WelCom News
A newspaper for the Wellington and Palmerston North Catholic Dioceses

Young adult leaders graduate

Sahara Tasele and Tim Henwood

Picture yourself entering a room full of unfamiliar faces of the future; faces that will mould and change your views for the better. These are the faces which you see standing before you.

The Leadership Formation Programme (LFP) has given us the opportunity to expand our minds regarding issues relating to our Catholic faith and our Christian lives; we have been given the chance to raise our voices.

It is warming and encouraging for many voices to be able to discuss and acknowledge individual opinions with understanding and open hearts and minds. We have not only learnt about each other, but most importantly we have learnt about ourselves.

Memorable is the word to describe our time in LFP. The knowledge we’ve gained, the new friends we’ve made, the great food we’ve eaten, and the personal conversations we’ve had – these experiences are timeless and will remain embedded in our minds and hearts forever.

Before LFP started, discussions about religion were often confined to the wee small hours of the morning with close friends. LFP provided a platform for ideas, whether people agreed with them or not. It was this attitude that made LFP what it was for us.

Regardless of personal opinion, there was a support framework that allowed us to voice answers and ask questions that would otherwise have been kept private.

The support came not just from this amazing group and its talented leaders, but from outside as well. Often we found ourselves being asked, ‘So what’d you learn in LFP this week?’ and answering these questions led to further thinking about the weekend’s discussion.

The camps played a major role in the forming of bonds in the group. Not just in the sessions and small group work, but in late-night discussions about nearly everything, listening to Badjelly the witch, [Spike Milligan, 1973] in the car on the way up, or karaoke down at the local pub after the evening session.

It’s these connections and the support they provided that meant the most to us throughout the programme, and we’re grateful for the new friendships we’ve built and the old ones we’ve strengthened.

But the programme doesn’t stop here. It is just another step on a journey.

Our challenge is now to continue exploring our faith and living it out every day. It is also a challenge that we pass on to other youth and young adults to also explore their faith, and to seriously consider LFP as a part of that process. Likewise, we challenge the community and parents to encourage young people to question and explore faith issues.