BEATS “ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE FOR ONE WHO BELEIVES” Mark 9:23
Youth Recharge their Faith at ACYC 2012
The second Catholic youth conference in Arabia (ACYC 2012) that took place from 15th to the 17th of November 2012 brought together youth and young adults from across the Middle East. The event, an initiative of the Vicariates of Northern and Southern Arabia, attracted more than 1,700 participants from the region and took place at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Presided over by H.E Bishop Camillo Ballin of Apostolic Vicariate of Northern Arabia (AVONA)
and H.E. Bishop Paul Hinder of Apostolic V icariate of Southern Arabia (AVOSA) selected the theme of the conference from Mark 9:23 reflectin on the Church’s entry into the Year of Faith. Catholics in AVONA and AVOSA mostly comprise of Catholic expatriates from around the world, working in the region. These expatriates mostly come from Philippines, the African continent, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and from neighbouring nations of Syria and Lebanon.
The highlight of the conference was the musical concert –reJOYce – which brought together Catholic musicians like Fr. Stan Fortuna, Anawim and Alphons Joseph of the RexBand on one platform, along with local bands Light of Jesus and MasterPlan. The event attracted more than 5,000 people including the conference participants to the concert - reJOYce. Participants were thrilled and thumping to the music “ain’t no party like Catholic party.”
Speakers’ Voice George Gabriel: ACYC Experience: I loved the commitment and thirst youth of Arabia has for the Lord. Message : ‘Catholic’ means universal and love is universal. So I would like to see all youngsters love everyone and be the light, full of love for others. Love everyone as you would love yourself.
Fr. Stan Fortuna: ACYC Experience: Loved the spirit and the love for the Lord in the youth of Arabia. Message : Always seek the face of Jesus and if ever you lose sight of His face ‘BOUNCE BACK’!! Because even if we are unfaithful God is always faithful. About Music: We don’t necessarily have to look for Gospel Music but it has to be always good music with good lyrics. Fr. Michael: ACYC Experience: My visit to Arabia was a phenomenal experience and I was overjoyed to see what God can do when we open our hearts. I can see the new outpouring upon this generation. Youngsters have energy because of God and because of God more love will come, because of love more joy and because of joy more Spirit and because of Spirit again new energy is filled in these youths. Message : The little that we can do we must do for the glory of God. Never ‘be afraid’-always- ‘be ready’.
Reigniting the Faith : (L to R) Fr. George Kunnel, Fr. Varghese Chempoly, H.E Bishop Paul Hinder, H.E. Bishop Camillo Ballin and Fr. Lennie Connully
About Music: Youngsters are not actually searching for music today but for truth. So it is the responsibility of artists like us with talents to give them good music.
A word from the Conference organisers Bejesh Solomon General Coordinator, ACYC 2012
Fr. Varghese Chempoly OFM Cap General Convener, ACYC 2012
Congratulations for taking the first leap of faith and registering for the second Catholic youth conference in Arabia – ACYC 2012. When Bishop CamilloBallin of AVONA and Bishop Paul Hinder of AVOSA, initiated the planning for ACYC it filled me with immense pleasure. Not just for the efforts our Bishops are taking to bring the youth back home to the Catholic Church, but mostly for the
unique opportunity provided to the youth and young adults attending the conference. The last Catholic Youth Conference in 2009, touched people in many indescribable ways. It reached out to people who were lost, people who had questions, people who wanted to believe and yet couldn’t – they were all touched by the many testimonies they heard and the people they met at the conference. This year once again we hope that all of you have a similar and even richer experience, to be a part of the larger Catholic Church; to listen to world renowned international speakers; to meet more than 2,000 likeminded Catholics and much more.
“ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE FOR ONE WHO BELIEVES” Mark 9:23
truly recognizing what these words really mean.
Welcome to ACYC 2012! We hope this conference is everything you expected and more. If this is the first time you are attending an event of this caliber - we truly hope you enjoy this experience. The theme of the conference is “All things are possible for the one who believes” from Mark 9:23 and the people working behind the scenes for the conference have been
We believe God was guiding us through the every stage in the planning process to ensure that this conference was tailored to your individual needs. Despite the circumstances responsible for you attending the conference, remember that you are all called to be here. We have learned through the past few months, that nothing is coincidental when it comes to God’s plans and each of you will take away something from this conference, that will change your life and the way you live it. Here’s to a paradigm shifting fun-filled three days.
The Kick Start : First day of the rest of our lives Second gathering of ACYC started off with a flash mob of youth dancing to the tunes of drums in the skies filled with bursts of colours as the flags of GCC countries representing Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and the host country U.A.E were waved in the air above the cheering crowd. ACYC 2012 was officially inaugurated by Bishop Camillo Ballin, Apostolic Vicar of Northern Arabia and Bishop Paul Hinder, Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia, with a message to ‘Enter the Faith’. He stressed that we
have been selected to be part of this blessed event and the mission of ACYC 2012 is to revive the sleeping world to make them conscious and aware of Jesus Christ. Bishop Camillo stressed the importance of youth in today’s modern Church and insisted that every youth present in the auditorium must gain something from the conference. He urged the participants to live out the slogan- ‘Revive, Reconnect , Recharge – Jump start your faith’ and to feel the beats of faith and love.
