The students representing 22 schools from across Scotland had face-to-face time with students from the Christian Catechism Centre, which is made up of young people from across Aleppo, supported by ACN.
The youth rally, the fourth of its kind, took place at the Motherwell Concert Hall, and included a presentation on ACN projects in Syria by the charity’s Middle East projects coordinator Father Andrzej Halemba.
In his talk, Father Halemba described the plight of people in Aleppo, including a young girl, called Rita who he said was determined to stay in the country because of her faith.
Highlighting atrocities against Christian communities by Daesh (ISIS) and other extremists, particularly in Syria and Iraq, he said: “Faced with the Church in need, we cannot be silent bystanders.”
There was music by electro-pop band Ooberfuse and Taylor High School Choir and Band, New Stevenston, and St Maurice’s High School Samba Band, Cumbernauld.
Benediction and Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament was led by Bishop John Keenan of Paisley.
At the event, which was compered by DJ Steve McKenna and supported by volunteers, teachers and parents, Bishop Keenan gave the keynote address. Also present were Bishop Joseph Toal of Motherwell and Father Martin Delaney, Youth Co-ordinator for Motherwell diocese.
Afterwards, Bishop Keenan said: “The ACN Youth Day and the faces and faith of the young people in Aleppo challenged and encouraged the young Catholics of Scotland who were there at this great event.”
Scottish schools and others participating in the day posted enthusiastic messages of support such as “uplifting and inspiring day,” “wonderful event” and “the live link to Aleppo @ACN_Scotland was a great opportunity to bring human issues to life.”
Seven schools spoke about their engagement with the charity at the event.
Robyn Moynes from All Saints Secondary School, Glasgow said: “We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters here today and we pray for change – for a better and more just world where our right to express our religious faith will become a reality no matter where we live or where we are from.”