Two artists explain the ways in which they feel called to evangelise beyond their own parish or family.
Fr Rob Galea
Fr Rob Galea is an assistant parish priest at St Kilian’s parish in the Sandhurst diocese. He’s also a sucessful recording artist who has placed his music career at the service of God through a broad-reaching youth ministry. He performs with his band at 80 secondary schools a year, and to large audiences around Australia and overseas.
I have always known that music is part of my ministry.
My vocation as a priest is to share God’s love and God’s presence through words and through the sacraments. That is my primary role. And I think there’s no better way to share God’s word than through the language of the heart, and that is music.
When you are a young person who is angry about something, you might slam your bedroom door, and the first thing you will do is put on your One Direction music or whatever it is you listen to. When they feel the whole world cannot understand them, young people’s music still connects with them. This is the power of music.
When I am preaching people will listen, but when I sing a song while I am preaching, all of a sudden I will see tears begin to roll, or joy is evident.
Young people are thirsting for the Word of God and music allows them to be less defensive and more ready to receive it in their hearts.”
Annette Young lives with her husband Francis in Maitland in NSW’s lower Hunter Valley region, where they also home-school their four young sons.
Her first historical novel for young adults, A Distant Prospect, was warmly received by young people and also parents in Australia and overseas. She is currently writing a trilogy sequel titled In the Hearts of Kings.
“In my writing I tend to explore matters of faith. In the Hearts of Kings deals with issues of justice and mercy.
For me writing means exploring the Big Things: life, death, conscience, suffering, joy, truth, goodness, evil, love.
I find fiction is a valuable way of making faith accessible to others. A person who won’t set foot in a church will perhaps read a novel and identify with a character, and that character’s experience may be the key that unlocks a door to another way of life or thought.
I have a special regard for Blessed Charles von Habsburg. I discovered his story when researching World War I and Vienna for A Distant Prospect.
I was very moved by the difficulties he faced in his life, his efforts to end the War, and his endeavours to bring about a just outcome for Europe after it, by his deep piety, and by his devotion to family and his duties of state amidst the enormous stress of international conflict and despite prematurely having to accept such responsibility.
He is my hero. Somehow I have to bring his world to life.”