Youth owning their faith through retreats

Decrease font size
Increase font size
Print this page
Email to friend
Share to Facebook
Share to Twitter
Home > Media > News > Youth owning their faith through retreats
Youth owning their faith through retreats

Youth retreats are helping young people to take ownership of their Catholic faith, says Sister of the Immaculata Sr John Mary Alimangohan.

A recent retreat at St Mary of the Cross Church in Ranelagh saw young people from the Huon Valley, Kingston and as far as Glenorchy, take part in Eucharistic adoration, talks, games, praise and worship and the rosary.

Archbishop Julian visited the retreat to speak with the young people about how to live a life in the power of the Holy Spirit.

This is the fourth consecutive year that the Immaculata Community has run a retreat for youth at St Mary of the Cross Church, and Sr John Mary says she has seen young people develop a love for adoration, see the importance of the sacraments and realise that God wants to be part of their lives.

“The faith is starting to be their own,” she said.

Sr John Mary says she sees young people who have attended previous retreats praying in adoration at St Joseph’s Church in Hobart, or attending daily Mass. Others are now wearing t-shirts expressing their faith.

“A few people who’ve received a lot from retreats are now themselves either helping run a youth group or becoming youth ministers,” she said.

17-year-old Josh travelled from West Moonah to attend the most recent retreat. A previous interaction with the Sisters of the Immaculata and having a friend also attend the retreat was enough to motivate him to attend.

“I’m an atheist – kind of – but I just enjoy and feel safe and valued around the sisters and the people they’re usually with … And I’m quite a spiritual person, so I was kind of interested in that aspect as well obviously.”

He said one of the stand out moments of his retreat experience was hearing a testimony of one of the young people on the Immaculata Community’s Long Term Mission School.

“I connected with a lot of the stuff he suffered through, or had problems with, and how him coming closer to God helped solve that as well – to a degree at least. I mean, there’s always going to be struggles, but it helped aid him,” he said.

The rosary, praying the St Michael Chaplet and Confession were some of Josh’s other highlights – along with the ‘decent food’.

For 14-year-old Ruby, of Bonnet Hill, who has attended retreats previously, she knew the weekend would be something she’d enjoy.

“It’s a beautiful spiritual experience growing closer to God and knowing His love more,” she said.

“And there’s a lot of amazing opportunities to get throughout the retreat, such as the adoration and Masses and talks."

Ruby said that she was particularly touched by the adoration.

“It’s always a beautiful thing to pray in front of the exposed Eucharist,” she said.

Ruby says that this time she’s taken away a desire to pray more.

“I think I’ll definitely do more daily prayers after this retreat, because it’s such a beautiful thing to do and I feel like I’ve been really lacklustre with praying in the past. It’s a good chance to start afresh and get into better prayer habits to come closer to God and to love Him more.”