27 Young Adults took time out to spend time away from everyday life for a weekend from July 13-15th. They gathered at the Magnificat retreat centre in Featherston, to be part of a program presented by Fr Ray Sanchez from Brisbane. Ray lives his life from a suitcase whilst running missions around Australia and New Zealand, giving Adult formation, counseling individuals, and training young adults in youth ministry.
Ray suggests that a psychologically healthy self is one of the biggest gifts we can give each other.
In the words of Thomas Merton ‘Those who attempt to act and do things for others or for the world without deepening their own self-understanding, freedom, integrity and capacity to love, will not have anything to give others.’
So how do we get a psychologically healthy self?
Ray’s program took us through a step-by-step Reflecting & Journaling program. A tool we could use throughout our lives to challenge ourselves, know ourselves better, identifying what it is that holds us back from seeking a new way forward in hope and trust. The program helped us look inward not outward by judging others, but asking ourselves ‘why did we respond or feel this way or that.
We explored ‘The Road not taken’ by Robert Frost.
And Emmaus (Luke 24)
We recognized the importance of unconditional love, searching for our true self and the limitations human conditioning poses for each of us.
It’s a fantastic having others to share the experience of a retreat. Knowing we are all in the same boat! Having fun in free time and preparing a meal, sharing stories, providing entertainment and Mass.
Who would have thought it would take over an hour before this group of adults could successfully look a partner in the eyes for 30 seconds without a noise!! Such fun!
Thanks to ANZ Staff Foundation for providing funds to sponsor young people to attend and make this retreat available.
A few words by those who attended the Young Adults Retreat:
I was a little nervous about going on the passionate young adult retreat; I hadn’t been on a retreat since University but I had been personally invited so decided to take up the challenge and commit. I was pleasantly surprised as I entered the magnificat retreat centre in Featherstone. The serene setting, inviting wood fire and friendly faces put my worries at ease. The next two days was a fantastic opportunity to reflect on my life, who I am and my relationship with God and others. There were opportunities for listening, prayer, discussion, journaling and of course socialising. It was great to meet so many young Catholics and get to know the ones I did know better. These retreats and the spiritual formation I find invaluable. The relationships which form and are developed in these weekends continue to grow once we leave this special space. I will always fondly cherish the memories of this retreat and the knowledge and insight I gained from it.