Annual retreat for Initiation Year seminarians 2022

After coping with the changes that stem from a seminarian’s life for over two terms, an annual retreat was a fitting program for the eight Initiation Year (IY) seminarians to undergo.

Sep 26, 2022

Seminarians at the concluding Eucharist with Fr Wilson.


By Seminarian Natheniel, Diocese of Sibu

After coping with the changes that stem from a seminarian’s life for over two terms, an annual retreat was a fitting program for the eight Initiation Year (IY) seminarians to undergo.

The retreat, which was conducted at La Foresta Franciscan Hermitage, Kiulu by Fr Wilson Francis as the retreat master, lasted for four days from Sep 12-15.

It was filled with spiritual talks divided into eight significant topics, and concluded with a recapitulation that summed up ‘Discipleship’ as the crux of it, and set ‘Silence’ as the entire mood.

As the retreat was a clarion call for a time of prayer, silence, and solitude for the seminarians, they were assigned to seven prayer huts dotted over the hill.

The retreat master consecrated the whole retreat and sessions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  

He revealed the reality of the priesthood vocation as he stressed the costs of “discipleship”.

Fr Wilson underlined, it is crucial for self-awareness of one’s flaws and imperfections as a mortal and human being, which calls for a reflection on the body as a means of salvation.

Throughout the retreat, Fr Wilson emphasized “the importance and power of silence against the dictatorship of noise”, quoting Cardinal Robert Sarah in his book.

He added, the significance of “silence” as the way through which the Holy Spirit works.

Pointing to the Transfiguration as a prefiguration of our transformation if we cooperate with the Holy Spirit, Fr Wilson underscored that it is a preparation or pre-requisite for the true identity of every believer, that is, our discipleship.

In addition, discipleship also entails betrayal and the current reality of the Catholic Church, which was brought to reflection by all.

He also commissioned the seminarians for their study and reflection the extract from the Gospel of Luke, Chapters 9-12, which clearly narrated the life and ministry of Christ.

For their reflection on the Sacred Heart of Jesus as a mirror of the unconditional love of Christ that drives one towards reconciliation both with God and with neighbour, Fr Wilson conducted a foot-washing ceremony in the chapel, to begin a new bond of love and reconciliation among the seminarians, as well as to foster peace and fraternal communion between brothers of the same vocation, on the final night of the retreat.

The retreat was concluded with a Eucharistic celebration preceded by the simultaneous recitation of the rosary and the visitation of huts, which ended at the Grotto of Mary. A fraternal luncheon was prepared by the Franciscan sisters before bidding farewell.--Today's Catholic

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