Home' Aurora : Aurora May 2015 Contents 17
www.mn.catholic.org.au Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle
NOT ON THE OUTER:
BE, GROW, SHOW
20 March, 2015, end of Week 8, Term1.
Any teacher will tell you that the end of
ter m one leaves you emotionally drained
and physically exhausted. I was approached
by my school executive and asked if I
would like to attend the retreat "Be, Grow,
Show", hosted by the Diocesan Council
for Ministr y with Young People. I had my
reser vations; I had never attended a youth
retreat before and being someone who
likes to practise my faith personally, I was
ner vous about what I would be expected
to do, say or discuss openly.
I was greeted war mly at St Catherine's
Catholic College, Singleton, and others
soon began arriving. Everyone was
welcoming and friendly and I never felt
like I was on the outer. We headed to the
libr ary to begin getting to know each other
and a wonderful liturgy followed. This was
a reflection on faith, brought to life by
some upbeat, appropriately themed music.
We also got creative, painting our feet and
walking along a strip of canvas, signifying
the spiritual journey we were willing to take
that weekend. I loved this, and placed it in
the memor y bank to use with the older
primary students as a reflective activity
To be honest, the ter m 'pa schal mystery'
hadn't loomed large in my world, although
its reality wasn't unfamiliar. The retreat
offered a number of oppor tunities to
explore this idea in good company and
to have a taste of living, albeit briefly,
Retreat facilitator and wise woman Sr
Patricia Egan asked us to consider how
we are all called to be a per son of faith, to
grow in our faith and to show our faith. We
were guided through a 'Lenten journey',
reflecting and sharing our thoughts and
interpretations of the 'paschal mystery'
-- the life, death and resurrection of Jesus
-- today. Sr Patricia posed a very thought-
provoking question : "How can a good
God allow bad things to happen to good
people? ". This sparked deep thought
and interesting debates. It also led me to
consider several different possibilities that I
hadn't before, such as the mystery of God's
will and how, like Jesus in his final days, we
keep our faith alive when it is tested.
Fr Siegel Koder's paintings -- vibrant, layered
with meaning and grotesquely detailing
Jesus' passion and death -- led to profound
reflection, and one realisation was that we
all have burdens and crosses to bear, just
as Jesus did. As Christians, we also have
a responsibility to assist others bearing
We par ticipated in the parish celebr ation
of Mass with Fr s George Mullappallil
and Peter Street presiding. The film
Calvary (2014) sparked strong opinions
and speculation about the intent of the
filmmakers with reference to the per sonal
struggle of Jesus in his final days .
Sr Patricia led us fur ther into the myster y
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positive. Do what you are passionate about. Network. Learn New Skills.
Build self confidence. Demonstrate what you can do. Help others in need.
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Participants in the "Be, Grow, Show" retreat show off their footprints, signifying
their continuing spiritual journey.
of Jesus' passion, death and resur rection and
its impor tance within the Christian faith.
Although our faith has many 'mysteries', the
messages of the gospels and the life, death
and resur rection of Jesus are what ring
tr ue for me. Put simply, I am striving to live
my life as Jesus did and to consider others
The retreat concluded with us walking
out along the footprints we had made
at the beginning. We were sent for th to
continue our jour ney, and I did so with
One of the gifts of the retreat for me was
the reassur ance of knowing other s have the
same questions and concerns about their
faith as I have. I emerged from the weekend
feeling more connected and accepted into
a faith community. I also r etur ned home
feeling relaxed, refreshed and ready to tackle
the rest of the term!
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