Year 4, Occupational Therapy
University of Sydney
Coming into University, I did not see the importance of having a community. However, I soon found myself struggling to live out my Christian faith. I felt alone in my walk with Christ as I saw friends in SG deepen their relationship with God. During one of my holidays, I met brothers and sisters back in SG who shared with me their own faith journey. They reminded me of the importance of having a community and that I was not meant to walk on this journey alone. This led to a desire for a community in AU - that was when I met many other SG students across AU who also shared the same passion and desire, to provide SG students with a safe space to deepen their faith and grow in their love for God.
However, when approached to be a CGL for Sydney, I was very hesitant, and my first instinct was to turn it down. I felt inadequate and unworthy to bring others to Christ and thought someone else would be more qualified to lead the new Sydney CG. However, the first reading on that very day was from 1 Samuel 16: 1-13, when Samuel anointed David as King over Israel. “God does not see as man sees; man looks at appearances, but the Lord looks at the heart”. Archbishop’s reflection also started off with “How do we choose a leader? What qualities do we look for in a leader?” It was God’s way of telling me that though leadership qualities are useful, it is not the most important. Instead, it is Him who calls us to lead and that His true desire is for our hearts to be molded towards His. God was reminding me not to look at human strength and traits the world deems as good leadership qualities. God only desires that my heart be led by Him and He assures me that He will give me the strength and confidence I need.
Though it has been a short time of being a CGL, I have learnt that the strength and courage to lead my CG is not based on my own merits, but through Christ who strengthens me. There have been many challenges along the way - not knowing what to expect with a new community and the sudden change of moving CGs online. However, this journey has made me more convicted that it is always Christ who guides my every move and word and that he will send others to accompany me on this journey. I am very grateful for this small yet growing community in AU, for the sharing of life and struggles, and ultimately to always pull each other back to the cross.
I have also come to realise that before I am a Shepherd, I am first called to be Christ’s sheep. This has helped me be more accountable and take ownership of my own faith and discipleship journey. It is a daily commitment to choose God. However, I have learnt it is far more rewarding to struggle in my Father’s hAUs alongside my brothers and sisters, than to struggle alone during university. I never imagined that I would have a deeper encounter with Christ during my time in Australia, but I have learnt that God just desires for my heart and my cooperation with His will. I just need to say, “Yes Lord, I trust in you”.
I am excited to see what the Lord has in store for the AU community; I believe that if God desires for this community to flourish, He will send people to build his kingdom and bring it to fruition. I pray that all SG Catholics in AU recognise their belovedness in Christ and know that although they are overseas, they are not alone in their walk with Christ. So friends, will you take a leap of faith and trust that God will use the community to carry you through your university life?