Australia to be represented at important Vatican gathering

Angela Markas, a member of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Melbourne, is a young Australian woman with a deep faith and strong sense of social justice - and she has been chosen to represent young Australian Catholics at an important Vatican meeting next year.

She will be part of a select group of young Catholics from across the world will gather in Rome in March 2018 ahead of the 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. Pope Francis’ said the Synod is to be focused on the theme of ‘Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment.’ It is to be held in Rome in October 2018.  

Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP, Bishops’ Delegate for Youth, commenting on Angela being chosen to to represent Australia at the pre-Synod gathering, said:

“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.

“As we observed with almost 20,000 young people earlier this month in Sydney (at the Australian Catholic Youth Festival), there is a vibrant and diverse community of young Catholics right across our country and Angela.

“The work Angela does in the Chaldean community is a great example of the vibrancy and diversity of the Catholic Church in Australia,” he added.

Angela, on being advised of being chosen to represent Australia said:

“Like so many other young Catholics, I am constantly seeking to live out my faith in my daily life. 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.”

Angela said that because she will be representing her fellow Australian Catholics, in the coming months she will be engaging with peers so she can share their hopes and their visions with other Catholics during her time in Rome.

Archbishop Fisher, who along with Melbourne Auxiliary Bishop Mark Edwards OMI will attend the October Synod, said the March gathering of young people was an important part of the Synod.

“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.

“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,” he said.

The Synod of Bishops is a permanent institution of the Catholic Church. It was established by Pope Paul VI in 1965, shortly after the close of the Second Vatican Council, to continue the spirit of collegiality and communion that was present at the Council.

The Synod is an assembly of Bishops from around the world who assist the Holy Father by providing counsel on important questions facing the Church in a manner that preserves the Church's teaching and strengthens its internal discipline.

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