The Passionists Youth Movement (PYM) gathered for its annual retreat at Holy Cross Templestowe, beginning Friday 21st September with a session on the theme of Hospitality as an important element of the Passionist charism and ending Sunday morning with 10:30am Mass. Where do we experience hospitality and how can we extend hospitality to others? Across the time there were 17 young adults who attended and all expressed gratitude for the time out of the busy pace of life and some time with God.
Exploring Discipleship on the Saturday, we looked at St Paul of the Cross and Elizabeth Prout as disciples themselves, and at how people are called to follow Christ. Contemporary examples of the same were introduced too- where do we see discipleship in the modern world and where would we expect to find people like Elizabeth Prout and Paul of the Cross in today’s society. Mother Teresa and Archbishop Oscar Romero were two obvious examples of discipleship. We discussed how often the more significant examples are drawn from places of extremes of poverty. But people like Moira Kelly, Jim Stynes and Bono – indeed modern men and women – are all disciples doing Christ’s work, and all who combine it with the behaviours of a prophet: seeing injustice, judging that it’s wrong, and acting to bring about change, speaking out against the wrong. How then can we as young people be Christian disciples in this modern world?
Discernment: sitting with a decision needing to be made or two alternatives offered to you; reflecting on your feelings about the situation; listening to your deepest desires; and listening for God’s guidance. Each young adult there had different challenges to discern. And through scripture, discussion and particularly reflection we looked at possible barriers that prevent us from experiencing the fullness of life. We were given that time to discern and to listen for God. And we all agreed- unless you give it the time, the decision will be delayed or the choice may indeed be wrong. The quiet and the contemplation are essential for us all in our faith and in our lives.
Sunday morning looked at commitment: how can we better extend hospitality to others; what can each of us do to commit to being better followers of Christ; what can we do to allow ourselves time with God; and how can I see PYM being a part of my life and supporting me in my faith journey.
These sessions were around meals, music, time in the sun, some art and much, much conversation. And I think formal content aside it is this talking with other young people of the Catholic faith who are journeying, just like you that makes a difference. If PYM can facilitate these opportunities in the form of retreats and our monthly gatherings here at Holy Cross then we are indeed fulfilling the need of such young people.
Thank you to Maria-Grazia Ricchetti and Loredana Guinane for their wonderful contribution to the planning and facilitation of the retreat- these young women have worked in youth ministry in different forms for ten years now already and bring so much to the Team. A special thank you too to Sr Brigid Murphy CP and Fr Kevin Hennessy CP for the support they provided us in the planning process of the retreat and across the weekend itself- we are spoilt to have such knowledge, wisdom and depth of experience being shared with us.
- Marita Stretch