True leadership begins with inner transformation

Leaders of the Church of St Anthony gathered for a day of recollection April 27, to delve into a day of spiritual nourishment and growth in their leadership journey.

May 10, 2024

Participants choosing a photo that best reflect themselves.

KUALA LUMPUR: Leaders of the Church of St Anthony gathered for a day of recollection April 27, to delve into a day of spiritual nourishment and growth in their leadership journey.

They represented a tapestry of services within the parish (ministries and BECs). Their shared purpose was clear — to deepen their spiritual understanding and enhance their service to both the parish and its community, so that the Church of St Anthony would continue to thrive, guided by leaders who walked the path of spiritual growth.

Fr Gerard Theraviam, parish priest of the Cathedral of St John the Evangelist led the sessions. His gentle demeanour and insights immediately put everyone at ease. His wisdom and commitment to nurturing servant leaders set the tone for the day.

During the session, Fr Gerard emphasised that true leadership begins with an inner transformation — a journey of the soul. He encouraged the leaders to cultivate virtues such as humility, compassion, and patience. “A leader who serves with love,” he said, “is a beacon of light for others.

The sessions unfolded in Dewan Dominic at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Centre (APC), where the parish leaders gathered as one to learn, share, and grow together. They listened intently as Fr Gerard spoke about the importance of ensuring the continuity of their leadership and service in the church by preparing the next generation of leaders to continue the good work that they do for the Lord.

“Leadership,” he reminded, “is not about the years of serving; it’s about aspiring to inspire and make each individual in the team a better version of themselves.” He added that leaders should always ask the question — why we do what we do and who it is for. “Then every task is a joy and done with a firmer purpose.”

The participants contemplated their own lives — busy schedules, responsibilities, and the need to pause and listen to the whispers of the Lord to guide their actions.

Fr Gerard encouraged the leaders to always put the team’s vision, mission, and goal in prayer. “We can do all things through Him, Who strengthens us.”

Parish priest Fr Dr Clarence Devadass, who also joined the sessions in prayer, sharing, and reflection, emphasised the power of being still and leaving things to God.

“As leaders,” he explained, “we are sometimes too occupied with what’s next, an ongoing race of moving from one thing to another, but we must remember to stand still and leave it in prayer with God. Only then can we lead with focus because God is leading the way and making it happen in His time.”

The leaders also engaged with Fr Michel Dass, the parish’s new assistant parish priest. His youthful enthusiasm and humour charmed everyone. Fr Michel shared stories of his journey to the priesthood, emphasising the joy of serving God’s people as a good shepherd.

“We, as leaders, must be the shepherds who go after the lost sheep, and that will make us stronger as a church, community, ministry, or team.” He added that a leader should know his sheep and put their skills to the best use to serve the parish.

The session ended with closing remarks by Fr Gerard and Fr Clarence, followed by a closing prayer by Fr Michel. The leaders left the day of recollection with a deeper sense of purpose — a commitment to lead from love, with purpose, and in prayer. At the end of the sessions, the leaders departed, knowing that their service is a sacred calling and that they have indeed been chosen to fulfil the Lord’s purpose for His people.

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