WelCom September 2017: Jo and Tim McDade, from Brisbane, facilitated this year’s Passionist retreats for young people at two retreat centres in July.
Thirty-five 15-to-18-year-olds from the Diocese attended the youth retreat Camp Rangi Woods in Pohangina Valley, to explore ‘a relationship with ourselves, with others and with God’.
Along with the usual sessions, games, great food and friendships, participants were treated to an overnight snowstorm.
Bridget Kelly-Lowe, from the Catholic Parish of Napier, said, ‘It was an amazing retreat where we put distractions like social media away so we could be free to look at ourselves. It was a journey for us – we cried, broke free from obstacles and masks, played in snow and reconnected with God.’
Catharina Lee from Newlands said, ‘This was my second Passionist Youth Retreat and my expectations were surpassed. We were guided well and surrounded by like-minded youth with strong faith and cheerful smiles. I’d highly recommended this retreat to any person wherever they are in their faith journey.’
Twenty-five young adults aged 18 years and over took part in discussions and personal reflection at the Young Adults Retreat at the Magnificat Centre in Featherston.
Celia Kueh of Te Ahi Kaa, praised Tim’s facilitation with the theme ‘Freedom’. ‘The Wairarapa countryside’s peaceful surroundings and the enjoyable company added to the experience.’
Pravin Vaz, from Waikanae, said there were some challenging topics. Tim explained, ‘Sin is a wonderful gift, by which we experience the wholeness of God’s mercy. That can be a learning curve in our understanding of God’s infinite love for us.’
Visit www.passionistfamily.org.nz/retreats for more information on the annual retreats.