Campers came together for a faith-filled experience. Photo: Adrian Falleiro.
Campers came together for a faith-filled experience. Photo: Adrian Falleiro.

By Trevor Tye, Catholic Outlook, February 2012

In stark contrast to the rain that fell, the Diocese of Parramatta Youth and Young Adults Camp, held at Naamaroo United Venues at Chatswood from 25-27 November last year was anything but gloomy, with great moments, laughs and a sharing of Christ with 65 youth and young adults.

It’s no surprise there was such joy when you have an opening speaker like Fr Andrew Keswick, who is so alive in his faith and had everyone laughing at his impersonations. He inspired us as he taught us how we can live Christ in our lives including the need for reason, faith and personal encounter.

Saturday was a mixture of learning, games and laughs as we mixed two great talks with skits and an impromptu fashion parade. 

The Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Fr Wim Hoekstra, explained how the Bible can help us in our faith, while Paul Elarde talked about valuing our sexuality and the importance of marriage. Each talk made us think about our lives in Christ and provided some great discussion over meals.

The skits were laughs a plenty as stories of the Bible were brought to the modern world with performances that could have been worthy of an Oscar (or at least a Logie).

The highlight was a chance to spend time with Christ in Adoration and Confession, an experience that moved everyone.

Despite another early start to Sunday morning, most were in good spirits and those who felt sleepy were quickly woken up as 24-year-old Fr Greg Morgan shared how he became a priest and talked about bringing Christ into our everyday living.

Sunday also provided two other special moments. Diocesan Youth Director Fr Suresh Kumar MSFS spoke to us about how nothing is ours, only God’s. The other special moment was the Mass celebrated by Bishop Anthony Fisher OP.

To celebrate Mass with a Bishop is a great experience, but when he loves you as much as our ‘Bish Fish’ does, it makes it more special. We were all very inspired by his words to live Christ in the world.

Despite the rain, sleep deprivation and the singing of our theme song at least 20 times (we even had it in our skits), CYP Camp 2011 brought many memories and joyous moments that made me realise that ‘Without Christ, I am nothing’. 

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