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A New Retreat Experience

Percecilia La Madrid (Year 10)

On Monday, 17th of May, the year 10s had an new retreat experience! This retreat was definitely different from any other previous retreats which had been about team building with our new homeroom. This year’s focus was on building our faith and understanding God’s love for us.

For this discovery of God’s love, we were each given a workbook titled “Catch the Wave”. The title is a simile representing our journey to a greater faith. This workbook had questions that we were to answer after watching inspiring videos posted by the CSYMI (Catholic Schools Youth Ministry International). These videos were stories of people’s faith journey to discovering God’s love and their love for themselves. In the booklet, we were asked questions such as

“Where do we think your faith stands?”

“What are some good qualities of yourself that others may say about you?”

Within the group many people thought that their faith was important to them but they could grow their faith even more. Some students also recognised their good qualities were being funny and nice to others.

Retreat taught us not only to find true love through God but how we, individually, see God. As a father or a friend? Figuring out ways we can connect and repay him for the everlasting love that he has given to us. Maybe through praying daily or giving up one hour a week to spend time with him.

We did not do this faith building alone, as we were accompanied by some students who drove here from Tauranga to tell us their faith journey to become a youth minister. A strong message was that: no matter how strong or weak your faith is, don’t be afraid to reach out and grab the opportunity to learn more about your love for God.

Last but not the least, we discovered ways to see God through our relationships; with our family, friends and ourselves. A main message that really pulled through this retreat was that we should love ourselves, and not to compare ourselves with others. As the bible quote says Genesis 1:27 “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” At the end of the retreat, we had an opportunity to do reconciliation.

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