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Vocation Retreat for seminarians, aspirants and candidates for 2019

KENINGAU – Sabah Vocation Team organized a Vocation Retreat, Oct 26-28 at Tatal Retreat House where nine young people participated with the purpose to discover their vocation and be selected for formation at the CDC Aspirant’s Formation House in 2019.

Together with them were 15 aspirants from CDC Formation House and 11 seminarians from St Peter’s College Initiation Year (IY).

The Retreat opened with a Eucharistic Celebration presided by Bishop Cornelius Piong and concelebrated by three vocation directors, Fr Sunny Chung of Sandakan Diocese, Fr Joshua Liew and Fr Mattheus Luta of KK Archdiocese.

The bishop emphasized the need to open ourselves to hear God’s call in order to serve our community. He shared his vocation story and his wisdom-filled advice to choose one direction in life which has influenced his choices in answering the call.

Fr Joshua, Director of CDC Aspirant’s Formation House, welcomed and briefed the participants before the ice breaking activities; followed by watching of  promotional videos about seminary life in the formation houses.

Fr Sunny presided the Mass on the second day, concelebrated by Fr Joshua and Fr Mattheus. In his homily, he likened the sharing of talent among aspirants of his days to the quote from the letter of St Paul that speaks of contributing talents as members of the body of Christ. He exhorted them to explore the call of God in their lives guided by the Holy Spirit.

During the sessions, Fr Sunny and Fr Bonaventure of Keningau Diocese shared about their joys and sorrows in their journey and ministry as a diocesan priest. Fr Sunny said his journey as a seminarian towards the priesthood was not easy but he saw God in every step of the way. Meanwhile Fr Bonaventure shared his joys in serving his community as a shepherd of the flock and thank God for the continuance to serve as a diocesan priest ever since his ordination in 2001.

An interview was held as part of the program to ascertain the participants’ readiness for formation as aspirants next year.

CDC aspirants, Joseph and Heldy and IY seminarians, Addie Frank and Bonnyface shared their vocation story of their calling, struggles and challenges in answering the call and their life in formation house. The second day ended with holy hour cum Taize in the night which was animated to deepen and renew their calling in life.

The third day saw CDC aspirants and IY seminarians answering questions from participants during the forum with topics ranging from late vocation, life in formation house to seminarians’ challenges of humility in their community and in home parishes. 

Fr Mattheus Luta, Director of IY Formation House presided the closing Mass and concelebrated by Fr Sunny Chung. He summarized the retreat and called all to continue to seek to be in a relationship with God in prayer, and to view life with the eyes of faith.

Fr Mattheus said the chosen participants for aspirancy 2019 will be announced during the Vocation Seminar at Bundu Tuhan, Jan 18-20, 2019.

– Timothy G & Jonathan S

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