Youths embrace Josephite spirit

In the lead up to World Youth Day celebrations, a group of young people will meet this weekend to focus on the meaning of the event and the spirit of Australia's only saint.

The group of 30 Josephite school leader, aged from 16-18, will travel from Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart and Adelaide on Sunday to gather at Mary MacKillop Place, the final resting place of the Saint and the home of the Sisters of Saint Joseph (SOSJ). 

SOSJ spokeswoman Sr Monica Cavanagh, says it will be a good opportunity for the teenagers to deepen their knowledge and appreciation of Mary MacKillop as a role model for leadership. 

"Mary lived by the philosophy, ‘never see a need without doing something about it'," Sr Cavanagh said.

"There's something for all of us to learn from her attitude to life, let alone for this group of young Josphite school leaders who are at an age when they are forming their own ideals, thoughts and opinions," she said.

After spending Sunday afternoon and Monday at Mary MacKillop Place, visiting the museum and tomb, the group will then head to St Joseph's Retreat Centre in Kincumber where they will stay until Thursday. 

Sister Monica says the meeting will give students the opportunity to share their experiences with each other. 

"They'll be able to discuss ways to stay actively involved in the lead up to World Youth Day, as they prepare to welcome tens of thousands of young people to Australia from more than 150 countries," she said.

"As well as building relationships and connections, the students will also be encouraged to be proactive on behalf of the poor in their own school communities and in the wider community. 

"It's important that young people learn to show justice, dignity and compassion in their dealings will all people, a message that will be reinforced and encouraged during World Youth Day celebrations." 

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