Encouraging, reassuring, experiencing God’s presence ….. A group of our young adults from St. Chrysostom’s travelled to Holywell, Wales for a retreat in Lent. We stayed at St. Winefride’s Guest House run by the Bridgettine Sisters. Their hospitality and kindness was abundant during our stay. Participating in this retreat allowed us to have deeper conversations and engage together in ways that are not possible on a Sunday morning. It created a safe space for us to share our stories and our faith.
We did many things… we walked through an old abbey to the coast, we joined the sisters in Benediction and Rosary, we worshipped at St Peter’s, visited St Winefride’s Well, which is a holy well known for its healing powers. We put our feet into the freezing water and some people bottled the water to take home.
During an evening vespers we created faith journey tangrams. We wrote down events and people who have shaped our faith journey on each of the pieces. Then we arrange the pieces into a shape that represents our whole journey. Together we shared stories of doubt, sorrows, and joys.
“We arrived to Holywell as individuals, but after sharing our faith journey stories and engaging in the weekend together, we became an accepting and joyous community.” – Anne
“All I can say about the trip is that it was simply terrific. I am extra touched by the hospitality, great care, and love shown to us by the Bridgettine nuns. The trip to the well was enlightening. The faith of the pilgrims was very encouraging (since I was actually ill then). Under the influence of the holy water, I had the courage to climb rocks and reach the edge of the embankment later that day. The retreat was extremely well organised and I enjoyed it thoroughly.” – Kenson
“A weekend full of stories, laughter, and quiet reflections. The retreat did not just bring us closer together as broths and sisters in Christ, but also allowed us to withdraw from our scheduled lives to rest and reflect on God’s grace. At the first night we shared with each other our faith journeys and it was both encouraging and reassuring – knowing that although each of us had questions and doubts about religion, we all have experienced God’s presence in our lives and seen God’s grace at work. Also, loads of fun exploring the area – St. Winfride’s Well, Greenfield, and the coast, all while having funny conversations with each other and bursting into laughter! Glad to be part of this wonderful retreat with the amazing young adults of St. Chrysostom’s! May we all continue to grow, physically and spiritually in the grace and love of God!” – Kevin