Left: More than 100 people took part in the July 1-3 retreat on Neighbourhood Christian Communities. Below: Small-group discussion.

Parishioners of Blessed Sacrament Church deepened their understanding of the mission of Neighbourhood Christian Communities (NCC) during a recent retreat in Johor.

Vicar General Msgr Eugene Vaz led the July 1-3 retreat, which was spearheaded by Sr Geraldine Ee, FMDM. A record number of 107 participants took part in the programme held in the Majodi Retreat Centre.

Half of the participants were new to such a retreat and there was also a substantial number of younger ones who gave many new ideas.

The main theme for the programme was Growing in Discipleship.

Participants learnt that every Catholic living in their neighbourhood or zone is automatically a member of the NCC by the fact of their baptism.

Participants also studied the various aspects of the Church.

They learnt that the Church is a “participatory Church”, in which Catholics are called to reach out to their neighbours and be aware of their needs; as well as a “collaborative Church”, which includes the involvement of priests, Religious and members of NCC zones and ministries.

Participants also learnt that the Church is a “co-responsible Church” with regard to commitment; and a “prophetic Church” which helps the poor, shares the faith and celebrates together in fellowship.

Retreatants also broke up into small groups to discuss issues on discipleship, such as what is God’s mission for the NCC, and how can NCC groups help to build the parish.

They looked at five areas.

These were: Putting Jesus first in all things, following Jesus’ teaching, love for others, evangelisation and fruitfulness.

The retreat also included fun recreational activities such as songs and dance and a barbeque.

By Ray Christian

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