My search for the ‘Perfect’ Youth Group
It is probably best to start off with what I mean by ‘perfect’ in this story. A ‘perfect’ youth group here means one that is just right for me, and it may be for you too or another group may be the one for you.
It’s difficult going through life on your own; you really need the support of other Catholics, especially in today’s world where so many people seem to be anti-God. And it’s so uplifting to talk to people of your own age who happen to have the same beliefs as you! If people are on the same page as you on important issues then it is easier to become friends with them, have loads of fun and start your journey of becoming a better Catholic.
My search for a “perfect” youth group began after I had graduated from high school…
My story starts off in a small community, where I attended a local parish without a youth group throughout my childhood and schooling. There weren’t any young people my age there. Being the only Catholic in school was difficult enough and not being able to meet other Catholics my own age was kind of heart breaking.
As you can imagine or you have also experienced, life as a teen isn’t easy in these kinds of situations…
Conquering Trials and Tribulations
Through prayer, reading the Bible and Catholic articles, going to mass and adoration, I began to understand that I had to go through these trials, and to feel alone, to feel the pain and suffering as Jesus wanted me to understand His life. Jesus too was rejected by his own people, the Jews, as He had different beliefs, and even those with the same beliefs denied Him.
What I’m trying to tell you is not to get discouraged like I did for years.
Taking the first step is always the hardest. It was difficult leaving my “comfort zone” having been a rather shy/quite teen girl. I think that’s why it took me years to leave behind my home sweet home in my search for my “perfect” youth group…
Go out into the World!
Once I left the coziness of my room, I discovered that there was an overwhelming amount of youth groups around. There was bound to be one that was ‘perfect’ for me. But which one was I to choose?
I attended a number of different youth groups at university and in parishes until I found those that suited my lifestyle at the time and where I was able to attend on a regular basis.
Just ‘Perfect’ for me
The first youth group I joined was the Our Lady of Victories Polish Youth Group, which as the name says, includes youth from Polish families. I then discovered Frassati Australia, which is based at Mary Immaculate, Annerley where I attend a weekly mass on Monday nights at 7pm, then afterwards there is a talk on important Catholic issues. Late last year, an all ladies Catholic group by the name of ‘Flores Teresianes (Flowers of Therese)’ was formed based at Mary Immaculate, Annerley, which I now attend. This year I also began to attend the Young Carmelite Group based at the Carmelite Monastery in Ormiston which meets once every two months.
I was only praying for God to help me find one ‘perfect’ youth group and was sent four that suited me just right.
Some of these youth groups I discovered by attending the annual Youth and Vocations Expo at the Cathedral of St Stephens. The Youth and Vocations Expo will be held at St Stephen’s Cathedral on Sunday 7 August 2016 from 11am to 3:30pm.
Joanna Czajkowska is a Brisbane born Polish girl and folkloric dancer who loves travelling, running and reading Saint Faustyna’s Dzienniczek “Diary” in Polish.
The views expressed in the Catholic Collective blog do not necessarily represent the views of the Youth Evangelisation Office or the Archdiocese of Brisbane