The festivities were ushered in by the celebration of the Holy Eucharist by the Parish Priest of OLOR. Despite the heavy downpour that afternoon, CFCs, SFCs, YFCs, KFCs, and HOLDs from various parts of Metropolitan Sydney braved the wet and cold weather and joined in the joyous occasion.
Brother Rene Breva, CFC Davao and current Country Coordinator for Australia-Oceania gave a very inspiring exhortation, praising the community’s resiliency amidst the difficult and painful journey it had to go through. He recalled how the community has struggled but because of God’s unfailing love and the Holy Spirit’s guidance, it stood up and is prepared more than ever to carry out its mission. Brother Rene summed up his exhortation by exclaiming “Talk is cheap. Instead of saying the message, be the message yourself.”
The anniversary message delivered by Brother Rene provided the perfect lead into the Praisefest led by Brother Emmark Eroles, Unit Head Blacktown Chapter. Brother Emmark acclaimed for the congregation to go out and evangelize, to bring more families closer to Christ and renew the face of the Earth. The venue was abuzz as everybody rose and raised their hands and voices to praise God. The Holy Spirit was ever so present that everybody powerfully lifted their voices in hymms and prayers.
The Entertainment night followed right after dinner with a music video of photos past and present. Certainly, the community has gone a long way from its beginnings 26 years ago.
The YFC Blacktown-Nepean chapter got things started by performing their winning piece in the Showtunes Competition of the recent YFC National Conference (YCON). The YFC showcased their acting and singing talents that would have given the famous Glee cast a run for their monies.
Next to perform was the YFC Sydney West chapter who showcased their terpsichorean talents to the delight of every one. Their performance won for them the top prize for the Dancing competitions at the YCON.
Not to be outdone were the KFCs whose funny and cute antics brought adoration and giggles to the very amused crowd.
Last to present were the YFC Hawkesbury chapter band with their rendition of Katy’s Perry Unconditionally that got everybody standing up, rocking and rolling. It was the perfect set up for the community dancing that everyone was so eagerly looking forward to. Once it started, everyone was on the dance floor swinging away to conclude the evening.
It was truly an evening of fun and camaraderie. Everyone came to worship and praise our all knowing, all loving and all powerful God. The sea of brothers and sisters, youths and kids represented a people who, by the grace of God, have been washed and sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor 1-11).
We all have different conversion stories. But what is constant amongst us is God’s loving embrace and forgiveness. Each one of us have had our faith shaken, our hearts troubled in so many occasions. In each of these instances, our God remained faithful and generous. Thus, it was all but fitting that we gathered to exult His name in praise and worship.
Talk is truly cheap. Let us be out there and let our lives be the message of God’s love.
Bro Jay Santos