The recent Diocesan Vocation Discernment Retreat has aided participants in their spiritual journey.
The annual retreat, held from May 4-6 at the St Francis Xavier Major Seminary, “has helped me to be a better listener to God and guide me along my journey towards a better Christian life”, said Mr Alexandre Yeoh from the Church of the Risen Christ.
The 26-year-old was a first-time participant at the retreat.
Another first-timer, Mr Joseph Tey, 26, from the Church of Our Lady Queen of Peace, said the retreat was an enriching experience “for all men looking to live their life in a Christ-centred and remarkable way.”
Mr Yeoh and Mr Tey were two of the 21 first-timers who attended the retreat, out of a total of 56 participants.
The retreat aims to help young men discern their vocation in life and discover more about the diocesan priesthood.
The theme for this year’s retreat was iMeno. Meno is a Greek word meaning “to abide or dwell; to endure forever; or to remain united with someone in heart, mind and will”. This was inspired by the verse found in the Gospel reading of the same weekend: “Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit” (John 15:5).
In line with the theme, Deacon Samuel Lim and Fr Michael Arro gave input sessions on how to abide in the Lord through a relationship with Him and through prayer.
Catechetical director Fr Erbin Fernandez and seminary rector Fr William Goh shared personal stories and reflections on priestly celibacy and ministry.
Archdiocesan vocation director Fr Alex Chua, and seminary lecturer Fr Ignatius Huan gave practical advice on discernment.
At the end of the retreat, Fr Chua commented that he was “very encouraged” by the willingness of these young men “to hear the gentle voice of God”.
Participants were also supported by prayers from the Serra Club, which promotes priestly vocations, and the Divine Mercy Group from the Church of the Holy Cross, who fasted and prayed for participants throughout the retreat.
Many participants said they were touched by such dedication, and added that they would encourage their friends to attend the retreat next year.
To find out more about the seminary, visit www.sfxms.org.sg or the seminarians’ blog http://kampungpunggol.blogspot.com/. A Vocation Discernment Recollection will take place from Aug3-4.
By Br Justin Yip
Br Justin is in his initiation year at the St Francis Xavier Major Seminary