SINGAPORE – When St. Paul had his conversion experience, a light from the sky flashed and he fell to the ground (Acts 9:3-4).
The 149 priests and laity who attended the Conversion Experience Retreat at the Catholic Spirituality Centre (CSC) from Dec 4-7 had a conversion experience too though there were no lightning flashes.
Joseph Lum, a retreatant from St. Anne’s Church, summed up his conversion experience, one shared by many, like this: "I have experienced a deep conversion. I
encountered the love of God. I was blind but now I see. I encountered the power of the Holy Spirit. I had longed for my heart to burn with the love of God again. I had longed to walk closely with Jesus again. But I was blinded and my heart was hardened. I have learnt to truly praise God... for how much He loves me. I have been reborn."
Seven priests from Indonesia, India and Kenya, two friars and a seminarian from Singapore were all touched too.
Father Simon Kithinji from Meru, Kenya emerged from the retreat radiating joy.
"I was experiencing some burnout in my spiritual life, and sincerely needed refilling," he said. "I came feeling very empty at heart, but now, I feel happy and full of joy. The preaching (was) a tremendous reawakening of faith and hope in Christ. I came wounded but I am now healed."
The Conversion Experience Retreat, now in its eleventh run, is a main programme of the CSC. It is conducted four times a year in March, June, September and December by CSC Spiritual Director Father William Goh. The next retreat will be held from Mar 12-15.