With the blessing of His Eminence, Metropolitan Basilios, the youth of Saint Mary’s Mount Pritchard held a retreat at our Antiochian Village in Goulburn. The retreat was a great success, with participants engaging in a series of activities designed to promote spiritual growth and introspection. The theme of the retreat was repentance and confession, and the participants had the opportunity to learn about the hidden medicine that lies within these practices.

The retreat was held on the 5th weekend of Great Lent, which is the Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt. We used the life and works of this incredible saint as a foundation for our discussions and reflections throughout the weekend. St. Mary’s story serves as a powerful reminder of the transformative power of repentance and the boundless mercy of God. Her example inspired us to reflect on our own lives and to seek forgiveness for our shortcomings, knowing that God’s grace is always available to those who sincerely seek it.

The retreat was led by members of our youth committee, who presented a series of insightful talks and workshops on the topic, which were supplemented by the contribution of Father Isaac. Participants were encouraged to reflect on their lives and their relationships with God, with an emphasis on identifying areas that require repentance and the importance of seeking forgiveness.

In addition to the talks and discussions, participants were also involved in manual labour activities such as cleaning the church, gardening, and building planter boxes around the village fruit trees. These activities provided an opportunity for the participants to bond and work together in service to their community.

The retreat was made even more special by the efforts of our ladies, who generously took the time away from their families to prepare home-cooked meals that made us feel at home. We are grateful for their kindness and dedication.

Overall, the retreat was a wonderful opportunity for us to deepen our spiritual journey through faith, love, and repentance. We hope to continue on this path and remain committed to living a life that is aligned with God’s will.