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Retreat of the Marist Youth

05/09/2019: South Africa

Marist Youth, South Africa have been very blessed to spend a week away (26th – 30th August 2019) on retreat in St Lucia, which is on the east coast of KwaZulu-Natal. It was a wonderful experience for all involved, as it allowed each of us to slow down, and step outside the bustling busy lives we lead. It enabled us the chance to stop and truly examine our own spirituality and that of St Marcellin Champagnat. We had an intimate space for reflection, silence, prayer and discussion, encased by the beautiful surrounds; a haven for nature lovers. Accompanied by the life and vibrancy of the buck, monkeys, hippos, and butterflies just to name a few.

As with our Global Marist Family, we had representatives from all over the world; South Africa, Brazil, Germany, and Australia, and it just demonstrates how far reaching the Marist Family really is.

We were blessed to be accompanied by Br Neil McGurk and Sr Elizabeth Marie Ansart who were instrumental in the implementation of the retreat. The experience was facilitated by Frances Correia and Pam Paton-Mills whose knowledge, passion and spiritually only gave strength to us all.

Marist Youth South Africa is still in its infancy, but the strength of the youth is strong. The desire and hunger for Marist connection is only growing, and I for one look forward to seeing this wonderful group of youth grow in the Spirit of Marcellin.

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Beth Code – Marist Youth Coordinator – South Africa

 

Some reflections from attendees

"St Lucia is a very special place and the Catholic Retreat Centre within St Lucia is an equally special place - evidence everywhere of the presence of the Holy Spirit. This was the backdrop to the 2019 Marist Youth Retreat attended by a group of young folk, all there for the purpose of Spiritual introspection (and some fun!). Every time I had the opportunity to observe, interact with or contribute to the Retreat it was me who grew. The quiet hand of the Spirit using the experiences and voices of these young people to show me the way along my own journey. Another deep Marist experience of our mission" (Mike Greeff – Marist Schools Council Director, South Africa).

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“One of the numerous joys in being part of this Marist experience is with the possibility of establishing new bridges. Last week, Juliana and I had the grateful happiness to participate in a youth retreat from South Africa and, in addition to the activities itself, we were able to know a little more about the reality of such amazing people as well as sharing a Little of our personal history and the international community of which we are part. It was days of prayer, reflection, silence and communion in Saint Lucia, a true natural paradise surrounded by hippos, crocodiles and lush nature. And in the afternoons, activities with the children of the village khula - our first contact with Zulu culture. Being in a space like this, for a week, strengthens the feeling of belonging to a great global charismatic family!” (Diogo Galline – Lavalla200> Community Member – Atlantis)

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