Father Gerard Weerakoon during his session at the retreat.
SINGAPORE – Forty children from Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary spent three days at a stay-in camp during the June school holidays. The camp, held at the church grounds, was organised by the Primary Five catechists because they saw that it would be beneficial to the kids as well as enjoyable and educational.
Catechists guided the children through the life of Jesus, explained to them the workings of the Church, and the importance of the rosary and the Bible. These teachings were reinforced in talks given by Fathers Gerard Weerakoon and John Chua, Sister Geraldine Lim, Nativity parish priest Father Henry Siew and Brother Martin Andrews, a seminarian from Penang, and through participation in learning and fun activities such as an amazing race and a telematch.
Attending daily morning Mass during the camp was a first time experience for many of the children. They also participated in Marian processions, heard the recitation of the rosary in English, Mandarin and Teochew, and even sang their hearts out to the Lord in a series of praise and worship sessions and prayed the Divine Mercy devotions.
“With God walking beside them every step of the way”, the camp was a huge success and the children asked for more such camps. They left messages on their class blog – currently set up only for one of the classes to remind them of homework, to share photographs and to act as a message board – saying how they missed the camp and how they wished it was six days and five nights instead.
“After this camp, I think that I won’t feel lazy going to church because I know what Jesus had done for me and this is just a small thing to repay Him,” wrote one participant.
Following the enthusiastic response, the catechists are considering more such camps.