The second and last At The Well Gathering, organised by Catholic Youth Parramatta, brought together 30 women in a casual and intimate setting to discuss topics on faith, life, relationships, discernment and careers.
Guest panellists Natalie Jacobi, Katelyn Almeida and Catherine Bourne were accompanied by Joy Adan, co-host of the At The Well podcast, who moderated the conversation.
Catherine Bourne, Diocese of Parramatta Natural Fertility Educator, encouraged the women to find confidence in who they are, reminding the women that they are strong.
Feelings of unworthiness has echoed through conversations between young women and Catholic Youth Parramatta’s Manager, Qwayne Guevara. Qwayne says, “Many women often feel alone in their darkness, despite being surrounded by good friends and family. There is often a voice that says, ‘my needs are not as important’. Catherine’s words were important for the women to hear. Our bodies are a gift from God. We are capable of bearing life.”
Katelyn Almeida, Finance Manager, discussed her experience moving overseas and finding a sense of connection in the most unlikely of places. She recalled a sense of surrender to the leading of the Spirit. This extended into the topic of discernment and vocation. Katelyn explained that she’s been affirmed of a Christian’s main vocation – which is to love – and this gives her the lens and disposition to be open to others.
The women were given the opportunity to reflect and enter into small group discussions. From there, questions were sparked including one which asked about tips on how to love those who are unkind to us. Catherine responded with a reminder that there are times that this will happen and for some, it might be a call to draw close. It may be that people are unkind for many reasons. This is part of navigating relationships through life.
Natalie Jacobi, social worker, offered wisdom about finding “the one”. She shared vulnerably about the journey she’s been on and attributes her faithfulness to God’s faithfulness. She reminded the women that God can make beautiful things happen out of what seems like terrible experiences. Joy Adan affirmed this with her own experiences of family dynamics and choices she made through her own journey.
The At The Well initiative is about offering a safe space for women to ask the questions that challenge them in everyday life, with the hope of providing encouragement to deepen their faith.
The At the Well podcast is the fruit of these in-person gatherings, where Joy and Qwayne delve into questions shared by women across the Diocese and beyond.
The podcast is available on Spotify and Google Play. For more information, visit www.catholicyouthparramatta.org
To join in the conversation and the community of young women learning and sharing their faith, you can join the At The Well Facebook group.