On 15-17 May thirteen staff from Kildare Ministries’ schools gathered in Lancefield for our annual Founding Grace Retreat. Across our 3 days together retreatants were invited to reflect deeply on the Kildare Ministries Principals of Living Justice, contemplating ‘where two or three are gathered’ and what might this be inviting us to as the hands, feet, eyes, voice and heart of God. Through the sharing of individual and communal prayer as well as informal conversation and hearty meals we enjoyed coming to know one another in the spirit of trust and companionship. We are enormously grateful to our school leaders for offering this experience to their staff and know it will enrich our shared ministry. Particular thanks to Paul Spence who led the Retreat with such heart and to all our retreatants who entered into the experience wholeheartedly and with beautiful care for one another.
Retreatants have offered the following reflections on their experience:
It gave me a greater understanding of the work of the Kildare Ministries and how we are connected at a much deeper and spiritual level - an amazing gift attending the retreat - thank you.
It was an amazing retreat - thank you so much for your honesty, respect and care. I would welcome the opportunity to attend a retreat such as this in my school holidays - to welcome refection in spirituality with such amazing people was wonderful.
I loved the honesty and rawness of people's contributions. I loved hearing of others challenges and know we are not alone. I loved that I was reminded of my own journey with Jesus and the unique life I can live because of this gift. I will be more aware and reflective in my day to day work and so more attentive to the young people I care for in my role.
Would highly recommend this retreat for staff members who have broader life experiences. Loved the The Prodigal son artwork and explanation of the scripture. Enjoyed the contemplative style as such a direct contrast from school routines and demands. Liked that there were no handouts or set rules and expectations to contribute personal ideas. That the themes of each session were well connected and lead into each other. That I came away with a sense of the Living Justice Charter. Enjoyed networking with people from other schools in such an informal environment.
To experience open honest and true love for who we are is such a gift. Such a beautiful time of reflection and connection that I will hold very close to my heart as I walk through my days.
That it was a gift from my school and KM, that I feel loved and part of KM, that our ministry together is precious and unique. That it was life giving. That the sharing of others was a privilege to witness. I loved our facilitator’s insight, depth, humour, humanity, compassion, spiritual direction and profound honesty. I would entreat my colleagues to attend if they can.
For me personally it was wonderful to have conversation and experiences with others who are all trying to do the very best for our students and their families. To see that we are a part of a wonderful ministry doing great things for young people is very moving and at the same time give a bigger picture of our purpose. Thank you.
I would like to acknowledge the trust of the school leaders who sent the people to the retreat - it was so beautiful to be in a group and feel so welcomed. The songs, scriptures, and representations used allowed for honesty and reflection. It brought a sense of calmness and belonging. Thank you.
Deep hearted thanks for nurturing our faith in a lovely and gentle way. For guiding us, encouraging us to think deeply yet kindly about our lives and the way we choose to live them. It was such a treat to be here and I will never forget it, I will treasure this experience.
We need to do these as a leadership team. We need to do these as a staff. I love that we all came from different schools and roles but there is also something special about doing these kinds of retreats for specific teams and staffs and schools. I love it. I have loved it. I will treasure this. Thank you.
Thank you for the opportunity to know my God and Jesus again.
You need to do one of these. It is life-changing. It is important to 'be still and know that I am God'.