Media and Communications Office
If you’re after some inspiration to liven up your Parish’s young adults group, then look no further. Led by Youth Co-Ordinator Natasha Anastasi and Parish Priest Fr Dishan Candappa, an effervescent team of 18-30 year olds from Gladstone Park’s Good Shepherd Parish in Gladstone Park gathered together for their very first retreat of faith and fun at the glistening green hills of Palotti College in Milgrove, last weekend. Melbourne Catholic tagged along to find out more about this lively crew’s new experience.
Fr Dishan spoke about how the group came about and described Good Shepherd as a parish with many young families with a weekly church attendance that reaches a staggering average of 1200 attendees each weekend.
‘We’re very blessed at Good Shepherd Gladstone Park as a very large number of young people come to Mass,’ Fr Dishan explains.
‘We’ve formed a very solid group, we meet once a fortnight…it’s a new group, we’ve been together for roughly 6 months, it’s been going very well and we’re hoping God will give us growth spiritually through this group.’
Youth Co-Ordinator Natasha was hired specifically for the Parish. She describes why they have chosen to come together as a group for a retreat.
‘We’re here to help our faith grow stronger connect with God more, connect together as a group and learn more about our faith,’ she said.
The retreat consisted of talks of authentic journeys of struggle with life and faith and the concept of the ‘Faith Spectrum’ which describes where a person is at in their faith journey.
’In our talk we were talking about the different stages of Faith we are all going through in our lives,’ explained group leader Cassi.
‘Because we are all different…and we just wanted to discuss that it’s OK to be at different stages of faith,’ she said.
‘Whichever stage you’re at, God is always calling you,’ added Andrew, another leader from the group.
The morning concluded with a lunch and an Amazing Race where the team bonded more over laughs and various obstacle courses after which they spent a few hours reflecting in silence.
Gilbert, one of the lively members of the group expresses his appreciation for the retreat.
‘We’ve had a bunch of different ways we can express our Faith,’ he said.
‘It’s come together in a way that feels natural, in a way that feels organic.’