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April 25, 2019

Relationship with self, others, God and creation: Setting a strong foundation

The Confirmation class at St Michael’s RC Church, Maracas, St Joseph went on retreat April 9 at the Seminary of St John Vianney and the Ugandan Martyrs. Some of the participants share their experience.

Hannah-Marie Kelly-Moore 

Our class went on retreat at the Mt St Benedict Seminary, with a full day of presentations and different activities planned for us. The presenters were Margaret Johnston, Sonji Harris-Guppy, Adanna James and Analisa Ramsahai.

Margaret spoke to us about relationships with ourselves. She gave us a handout in which we had to make our own Coat of Arms and Motto. Sonji, who spoke to us about relationships with others, gave a sheet of paper with a face drawn on both sides and we had to draw how we felt and acted while we are with our friends versus when we are alone.

Next, Adanna spoke to us about relationships with God. Adanna told us to close our eyes as she asked us two questions, and the question that really stood out to me was “Are we good friends to God?”.

Finally, Analisa spoke to us about care for creation. She carried us outside where we were separated into two groups and were given a ball of yarn each. We had to throw the yarn ball to each other, each saying what we would do differently to save the earth while still holding a piece of string in our hands so that at the end, a giant web was created.

All in all, it was truly a fun and educational day that we all had.

The Confirmation class at St Michael’s RC Church, Maracas, St Joseph

Jean Jeffers
I really enjoyed the retreat.It taught me many things about God and the Earth and made me realise that we should have a better relationship with God and others. It led me to want to be a better person.

During the retreat, I discovered that we all should take care of our environment by not wasting water, littering and most importantly we should recycle.

People can change their attitude towards the environment by taking responsibility for their actions that contribute towards the care of our earth. By simply making one change/choice, it could give us a whole new world.

One important lesson also learnt was that by smiling we can change our own feelings. We should express our true selves and be proud of who we are today and appreciate life more.

We all should have a better relationship with God and with the people with whom we share our time.

The retreat helped me to realise that without God we are nothing. It also inspired me to recycle and take more care of the earth.

D’Jon Joseph
Upon arriving to Mt St Benedict, I was a bit skeptical of whether this retreat was going to change my outlook on life at all. Even though the speeches about man’s relationship with each other, God and His creation were very informative what I found the most interesting was Pope Francis’ letter to the world Laudato Si’.

In the letter, the Pope goes into deep discussion about the damage we the human race is doing to our planet. Our home is slowly beginning to look more like a pile of filth with each passing year.

We were not only informed about the letter but actions we can take to prevent any future damage such as using reusable water bottles, taking shorter showers and turning the tap off while brushing your teeth. These everyday actions that are often viewed as trivial can have significant repercussions on our environment if ignored.

The letter makes it clear that it is our responsibility not only as Catholics but as the human race to look out for and take care of God’s creation.

Sarah Applewhite
I went to a retreat with my confirmation group and catechists. The theme selected by the members of the Franciscan Institute was Relationships. The sub-topics were ‘Self’, ‘Creation’, ‘God and others’.

Margaret Johnston was our first presenter and she spoke to us about having a relationship with one’s self. After Johnston presented and explained, I realised how important it is to have a relationship with myself because in order to interact and appreciate others, I must understand myself.

Sonji Harris-Guppy lectured to us about having a healthy relationship with others. After her presentation, I started questioning my relationships because the information I got from her was that a relationship is a two-way street and once you are in a relationship both parties should be honest, available to one another and most importantly respect each other.

Afterwards, Adanna James spoke to us about having a relationship with God. James told us a story and from that story I understood that without God you are nothing and only God can give you true happiness.

Lastly Analisa Ramsahai presented on creation and her presentation really struck me because she showed us a video that reflected Pope Francis’ message to the world which was to start saving our environment that God gave us. Now I am standing with Laudato Si’stronger than ever.

At the end of the activity for creation, I felt inspired to raise awareness because the activity we did, showed how saving the earth, our common home, takes everyone.

At the end of the retreat I felt so open-minded, inspired and even motivated to do better in the relationship category but most importantly I felt emotionally healthier.