Priests, seminarians and participants at the end of the retreat. Photo provided by St. Francis Xavier Major Seminary
SINGAPORE – Forty-five young men participated at this year’s Vocation Discernment Retreat held May 7-9 at the St. Francis Xavier Major Seminary.
This annual retreat aims to help young men discover their vocation in life and gain a better understanding of the diocesan priesthood.
Themed “Not Scared To Lose” this year, the five priests – Monsignor Francis Lau, Fathers William Goh, Ignatius Yeo, Paul Goh, and Damian de Wind – featured in this year’s Vocation Sunday promotion booklet shared their personal vocation stories, how they found the courage and will to overcome their fears and challenges to make the sacrifices necessary to faithfully answer their priestly calling.
Participants were invited to draw closer to God through various prayer sessions and quiet time, and learned more about seminary life by interacting with the seminarians.
Serra Club members present fasted and prayed before the Blessed Sacrament for the participants’ intentions for the duration of the retreat; prayers and sacrifices were also offered by the Vocation Promotion Teams in different parishes.
They might have arrived at the retreat with doubt, uncertainty, or fear, but by the end, the experience had become a “Spirit-filled encounter” that “allows one to come away with a clearer picture of God’s marvellous plans for oneself”, said one participant.
Another shared that “the vocation retreat left me with great peace... I actually felt sad leaving the place where fond memories were forged, friendships made and reinforced... I want to encourage all those who feel unworthy or feel unprepared to take this one step. You never know how your life will be changed and do not be afraid of it changing.”