Home' Aurora : Aurora September 2011 Contents 22
| Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle | www.mn.catholic.org.au
One of my needs in life is being affirmed
by others. This seems to energise me
to try harder. The problem is that much
affirmation from others is flitting and
unfulfilling. I then look for even more
opportunities to be affirmed! Sometimes
I find myself doing things for no other
reason than the hope that someone
might notice and give me another dose of
affirmation...and on it goes.
Fortunately there are times when I
receive an unexpected gift from others --
usually it turns out to be something I have
not even realised I said or occasionally
something I didn t say which they seem to
see as significant. These are very special
moments for me because I feel I have
been fully loved without trying to earn
it. I think this is God giving me a gentle
reminder that he thinks I am kinda
special . I am sure this happens with all of
us if we think about it.
Dutch priest and spiritual writer, the late
Henri Nouwen, speaks of the importance
of hiddenness : that quiet place where
we go on our own, just to reflect and
think about our relationship with God --
perhaps have a quiet chat. Nouwen puts
it this way...
"hiddenness is such an important aspect
of the spiritual life....it keeps us focused
on God. In hiddenness we do not receive
human acclamation, admiration, support,
or encouragement. In hiddenness we
have to go to God with our sorrows and
joys and trust that God will give us what
we most need. In our society we are
inclined to avoid hiddenness. We want
to be seen and acknowledged. We want
to be useful to others and influence the
course of events. But as we become
visible and popular, we quickly grow
dependent on people and their responses
and easily lose touch with God, the true
source of our being. Hiddenness is the
place of purification. In hiddennes s we
find our true selves".
Nouwen (1996) Bread for the Journey: Reflections
for Every Day of the Year London, Darton, Longman
and Todd p254.
By MARGARET WALKER
A review by
"THAT THEY MAY have life and have it to the full." This
is Christ's mission and challenge to us all. It is also a
motto upheld by the staff and supporters of CatholicCare.
CatholicCare Hunter-Manning is an agency of the Diocese
of Maitland-Newcastle. It offers a variety of support
services to members of the community, regardless of age,
gender or religion. Key services cater for families, children,
youth and those with a disability.
Youth Services include support and accommodation,
mentoring, living skills and transition to independence.
CatholicCare's Disability and Community services support
the development of living skills and independence to
help those with a disability to be involved and active
within the community, as well as providing supported
accommodation. The Men's Shed program assists
men, generally post work, focusing on health and
Child and Family services include counselling, support
and intervention programs. The wellbeing and care of
children and families are at the forefront of work in
this area. Foster Care Week (beginning 12 September)
highlights the work of CatholicCare in offering stability and
support to children in need of a safe place due to family
crisis or neglect. The website includes information and
training opportunities for those interested in becoming a
foster carer. Volunteering opportunities in other areas are
also readily available.
Taree Child and Family Centre provides support to families
with young children, people 16 + living with a mental
illness, counselling, and parenting and fathering programs.
The website is easily navigated and there are links to an
extensive list of contacts for all services provided in the
Hunter-Manning area. To keep abreast of activities and
events, you can subscribe to CatholicCare's e-newsletter
and their quarterly publication, c-change. Here, many good
news stories are shared and are testament to the ongoing
commitment and focus of CatholicCare to help all those
whose lives they touch, have life to the full.
WHAT IS IT about this generation of twenty-somethings
that parents, teachers, employers and bosses find
so difficult? Why have they been labelled the 'why not'
generation, suffering from the reputation of an over inflated
sense of entitlement; seen as having a lack of commitment
but craving constant praise?
Michael McQueen, himself a fine example of the best
of Generation Y, has written a treatise on the new rules
of engagement for this generation. While he admits that
this is not a war in spite of his use of the military term
'engagement' and in fact there is nothing new about his
suggestions since the basics of good relationships are
timeless -- it is still a compulsory read for anyone who
wants to get the best out of this group, born in the early
1980s through to the late 1990s.
Michael's straightforward and entertaining book begins by
comparing the characteristics of the various generations;
then taking a look at how things have changed; finally
offering practical strategies to engage better with Gen Y
and enhance relationships with them. Two such strategies
are, to put relationships before roles, even if you are a
teacher or boss, and to 'use stories to make your point'.
While these may seem like obvious approaches, they do
not necessarily come naturally to Baby Boomers or even
Gen X, who might demand respect before relationship and
a safe distance between roles. But if you want to get the
best out of your Gen Y kids, students or workers, then you
should definitely give Michael's tips, presented with humour
and insight, a go. Because as Michael says we have the
chance to influence these brash, engaging and inquiring
minds to shape society's future -- let's not miss our chance.
The New Rules of Engagement: A guide to understanding and connecting with
Generation Y by Michael McQueen is published by The Nexgen Group 2007.
Pilgrims had packed their local paper
before departing from Newcastle,
destination Madrid, (l-r) Lynette
Price, Tamara Smith, Larissa
Smith, Raelene Price,
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Compiled by DR JOHN and CHRISTINE CAVENAGH
Aurora on tour
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