WelCom February 2019:
A few years ago, I had to make a decision about engaging a professional painter to paint our weatherboard home. I was leaning towards DIY as I had that general kiwi attitude, ‘it’ll be okay’. I eventually made the decision to use a painter and after seeing how much preparation was done, it would be an understatement to say my wife was relieved! The painter emphasised the importance of ongoing maintenance of the newly-painted exterior as it would help my home to endure the weather.
Two years ago, I enrolled to study with The Catholic Institute and have recently completed one of their qualifications. The reasons for choosing to study were to build on my OCIA journey (Order of Christian Initiation for Adults) and not have a ‘DIY attitude’ towards my personal faith. I reached out to people at TCI who were qualified to support me with continuing to form my faith journey. With what I have learned especially about the importance of a life-long pursuit of faith formation, which is not just for the priesthood and religious, is that I will be better prepared for enduring the seasons of life.
The knowledge I have gained is being used to help with nurturing faith amongst my whānau. As well as being better enabled to serve in the life of my local faith communities of St Patrick’s and St Claudine Thevenet school in Wainuiomata. I also have volunteering experience in mentoring alongside at-risk communities particularly amongst young males. My studies and background complement the mahi I am about to do in the prison system as an adult literacy educator as well as serving in the provision of spiritual care. Without ongoing faith formation, it becomes difficult to persevere with deepening personal faith, nurturing faith in family and sustaining service within our communities.