Polytechnic students having a discussion in their small group during an input session. Photo: AARON LEONGPolytechnic students having a discussion in their small group during an input session. Photo: AARON LEONG

The Office for Young People (OYP) held its first Polytechnic Leaders Formation Weekend at 2 Lorong Low Koon from Oct 23-25.

The retreat, themed The Woman at the Well, was attended by 26 students from all five polytechnics in Singapore, and aimed to empower them to be a disciple of Christ in their respective polytechnics.

Students were reminded on the first day that Jesus comes personally to meet them at their level, like how He met the Samaritan woman in John 4. He offers them His goodness and life-giving water to nourish and give them joy in their lives.

The second day focused on God the Father, and students were made aware of the negative perceptions of God which might hinder them from loving Him fully and committing their lives to Him.

On the final day of the retreat, the importance of a lifestyle of discipleship and being in a community were highlighted. These lessons were further validated by testimonies which witnessed to how community and discipleship work hand-in-hand in sanctifying Catholics and also in evangelising to their peers.
A thanksgiving Mass was held for junior college and international baccalaureate students to pray for their upcoming exams.A thanksgiving Mass was held for junior college and international baccalaureate students to pray for their upcoming exams.

Participants had time to reflect on how they could be more committed to a faithful response to God through their actions and words.

“The retreat enabled me to deepen my relationship with God...He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me,” shared Veronica Low, 20, from Republic Polytechnic.

Joshua Lowe, 21, from Temasek Polytechnic, shared that there was “revelation and confirmation of my insecurities and negative images of God, which are slowly being healed and made new... Having truths being revealed to me will help me in my walk with God and knowing these allow me to better surrender them.”
A polytechnic student having personal prayer time. Photo: AARON LEONGA polytechnic student having personal prayer time. Photo: AARON LEONG

Fr Brian D’Souza, chaplain of OYP and its polytechnic desk said: “The retreat was meaningful to the poly students because it is a good reminder in the midst of their busy schedules that God loves them.”

Moving forward, he said OYP’s polytechnic desk “has to focus on building relationships with the students.”

OYP also held its inaugural junior college mass on Oct 23 and celebrated its second anniversary on Oct 16.

More than 100 students from the various JCs gathered to pray for their exams at the Mass celebrated by Fr Jude David, and also to have fellowship with one another.

Ryota Wong, 18, from Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) shared: “It was my first time at OYP...I enjoyed myself and found the homily very relatable to me.”

Marking two years since the organisation was formed, OYP celebrated its second anniversary at its monthly Nox Gaudii session.

There was a strong sense of joy and energy as more than 400 participants came together for a night of worship and thanksgiving Mass.

Fr Jude David, chaplain of OYP, along with Frs D’Souza, Jovita Ho, and Terence Kesavan celebrated the Mass.

“The worship session and the thanksgiving Mass were inspiring and the homily reminded us that every hair on our head is counted; that God will never forget about us,” Ms Angela Yap, 25, a parishioner from the Church of St Francis of Assisi commented.

OYP will hold its next Nox Gaudii session on Nov 20. For more information about OYP, visit www.oyp.org.sg

By Nicholas Goh

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