Advent Programme 2012

The MAS Jesuits Vocation Director's Office recently organized a week long Advent Programme (10 December - 16 December 2012) for men who are discerning their true calling in life. Participants spent a week living a life of prayer and apostolic work at the Loyola Jesuit Novitiate, Kingsmead Hall in Singapore. 

The programme started with a three day silent retreat on the theme "The Giver, the Receiver and the Gift". The participants were asked to reflect on themselves, their relationship with God and their purpose in life - essentially, it was an invitation to meditate on the Principle and Foundation of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

From 13 to 15 December, we went to the "Gift of Love" home, "Willing Hearts" soup kitchen and the Christmas party organized by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul at Risen Christ parish. The participants were encouraged to "live out" the graces they had received during the three day retreat and share them with others. It was also a good time, while serving others, for them to reflect deeper on their gifts and limitations, and what the Lord is asking of them. At the "Gift of Love" home, we helped the sisters with preparation for their annual Christmas family day and also to assist in serving residence. During the afternoon spent at "Willing Hearts" soup kitchen, we assisted in washing and cleaning, and preparing food for the next day. At Risen Christ parish, we pitched in to help the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in their Christmas party for their friends-in-need (FINs).

On the last day of the Advent programme, the participants reverted to grand silence once again to recollect their experiences over the three days of apostolic work. A number of young men who could not come for the Advent programme, nonetheless, took the time and effort to join us for the day of recollection. The programme ended with a closing mass celebrated by Fr. Leslie Raj, SJ and an early Christmas dinner.

We thank the Lord for his guidance and love during the programme. The vocation director's office hopes to organize similar programmes in the near future.

More photographs of the programme may be found at the MAS Jesuits Vocations Facebook page here.