x-Participants praying at the start to the weekend
Participants praying at the start of the weekend.

The Choice Weekend is about helping people live out their authentic selves and acting on the values they’ve learnt from their families, in catechism classes or from the Catholic school they studied in, shared Mr Lawrence De Silva, 45, a member of the newly commissioned Choice leadership team.

Choosing to live such a life makes a person realise how much one needs God’s grace and providence. “I still struggle with this but I have my family and the Choice community to help me journey on in life,” the father of three told Catholic News.

Mr De Silva, together with six others including Spiritual Director Father Benjamin Anthonisamy, was commissioned at a Mass at the Choice Retreat House on Sept 30, the final day of the recent Choice Weekend.

The Weekend was the 290th since Choice was introduced in Singapore in 1980.

The programme helps retreatants nurture their spiritual life and takes them on a journey of discovery to understand themselves and others better.

Sessions involve sharings by priests, Religious and laypeople on their struggles and triumphs in life, as well as small group interactions.

Many single adults aged 18-40, the target group of this programme, say they have been inspired by their experience of the three-day two-night retreat.

Ms Janice Ng, 27, a previous Choice participant, said that the honest sharings by participants helped her “to open up to them even though you don’t know them”.

This has helped her make good friends. “The friends that you make at the [Choice] retreat, they follow you through your life,” said Ms Ng, who helps out during the retreats.

Choice came to Singapore when Father Adrian Anthony, inspired to do more for family life, brought back a copy of the programme booklet upon his return from a stint in Brooklyn.

He gave it to a new youth group at the Church of the Risen Christ, where he was posted. The young people met with the leaders of Marriage Encounter then, and the first weekend was held from Feb 27 to March 1, 1981, at the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary’s Shalom House in Holland Road.

Today, the Weekend is held at the Choice Retreat house in Jurong West. It begins on a Friday night when participants are welcomed with a light dinner, ice-breaker games and action songs.

Choice has conducted four weekends this year and the last one for 2018 will be from Nov 23-25. Cost: $90. To find out more and to register, please visit www.choice.org.sg.

x-New Choice Leaders Lto R
Commissioning of the new Choice Leadership Team.