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TAMPARULI – Catholic Student Group (CSG) from Universiti Malaysia Sabah brought its newly appointed members of Exco-Biro and Board of Directors and other members to Beatitude Retreat House in Kg Minangkop Tamparuli to attend a programme called Serve and Preparation Camp (SPC) on 6-8 Apr 2018.
The programme aimed to help the members to prepare themselves to serve young Catholics in the institute and to further open themselves to serve the outside community.
It also brought the participants to know and acknowledge Jesus Christ as their foundation in serving one another.
The theme for the programme was taken from Luke 2:35 “…and a sword will pierce your soul too…” while St Teresa of Calcutta was chosen as the patron saint for the programme.
Highlights of SPC were the implementation of Semi-Silence and Grand Silence, sessions of Examen, The Joy of Serving, LDK (Latihan Dalam Kumpulan), The Greatest Weakness Pride, Games, and Pre- Liturgy.
Grand Silence was to deepen the reflection and discernment of serving God in CSG-UMS. Semi Silence was implemented on the second night. One of the advantages of these exercises was preserving the silence of the night so that other people around the retreat house could rest and sleep.
The Examen was to help the participants a) to become aware of God’s Presence, b) to review the day which includes all emotions experienced that day for e.g. joy, sorrow, disappointment, melancholy, wrath, fear, c) to give thanks for everything that occured that day regardless of whether it was happy or disappointing because it was His plan, d) to face your shortcomings by looking at the weaknesses or sins throughout the day, and e) to look towards tomorrow by asking His forgiveness, repenting and preparing oneself for tomorrow.
In the session, The Joy of Serving, groups of six members discussed the main attributes of a leader and came up with humility, trustworthy, courage, good communication, able to bring out the best in others, and Jesus-centered.
In LDK session, participants were asked to list down five strengths, weaknesses, and improvements that affect them as a community.
Among the strengths identified were open-mindedness, having an open heart, forgiving easily, committed, responsible and asking help from the Holy Spirit.
Among weaknesses identified were laziness in serving, lack of knowledge of the Catholic Church, being judgmental and others.
To aid them in their discussions, the participants were asked how “to be aware in order not to judge” to they answered that reflection on behaviour is needed.
To the question on how to overcome fear in serving, they said prayer should be at the forefront before going out to serve.
In the session, ‘The Greatest Weakness: Pride,’ Samuel Bernard, the facilitator, emphasised on having good communication in order for the CSG to grow.
Samuel illustrated it with the fall of Adam and Eve who blamed others instead of themselves in their pride.
He said, “Saying ‘I’m sorry, I’m wrong, please give me another chance’ is always better but it’s not an excuse to run away from responsibility. – Alvin Cassidy Lajangang