Young Catholics take part in a worship session during the Combined Universities Retreat.Young Catholics take part in a worship session during the Combined Universities Retreat.
Over 130 young Catholics gathered for the inaugural Combined Universities Retreat organised by the Office for Young People (OYP) recently.

According to OYP, which turned one last November, the Dec 19-22 event, aimed to bring the Catholic students together regardless of the universities they are in, to deeply encounter the Lord and to recognise the true joy of Christmas in the birth of Christ.

The speakers at the retreat, held at OYP’s premises at Lorong Low Koon, included OYP chaplains Frs Brian D’Souza and Jude David; Fr Samuel Lim, Singapore Management University chaplain; Fr Jovita Ho, National University of Singapore chaplain; and OYP staff.

The speakers encouraged participants, who came from eight universities, to die to self, and commit to surrendering every area of their lives to Jesus.

It is only by doing so that one can truly experience Emmanuel, and the perfect joy that only Jesus can bring, they told participants.

“Yet, this is an ongoing process, which requires companions,” emphasised Fr Jude. “We each have a responsibility to lead each other to Jesus.”

Archbishop William Goh, who celebrated the closing Mass, further underscored the message of evangelisation. “You are the Church,” he said, “and the greatest gift you can give to anyone is Jesus”.

Participants left the retreat inspired.

“God never abandons, and if we desire him, He will find a home in us,” 21-year-old Victoria Lim, from the Singapore Institute of Management, said of her experience in the retreat.

“Because we have seen the light, we can now be the light,” commented Mr Matthew Lim, 23, from the Singapore Management University, referring to Matthew 5:14.

By Geraldine Soh

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