The Grail in Australia's Young Women's Retreat (October 13-15) is an event to get excited about. The team behind the event are asking young women to join them in a special time of contemplation and conversation where they can explore the topic of caring for our planet and “The Other”, all in the tranquil setting of Jamberoo Abbey.
I recently spoke to Nour Barcha, Grail member and one of the key organisers of the retreat, about how it all came about. Here's what she had to say about the up-coming retreat and the vital role women have to play in social and environmental justice.
Q. What sparked the idea for this retreat?
When I was attending the United Nation's 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York in 2015, I met many young Grail women from all over the world. I noticed that the Portuguese, Brazilian and Mozambique group had many young members. My hope is to invite young women in Australia to find out more about the richness in the Grail.
Q. Why hold the retreat at Jamberoo Abbey?
I often go to Jamberoo for quiet time and reflection and find it a beautiful space where one can connect with nature and listen, reflect and pray.
Q. What role do young women have to play in the environmental and social justice movements?
Young women play a vital role in social justice and looking after the environment as they are the key educators for the future - as mothers, teachers, carers, or young professionals in leading roles in our community.
Q. You say that part of the retreat is about exploring the topic of 'The Other' - what does this mean?
The Other is anyone in our community that we interact with, but especially people on the margins of our society.
Q. Who can attend the retreat and what can they expect from the 3 days?
We encourage women from all walks of life between 20-40 years of age to join us! They can expect a time of reflection and conversation with other young women. A time of being in silence in the beautiful Jamberoo Abbey. A time of prayer with the Benedictine nuns. A time to relax in nature and appreciate God 's creation.
Author: Kendall Benton-Collins
Kendall is the Administrative Assistant at The Grail Australia based in Sydney. She has over a decade’s worth of experience working in the field of environmental conservation and communication, with a Fellowship from the Centre for Sustainability Leadership.