Take five: Teenagers find life in the Church

Verity-Jane Lebeter, Elijah Gonzalez, Latrisse Contessa, Keira Walker and Hayley Murphy with Bishop Brian Heenan (The Catholic Leader)

Five teenagers from the same Brisbane ecumenical high school have been received into full communion with the Church. The Catholic Leader.

Verity-Jane Lebeter, Elijah Gonzalez, Hayley Murphy, Latrisse Contessa and Keira Walker from Unity College were received into the Church in a ceremony led by Bishop Emeritus Brian Heenan on February 21.

Shania Allen, 22, was a volunteer missionary with the National Evangelisation Team that worked with students at Unity College in Caloundra, a co-educational ecumenical college that draws on the faith practices of the Catholic and Uniting churches.

By the end of the year, five teenagers who had met the NET Team at the school asked to become Catholic.

Just the thought of it makes Ms Allen emotional. “It would literally tear me up that this is what God has done, and this was their choice,” she said.

Ms Allen met with one of the local Catholic priests from Caloundra parish, Fr Josh Whitehead, and they realised that a small but eager group of young people were interested in learning about Catholicism.

Ms Allen and Fr Whitehead suggested running classes during the school holidays, using resources based on the Rite of Catholic Initiation of Adults but modified for teenagers.

“It started out fortnightly, but then the kids actually wanted them weekly,” Ms Allen said.

“It was just so beautiful to see their fascination with the Catholic Church and to see that the Catholic Church is nowhere near dead.”


From nothing to everything – five high-schoolers find life in the Catholic Church (By Emilie Ng, The Catholic Leader)

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