2 August 2011
For the first time in Wellington, the three Pacific Island chaplaincies, Cook Islands, Tokelaus and Samoans brought their catechists together for a combined retreat on the last weekend in June. Also in attendance were Frs Penehe Patelehio and Petelo Mauga.
This significant and important time in the formation of the catechists was doubly blessed by the presence of Archbishop John Dew who led the retreat, guiding the catechists through the fruits of the Holy Spirit from St Paul’s letter to the Galatians. The time was affirming, encouraging and challenging. The catechists were led to reflect upon their lives and actions and how deeply they reflect and embody the life of Jesus.
‘What the Spirit brings is very different – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, truthfulness, gentleness and self control. Since the Spirit is our life, let us be directed by the Spirit.’
Archbishop John also spoke about what ‘the Aboriginals call Dadirri, the Africans, Ubuntu and the Christians, contemplation. It is the gift we thirst for that enables us to approach life with “majestic calm”, to know and experience the gift of peace Jesus offers us over and over again.’
The retreat was held at the Magnificat community in Featherston surrounded by bush-clad hills on one side and Lake Wairarapa on the other. This beautiful environment led naturally to quiet reflection and prayer.
The animals on the Magnificat farm were friendly and curious about this combined Pacific Island group. It was a blessed and privileged time.