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The 2013 Passionist youth retreat was held over 3 cold July nights at camp Rangi woods, and again this year shaken by an earthquake although not as big as the one last year, but still stirred a few hearts. The camp was attended by 18 youth aged 15 – 18yr old.

Sefo Mikaele from the Brisbane Passionist youth retreat team was our facilitator this year and presented his program titled, yesterday, today and tomorrow.  A chance for youth to look at their life story thus far, what has influenced it? What were the milestones? How have I experienced god in this time?  Who am I now?  What talents do I have? And …who is God today in my life?  What are my dreams for the future? Sefo used music and video clips to help reinforce the program.

Erick Niyiragira a Passionist seminarian from Melbourne also came to help out at the youth camp.  Erick had been travelling around New Zealand experiencing Passionist family groups, Passionist companions groups and also took part in the Passionist young adults retreat.  Erick shared his story as a young boy enduring life in a refugee camp in Tanzania with his siblings and mother, not knowing if his father was alive or dead after having to flee their homeland of Burundi.  And after 12 years living in the camp had been given the opportunity to immigrate to Australia. Erick’s gentle nature, genuine interest in others, love of music and dance was a shared genuinely and was appreciated by all.

This group of young people were very co-operative and helpful.  There were many cultures represented at camp and their interaction and awareness of each other attributed to the friendships made and respectful time.

Of course there were heaps of games played, creating fun and laughter and good food prepared by the kitchen team to keep everyone’s energy levels up!
The tradition of amazing grace’s at meal times was continued, with rap being the most preferred style this year…..none the less the judges still found it challenging to pick the  winner and award their table first for food!

One of the highlights would have to be the liturgy time symbolised by the washing of hands ceremony…..where each person was invited to choose someone and bring them over to a water basin especially prepared and to wash their hands…….very moving time shared for each and all!

Jigsaw puzzles……yes jigsaw puzzles!   Were a hit during free time….Where’s Wally is back!  The chairs around this table were filled quickly and the time spent talking and
‘ puzzling’ invaluable   The 3rd 1000 piece puzzle was not quite completed.

Thanks to Tim, Sonia, Penelope, Emma, Erick, Paul, Norma, Mary-Ellen, Teresa, and Linda for giving of their time, love of young people and talents to make this camp possible and positive for all……love to see everyone back next year.


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