By Matthew Lau
“I give you a new commandment: love one another; you must love one another just as I have loved you.” – Jn 13:34
About 60 zealous retreat attendees opened their hearts and minds to receive at the inaugural Sacramentum retreat for young adults this past weekend.
The participants – aged 22 to 35 – gathered for three days of reflection, fellowship, prayer and worship at Point Walter Recreation & Conference Centre.
Sacramentum was born from previous young adults’ retreats organised by Catholic Youth Ministry (CYM).
Amador Vargas Jr, Fr Mariusz Grzech, Dr Peter Christofides, Paul Kelly, Dr Marco Ceccarelli, Adeline Bock, and Deacon Chris de Sousa CRS featured as the guest speakers of the event – held from 12 to 14 April.
Dcn Chris, who is preparing for his Ordination to the Priesthood on 11 May, spoke on the topic of “Rediscovering Our Catholic Faith”.
Dcn Chris delved through the Apostles’ Creed as the backbone of his talk, emphasising the powerful influence that the Holy Spirit has as it continues to ensure the presence of Christ in the our Church.
The incarnation of Christ, he said, is indispensable to Catholic doctrine.
“The human nature of Christ meant he could feel pain; He actually died on Good Friday. All of our sufferings as Catholics are aligned with the Cross.
“When we see his Ascension, we know his human body will exist forever. As Christ our Saviour died, so too must we mortals,” Dcn Chris added.
“Being Catholic means sensing God’s presence and saving power sacramentally in our lives. At our baptism, we received the universal call to holiness.”
Having the freedom to choose our own vocation, he said, is a beautiful way of celebrating Catholicism.
“Both celibacy and marriage are considered sacred callings; one is not greater than the other.
“The reason why we can is because at the centre of both is the love of God and the love of others,” Dcn Chris reiterated.
“The saints are models of holiness all around us – we are not alone. Their lives are like windows for us to see.”
CYM Youth Ministry Worker Theodorus Hartanto played an integral role in organising Sacramentum.
“A retreat of this ilk is important because young adults aged 22 to 35 need their own space that is separate to the less mature young adults and teens,” Mr Hartanto explained.
“In their life journey, most have or are currently at the end of their studies, seeking work, or are currently working.”
The challenges that arise in these situations, he added, are sometimes “more stressful due to finance and relationship issues that comes with it”.
“Sacramentum provides a space for them to wind down and spend time with God in their busy lifestyle, and reflect on how we can make decisions better in life when we involve God in the process.
“Sacramentum catechises young adults on the ‘how’ and ‘why’,” he concluded.