The Adore 2004 Youth Gathering, held at Melbourne's Telstra Dome on 22-25 January 2004, incorporated daily Mass and rosary, many well-qualified speakers, stirring testimonies, amazing performances on stage and heart-warming Christian fellowship.
The conference, which was the first for Australia, attracted 500 young people, with about 700 participating in the Eucharistic procession through Melbourne.
Adore 2004 was led by the Oblates Apostles of the Two Hearts (OATH Brothers) who, by their inspiring testimonies and unvarying cheerfulness, love and example, displayed to us that God was working through them in a powerful way.
The Adore Conference provided young people with an opportunity to share and strengthen their faith together and to better understand and believe in the real presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
Like many others, I found the conference a great source of recommitment to my faith and values on life. The spiritual food we received over the four days was truly inspirational.
The priests did a marvellous job, hearing confessions every day for long periods of time.
Each day a variety of speakers addressed many vital issues, such as, spiritual warfare - beware that no-one deceives you - the power of the Holy Spirit, the true presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist and the importance of purity.
Two speakers from the US and Canada, Eric Genius and Doug Murray, presented us with the story of St Don Bosco and spoke of the need to be wary of much of today's music, TV, magazines and newspapers, which can be spiritually destructive.
Confession, the Rosary, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the Eucharist were presented as the four main weapons against evil.
During the conference, group leaders took workshops, splitting us into groups of fifteen or so. This gave us a chance to express our views on parts of the program and to ask questions of the group leader.
On the final day, at least fifteen young men and fifteen young women surrendered to God, asking Him to reveal to them what plan He had for their lives. I could feel the Holy Spirit truly alive, flowing into many hearts, which, I'm sure, were previously locked against Jesus' love.
The witnesses, who shared with us their testimonies, were all on fire for God, speaking in a truly moving way. It would make one think that there is always hope and light in this troubled world. With God on our side, we will not only win the countless tough battles ahead but in the end we will win the spiritual war.
Adore 2004 educated me on almost every aspect of my Catholic faith, reaffirming some of the less obvious areas about which I was previously unsure.
Because of Adore 2004's huge success, it is likely the conference will take place again in Australia next year and hopefully become an annual event. I strongly encourage every young person to attend, as such conferences can only be of immense benefit to our Catholic faith.
Nicole Osmak was a participant at Adore 2004.