Saturday, 29 September 2007

Retreat day with a difference

Today marked a first for the Cross and Icon in their Australian journey. The symbols were the main focus of a young adults retreat that our team facilitated. At 9:01 as the retreat began, one participant stood in the Church. At 9:15 the number of participants had grown to 16 and by 9:45 there were 36! I'm not too sure whether this was due to young people time or Northern Territory time.

The theme of the retreat was pilgrimage. The group was quite a mixed bunch made up of students, workers and families. The group bonded really well; many of the participants came without knowing anyone, yet by the end day a cohesive group had formed.

Today was a real highlight of the journey for me. Being with the Cross and Icon, with young people who had given up their Saturday morning to spend some time in prayer with other young people was pretty fantastic. I was touched by the personal prayer time around the Cross and Icon as people moved at their own pace; some made use of the sacrament of reconcilaition while others left post-it-note prayers on the Cross, others lit candles and some symbolically placed stones at the foot of the Cross.

Thanks to everyone who came along! The day was enjoyable and I felt several times as though could have been at home in my own Parish, such was the welcoming, friendly nature of the participants. Cheers guys, Jess

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