Jesus, the Pioneer of our Faith
Tweets from Cyber Space “Listening to Fr.Stan Fortuna speech.... One of the best priest I've ever seen and I've ever watch... acyc2012 ROCK!!” @jhuzzcv “The JOY of all the bands together!! acyc2012” @JacintoFernan
From Agnosticism to Catholicism
Fr. Stan Fortuna
Father Stan Fortuna in his session explained to the youth of Arabia that faith working through love becomes new criteria of understanding and
action, which can change the life. True revolution brought about by jesus is ‘Love’. He spoke of Jesus as the Pioneer and Perfector of Faith. Fr. Stan stressed the importance of prayer in our daily Christian lives as all things are possible to those who pray. He stressed that Christ is asking u to be pioneer and perfector of faith and love.
Matt Frad The five questions of life put forward by Matt Fradd in his speech ‘From Agnosticism to Catholicism’, bringing out these as a comparison between an atheist and a believer, were really thought provoking. He says truth is not afraid to be questioned. Quoting C.S. Lewis he Said I believe in Christianity as much as I believe in rising sun, not
because I can see the sun but by it I can see everything because of sun. Matt convincingly led all to the truth of Christ and the Catholic Church.
“Surrounded by rapping priests, reggae'ing priests, jazz-bass clergy. Heaven's a Glastonbury Festival on spiritual steroids!” @anthonypermal “Wow, second flash Mob. I love ACYC2012” @AlessandraDSouz “Like An Avalanche playing at ACYC2012 ! Can the music at this conference get any better?” @tofaha24
Revive, Reconnect, Recharge, Jump Start Your Faith . . . ! The second day of the conference started out on a very calm note with Taize adoration led by Alphons Joseph and the Masterplan, who led the participants into a rejuvenating spiritual experience with the Lord. The stage was also beautifully decorated to reflect this spiritual to the essence. On the second day, the winner of the ACYC theme song competition – Jose Seneres, also introduced to the participants for the very first time the song that won the coveted award. The song
The Second Catholic youth conference in Arabia was a brilliant opportunity to prepare for the Year of Faith and the sessions that took place were designed to make the topics not just interesting but to also educate all youth and young adults on the richness of our faith and the source of our traditional beliefs: Fr. Varghese Chempoly, Prior General OFM Cap., gave an
Br. George Gabriel’s sessions were met with a great demand from both youth and young adults alike. Br. George stressed on the importance of the year of Faith and living a Godly during this time. He requested the participants to hold onto their faith and focus on being truly holy and good, despite the massive pressure they face to not to.
Br. George offered practical tips for the participants to follow to ensure that they stayed on the path of holiness. He guided delegates on how they could have a better relationship with Christ through the Eucharist. He spoke to the crowd about the saving graces of the Eucharist and to always be prepared to read the voice of God.
was met with a great positive response from the youth gathered at the conference.
inspiring talk on ‘Confession’ and the need to perform this sacrament on a regular. Fr. Stan Fortuna in his breakout session spoke about the lives broken apart due to failed relationships. He explained to the delegates at the session how these hurts can be healed in Christ through his restorative words of love. Fr. Stan had also touched on these topics during his homily where he explained how sorrows and joys in our lives could often be compared to the cross and resurrection of our Lord Jesus.
Speaking to a packed room of inquisitive adolescents and interested young adults Matt spoke on the topic of chastity and the need to remain chaste in the modern context. His interactive talk touched on the increased importance that chastity as a virtue has in our modern day lives. He explained the nuances of abstinence vs. chastity to the crowd using examples of his own relationship with his wife Cameron to lead a virtuous and chaste life. Matt also cautioned people against using contraceptive methods.
Ain’t no party like a Catholic Party ! Thousands reJOYced ! The concert in Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium attracted nearly 5,000 participants who listened and danced to the foot thumbing tunes from Alphons Joseph, Fr. Stan Fortuna and Anawim, along with the support of local bands from UAE –Light of Jesus and MasterPlan. The concert ended with a fusion
of both east and westforms of music, which left the audience wanting more. The concert venue used 120000 Mw sound system that had the added effect of getting more people on their feet as they continued to rock on. Fr. Stan Fortuna got all the youth to say a prayer, as well during this session.
Bishop Paul Hinder and Bishop Camillo Ballin shared a few words with the delegates gathered at the concert to remind them about the purpose of the conference. Dony Peter was the MC for the day which was also attended by the
Ugandan Ambassador to the UAE. The Ambassador’s presence at the event was a pleasant surpirise to the delegates of the conference. At the beginning of the programme, George Gabriel performed with Light of
Jesus and kickstarted the evening’s schedule with a rendition of the popular gospel song - Happy Days, that got the concert participants dancing and excited for the rest of the evening’s performance.
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