Winter Retreat Summary 2014
- Last Updated on Sunday, 09 November 2014 20:23
- Marilyn Ng,
We searched high and low for a suitable facilitator because you deserve the best! We have had some cracking facilitators in the past however the experience of not only being refreshed but adding another dimension to our approach to prayer proved to be invaluable.
The day was led magnificently by retreat facilitators Frances Tilly, who specialises in the Ignatian method of spirituality. The day was incredibly uplifting for the participants but also for Frances herself who was equally touched by being involved. “I really enjoyed the experience and I felt uplifted by the catechists and their generous cheerful spirit. The gifts were in all directions I think”, Frances shared with us after the day.
The Ignatian method Frances introduced included the simple steps of preparing ourselves through a simple gesture of reverence and reading the prayer/scripture texts, asking for a particular Grace and desire, spending time in prayer being still with God, and finally a short time of conversation with God. As we progressed through these steps we were invited to listen and note any movement in our ‘listening books’, this being the link that brings it all together.
Another important aspect of the day was the 5 steps of the Examen: Giving thanks, reviewing the day (what gave you life and what challenged or upset you), responding and asking God for what you need and finally, resolving to seek healing and wholeness through an action.
My sincere hope is that you have had a chance to ‘practice’ this method of prayer and maybe even teach it to your students in a very simple way! May you continue to feel God’s loving presence in your life and be blessed with a deep joy!
Faith Education Officer
A partnership that will be sadly missed
- Last Updated on Sunday, 09 November 2014 20:31
- Marilyn Ng,
Lynne Harrison and her mum Sandra Dickerson shared their mother/daughter bond in a unique way through their ministry as a Catechist team.
Lynne has been a Catechist in our Parish of St Paul’s Albion Park for many years. About 10 year ago, Lynne invited her mum to assist in her classes and together they became a very well respected partnership.
Sadly, Sandra passed away unexpectedly in May and we farewelled our dear friend in a beautiful requiem Mass celebrated by Father David Catterall.
Sandra has a strong belief in Guardian Angels and her grandchildren believe she is now looking over them as their personal Guardian Angel in Heaven. In this way we also feel that Sandra’s presence will continue in our Parish Catechist ministry. It is somewhat comforting to know that Sandra’s took great joy in sharing her faith with so many children in the public schools of our Parish.
Our dear friend, Sandra, will be very sadly missed by many of us. May she rest in peace.
Written by Rowena Sanderson
Catechist Coordinator, St Paul’s Albion Park
Secondary Student SRE Ministry Update
- Last Updated on Sunday, 09 November 2014 20:28
- Marilyn Ng,
I have now been in my role as a Secondary SRE Assistant for 3 months. In that time, I have been shown the ropes and have been introduced to many of you; it’s great to be able to put a name to a face. If I haven’t had the chance to introduce myself to you personally, I hope that in the second half of the year there will be opportunity to do so.
As a Secondary Assistant, one aspect of my role is to support the Student Catechists in their learning and development. I have made visits to most Primary Schools where Student Catechists are present, observing and encouraging. Lunch time visits to Year 10 students at their school provided valuable feedback, giving honest insight, suggestions and opnions.
One of the challenges Student Catechists’ face, as with new adult Catechists, is that even the best and most in-depth training fall short of fully preparing them for what they will experience in the classroom! Despite this, students enjoy being a Catechist, they love being around the children and they get a lot of joy in being able to serve in that way. Students also articulated their desire to take on bigger tasks and responsibilities and to use their skills taught in training and gifts they have as young people... their enthusiasm is to be celebrated!
My hope is to encourage more involvement of Student Catechists working in partnership with experience Catechists as mentors. At the end of the day, it is our repsonsibiliyt to raise and nuture the next generation to be strong in faith, knowing the joy of the Good News, and eager to share it with those around them. Let’s pray that through our witness many may come to know the Joy of the Gospel!
Written by Evelyn Cisneros
Secondary SRE Assistant