Challenge Girls in Australia have special Holy Week Convention

News 9bThis past Easter week, 24 girls from all over Australia (Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, and Ballarat) gathered for a five-day Challenge Convention from April 8th -12th. The convention theme was “Get Connected,” and was aimed at helping the girls get a deeper connection with Jesus as their best friend. At a camp on the outskirts of Ballarat, the girls experienced what it is like to build a closer friendship with God and other Catholic girls like themselves. Throughout the weekend, they had opportunities to go to daily Mass, receive the sacrament of confession, and participate in some formation workshops on the Eucharist, the virtues, and an interactive workshop on fashion and modesty. The convention also offered the girls fun activities like the flying fox, laser tag, adventures on a giant bungee-jump swing, and a trip up to Sovereign Hill where they panned for gold at one of Australia’s original gold mining towns. One girl commented, “It was great meeting other Catholic girls who love Jesus and also know how to have heaps of fun at the same time.” Throughout the convention, the girls participated in a campaign aimed at fostering prayer for News 9athe priests of Ballarat. Whenever they made a visit to the Blessed Sacrament for one of the priests in the diocese or said a prayer for them, they attached a paperclip to an ever growing chain. Over the course of the week, it grew to about 350 paperclips connected together by prayers. On Divine Mercy Sunday, the last day of the convention, the paperclip chain was presented to Bishop Peter of the diocese of Ballarat. All the girls crowded around the Bishop for a picture while they proudly displayed their hard-earned chain. In his homily, the Bishop thanked the girls for their efforts and encouraged them to remember God’s merciful love. Many girls commented on how this convention gave them the boost they needed to continue living out their Catholic faith in their everyday lives. As one participant said, “It was here at this camp during daily Mass that I have come to find God.”