ACYF Reunion – Lockdown Special

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Image 1 - Justine, Archbishop Peter and Brendan, Image 2 - Fr Rob Galea, Image 3 - Josh Angrisano and Gen Bryant13 August 2020

Last night’s ACYF Reunion – Lockdown Special brought levity, humour and heart to Melbourne’s young pilgrims as they reminisced about the amazing experiences and connections they made while in Perth last year at the Australian Catholic Youth Festival. The video collages from Perth and the songs from Fr Rob Galea, Gen Bryant and Josh Angrisano, as well as the words of encouragement from Archbishop Peter A Comensoli, captured the reality of lockdown and the hope we have in our faith.

Perched on the couch with his dog quietly listening, Fr Rob sang about coming back to God. His takeaway message: ‘While circumstances have changed, God hasn’t. God hasn’t moved away.’

The hosts Justine and Brendan were all smiles when they introduced themselves and interviewed Archbishop Peter, who dialled in from St Patrick’s Cathedral. The Archbishop spoke about ‘our COVID lives’, offering young listeners both encouragement and empathy.

Archbishop: ‘Yes, a lot of change. Yes, a lot of worry. Yes, some fatigue. I’m feeling a lot of fatigue I must admit. But, this is a time when we can reach out to the Lord. You might remember, we had the lovely reading of Jesus walking out on the water to calm the storms of our lives. He’s just waiting on us to say ‘Lord, save me’. It’s what Peter said to Jesus because he was sinking, and Jesus immediately stretched out his hand and held onto him and said ‘Courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid’. So, I want to just say that to you today particularly, in all the sorts of things we’re having to deal with at these times – who’d imagine this would be like this – but we’ve got this opportunity, so don’t be afraid yourselves to say ‘Lord, save me’ and know that he’ll stretch out his hand to save you.’

Justine: ‘How’s lockdown been for you? How are you going, Archbishop, are you able to stay in touch with your family?’

Archbishop: ‘Well I haven’t seen my own family since Christmas because they all live in NSW, but that’s the case with so many who aren’t able to see family or friends. For me, lockdown’s been not all that much different in terms of workload – just as busy – I Zoom my life away these days, everything is on Zoom. Finding ways to continually reach out, knowing that the Lord’s hand is there too, reaching out. So, keep doing that. That’s what I’ve been trying to do over this time of COVID.’