Young women share their stories of faith At The Well

By Catholic Youth Parramatta, 2 October 2019
Young women pose for a photograph during CYP's At The Well - An evening with young women. Image: Catholic Youth Parramatta.


In the beautiful Mary MacKillop Hall at Holy Trinity Parish, Granville, women from across the Diocese of Parramatta and beyond gathered for the Catholic Youth Parramatta’s last At The Well evening for the year.

Beginning the evening with delicious chicken and garlic sauce, thanks to El Jannah, Granville, the women were able to catch up in a relaxed atmosphere as the pressures of the week were shared.

Qwayne Guevara, Local Engagement Leader, Catholic Youth Parramatta, led the panel with Sr Rosie Drum mgl, Assistant Director, Catholic Youth Parramatta, and three women guest speakers – Laura Bradley Cain, Natalie Mathias and Bella Contreras.

Laura Bradley Cain is the Communications Manager at Aid to the Church in Need and has extensive experience in online content production and youth ministry.

Natalie Mathias works for the NSW Ombudsman and has served in different capacities in youth ministry in the Diocese of Parramatta, particularly at St Bernadette’s Parish, Castle Hill.

Bella Contreras is a World Youth Day 2019 Panama pilgrim and is graduating Year 12 this year at Catherine McCauley, Westmead.

Each woman shared their experience and insights to questions anonymously submitted by the women in the lead up to the evening. Three areas were discussed. In between each topic, the women were invited to discuss in groups any thoughts relating to what they heard.

The first topic was on vocation and discernment, in which the women had common views about the need to take little steps of faith forward in order to discern where God may be calling one to.

Living and working in a secular space can be difficult and this was one of the questions that generated the most discussion on the panel. Natalie shared how it has been important to be an authentic witness of the faith, even in the workplace. Bella affirmed this, explaining that often it may not seem comfortable but it’s necessary to show your love for God through action, not just words.

The final topic area was around relationships and Laura shared great insight about taking the courage to be open to dating, if in fact this is what one is senses they are called to.

The night ended with a final Q&A opportunity, where the women were able to ask their final questions. Rosie was able to share practical tips for anyone finding it hard to pray or heal from brokenness in the past.

One attendee explained “I didn’t expect what I heard, but this space is really important and very much needed for women.”

With the launch of the At The Well Podcast to help facilitate deeper reflection on related topics, Catholic Youth Parramatta hope that these opportunities continue to invite women into a deeper encounter of God’s love.


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