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Participants in Hobart Archdiocese’s ‘Mates & Dates’ program (Hobart Archdiocese)

Exploring friendships, dating, relationships, vocations and personal development was the focus of series of talks run by the Hobart Archdiocese’s Office of Life, Marriage and Family.

The office’s director, Rachel Bradley, said “Mates & Dates” was intended to encourage real-life interactions – in a world where socialising often takes place online – and to explore important topics for young people today.

“We wanted to encourage thinking about and practising communication skills while at the same time building bonds and friendships with other young Catholics,” Dr Bradley said.

“It was also the chance to hear about and discuss various relationship topics such as discerning marriage, building up relationships, and developing communication skills along with plenty of chances to ask questions.

“I hope those who came along to these nights will have taken away some useful new perspectives and ideas about relationships, will have built stronger bonds with existing friends and made some new ones.”

Having recently returned to Tasmania after a year living interstate, participant Simon-Pieter Doodeman said he was looking to reconnect with other young adults in the community.

Having attended Mates and Dates he said he had found other young Catholics with whom he could strive for “true Christian mateship” through the weekly catch-ups, adding that the talk by Hobart Office of Youth Evangelisation Director, Sam Clear, had the most impact on him.

“In our culture, relationships are glorified to the point where it is commonly held that they solve all our problems.

“However, as a young Catholic, it is important to understand the counter-cultural message of the Gospel … and that we can only be truly happy if we maintain and thrive in our relationship with God.”


Fostering real-life relationships in an online world (Hobart Archdiocese)