svdp-logo-ausYoung people from St William’s Parish, Grovely, will each wear at least one item bought from St Vincent de Paul Society stores to a formal dinner at the end of August.

The idea of a Vinnies Vamp Up dinner surfaced at the InsideOut 2013 youth retreat at Camp Bornhoffen in the Gold Coast hinterland.

InsideOut, the annual Brisbane East Deanery and Western Hills parishes of Grovely-Samford and Mitchelton youth retreat was held from July 5 to 7.

The retreat gave 50 young people – high-schoolers, young adults and 10 leaders – the opportunity to explore God’s call in their lives.

The Western Hills group leader Fr Nigel Sequeira said he had provided opportunities for penance, adoration and the Mass.

“We encouraged the young people to delve deeper into their faith, while enjoying the company of their peers in a beautiful environment,” he said.

On the first night Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane addressed the participants on the Sacrament of Penance, explaining it was a gift of mercy.

Year 12 student Allessandro said the archbishop’s words were “so true” … “God always surprises, but never disappoints”.

Fr John Chalmers’ time with the group on the Saturday also provoked positive comments.

“Father John really inspired me through his talk about how the little things in life really count. He showed this through all the stories he told during his talk,” Year 11 student Ashleigh said.

Year 12 student Alex said Fr Chalmers’ talk was “inspirational, calling us to live our vocation in everything we do, particularly in the workplaces”.

Brisbane East Deanery youth co-ordinator Nathan Costin led a session with a high school group on Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body and the call to treat others with respect.

Seminarians Jacob Saal and Tom Duncan answered questions about their faith journey.

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