The Verbum Dei Missionary Fraternity has been tasked with running the Archdiocesan Biblical Apostolate – a responsibility the community says has been received with both joy and fear.
“Joy because of this opportunity to share our Verbum Dei spirituality and charism to a bigger audience,” Sr Sandra Seow told CatholicNews, and “fear too” because it is “a big task for our small community”.
“Yet, we said ‘yes’ to it, because our ‘yes’ comes with a lot of trust that God will help us,” she said.
The apostolate will operate from an office in the Catholic Archdiocesan Education Centre (CAEC).
According to Sr Sandra, who is apostolate director, Vicar General (Pastoral) Msgr Ambrose Vaz contacted the Verbum Dei Missionaries in September and proposed that they take over the running of the apostolate.
After several meetings, the community accepted the proposal.
“We always work in community, and so the rest of our Verbum Dei Sisters will also be involved in planning and giving retreats,” said Sr Sandra.
The other nuns are Sr Leticia Candelario Lopez, the apostolate’s associate director; and Srs Maria Jose M Egido, Cecilia Teo and Devy Pranadjaja.
The community’s core lay people, called the Verbum Dei Disciples, will also help in the retreats and programmes, said Sr Sandra.
“We see that there is a great hunger in the people for learning how to pray the Word of God and live it out in their lives,” Sr Sandra noted. In order to meet this need, the Verbum Dei Missionaries have rolled out a one-year programme.
This will kick-start with a one-day Advent retreat for the archdiocese to be held at the FMM retreat house on Holland Road. The theme of the Dec 13 retreat is Open Your Heart to Christ.
There will also be a series of retreats in called “Logos the Encounter” based on the Word of God. “Logos” means “Word” in Greek.
These one-day retreats, to encourage people to pray with the Scriptures and apply the Living Word to their lives, will be conducted on district level.
There will be weekly follow-up programmes and the apostolate also hopes to form small communities in parishes based on inputs and reflections from the Scriptures.
The apostolate will also hold a Bible Conference on July 11 next year to mark World Bible Sunday.
Amidst the new programme, Msgr Vaz and his brother Fr Eugene Vaz will still continue their Scripture classes at the CAEC, said Sr Sandra.