Tag Archives: vocation seminar

Religious Vocation Awareness Seminar 2019

Purak, PAPAR – A total of 162 participants (62 males and 100 females),  from various parishes in the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu, Diocese of Keningau  and even as far as from the neighbouring country Brunei attended the vocation Seminar held from 15 – 17 Feb 2019 at Pace Bene retreat Centre. This vocation Seminar was jointly organized by the Council of Religious (COR) in the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu which is currently headed by Br.Thomas Paul, SG. 

According to Fr. Valentine Gompok (OFM Cap), one of the members of the organizing committee, the Council of Religious (COR), initiated this joint vocation Seminar 10 years ago as a way of collaboration among the various congregations serving in the archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu for vocation promotion. Five years later the COR extended an invitation to other congregations from other dioceses within Malaysia to come and participate in the Seminar. And for the first time this year, the Order of the Pious School (Piarist) (Sch.P) Philippines secured permission from the Archbishop to participate.

This yearly vocation seminar is intended to be an eye opener and give a kind of exposure to the youths of the various religious congregations presently serving in the archdiocese as well as other dioceses within Malaysia or even outside Malaysia. 

Six women religious congregations and eight male religious orders were present to showcase or share with the participants about their respective Charism and Mission: the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (FSIC), Good Shepherd  Sisters (RGS), Daughters of St. Paul (FSP), Franciscan Missionary of Mary (FMM) Sisters from Petaling Jaya & Singapore, Sisters of the Divine Saviour (SDS) or Salvatorian, based in Melaka Johor Diocese, De La Salle Brothers (FSC), Brothers of St. Gabriel (SG), Marist Brothers of the School (FMS), Clerical Society of the Most Holy Trinity of Mirinae (SST), Order of Franciscan Friar Minor (OFM), Order of Franciscan Friar Minor Capuchin (OFM Cap), Order of the Pious School (Piarist) (Sch.P) and Society of Jesus also known as the Jesuits (SJ). And though not physically present, the Order of Discalced Carmelite Nuns (OCD) was with the team spiritually. A presentation on their Congregation’s Charism and Mission was done by Sr.Bibianah,fsp on their behalf.

The seminar started with the registration, followed by opening Mass, concelebrated by 6 priests from various orders. After dinner there were ice-breaker activities and then the logistic and safety briefing before the night prayer.

A talk on religious Vocation was given by Fr. Valentine, OFMCap, on the Second day. He explained to the participants about the importance of prayers in religious life and the 3 vows which they profess. A topic on Discernment and some practical and helpful examples on how to discern their religious vocation was also given by Br.Egbertus Jaikol, FSC.

Due to the large number of participants, the organizing committee decided to divide the afternoon session on the second day into male and female categories. During this time, the various religious congregations accordingly took turns to present their respective charism and mission to the participants. On Sunday, another talk on Spiritual life was given by Fr. Raphael, OFMCap. He highlighted our connectedness with God in Spirit as we have been created in His image and likeness.

For the duration of the seminar, the schedule was arranged in such a way that the participants shared responsibility to clean the refectory and wash plates after each meal.  There was time for group dynamics, praise and worship, personal and community prayer, an hour of adoration, as well as allotted time for spiritual direction.  Before the Seminar ended a piece of paper with the list of the various congregations were distributed to the candidates and each candidate was encouraged to put a check on a particular congregation which they would like to know more and the next day return the filled up form to the congregation concerned. This way will be helpful to follow up the candidate and assist them to make further discernment in their vocation.

Jordan Juhakim from Stella Maris Parish, was grateful for having participated in the vocation Seminar. He came to understand better the life of religious priests, brothers and sisters. He said that he encountered various challenges on his way to Purak. He took a train to Papar and he lost his way. From the train station he had to walk for 2 hours 45 minutes to reach Purak. Notwithstanding the challenges along the way, it didn’t dampen his Spirit. Instead he learned patience and perseverance amidst challenges and he realized that Jesus is truly the way and the Truth and the life.

Likewise, Mary Kasmih from St. Peter Claver Church, Ranau, a first time participant expressed her joy and contentment for the opportunity to join in the Seminar. All the sessions had given her better understanding about religious life and she also learned many things from the various congregations.

After the closing Eucharistic celebration, Br.Thomas, SG, in his concluding speech thanked all the Franciscan Sisters, the staff and management of Pace Bene under the Supervision of Sr. Juliana, the superior of the Retreat Centre, who allowed the religious and participants to occupy the place for the weekend seminar free of charge. He also thanked all the various congregations as well as the participants of the vocation seminar from far and near who contributed to the success of the Seminar. It was surely a memorable moment for all especially those who participated in the Vocation Seminar for the first time. – kkdiocese.net

Almost 200 attend annual vocation seminar for diocesan priesthood

Participants listen intently to the sharing of one of the presenters.

