8 Dec – 9 Dec, 2012.-

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain. He sat down and his disciples gathered around him. Then he spoke and began to teach them: (Matthew 5: 1-2)

17 Form Four students attended confirmation camp held at Archdiocese Pastoral Centre (APC) as a preparation for sacrament of confirmation that they will receive next year. The speakers for the 2 days camp were Br. Simon Anand and Br. Joachim who are year 6 seminarians from Penang Diocese. After the breakfast, praise and worship followed by ice breaking sessions was done. The first session of the day started about 11.30am built the base for the entire camp. It highlighted to the candidates that through confirmation, we are now called to be apostles; that is called and sent out.

            Second session brought the participants to think about what is to become a Catholic and what makes us separate from God. The participants learned that God give us free choice and it’s our decision to respond to God’s calling. Our response to God is what called as faith. Through confirmation, God has given us gifts and the Holy Spirit awakens us about it. The second phase of this session highlighted on the things that keep us away from God. The participants were divided into 2 groups to discuss about this. The participants shared that social media, lack of parental guidance and influence of friends are some of the things that keep them away from God. The story of Prodigal Son was made as an example that despite what are our past mistakes, God receives and loves us unconditionally. He always receives us with an open heart whenever we have a conversion of heart.

            When we have a conversion of heart, sacrament of reconciliation becomes a very important path on returning to God. Br. Simon Anand explained with examples on why reconciliation is very important in the third session of the day. He stressed the act of conversion of heart just doesn’t stop at apologizing to those we have hurt but also to God. This is because God is the owner of the living things in this world and only he has the absolute power to forgive our trespasses. The speaker also highlighted the importance of penance that is done at the end of the reconciliation sacrament.

            The highlight of the day 1 was towards the night, when the participants partake in a reconciliation service after a short group dynamics. The reconciliation service led by Br. Joachim invited each of the participants and teachers to pour out their sin against God. The two hour reconciliation service gave everyone an opportunity to open up to God and understand the sacrifice Jesus has done for us. The session ended with the song “Go light your world” as way of telling each and every one to be a light of Christ out there.

Day two started off with a prayer and after that everyone attended 9.30am English mass at St. Anthony’s church. After the mass, the session one of the day begun with the question what is sin and what type of sins are there? The session also highlighted about how we offend ourselves and how prayers, almsgiving and fasting are just not for lent season but encouraged throughout the year. After the session, the participants were asked to do a personal reflection to thank God for all the wonderful things that he has done in their life.

            The last session for the day and camp was on the responsibilities as Catholics and how we can help others to know Jesus. The church is our family; therefore we have a responsibility to know about it and to introduce it to others. Having said that, the speaker stressed that one’s faith can only be helped by our self not others. With that session, the camp ended about 4pm with some sharing and comments from the participants about the camp overall. This camp in short, gave the participants understanding about being with God and about their calling through the Sacrament of Confirmation; A CALL TO BE APOSTLES.