Deepening faith through the Prayer Experience Retreat
The Catholic Spirituality Centre in Upper Serangoon Road is well known for running the Conversion Experience Retreat (CER). However there are other retreats run at the centre that help build a person’s faith journey or deepen a personal encounter with the Lord.
A particular programme is the Prayer Experience Retreat (PER), a three-day, two-night semi-silent retreat that is aimed at helping participants develop a prayer life and learning to walk closely with God. PER is open to anyone who is interested in developing a more personal relationship with the Lord and growing in their spiritual life.
Many participants said they were deeply inspired by their experience at the PER.
“The entire retreat is a holiday with God and for God,” said Ms Emely Tan. “The prayers touched me deep within my soul.”
She added that she learnt to surrender herself and her sins to God amidst meditation and silence.
Another participant, Ms Lydia Wong said that she “felt the love of God” and the need to share that love with non-believers.
According to the organisers of the PER, the retreat is highly recommended for those who have attended the CER. This is because after having encountered the love of God at CER (or a similar God-experience retreat), the next step for these participants is to learn how to pray and connect with God daily and develop a relationship with Him.
The PER first started in 2010 with then Fr William Goh as the Retreat Director and a team of lay people supporting him. The PER programme has been modified over time from four days to three days to make it easier for people to attend. Silence is also imposed for part of the retreat to help participants listen to God and experience Him in the quietness of their hearts.
The PER is modelled on St Teresa of Avila’s Seven Mansions concept as a guide to teach participants about the spiritual life and the different forms and grades of prayer. There are also talks to help participants enhance their knowledge and understanding of the different grades and methods of prayer.
During the retreat, participants learn how to connect heart-to-heart with God through journaling, meditation and contemplation. Following the talks, they are given the opportunity to apply the various methods of prayer that they have learned as guided by the Holy Spirit.
Participants learn to listen to the Lord to receive deeper self-knowledge, a deeper experience of God, inner healing and affirmation of their identities as children of God.
In addition to personal prayer sessions, there are praying-over sessions for healing and empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
The 25th instalment of the PER will be held from Nov 16-18. It will be conducted by Fr Andrew Wong and the CSC Retreat team. Cost: $120. Forms are available at www.csctr.net.