Tag Archives: retreat

Retreat in preparation for First Holy Communion

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION is the third of the seven sacraments received and is an important rite of passage in a young Catholic’s life. 112 candidates ranging from 10 to 15 years, participated in the two days retreat at Pace Bene, Purak, Papar, which is situated about 42 km from Sacred Heart Cathedral, on 20-21 August 2018. The main aim of this retreat is to prepare the candidates on the importance of receiving the Eucharist and also understanding the sacrament of penance or confession. Apart from knowing the proceedings of the Holy Mass, candidates also learnt how to recognise and use the Catholic Bible. The programme was organised by Sunday School Faith Formation English language class, Anne Charles with Neil Mah as the retreat master. The candidates are to receive their First Holy Communion on Oct 20, 2018. – Susan Graham

167 Sandakan catechists attend annual retreat

BUNDU TUHAN – Some 167 catechists from Sandakan Diocese attended their annual retreat at the retreat centre here on 21-24 June 2018.  The theme of the retreat was “Christ our Hope” (Heb 10:23).

The retreat was facilitated by Father Charles Chiew of Keningau.  The conferences were based on Matthew 12:15-21, 1 Cor 13:1-13, Heb 11:1-7, 1 Tim 4:6-16, and 1 Pet 1:13-16.

Aside from the conferences, time was given to the rite of peace and reconciliation among the participants. – Sandakan Diocesan Blog

Bethel English Prayer Community refreshes itself with retreat

KOTA KINABALU  – Members of the Bethel English Prayer Community (BEPC), or better known as the English Prayer Meeting, took off to the retreat centre at Bundu Tuhan on 9-11 Feb 2018, to rejuvenate and strengthen themselves for another year of activities.

Of the 40 participants, some are currently serving in the ministry while others are those who have responded to the invitation to serve in the BEPC in the year ahead.

Though the prayer meeting has existed since 1974, it has been through many memorable moments, as well as challenging ones.

Currently, the BEPC, with Carlos Cordova as the interim coordinator, is acting as a caretaker for the prayer community pending the expiry of the current leadership to pave way for the election of new leaders this year.

BEPC also paid a courtesy visit to Father Paul Lo as the new assistant parish priest and introduced themselves to him at the close of last year.

Apart from the weekly Praise and Worship, sharing and in-house talks, BEPC also has a special ministry that caters for benevolent prayers, hospital visits and other spiritual outreach for the members. All are invited to join the BEPC for a time of praise and worship every Friday at 8:00 pm at the Sacred Heart Parish Centre, Room F7.

The Bethel English Prayer Community is one of 70 plus ministry/community groups that are flourishing in the Sacred Heart Cathedral parish. – Joe Carlos Leong, CS

55 Kuching single women attend first retreat

Fr Albert Jacobse celebrating the anniversary Mass for the Single Women Ministry prior to the retreat conducted by Wendy Louise (inset)

KUCHING — The Catholic Singles Women Ministry (CSWM), formed in August 2016, headed by their spiritual advisers Father Jerome Juleng and Sister Marie Celine SSFS, had their first retreat themed ‘Daughters of Light’ on 18 -19 November 2017. 

Wendy Louis, the speaker, is the Executive Secretary of Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) Office, Singapore. She has been a formator and trainer for over 20 years. Her rich experiences in working with various church organisations and speaking from the perspectives of a lay person yet in total conformity with church teachings, makes her a good speaker.

Wendy took the 55 retreatants to a new level of understanding of what it means to be beloved Daughters of Light. She shared on how to be a light to others and how to exercise the common priesthood in daily life. In other words, how to be Church with a mission.

She opened the minds and hearts of the participants to the tender gaze of God and helped them experience the joy and fruitfulness of the single life and to be a gift to others.

Wendy reminded all that there are challenges in every state of life. Nevertheless, the singles can stay engaged and connected in their lives with God through contemplative prayer, a ministry of presence and a culture of love and service.

Each lay ministry in the church must embody the four hallmarks of the church: One (united to the parish), Holy (God centred), Catholic (being inclusive) and Apostolic (servant leadership).

Retreatants were also given time for self-reflection and personal resolution.

Father Albert Jacobse MHM who presided over CSWM first anniversary Mass and the Sunday Mass preached on using one’s talents for the good of others. He reminded the daughters of light to always walk in the light of God.

The feedback from the retreatants was very positive and encouraging.  – todayscatholic

Children learn about “mercy” at retreat

children liturgy

BUNDU TUHAN – A hundred made it to the Children’s Liturgy annual retreat, organised by the SHC Children’s Liturgy Ministry at the retreat centre here on 14-16 Mar 2016 with the theme “Merciful Jesus, I trust in you.”

Of the hundred who went, 73 were children while the rest were adults and young helpers who were there as volunteers to help manage the children.

The retreat master, Neil Mah, gave his talks based on the Holy Year of Mercy. Activities included The Way of the Cross, Washing of Feet and preparing the ‘Holy Door of Mercy.’

For one of the activities, participants were divided into groups of eight and each group drew up a picture based on one of the biblical stories depicting ‘mercy.’  The laminated pictures were then pinned on the frame of the main door, on which other pictures of merciful acts by people in general were also displayed. Prior to preparing this ‘Holy Door,’  Neil Mah showed some video clips which helped the children understand how mercy was shown in the bible parables and events in Jesus’ ministry.

After the ‘Holy Door’ activity was completed, every time participants entered or exited the ‘door,’ they would say a prayer and sing a short song on mercy.

During the Way of the Cross session, the passion of Christ was explained to the children, which lasted about an hour.

