Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19
Many men have answered the call of Jesus to become ‘fishers of men’, on the 24th and 25th February, 15 young men attended to know more about this call of Jesus and to understand more about this journey with Christ. The camp began with introduction to the Liturgy of the Hours after the morning prayers and breakfast.
Deacon Dominic Tan explained all about the Liturgy of the Hours to the English speaking group while Deacon Simon Lau explained to the Mandarin speaking group. Deacon Dominic also explained that we should not be afraid of silence instead, we should embrace it. He also emphasized that prayer is the most essential element for discerning one’s vocation. The second session was conducted by Fr. Gerald Theraviam who started by introducing the participants to two verses form the Gospel: John 10:10 and Luke14: 26-27. Fr. Gerald related the two verses to the life of a diocesan priest and told the participants to reflect on them. Besides that, he also shared about his experience of being alive as a priest so others may have life as well and about the discovery of his vocation. He also spoke about abandoning his life and choosing God’s way of life for him instead of relying on his own choice. He explained about priesthood and celibacy before clarifying about the difference between religious priesthood and diocesan priesthood.
Fr. Chris being the vocation director, gave a talk on choosing the right vocation by introducing the different calls to vocation in the Bible namely Moses, the Samaritan woman, Philip and the rest. He also emphasized that discernment should be done in Christ. He encouraged the participants to talk to a spiritual director and attending daily mass. The participants also got a chance to listen to Cardinal Soter’s experience in his journey of priesthood and invited the participants to visit him. The participants later watched a short inspiring video entitled ‘Fishers of Men” and were told to reflect on what they have heard and seen in the video. Fr. George Harrison who came for a short while, spoke to the participants about his experience on finding his vocation and how he found his calling to learn Mandarin so that he could also reach out to the Chinese speaking community. Fr. Chris emphasized that everyone has a talent and it should be encouraged but the decision is always made by themselves. The participants attended sunset mass at Holy Family Kajang. After the sunset mass, they had a session with Fr. Surain Durai Raj and fr. Philip Chua who shared about diocesan priest mission works at Kajang and surroundings that are connected to Holy Family Church.
The talk on seminary formation was one of the most interesting session as Deacon Dominic Tan explained the amount of time it takes to complete the seminary formation, the process and about seminary life. He also shared his experience in seminary and his pastoral immersion in the innermost part of Sarawak. Bishop Murphy also dropped by to speak to the participants and shared his journey in priesthood and his experience meeting Pope Francis. He stressed that the world belongs to all people and emphasized that priests are called to serve all people even those from different religions.
Fr. Chris concluded the camp by summarizing all the sessions. He explained that we need the seminary to learn. He also reminded the participants that hospitality is important to all priests. He also encouraged the participants to be active in the different ministries in the church to become a better leader and to love the church. After sharing his own vocation story, Fr. Chris reminded them that temptation will be there but the participants should also discern well and decide what will make them happy not just on the outside but on the inside (heart) as well.
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