Charismatic representatives from Singapore at the UAE conference (from left): Mr Leroy Goh, Fr Charlie Oasan, Ms Jessica Francisco, Mr Gerard Francisco and Mr Charles Lim.
It was an international Catholic Charismatic conference attended by 1,700 people. And the venue was the United Arab Emirates.
The 4th ISAO Conference, held from Nov 30-Dec 2 at St Anthony of Padua Church in Ras Al Khaimah, saw the participation of Charimatics from 19 nations in this Muslim-majority country.
ISAO is the Sub-Committee of the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (ICCRS) for Asia and Oceania. The ISAO Conference is held every two to four years and rotated among the different countries in the region.
The recent conference, which had the theme “One Body, One Spirit, One Mission in Christ”, united Catholic Charismatics in the Asia-Oceania region over three days of Masses, talks, praise and worship, Eucharistic adoration and workshops.
The event aimed at getting Charismatics in the region to look beyond their own countries, churches and communities to unite in a common mission to help fellow Catholics have a deeper relationship with God.
Five representatives from the Singapore Archdiocesan Catholic Charismatic Renewal (SACCRE) attended the conference.
SACCRE Spiritual Director Fr Charlie Oasan concelebrated all the Masses. Mr Gerard Francisco co-led one of the workshops on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, while Mr Charles Lim, SACCRE Vice Chairman, and Ms Jessica Francisco gave a sharing on the Life in the Spirit Experience in Singapore.
For Mr Leroy Goh, another representative, the event “really embodied the fact that we are one big family, walking on this journey towards Christ”.
Another highlight of the conference was the Parade of Nations where delegates walked around the church’s compound carrying their country’s flag, praising God and consecrating their nations to Him.
“It was a celebration of friendship and community indeed,” commented Mr Lim.
The conference ended with Mr Jim Murphy, President of ICCRS, reminding participants that they were on a “co-mission” with Christ, cooperating with Him in reaching out to others.
“Just as a yoke is placed together on a young ox and a more experienced ox, let Christ lead us as we too toil the soil of mission and bring it to where God wants it to be,” he said.
Following the conference, different meetings were held for youth, intercessors and ISAO leaders from the different nations. Besides reporting on the situations in their own countries, the meetings helped the various country representatives to share resources and plan for future events and collaborations together.