|Bell Tower (Photo credit: Annoysius)|
I am using my iPhone to access the Internet to write this.
We had a heavy thunderstorm a few days ago and it knocked out most of our electrical system and phone lines, which we are now slowly recovering and bringing them back to normal. Meantime, our Internet line is still unavailable and the Singtel maintenance personnel haven't gotten round to our place yet to look in our predicament even though they said they would come by between 2 - 6 pm today. Typical!
This weekend is our Diocean Vocation retreat and we have with us just over 50 participants, young men between the ages of 18 - 35, who will spend the weekend in the Seminary to discern their calling to their priesthood. This is the early stages of the candidates' life as they explore their options toward this vocation and still a long way to go before they even decide to step in the Seminary.
Should they get serious about wanting to join the Seminary, they will have to see the Fathers' of the Seminary (of whom I am one of them) and journey with them for at least a year before any decision is made to take them in.
It is apparent since Fr William Goh took over as Rector of the Seminary that we are looking for quality and not too quick with quantity. If it were quantity, we would undoubtedly have a good bunch of men to help up the population of seminarians which currently stands at 15 this year. However, with the different emotional baggages, misconstrued expectations and possible wrong motivations that many take into the Seminary, the community here would be in a turmoil as we wade our way through all these landmines of human frailties and shortcomings. Hence the need and the putting in place of a need for a more proper and stringent screening. In doing so, the effect is the careful selection of candidates and longer duration of journeying with these aspirants before they are even given the form to register into the Seminary.
While journeying, they have opportunities to attend the Seminary's series of ongoing Vocation recollections and retreats that are done during the year. These give the aspirants a better foothold of their discerning stage as well as to continue to remain connected with the Seminary and the community there.
This weekend's vocation retreat begins for many of the participants a greater journey of life should they decide to take the road less travelled, making all that difference...