Retreatants listening to Fr John Bosco Pereira at the vocation discernment retreat.Retreatants listening to Fr John Bosco Pereira at the vocation discernment retreat.

More than 50 young men – students, NSmen and young working adults – spent the National Day weekend discerning their vocation in life, particularly the priesthood.

Apart from contemplating their relationship with God, they also took stock of how far Singapore has come as a nation during the Diocesan Vocation Discernment Retreat, held at the St Francis Xavier Major Seminary from Aug 7-9.

The retreat had the theme, A Life or Alive?

To assist the retreatants, Fr Benedict Chng, Fr John Bosco Pereira, Fr Jovita Ho, archdiocesan vocation director Fr Alex Chua and Fr Valerian Cheong from the seminary shared their experiences as priests as well as the joy of the priesthood.

The retreatants  also took part in a paraliturgy in which they had to “nail” their sins, written on pieces of paper, onto a wooden cross during Saturday night’s Holy Hour.

They were then invited to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

The seminarians were also on hand to pray for those who needed spiritual support.

Many retreatants said they found the Holy Hour, the paraliturgy and the Sacrament of Reconciliation a moving experience.

Other highlights of the retreat included vocation videos in which local priests and priests from all over the world shared how their love for Christ and for the people helped to sustain their priesthood, which besides being a road less travelled, would also not be an easy one.

The retreat’s climax was the Mass on Sunday celebrated by Archbishop William Goh.

In his homily, he  emphasised the importance having joy as a priest and being able to emanate joy to others.

By Br Shaun Lim
Br Shaun Lim is a seminarian.

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