Archbishop’s Conversation with Youth

11 March 2016 | General Interest

Each year Archbishop Denis Hart invites the school leaders from all Catholic schools from the Archdiocese of Melbourne to meet with him in conversation. This year’s conversation was held at St Bernard’s College, Essendon. Thomas Carr was represented by College Captains Amy Bongetti and Luke Gleeson and Vice Captains Thomas Duxson and Emily Reeves.

The theme of the day was taken from the Year of Mercy inaugurated by Pope Francis. The students were given a presentation by two members of the Archbishop’s Office for Youth which asked them to reflect on the ways in which mercy might be integrated into their own lives.

Archbishop Hart spoke for over 30 minutes on how he understands the mercy of God has reached out to him in the various stages of his life. He spoke at some length about his memories of his own time at school and the people who were positive influences on his life at that stage. The archbishop also spoke about the reasons why he decided to become a priest which were particularly centred on working with people.

The students then broke into small groups and shared their experience of mercy in their own lives. This was an important aspect of the day as these group discussions were passed on to the Archbishop who will use them in writing his letter to youth at Pentecost.

Following a healthy and plentiful lunch, each school group had the opportunity to have their photo taken with the Archbishop. Following this Archbishop Hart took many thought provoking and measured questions from the students which indicated they are well informed about Church teaching and the challenges posed by many current ideas and social movements. Archbishop Hart was very engaging in the way he answered the student questions, urging students to look behind the superficial when considering the teaching of the Church.

On the bus ride home to Thomas Carr, it was good to hear the positive comments made by our students before I was even able to ask a question. Once again the College was well represented by our leaders. I thank them for their whole hearted participation in the program and the stellar way they represented the College.