One Invitation Leads to Another for Young Local Woman

It’s generally accepted that as one matures, it’s important to establish one’s own identity as an individual – part of, but differentiated from, family, friends, colleagues and others. For a young person raised in a family of faith, establishing one’s own path is a challenging, but necessary, task. Brooke Robinson shares one such path.

Jessie Cairns of Waratah attended local Catholic schools and was a member of the New Lambton Antioch group. Antioch is a ministry for young people, supported by a parish community and finding its foundation in the gospel of Jesus. The name Christian was first given to the followers of Jesus in Antioch.

When some of Jessie’s Antioch friends became involved in Theology on Tap, she went along, looking for “a different perspective”.  It was a continuation of the faith formation she had experienced in her school years.

From there, Jessie began attending Seven@SacredHeart, a monthly gathering for prayer and contemplation at Sacred Heart Cathedral, followed by fellowship. There Jessie heard about the “Be, Grow, Show” retreat. 

“There was a period of time between moving on from Antioch and reconnecting with my faith at ‘Be, Grow, Show’ because, post-Antioch, I had not once asked the question: do I believe only because it is something that has been a part of my life since the day I was born − going to Mass every Sunday with my Mum and having attended Catholic schools?

“I needed to ask, is this something I genuinely believe in? Is it important to my existence and sense of balance? At that point I really didn’t know so I ‘took time out’ from my faith to give myself time to figure it out. I think being invited to participate in ‘Be, Grow, Show’ really answered my questions.”

Jessie was sponsored by a member of the diocesan community to go to ‘Be, Grow, Show’ (BGS) at Camp Elim, near Forster in 2014, and describes it as “an element of my life that I hadn’t explored for a really long time, and I realised that weekend how much I actually missed it. 

“It was something I needed in my life at that time. The Lord felt that it was something I really needed, because I’d been approached by someone who was going to create the opportunity for me to go.  I am so grateful for that opportunity.

‘It was a sensational weekend, and I just felt like I was missing something. I needed to be in a situation where all I could do was reflect on my life at that time.”

Jessie is now a member of the Spirit and Truth Band that will be providing music at this year’s BGS Retreat. She loves to sing and is looking forward to providing the reflective experience for others that she had at Camp Elim.

Jessie will be inviting a friend to come with her this year, to pass on the same opportunity.

Being involved in the ministries of the Diocesan Council Ministry for Young People has given Jessie the “opportunity to create so many beautiful and exceptionally meaningful friendships that mean so much” to her. 

“Be, Grow, Show” will be held 18-20 March at St Joseph’s Conference Centre, Toronto.

To learn more and register, please P 4949 1111, E or visit the diocese website.

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Brooke Robinson Image
Brooke Robinson

Brooke is Content Officer for the Communications Team in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

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