By Sarah Larkin
On Tuesday the 28th of August, history was made at St Vincent’s Primary School Aranda with the first ever Journey with Jesus retreat held for years 5 and 6 students!
The Journey with Jesus retreat was a faith-filled experience for the senior students of St Vincent’s Primary school. The day was packed with games, activities, dramas, videos and talks that all looked into the Gospel messages of God’s love, salvation, and forgiveness.
We had an incredible team of youth ministers from the Canberra and Goulburn archdiocese to lead the day. We were also grateful to have a special visit from Fr Simon and seminarian Alex Osborne from St Matthew’s and St Vincent’s Parish. It was great to have them take the time out of their busy schedules to spend time with the students.
We spent the day learning about what we need in life for our journey with Jesus. Using a backpack full of items, we learnt that on a journey we need a water bottle to represent how essential God’s love is, a torch to represent salvation shining light into our lives and a first aid kit to represent healing and forgiveness.
At the end of the day the students were able to reflect and respond on their journey so far. We entered into a time of prayer and it was beautiful to see the students coming forward with open hearts to invite Jesus into their lives.
As the Journey with Jesus retreat day ended, it became clear that this is just the beginning for youth ministry in primary schools and we cannot wait to see what God has planned for us!
After such a great day here’s what some of our year 5 and 6 students had to say:
“I thought it was just going to be a day of bonding with other people but it turned out to be a day bonding with God. I felt really welcomed by the Youth Ministers, I left thinking that youth ministry is something that I definitely want to do.”
“My favourite part of the day was learning about the backpack and what you put into it for Jesus’ journey”
““I felt pretty excited that I’d get to learn and experience new things about religion. My favourite part of the day was the dramas, they were quite funny but also had a lot of meaning to them.”
“I was really nervous because we don’t usually mix year 5 and 6 together but I felt welcomed when we arrived because when we were coming into the hall everyone was there, the Youth Ministers were smiling at us and it felt good. When the day ended I felt really sad because I wanted to do some more activities, I just thought it was so much fun”
“My favourite part was the reflection at the end of the day with the candle because they were pretty and I can take them home to shine God’s light in my room”