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RYM YOUNG ADULT 'ADVENT' RETREAT @HAWKSTONE

 

(by Paul Murphy, Coordinator of Redemptorist Youth Ministry)

 

Just before Christmas a number of the RYM Young Adult Group from Liverpool made our first weekend retreat together to the fantastic Hawkstone Hall Pastoral and Renewal Centre in beautiful rural Shropshire!

The weekend was attended by around 12 committed young adults who regularly attend the group in Bishop Eton every fortnight!

 

The relaxing setting of Hawkstone provided the ideal opportunity for us all to 'retreat' and take time out of the busy-ness of our lives and in the run up towards Christmas! It was a time for us to relax together, reflect on our faith and pray together! A time for God and a time for one another!

 

RYM Retreat Hawkstone Dec2013 (5)We all set off from Bishop Eton in a convoy of cars during the busy Friday night rush hour! The darkness of the winter evening and the rain during the journey didn't dampen our spirits! It only added to the sense that we were embarking on a 'pilgrimage' together - a 'journey of faith!'

 

After arriving at Hawkstone some 2 hours later we were ready for some supper! Fr Maurice O'Mahony (who accompanied us and co-led the retreat with myself) greeted us and welcomed us at our first gathering session! At Night Prayer we took time to 'still ourselves' in readiness for the weekend ahead!

 

The Saturday was a 'full' yet fantastic day, starting with Morning Prayer and then breakfast! We met then in the morning to reflect upon the Gospel passage for that Sunday, and had time to discuss what it meant to us all individually and as a group! This type of approach to prayer 'Lectio Divina' is something we use at our group as a way of trying to understand the Gospel more and to help prepare ourselves for the celebration of Mass each Sunday!

 

RYM Retreat Hawkstone Dec2013 (11)After a nice little coffee break (with cakes) we then had our Group Mass before lunch! In the afternoon we had some free time to explore the beautiful grounds of Hawkstone! Wrapping up to beat the cold winds, we trekked as a group for a good few kilometres and enjoyed the stunning views and the good 'craic'! Lots of jokes, fun and laughter together! And planning future events!!

 

In the evening (after another coffee to heat us up from our outdoor exploits), we had a really enjoyable Praise n Worship session - singing along to some of the latest and most recognisable worship songs! This is music we don't often hear in Church - but which is part of the way the group gives praise to God! It helps us to appreciate that our faith is something that is 'joyful' and which should make us smile more!

 

After our dinner, we had the most incredibly powerful period of Eucharistic Adoration in the small prayer room! In candlelight, and with some soft reflective music we spent time as a group before God! It was our time to be close to Him and really listen to what He was asking from us all in our lives! Fr Maurice then led us in a beautiful Healing Service - which will long be remembered! It was a really powerful experience which left us all feeling renewed and refreshed!

 

We ended the amazing day with some social time - with a few group games and the chance to relax as a group and unwind together!

 

RYM Retreat Hawkstone Dec2013 (14)On the Sunday - our last morning - we started again with Morning Prayer before breakfast and then had Mass! After packing up, we all set off for Liverpool with a great sense of joy and togetherness! We ended off stopping for a pub lunch on the way home which capped off a fantastic and special weekend!

 

Many of us will head north to Kinnoull Monastery in Perth in February to join with others from all over Scotland for another RYM Retreat! It is hoped that around 28 people will attend!

 

The Young Adult Network is growing as is our faith! Being together and sharing spiritual and social experiences strengthens our faith in God and helps us to be inspired to encourage other young people in their faith journeys!

 

For more information on the RYM Young Adult Group or if you would like to join it - please contact Paul Murphy by email

 

You can also now follow the works of Redemptorist Youth Ministry on Twitter  

 

Pictures of the Retreat can be found by clicking here