A Melbourne woman with a deep faith and a strong sense of social justice has been chosen to represent young Australian Catholics at a Vatican meeting next year to prepare for the Synod of Bishops on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment.
Young people from across the world will gather in Rome in March in anticipation of the Synod, which will be held in October 2018.
Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP, Bishops’ Delegate for Youth, said Angela Markas, a member of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Melbourne, was one of many faith-filled young people who were nominated to represent Australia at the pre-Synod gathering.
“Across Australia, we see young people who are living out their faith both in the life of their local parish, but also beyond the walls of the church,” Archbishop Fisher said.
“As we observed with almost 20,000 young people earlier this month in Sydney, there is a vibrant and diverse community of young Catholics right across our country and Angela, and the work she does in the Chaldean community, is a great example of the vibrancy and diversity of the Catholic Church in Australia.”
Miss Markas, who is currently studying at the University of Melbourne, was honoured when she found out she was chosen to attend the pre-Synod gathering.
“Like many other young Catholics in Australia, I am constantly seeking to live out my faith in my daily life. I don’t see my own journey or my own life as much different from those around me, so it will be that faith, that journey, that I carry with me to Rome next year,” she said.
“The opportunity to gather with young Catholics from across the world and to spend some time in the company of the Holy Father is one I will cherish, but I know that I am there to represent my fellow Australian Catholics.
“I will therefore use the coming months to engage with my peers and share their hopes and their visions when I travel to Rome.”
Archbishop Fisher, who along with Melbourne Auxiliary Bishop Mark Edwards OMI will attend the October Synod, said the March gathering of young people is a pivotal step along the way.
“If the Catholic Church is to host a Synod on Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment, it is obvious that the voice of young people must help to shape the preparations for the meeting and also the deliberations that take place at the Synod,” he said.
“A survey of young Catholics in Australia, amplified by Angela’s presence at the March gathering, will ensure that the voice of hundreds of thousands of young Australians will be heard by the Holy Father and by the universal Catholic Church.”
In addition to her involvement in her parish, Miss Markas is involved in a range of initiatives to support people who are homeless, those who are vulnerable and those who are marginalised.