Written by Mark Reidy – Original article on The Record.
The desire to re-energise faith within young people was the inspiration behind the Jumpstart II Retreat at the Santa Clara Parish in Bentley late last year.
The weekend event, presented by the Santa Clara Youth Ministry team, drew 26 eager participants from the Bentley parish as well as a number from St Emilie’s in Canning Vale from 28 to 30 November.
Youth Ministry Co-ordinator, Christine dos Santos, said the weekend was a follow-on from the first young adults retreat, “Jumpstart”, conducted in May 2013, which sought to assist participants in re-igniting their connection with God.
“We wanted youth to ‘jumpstart’ their faith, just like you need to jumpstart a car when the battery is flat,” Ms dos Santos said. “The aim was to re-energise and deepen our Christian faith.”
Eight speakers, including priests and Church leaders, presented a variety of encouraging and inspirational ideas to inspire participants to take risks and trust God in their life journey.
“Jesus is not in the boat, He is out there on the water”, said opening speaker, Vincent Haber, Youth Ministry Worker at Perth Catholic Youth Ministry.
“Get out of the boat! We have to go to Him. If we start to sink on the way, He will be there to help us back up.”
The theme of the retreat was based on the Scripture, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged. For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
Ms dos Santos said the theme was specifically chosen because of the struggles and persecutions Christians across the world are currently experiencing.
“More Christians are doubting and suffering for their faith than perhaps any other time in history,” she said.
“Through this tetreat, we were able to receive formation in our faith, to be able to ‘step out of the boat’ by having a deep trust in God and to stand up for what we believe in.”
The weekend also included Eucharistic Adoration, Praise and Worship, Benediction, Reconciliation and the opportunity to be prayed over.
At the conclusion of the weekend, participants were encouraged to apply what they had learned into their daily lives and to become involved within their parishes and to support one another.
Participant Kimberley Ngu was enthusiastic in her praise for the event.
“Jumpstart II has shown me that, contrary to what people assume, the desire for God amongst young people is real and great,” she said.
“God has shown me that with this little seed of desire that He has planted in our hearts, He can do great things.”