The washing of feet also helped to give the children an understanding of Jesus humbling Himself before his disciples. Some children were touched during this solemn activity. Adults and young helpers all participated and most felt humbled and touched while washing the feet of others.

Other activities included recitation of the Holy Rosary during a Morning Prayer session, some light games to give the children some play time, morning exercises led by the young adult helpers. Not only did the young adult helpers do a commendable job in leading the children during the morning exercises, but they also managed the children well with action songs and games.

Adam Leong (10) said that he believed he was touched by the Holy Spirit while watching the short clips on “The Prodigal Son.”  It taught me that no matter what we do, God our Father in heaven will always forgive us.

Shawn Leong (16) said that he was inspired by all the short clips about the “Parables of Mercy.”   I learned a lot about mercy, like forgiving one another and about sacrifice. I also learned about the “Holy Door of Mercy” and the true meaning of mercy. This year I was chosen to be a group leader. I’m glad to serve God.

Bryan Leong (18) felt blessed and happy to join the camp and to participate as a helper. I learned a lot and was touched, especially during the part of “washing of the feet” when every member in my group came up to wash my feet.

The Boey family (Arielle, 9, Samuel, 10, Shawn, 12 and Abigail, 14) now understand about the Jubilee Year of Mercy, why the Pope announced it, the prayer for entering the Holy Door, knowing God’s mercy shown through the examples of mercy in the parables and stories of the bible. They were happy to be able to participate and work together in ‘making’ the Holy Door.

They shared their understanding on how Jesus went through His sufferings by learning about the Stations of the Cross. They were also now able to understand how little their suffering is compared to Jesus’ suffering. The washing of feet helped them to see Jesus’ humility and service. They would definitely join the camp again and were inspired to give themselves over to serve when they are older. – Vera Golinsu

SH youth leaders ‘follow the Passion of the Lord’

shc youth leadersBUNDU TUHAN – Forty-six young people from the various youth ministries of Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish gathered together at Bundu Tuhan Retreat Center for a retreat, which was called for by Archbishop John Wong, the parish priest. The attendees were “core team” members of the respective youth ministries in the parish.

The theme for the weekend was “Following the Passion of the Lord”. The purpose was for the leaders to deepen their understanding of their mission and role as leaders in service of the youth in the parish, as well as to get to know fellow leaders from other ministries better. It was also the first of such a weekend that was held for youth leaders in the parish.

Anthony Lim was  the speaker and retreat master of the weekend. The sessions that were given were drawn out from the movie, “The Passion of the Christ” and were given over five main “reflections”, which emphasised on mission, conversion and discipleship, the nature of sin and evil, the passion of God’s saving love, and the seven last words of Jesus. Time was given for everyone to ponder on all they have heard through personal reflection, group sharing, and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and the Sacrament of Reconciliation for those who required.

Archbishop John Wong, together with Deacon Joshua Liew, were present with the youth throughout the whole weekend.  In his homily, the prelate said he was happy to see the response of the youth leaders for the weekend. He drew out from the Gospel on how Jesus revealed the glory of God through a blind man with impediment, and encouraged everyone to be open to be used by God in any way that He wants. Aline Lim

Throughout the retreat I can really feel God’s love  pouring out for me and increasing my desire to serve Him and His people. It was an amazing experience where I learned so many things just by reflecting on “The Passion Of Christ.”  Words can’t express how blessed I feel to be God’s instrument even when I am weak and broken. I am looking forward to the next leadership retreat for all the youth leaders for this is a good place where all of us can come together to be renewed, to draw closer to God, and to bond with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Edna Thecla

I was excited and eagerly waited for what Jesus has in store for me on this retreat. The Passion movie has helped to deepen my knowledge about faith. The explanation and sharing by Uncle Anthony Lim about the role of each person who was with Jesus along the way has helped me to reflect my own relationship with Jesus and my service to Him. The words, “Jesus was born to die, and to save people from sin, the veil of the Temple is opened for everyone,” made me ask myself, “What then is my purpose?” The answer is to find, know, love and serve like Jesus. I am also moved by the presence of our Archbishop who was always with us, treating us, providing us with lots of snacks, just like Jesus treating the children with full of love and patience. – Lily Yaacob

I will sum the weekend in a few words, Friendship, Unity, Love and Truth.  I’ve learned and also have been reminded again how important friendship with one another is in our service for the Lord and that we ought to ‘die’ (losing or giving up what we hold dear) to the people we call friends or neighbours.  The Year of Mercy is once again reminding me of God’s mercy for all and therefore, I too should be merciful to others. Denis Tsen

The details of the retreat were kept well by the organisers, for it was only when I was in the retreat that all excitement was unveiled and I enjoyed the retreat. I have watched the Passion movie more than five times. The movie has always given me the message of Jesus’ love, and it had always made me cry. However, I had a whole new insight when I watched it this time. This time I realised the beauty of ‘gaze’.  Mother Mary’s gaze upon the suffering of her Son Jesus, the disciples’ gaze upon their master, Simon helps Jesus with the cross, Veronica wipes the face of Jesus and other scenes had help me to realise the beauty of ‘gaze’. I am an active youth and occasionally will organise community activities in the church. With this, I started to reflect on my personal relationship with Jesus. Did I gaze into Jesus’s eyes? Did I communicate with Him? Did I gaze upon the face of Jesus in the silence of my heart? All this had helped me to examine my relationship with Jesus, and how to communicate with Jesus in stillness. I am so thankful that the organiser had arranged such a warm hearted retreat as it refreshed me and redeveloped my relationship with Jesus. I’m looking forward for the next youth retreat. Margaret Chung

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