Monday, April 30, 2007

Diocesan Celebration for Vocation Sunday 2007

Yesterday i attended the 44th World Day of Prayer for Vocations held at the Church of the Holy Family, Singapore.

'Men of Prayer'
Some of the brothers (Seminarians) already in deep prayer even before the event.

The 'great musicians' of the seminary with the back up singer!!!
Br. Andrew - Organist
Br. Surain - guitarist
Br. Jovita - another loud speaker like me who keep the balance in the chapel when we sing!!!

"Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send send out labourers into His harvest"
Leading in praise and worship with Br. Joseph

With the parish altar servers who are full of life and joy
"keep it up guys, had a great time with you all,
for those La Sallians...keep the flag high man!!" All through our college...

Oh!! Curi-curi makan tak beritahu i ya!!!!
The brothers having tea with Fr. Christopher

This event yesterday brought back at least 3 memories:-

1. My involvement in Vocation Promotions was when I was in my teens. We use to have Prayer Vigils organized in the various districts. Good turn out of youths and some elderly. It has been always great working with some religious brothers and sisters too. Nowadays it is sad to see in some dioceses where even in vocation promotion they are divided. Diocesan promoting and having prayer service for the diocesan only and religious doing the same for their own congregation. We always pray the prayer of Jesus "Father...that they may be one..." (Jn 17:21-22) for Christian Unity, but i seriously feel we must also use this prayer of Jesus and join him in praying for unity in vocations promotions. There are lot of cries for the lack of vocations; disunity in vocation promotions can be one of the reason for it!!. How can we attract people when they see us not in unity especially when we are promoting to serve the ONE Lord. Jesus said at the conclusion of the same text..."that the world may believe that you sent me"; so how can people believe in Jesus and his invitation when they do not see his ministers in unity in vocation promotions. The Lord's servants at the field (both diocesan and religious) should work together and sow the seed of vocation and Let God direct them to his special ministry which he has decided for them. Just imagine the resources and manpower including the ideas that we can benefit through working together. I thank God that at least in my Archdiocese (Kuala Lumpur) we still have the Arcdiocesan Vocation Promotion Team (AVPT) that works in collaboration with the Diocesan and the Religious Orders. We have camps and prayers services organized together and we allow also individual orders to organize their own camps especially for those seriously thinking about the specific order. But when it comes to prayer services such as Vocation Prayer Day, they will organize it together.

I was also active in promoting vocations for the Carmelite Sisters. We were known as 'Young Friends of Carmel'. The group comprises 10 youths. Out of the 10 youths, 1 girl (i heard she is still) considering the Carmelite and 2 who considered the Diocesan (1 of the 2 has joined the Diocesan Seminary and is in the 7th year now....hehehe...its Me. Surprise yeah, that i didn't join the Carmelites as priests even after meeting with a Carmelite Priest a few times. The Priest and the Sisters shared with me about their spirituality but still kept the option open for me to choose. And through discernment in prayer and after meeting with few priest i seriously felt my calling was to be a diocesan priest).

2) Altar Servers!!! Yes, this also brought back some memories. I had a good time with the Altar Servers of the parish over dinner yesterday. Lively servers. I was an altar server for 9 years. Left it to join the various different ministries for experience (e.g. Youth Hospitality Ministers, Lector and Announcer, Choir (I know nuts about music, but loved singing), Parish Vocation Team and Member in the Liturgical Council -this one was like a 'life member'.
I always enjoyed serving and i believe my vocation was nurtured when i was a server too. Being with the servers last night brought to mind all the good times we had which i miss so dearly now (the games, camps, meetings, 'bullying', ang pow for serving the wedding masses, preparing for mass especially the big feasts and of course all the 'makan').

3) The third that brought back memories was leading in praise and worship. After yesterday, i think i need to brush up. The days when i was in the youths, we use to do it often, and i remember leading in worship so confidently and just like 'soaring' in the wings of the spirit of God. I found this feeling lacking yesterday; Why ah? Those days we were so 'on' in praise and worship, now 'kayu' already!! Hey Colin B Raj, i know you are proud of me!!! hehehe.