It’s only the beginning …

That’s how I felt becoming a part of the Pastoral Placement Program

It was a nervous feeling coming from the school environment of the past 13 years and straight into the workforce with this Diocese. And, so far, I am glad I chose this path.

Life has a tendency to provide us with what we need in order to grow. My beliefs and what I value structure my personal roadmap for the type of experiences life may hold. At times during my life, the belief in myself of whether or not I can do a job has held me back in some situations. The quality of self-confidence is something I have continually had to develop throughout school life. In most situations I have stepped out of my comfort zone and learnt that it isn’t as bad as it seems, for example, becoming a leader, interacting with groups, or meeting new people and forming friendships. Time slows for no one, and if I allow myself to focus on the negatives in life, I might miss out on some really amazing things it has to offer. This has made me the person I am today.

The Pastoral Placement journey so far has really opened my eyes to the wider picture of the world. The Mission to Seafarers placement especially was one of the best experiences of my life so far. The opportunity to witness the inspiring work completed by those who have travelled across the globe on ships, allowed me to just stand back and applaud their extraordinary sacrifice. At times it was hard for me to witness their experience of being away from their families for eight to nine months or more of the year. Heartbreaking, but it’s their livelihood and it’s through this sacrifice they become stronger people, knowing they are keeping one sector of the world functioning. Some things in life we just take for granted, being thankful, in prayer, for all that we have, is one small thing we can do to recognise their service.

Consequently, delivering the fruit and veg parcels and magazines to each ship was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life. It was amazing to see the faces of the crew standing more than 50 metres above my eyesight, grinning and showing true emotion. At first, this moment really did test me as I wondered what they would be like, but I put these thoughts to the side for one moment and leapt outside of my comfort zone for the benefit of others in extraordinary circumstances. This is a moment that I will never forget. The crew being so thankful for the gifts we gave them was a moment where I saw God in action in the form of generosity and loving kindness.

Being able to apply my faith in my first job is a huge step into the “hat” that I want to live by for the rest of my life —“be the best possible person that I know I can be”—which follows on to one of my other mottos in life. It was instilled in me in Year 10 by my then co-ordinator at the start of the year and throughout. I still think and strive to do this each and every day, in trying “to live a life with no regrets”.

The transition into the online stratosphere has been challenging for not only the Pastoral Placement team, but the whole Diocese. Even though this time has prevented most of us from going about our daily routines and altered the ways we interact with people, the Pastoral Placement team within our Diocese and our individual parishes are still aiming to have an enduring impact. Stay strong, we will get through this together.

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