As our church today continues with its empowering of the call of vocations, the AVPT team continues to spread the joy and the rising need of vocations to all the young people around. From the 17th to the 19th of February 2017, a Vocation Awareness Live-In Camp was held at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Setapak in Kuala Lumpur. This camp brought together 22 young men and women from all over the archdiocese to discover the meaning of vocation as well as to get an insight to the different vocations bringing life to the Catholic Church.
During the course of the entire weekend, the young people were called to open their hearts in an atmosphere of fellowship, sharing and prayer. It was a journey to discover and discern their vocation as to what Christ is calling them to do. The theme of the camp resonates very strongly with this call to answer the Lord, ‘The Good Shepherd Calls’. Often in a world where we are caught up with the rat race of life, we seldom stop to hear the gentle prompting of God, and it is in times like this where the quieting of one’s heart and mind is needed to be able to hear and respond to a God who wants to grace us.
Various priests and religious from different congregations visited throughout the length of the camp sharing their stories of answering the call. These extraordinary stories from ordinary human beings who seek to do the will of the Father, gave hope and inspiration to all the young people as a testimony that God can call any one of us to do his bidding.
The sessions were conducted by representatives from the various vocations pillaring the church. Sr. Roseling Siaw kick-started the first session, talking about ‘My relationship with God’. The second session was conducted by Cassandra and Mary, catechism teachers from the church of the Good Shepherd. The participants were led by them through an examination of conscience. The next day started off with Sr. Santhamary leading a session on morning and imaginative prayer. Franciska continued to share with the participants on the introduction to Christian vocation. The participants were then spoken to on the topic, ‘How to discern God’s will in my life?’ led by Sr. Angeline Poh. Day two then continued with another session by Fr.Chris, leading the participants into a time of sharing and reflection. Fr. Chris also had a session of question and answer with the participants, addressing their concerns and curiosity on the path of life God has planned for them. The day ended with yet another examination of conscience led by Cassandra and Mary.
The final day of the camp began with the celebration of morning mass at the Church of the Good Shepherd which was celebrated by Fr. Chris. In his homily, he emphasized about the life and promise found in the word of God. We are called to love and put our hope in Christ our saviour. He also asked the intercession of the congregation on behalf of the participants who are on their journey of discovering the will of God in their lives. Francis and Jasmine, together with Andrew and Andrene Teoh, conducted the next session with their sharing as a married couple. The final session was conducted by Fr. Chris which centred on the introduction to charisms and the different congregations that are part of the church, including diocesan priesthood. The camp was also graced further with the sharing from His Eminence Soter Fernandez, Archbishop Julian Leow, Sr. Fatima and Sr. Theresa, ISP., Sr. Mary, DSP., and Fr. Eugene Benedict on their vocation stories and their love for God.
Participants of the vocation camp were touched at the infinitesimal abundance of God’s mercy and love. Their young hearts resounded with God’s call to love and serve one another in His name. Most of all, it was the hope that comes from the Lord that touched their hearts. For we are not called to be our own strength, rather in answering God’s call, we rely in abandonment in Him, through Him and with Him. As a family united in the love of God, let us continue to open our hearts and ears to answering His call, in a continuum of prayer to unite our will with His perfect will. God does not call us on our terms or on our time, but in His perfect time.
Psalm 95 beautifully echoes, ‘ O that today you would listen to his voice, harden not your hearts’. We as imperfect people continue to seek perfection in Christ together, as a living church, striving everyday to answer His call to love and to serve.