Participants answering questions related to their faith during the youth conference at the Church of St Anthony. Participants answering questions related to their faith during the youth conference at the Church of St Anthony.

“I believe in God our Father! I believe in Christ His Son! I believe in the Holy Spirit!”

These words echoed through the Church of St Anthony during its annual youth conference.

Held from June 13-17, the conference, titled Catholic and Convinced, was attended by more than a hundred participants aged 13-22.

Participants from the parish’s nine youth ministries, catechism classes and post-confirmands were called to strengthen their faith and stand firm for what they believed in.

Kicking off the conference was keynote speaker, Fr Terence Pereira, spiritual director of the Youth of St Anthony. Fr Terence Pereira, spiritual director of the Youth of Saint Anthony, giving his keynote speech.Fr Terence Pereira, spiritual director of the Youth of Saint Anthony, giving his keynote speech.

He challenged the youths to “make noise for Jesus when the world asks of us to be silent”, reminding them that as long as they walk in the ways of God, they will never be the minority, as “God and I are always the majority”.

The theme of the first day of  the conference, Rock the Stone, called on youths to step out of their comfort zones and follow Christ.

Through various activities, participants learnt more about their faith and how to defend it.

These included a series of workshops such as one conducted by seminarian Justin Yip. He spoke about the importance of sharing one’s faith with others and also taught them how to do so.

Another workshop saw youths discussing controversial topics such as abortion and pre-marital sex, and trying to be convincing about their beliefs.

Day three of the conference had the theme, Be The Voice. Participants created their own three-minute film to show how they could be the voice of God in their daily lives.

The video clips ranged from dances and skits to a silent movie on conversion.

The last day of the conference saw invited speaker Joseph Fernandez reminding participants that each of them had been chosen by God for a purpose. He also told them to be proud of their faith.

“Are you worth dying for? You would say ‘no’. But the answer of God is ‘yes’,” he said.

The conference also saw participants going onstage in groups to defend their faith. Facing other participants who took on the role of non-believers, the groups had to answer questions related to the faith.

The conference closed with participants’ parents joining in the last session.

Participant Alastar Joseph, 20, said the conference strengthened his faith.

“I was actually convinced of my faith in God. I encountered God through the love shown in the youths as they themselves were convinced of their faith.”

One of the organisers, Elton Tan, 18, commented: “We made sure that each step of the journey in the conference had a purpose, to allow [participants] to grow deeper in faith and to eventually be proud to be Catholic.”

By Andrew Kiflie

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