The NZ Passionist Youth Retreat held at Camp Rangi Woods from Monday 9thto Thursday 12thJuly was attended by 22 youth.Super proud of these young people, firstly for taking the risk to attend the retreat, themed ‘Our story’ and secondly embracing the program 100 per cent. They each took time alone to reflect on their own lives, write their story in their journal and share this with others in their small group.  New faces became friends and within the Spirit became more deeply connected.

The NZ Passionist Young adult retreat held at the Magnificat retreat centre from Friday 13thJuly to Sunday 15thJuly was attended by 26 young adults. The theme was ‘To love and be loved’.   Love, a simple word – that can get complicated in each of our lives.  A great journaling technique used to explore this topic was to write down a question we had, but rather than trying to answer it asking a deeper question and then going deeper and deeper.

Everyone agreed the weekend was blest by having a baby and toddler present.  Their example of trust, openness and pure love supported the theme and encouraged each of us to take a risk to do the same in our lives.

Passionist Youth Retreat Reflection – Br Luke Bulley CP

During my time on the Youth Retreat Team in Brisbane, we had an annual retreat very similar to the Youth Retreat in Palmerston North called, “September Camp.” All high school aged students were invited to attend from all around Brisbane and for many of us on the Team, this was one of the best retreats of the year. The main reason for this was because the students who were there, were there because they wanted to be there. There was a willingness to be involved that other retreats take effort to bring out. This for me, is why I enjoyed helping facilitate the Passionist Youth Retreat this year.

The openness and vulnerability that was shown by many of the students who attended was very humbling for me. Being part of the retreat was important as I came in with a mindset of journeying with those who were present rather than simply leading. There is something very different about the NZ Church, as opposed to Australia. Throughout both retreats, I felt a deep sense of belonging, that I feel stemmed from an openness and desire to connect.

I was immensely grateful for the opportunity to come out to NZ and be a part of this retreat, it’s something that I won’t forget any time soon, and something that I would very much love to be a part of in the future.

New bonds are formed


Web of connectedness

Faces become friends

Youth Retreat Group Photo

Passionist Young Adult Retreat Reflection – Br Luke Bulley CP

There is a lot to be said about being allowed into the pain of those around you, while also feeling held and appreciated in your own pain. This, I think, best sums up my experience of the Passionist Young Adult Retreat. It was facilitated with just the right amount of input, as well as times for reflection and sharing. While it was only a few days, there was a connection that was formed amongst the group that I thought was profound. There was an openness and receptiveness within the whole group that created a space where sharing was easy and, most importantly, created a space where each person could be heard.

The most valuable moments for me were outside of the sessions, where the conversation could be continued in a less structured way. Being given the space and time to engage in these conversations really furthered the entire experience. Seeing so many young people with a willingness to grapple with their faith was a very moving experience, it gave me a real sense of comfort knowing that this journey that we are all on is not something we walk alone.

The children whom show us how to trust love

Group Photo                                                                                                                            The baby stealing hearts!

You must become just like a child to enter the kingdom of God!

Journaling, questioning the questions