“Celebrate Life!” Is there really reason to celebrate life, in our stressful and hectic Singaporean lifestyle? The group, Singles For Christ (SFC) seems to think so as it organised the Christian Life Program (CLP) with this theme over the weekend of August 4-6 in the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (FMM) House of Prayer and Formation at Holland Road.
The CLP program used to be held as a series of 13 sessions over a period of 3 months in several parishes, but SFC decided to make a change, and for the better, as it saw its enrolment rise to an all-time high of 40.
CLP introduces one to the essentials of Christian life, a life that is worth celebrating. Speakers from SFC spoke on God’s Love, Repentance and Faith, and Life in the Holy Spirit, culminating in the baptism of the Holy Spirit on the last day. Participants were also invited to sign a covenant of the SFC, agreeing to be a committed and active member, and make oneself available to the Lord for service.
A participant, Mr Timothy Burton, 28, found the retreat fulfilling, as he found a ‘very clear perspective’ on his mission on what he is to do in his life from thence on.
Teresa Tan, 21, a law student at the London School of Economics, found the inspiration to attend the retreat from her parish (Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary) priest, Fr James Yeo, at a morning Mass. He advised the congregation then to go away for a retreat, just as Jesus told His disciples to pray at a quiet place. As Teresa had been discerning on whether she should take up a religious vocation for about 5 years, so she attended this retreat to deepen her relationship with God. After deciding not to take God for granted, she started attending Mass and pray the Rosary daily. Inspired by Carmelite saints, Ss Terese of Liseux, Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross, she gained a quiet spirituality, quite unlike the exuberant and charismatic SFC way. “I’m very glad that there are so many lay movements around to ‘cast out the net and gather the fish in for God.” Although she prefers the more formal and traditional style of worship, she is glad that this will “reach out to people who think that ‘traditional’ is too stiff and boring”. The retreat “affirmed everything I learnt during my own process when God drew me”, and she now knows there are movements that share what she knows in the way that appeals to them.
Singles for Christ is affiliated to Couples for Christ (CFC), which is associated with the Family Life Society. Please contact Bernard Yeong at 95262896, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the CFC web site at http://welcome.to/couplesforchrist.
This article appeared edited in the September 3 2000 issue of The Catholic News.