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The Marist Vocation Year

03/11/2004: Australia

An enthusiastic group of young Marists aged 16 and 17 from our schools throughout NSW and Queensland gathered together at the Farmhouse at Mittagong for a forum to mark the beginning of the Marist Vocation Year.

The focus of the weekend was on making choices on our life journey. Several presenters shared their life stories and the choices they have made in their own lives. A key component of the presentations was centred on solidarity and social justice.

On the Saturday night, during the dinner, an open forum was conducted to explore different lifestyle choices. Damian and Julie Sligar spoke about their marriage; Sr Kate McPhee talked about life as a Marist sister; Br Anthony Robertson spoke about the Marist Brothers while Fr Paul Ghanem, a Franciscan, explained why he chose to be a religious priest.

Moments of prayer and small group discussion time gave the students the opportunity to reflect on the stories told to them, to apply the lessons to their own lives and to share their own stories and beliefs. The spirituality of these young people was evident during the weekend. The significance of Mary was highlighted in a presentation. One of the notable aspects of the gathering was the way in which these young people connected so quickly with each other. They were like-minded people with a common Marist heritage. As is so often the case with these types of gatherings, it is the simple, human relationships which are formed that also have a profound impact on the individuals involved.

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