Fr Henry Siew breaking bread in a paraliturgy during the Parish Transformation Process retreat.Fr Henry Siew breaking bread in a paraliturgy during the Parish Transformation Process retreat.A programme to help Catholics live out their mission as disciples was launched recently, with parishioners from Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary taking part.

More than 20 members of various parish ministries attended the “Journey” retreat facilitated by the Office for the New Evangelisation (ONE).

The event, held at the St Francis Xavier Major Seminary from March 7-8, was part of the new Parish Transformation Process (PTP) initiated by ONE.

In the PTP, parish and assistant priests work with ONE and other collaborators to nurture disciples who will transform the parish culture into one that is communitarian and also outward-looking.

A team of Religious and laypeople facilitated the recent retreat, which saw participants undergoing a journey of remembrance to encounter God in the significant milestones of their lives.

Retreatants used toys and childhood and adolescent memorabilia as they retraced the origin and development of their personal relationship with Jesus.

They also experienced one-on-one spiritual direction with trained spiritual directors, who helped them discern the presence of God and make sense of God’s action in their lives.

In one session, retreatants were transported back to Emmaus in a paraliturgy, which focused on how Jesus broke bread with the disciples after they recognised Him, and how they went out in haste to share the Good News with others.

Many participants said they were moved by their experiences during the retreat.

It “has opened my heart and spirit to encounter God’s great love for us to be called His disciples”, said Ms Pauline Phuan, a catechist.

Eucharistic minister Terence Siew shared: “God has been present every moment of my life and I did not rejoice in His presence … Now I yearn to find intimacy with the Lord and to be in communion with my fellow-travellers on this journey.”

“The spirit manifested during the retreat is certainly conducive for growing the spirituality of communion,” said parish priest Fr Henry Siew. “I look forward to God’s abundant grace as members of this community grow towards being disciples of Christ and being equipped for mission as catalysts in other communities within the parish under the PTP.”

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