Friday 29th – Sunday 31st July saw a gathering of young adults at Holy Cross Centre in Templestowe for the first weekend-long retreat for the Passionist Youth Movement (PYM) Victoria in Australia. The aim was to offer people aged 20-30 a chance to gather with like-minded people to share their story, their faith journey and the Passionist Charism. It is also important that as people of God we take time out from our busy lives to reflect and to reconnect with God, and I think that was certainly achieved this weekend.
Friday night was an opportunity to get to know a little bit about each other and to reflect on our individual gifts, the gifts of the Spirit. Saturday included sessions about our journey within the universe story and about our individual journey in a session that looked at ‘life as a pilgrimage’. We then walked a ‘labyrinth’ as we considered where we’ve come from, where we’re at, and where we’re going, and how we as individuals journey, where we are present. And the afternoon session was led by Fr Tim O’Toole CP and Sister Anne Cunningham CP as they shared about the Passionist Charism, what it means to them, and how we as young people can live it out in our everyday lives.
Saturday evening was a quiet session as we looked at how all of this fits in with the message of Jesus. This was done with a Gospel reading, meditation and time for reflection in the beautiful candle-lit Chapel. The retreat then ended with the 10:30am Parish Mass Sunday morning, celebrated with great joy and reverence by Fr Jacob CP, a wonderful way to finish.
It was a fantastic few days with quiet time, discussion, games, music, the Eucharist and social time together. We all come from different backgrounds with different life experiences, and yet we share a faith in God and a desire to know Him better. There was a lot to share, and a valuable experience was had by all.
The retreat was coordinated by Fr Kevin Hennessey CP, Sr Brigid Murphy CP, Maria-Grazia Ricchetti, Loredane Guinnea and Marita Stretch. This is the core team who bring together the monthly PYM gatherings. These evenings begin with a shared meal at 6:30pm at Holy Cross, followed by a guided session on a chosen theme, quiet time for prayer and reflection, discussion amongst the young adults, and then finishing with a cup of tea and a chat.
– Marita Stretch