BUNDU TUHAN – Almost 200 young men attended the annual vocation seminar for diocesan priesthood at the Bundu Tuhan Retreat Centre here on 13-15 Jan 2017.

One hundred eighty-seven participants came from the three dioceses: 120 from Kota Kinabalu Archdiocese, 44 from Keningau Diocese and 23 from Sandakan Diocese.

Joining them were 46 seminarians including three from Kuala Lumpur Archdiocese (doing their pastoral here), aspirants and seven priests including two Mill Hill Missionaries, Father Terry Burke and Father John McAuley.

Archbishop John Wong presided over the concelebrated opening Mass.  In his homily, he challenged the participants to reflect why they were there and who has drawn them to the seminar.

After dinner, Father Rayner Bisius welcomed the participants and briefed them on the programme before Seminarian Wilfred introduced them to the priestly vocation.

Sessions included sharings from Fr Michael Modoit (My Journey to Diocesan Priesthood) and Father Sunny Chung (My Ministry as a Diocesan Priest).  Time was given for personal reflection after each session.

Participants were also given time in the afternoon to speak individually to any of the priests present.  At the same time, the two Mill Hill priests were given the opportunity to share their missionary vocation.  A videoclip on vocation was screened.  Some seminarians also shared their stories.

Taize prayer and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament with Benediction were two forms of prayer used to facilitate the participants’  encounter with  the Lord.

A forum with Q&A session was held on the last day.  It was a lively session as the participants took part actively by raising up questions and doubts.

Father Simon Kontou presided over the closing Mass.  At the end of Mass, Fr Rayner announced the names of the 16 candidates who will join the aspirancy programme at the Catholic Archdiocesan Centre Penampang on February 3.

The names of the candidates are:
KK Archdiocese: Evisdateh Paul (Kiulu), Heldy Amin (kiulu), Ronald Aloysius (Limbahau), Xavier M John (Limbabau), Walter Pukin (Ranau), Welter Manjamin (Ranau), Desmond Kong (Terawi), Brandon Martin (Terawi), Roster L Solaiman (Bundu Tuhan), Adrian L Lojikip (Penampang).
Keningau Diocese: Simleton Pius (Keningau), Timothy Ivan Galisin (Keningau), Albady Marcus (Sook), Brywinedren Godon (Beaufort).
Sandakan Diocese: Adderly Benjamin (Sandakan), Jonathan Seah (Sandakan).

Following are what  some of the participants said about the seminar:

Carlos Alfero, 20, Penampang: The seminar was syok! [colloquial expression for something enjoyable].  I have learnt so many things and experiences about life in the seminary which I have never known before.

Philip Stanislaus, 18, Toboh Laut: I feel very happy because I know better now about the calling to the priesthood.  I have met many new friends and I feel glad that so many people are thinking about the priesthood like me. I am not alone in this journey.

Ronald Japar, 19, Nabawan: I know better about the priesthood now and the process of becoming a priest.  I learn many new things.

Duncan Benjamin, 17, Ranau: I feel really great and hope I will have the opportunity to participate again next year.  The activities, especially the ice-breakers – were really awesome.  I just can’t describe how happy I was to be there for the first time.  I have learnt a lot.  For example, to socialise with others, to gain more knowledge about the MHM, etc.  I would say it was one of the best seminars I have joined so far. – Seminarian Sylvester Wong

Youth and parents attend vocation seminar

papar

PAPAR – St Joseph Church Vocation Committee organised a vocation seminar at  St Kenneth Church, Kelatuan here on 27 Aug 2016.

One hundred and five youth, including their parents, attended the seminar. The team committee consists of assistant parish priest, Fr Thomas Madanan, Franciscan Sr Juanah Saliun, Peter Pang, Victoria Appolonius, Laura Julius, Lester Randy and Christy Jane Edmund.

The seminar opened with a praise and worship session led by St Kenneth church choir, followed with the Bible enthronement by Fr Madanan. He immediately started the seminar with two sessions called ‘What is Vocation calling?’ and ‘Vocation to the Priesthood.’  Then Sr Saliun took over with the third talk called ‘Vocation to Religious Life.’

Then  the participants were divided into several youth groups and parents groups. Topics discussed in the youth groups were: ‘How do I know I have the calling?’ and ‘How do I respond and what’s my action?’   The parents discussed  two topics as well: ‘How do I know that my children have a calling?’ and ‘How do I support them?’

The seminar saw active participation from both  age groups in the sharing sessions and in presenting their findings.

Fr Madanan concluded the seminar with a summary,  followed by lunch. – Laura Julius (St Joseph Papar Secretary Vocation Committee)

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