Youth get to see an explosion of beauty BochanskiEnCourage-ment

Explosion Youth Conference has come and gone for another year, but not before capturing the hearts and minds of nearly 100 young people.

Explosion Youth Conference

Bubble soccer proved to be a real winner at the 2016 Explosion Youth Conference. Picture: Loui Seselja.

Now in its 10th year, the event this year focussed on beauty with the theme “Can you see it?” It was hosted by Canberra’s Disciples of Jesus community in collaboration with the Archdiocesan Office of Evangelisation Youth team.

Held in the first week of the mid semester holidays, at Florey’s St Francis Xavier College, Explosion 2016 featured praise and worship, catechesis sessions, dramas as well as a number of talks.

Mass and the Sacrament of Reconciliation were a big part of the conference.

Attendees heard from Naomi Walton who spoke on the topic of God’s love, while Rosie Drum MGL put the emphasis on salvation.

Fr Dave Callaghan MGL gave a talk titled “Finding Beauty in Ugliness” and Fr Chris Eaton MGL delivered a session on the “Call to Live Big and not just exist”.

Shannon McCabe gave a presentation on the real meaning of marriage and Trish McCarthy discussed the Holy Spirit.

Kate Freeman gave tips on mission and evangelisation.

Other speakers included Katherine Kingsley MGL (the beauty of prayer), Joshua Goldsbrough (why the Bible is not boring), Phil Belcher (commitment to Christ) and Paul Fam (Reconciliation).

St Vincent de Paul Society’s Jaime Lee Walker spoke about noticing the poor in our midst before St Francis Xavier Year 12 student Aodhan Kirk closed the last session posing the question “where to from here?”

In Aodhan’s talk he offered three key areas to build on from the positive experience of Explosion.

They were that joy is a decision, which came in addition to “establishing a regular prayer life” and “finding a support network”.

The National Evangelisation Team and the Youth Mission Team provided guidance and support.

Attending Explosion for the first time were twins Clare and Maria Corson from St Clare’s College. “You could really feel God’s presence especially in prayer, but also through the whole conference. Evening adoration at the cross was really powerful,” Maria said.

“It was easy to make new friends through the many different activities like soccer, bubble soccer and capture the flag,” Clare said.

“There was a great spirit of excitement as a youth community, like people really wanted to be there.”