Laypeople and seminarians praying over young men attending the May 6-8 vocation retreat.

Record number attend annual Diocesan Vocation Retreat at seminary

Catholics who attended the recent Diocesan Vocation Retreat at the St Francis Xavier Major Seminary say they recommend it for young men seeking their purpose in life.

“I find this vocation retreat a must-go for all youths who are searching for direction in life, and also for anyone who has reached a crossroads in his life and wishes to find out which turn to take in fulfilling God’s will,” said Mr John Tan, 20, from the Church of the Immaculate Heart.

“I really cannot thank the Lord enough for His goodness and love for me, especially for giving me such reassuring words and signs,” said Mr Clarence Yue, 27, from the Church of the Holy Spirit.

“What I would really say to anyone trying to find out the Lord’s will for him … is to ‘come and see’ ... The Lord can never be outdone in generosity, and you can be sure He will answer you at the appropriate moment.”

Mr Tan and Mr Yue were two of the 55 young men who attended the May 6-8 Diocesan Vocation Retreat.

The gathering, which had the theme Hungry Sheep Seeking Shepherds, is held annually to help men discover their vocation and understand the diocesan priesthood better. The number of participants this year was an all-time high. Many of the retreatants, aged between 18-33 years, were also there for the first time.

Archdiocesan vocation director Fr Alex Chua helped participants reflect on the needs of the world today, and how Jesus, the Good Shepherd, meets these needs with His love and providential care. Priests of the archdiocese also shared their personal stories on how the priesthood is a joy-filled vocation, modelled after the Good Shepherd.

Participants took part in praise and worship, Eucharistic adoration and a prayer session, in which a seminarian was assigned to each retreatant and prayed with him over the struggles he was experiencing in his discernment journey.

There were also many other opportunities for interaction between participants and seminarians, allowing retreatants to share their personal challenges as well as learn more about seminary life.

Members of the Serra Club of Singapore, which aims to promote priestly vocations, as well as members of the Divine Mercy Group, were present throughout the retreat to fast and intercede before the Blessed Sacrament for the participants.

Parish Vocation Promotion Teams also prayed and offered sacrifices for the retreatants.

By the end of the retreat, many said they had a deep encounter with the Good Shepherd and found greater clarity in how He was calling them.

Archbishop Nicholas Chia celebrated the closing Mass.

For those wanting to know more about the seminary, check out or the seminarians’ blog at The next Vocation Discernment Recollection is from Aug 5-6. Details will be announced in CatholicNews.

By Br Nicholas Lye
Br Nicholas is a seminarian at the St Francis Xavier Major Seminary.

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