Charismatic group leaders at the recent SACCRE retreat. Photo: JANICE LOW

Leaders of Charismatic groups in the archdiocese have attended a retreat aimed at addressing various aspects of leadership.

More than 70 leaders from prayer groups, communities and ministries affiliated to SACCRE (Singapore Archdiocesan Catholic Charismatic Renewal) gathered at the St Francis Xavier Major Seminary from Jan 13-15.

SACCRE spiritual director Fr William Goh, who gave the talks during the retreat, spoke about the qualities of a leader.

A leader needs to be shepherd, servant and steward, he said. He gave the example of King Saul who, although he had certain qualities, was weak interiorly, abused his position and caused people to suffer.

Leaders need to be able to relate to other leaders, and empower each other, said Fr Goh. A good leader is one who inspires others and prepares the next line of leadership to take over, he said.

The priest also stressed that Charismatic group leaders need to have personal prayer time and discernment, which would help to establish a clear vision that would attract others to their groups.

Leaders need to offer their services in humility, emphasised Fr Goh.

Prayer groups must also look at new ways of service guided by the Holy Spirit. Prayer meetings should help participants experience Jesus, he said, adding that there is also a need to pay attention to youths and their interests.

The fire in Charismatic prayer groups can only grow if they bear witness to the resurrection and make evangelisation their primary goal, he stressed.

In her address, SACCRE chairperson Jessica Francisco noted that the organisation’s role is one of service, of empowering prayer groups to serve parishes. SACCRE has taken this direction over the last few years, she said.

Many prayer groups now find themselves collaborating with other parish groups and participating more actively in parish events, she added.

Retreatants said they found the retreat useful.

“This retreat reminded us to be Christ-like and Christ-centred” in leading others, said Ms Gladys Ang, adding that the only way to attain this is through obedience and building intimacy with God.

Mr Joseph Tan from the Church of St Francis Xavier said he learnt that his role as shepherd leader can also be extended outside his prayer group and to his church at large.

The last time such a SACCRE retreat was held was in 2009. About 250 people attended the one-day programme which addressed Charismatic group leaders’ response to service in the Charismatic renewal.

Following the recent retreat, SACCRE is looking towards having a follow-up retreat at the end of this year.

By Gerard Francisco

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