The Sisterhood Retreat
In a culmination of a variety of events held during 2020, COVID-19 notwithstanding, a group of 22 young women gathered for a ‘Sisterhood’ retreat day recently.
An initiative of FX Ministry, which works under the auspices of Campus Ministry, the retreat was an opportunity for young women to deepen bonds established during the year and establish new friendships based on shared faith, mutual trust and hope in the possibilities of life for women who believe in themselves.
FX Team Leader at North Sydney, Nicole Cordle, was one of the retreat presenters.
“All year we’ve been wanting to build up a community of women who were there for each other and could challenge the toxic things that can happen in young women’s relationships – gossip, insecurity, jealousy… We’ve been connecting with coffee catchups, but this was more intense and deeper. Phoebe Bryant (of the FX Team) and I each gave a talk and there was time for reflection, prayer, and fun as well,” said Nicole.
“It was really great to see 22 women from all walks of life and different experiences come together and form friendships in ways they probably wouldn’t have otherwise.”
Retreat presenter Phoebe feels that the timing of the retreat was a key element of its success.
“It’s has been a hard year for a lot of our students and connections and new friendships are few and far between. Ever since this event our community has expanded greatly and it is really beautiful to see,” said Phoebe.
“In fact, one young woman confided that the girls she met at the retreat had already become some of her closest friends, because of the experience they shared!”
Team member Rhea D’Souza was greatly encouraged by the outcomes of the inaugural retreat.
“When we planned the retreat we hoped that it would be an incredible day of bonding and sisterhood, but we couldn’t have anticipated how wonderful it was. Everything went so smoothly and we had so much support from the building staff and from some of the older students,” said Rhea.
“I think most of the girls weren’t expecting to talk about deep issues such as knowing our worth, revoking the lies we tell ourselves and not settling for situations that are less than we deserve. It was great to see how open they were to listening to Phoebe and Nicole’s talks and sharing their stories in small groups afterwards.”
The diversity of the retreatants was a gift in itself. As Rhea says, “The only thing all these girls have in common is that they are young women looking for good friends, whom they’ve begun to find in each other despite being of different ages, courses, religions, cultural backgrounds and life experiences.”
Clearly the term ‘sisterhood’ was taken seriously.