Posted by Bernadette Fredricksen
on 24 March 2021
To begin 2021, members of the John Paul College Signum Fidei community held their annual Retreat at the Tyburn Monastery. The Monastery is situated 37 kilometres out of Rotorua, provides the ideal environment for prayer and reflection. We were fortunate that Brother Jack Iremonger from the Mangere community was able to join us for the day. Our Retreat began with Mass and following morning tea, we discussed and reviewed our activities during 2020, in particular, the very first JPC La Salle Camp for Year 7/8 girls. Amid the challenges we faced with COVIF-19 and the eventual Lockdown, we were still able to engage with families. So we agreed to continue with this plan in 2021.
Following our meeting, we had a shared lunch. In the afternoon, we had time to wander the beautiful gardens and Monastery environs, while reflecting on the following meditations from St John Baptist De La Salle.
"If you want to fulfil your ministry, lead the children you teach with zeal, and teach them to be kind to one another, compassionate, mutually forgiving, just as God has forgiven them."
"What good is it to profess faith without practising it? Such faith has no power to save one, has it? What good is it then, to teach your disciples the truths of the faith if you do not teach them to practise it? For faith without works is dead. Take special care to help them put these virtues into practice."
Our final session for the Retreat was a time of sharing. As the co-ordinator of the community, I continued to be uplifted by the members of our Signum Fidei community who dedicate many hours of their time, (often unseen) to those students and families who are on the margins. This year we will continue to work with those who have experienced hardship through COVID-19.
I commend also our wider JPC community who have generously answered the call and donated funds which will support projects such as lunches in schools, purchasing uniforms and stationery items, and sponsoring camps and sporting fees.
Our community continues to grow, with several new members. We look forward to further meetings scheduled for this year, where we will meet for prayer and fellowship.