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Wonder at Ignite conference

17 October, 2023
Rockhampton contingent enjoying a late night meal at Maccas
Two from Rockhampton take up the Offertory at the Final Mass

In the September school holidays, a group of 20 high schoolers and 9 adults attended the Ignite Conference in Brisbane. The theme of this year’s conference (Wonder) invited us to stop and look in awe at what God has done and what he continues to do. Our group included youth from Mackay, Rockhampton, Capricorn Coast, Gladstone, Monto and Bundaberg. Many of the youth had come with us in previous years, and there is now a great bond and sense of community amongst the group, which is partially a result of the hours spent travelling together in vans and buses. As well as forming connections between young people from across our diocese, Ignite Conference offers a unique experience of live modern worship, faith formation, and experiences of prayer and sacraments. Elizabeth Ariens, who is in year 11 from Gladstone parish, had this to say about the conference:

Ignite Conference, in the three times that I have gone (and not the last), has always surpassed my expectations! Each time brings me a new perspective on my faith, how I can show love to those who are close to me, and how to bring myself closer to God. Attending these conferences with the Rockhampton Diocese adds an extra little fun to the trip, and I have loved getting to know people from my diocese and also from all over Australia through Brisbane conferences like Ignite.

Catering for all ages and any families, this four-day Catholic conference shares speeches, keynotes, workshops, rallies and exhibitions with people travelling from all over Australia. The speakers, including Fr Sam French, the Ignite Youth team from Brisbane and Fr Rob Galea, were particularly amazing this year, one of my highlights from this conference!

“With over 1000 young people, adults, kids and others coming together to renew their faith and worship God, it is amazing how each person has their own unique experience – I particularly enjoyed Prayer Teams, yet another opportunity to talk with God and to be prayed over by leaders of faith. I could feel the Holy Spirit growing within me, just from those few moments of prayer. I walked away light on my feet, like I was walking on air, and was left feeling fully nourished by God’s Spirit – With Ignite offering many different things like prayer teams during powerful rallies with Emmanuel Worship, motivating keynotes with exceptional speakers and the many Sacraments of the Church, it is no wonder that many people come home filled with desire for God and a newfound outlook on their personal lives!

I am very aware that the young people that participate in this event are the future leaders of the Church, and if that’s the case then our Church is in good hands! It’s truly wonderful to have this opportunity for them to reflect, to be formed in faith and to consider how God may be calling them to follow him.

If you’re interested in supporting or attending future trips to Ignite Conference or the Ignite Summer Camp for high schoolers in January, or would like to find out more then please contact me at or 0433 897 973.

Mick Otto, Executive Director – Vocations, Youth & Family Life

Worshiping at Ignite