Youth Ministry : Reflect on ‘Saints Making Saints’
Claire Webster reports
20 young people, aged between 16 and late 20s gathered at Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire, during the weekend 25-27 November.
Br Barney and Fr Gianni were both there which is always great, to have the Friars present
Theme: Saints Making Saints -
Taking the example of some lesser-known Augustinian Saints; St Magdalene of Magasaki, Bl Simon of Todi and St Possidius we looked at how we encourage and inspire one another to live better, for a better world and how we each have an impact on those around us sometimes without knowing it. We also focused on those traits that we each portray and should encourage in one another to blossom
A highlight -
At the beginning of the weekend all of our names were in a hat and we each picked one out: we were asked to pray for this person, make an extra effort to be-friend them and at the end of the weekend we traded a gift/poem/card that we had made for that person as a affirmation of the person they are and of their presence in the group. It was beautiful as everyone put in so much effort and creativity into intimately sharing in our group the beauty of the other person.
Teresa Cooney, Edinburgh comments:
I went along to Saints Making Saints after not being at an Augustinian gathering since AYE London 2010 but it felt like I had never been away from this strong part of the Augustinian Family.
I really enjoyed the weekend especially some wonderful sessions that helped me explore the good qualities I have and how I should portray them more often. My friends (the whole group) around me encouraged me to do so in beautiful ways whether it was in conversation, prayer or showing me by their own actions. Coming to a Gathering really strengthened my sense of being Catholic, being part of the wider Church and reminded me that having a group where I feel so comfortable can make it easier to explore this part of me.
It has given me a boost to my faith, having seen 20 young people who I respect and enjoy spending time with each sharing their faith in quiet or profound ways with me and others. We finished the weekend by giving one other person in the group an affirmation of themselves in very different and creative ways and I think this was the perfect climax to the weekend as everyone was so honest and loving to someone else, maybe someone they hadn’t even met before but they were able to share something special about that person.
I think this shows just how close we become through an Augustinian weekend together and I know, from experience that these friendships will go on.