Maitland-Newcastle heads to ACYF: Day 9 (Retreat Day 2)

Today marked the final day of retreat for Maitland-Newcastle’s ACYF (Australian Catholic Youth Festival) pilgrims and also the last full day of their 10-day pilgrimage before heading home tomorrow morning.

Retreat facilitator Fr Anthony Coloma began the day’s first session which focused on pilgrims listening to one another’s stories.

Renata Powell, Mary-Anne DeLuca and Samantha Hill, three of Maitland-Newcastle’s ACYF group leaders, shared their faith stories with the rest of the group, detailing how they came to accept God within their lives. 

In each of their stories, there was a common theme of overcoming personal adversity through faith.

Renata, a Primary School Teacher, likened her own struggles to a busted bike tire: “You can plug up the holes and keep pumping up the tire, but eventually the cracks begin to show.”

But through it all, Renata says she’s found purpose. “I really feel like I’m doing what I’m meant be doing,” she says of her role as an educator. “God sometimes sees something for you that you wouldn’t see for yourself, so it’s about trust.”

At the conclusion of the day’s workshops, Maitland-Newcastle’s pilgrims gathered in the park opposite the retreat centre to watch the sunset together and reflect on their ACYF experience.

Thank you for following along with Maitland-Newcastle as we pilgrimaged to the Australian Catholic Youth Festival in Perth. The next ACYF will take place in December 2021 in a yet to be announced regional Diocese.

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Alexander Foster

Alexander Foster is a Marketing and Communications Coordinator for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle