Jesus Caritas Ministry and BEC Leaders Regain Vision at Parish Leaders’ Recollection
It was certainly a first of its kind endeavor to gather 110 number of leaders from the English and Mandarin speaking ministries in the Church of Jesus Caritas. God being a gathering force, swept leaders into the valley hills of Serendah along with parish priest Fr. Michael Chua and pastoral assistant, Sr. Mary Heng on the 13th to 14th of January 2018 at Canaan Valley Heritage Site. The intention of this recollection was to help ministry leaders reconnect with Jesus Christ, to regain the vision of His Kingdom, which is a kingdom of love, peace and justice (CCC 2046); a kingdom where relationships matter and thus to find the JCC parish mission and vision in Jesus’s vision. In hopes of renewing relationship with Jesus Christ, leaders were invited to times of personal prayer, community devotions, para-liturgy, Sacrament of Reconciliation as well as the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Ministry leaders from the different language groups were also able to refresh their relationships with each other through group sharing and analysis, groups dynamics, sharing meals and personal bonding time together.
Upon arriving at the Canaan Valley, leaders had some time to settle in before being led into the sessions by Fr. Michael and Sr. Mary, in English and Mandarin respectively. The first session, introduced the vision of Jesus, which is the Kingdom of God or translated more accurately as “the Reign of God”; where leaders were invited to live as Christ, making Him the Lord of their lives and living out the sonship as children of God, pointing each other towards our true home, heaven. In light of the vision of the Kingdom of Heaven, Fr. Michael also brought to the leaders’ attention, 2 thrusts for JCC which were identified from the findings of the various cluster groups of the recent Parish Pastoral Assembly:
- From hostility to hospitality
- From followers to disciple
Through a SWOT analysis, leaders made their assessments of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in JCC that could affect positively or negatively the growth of the above mentioned thrusts. The second session took leaders to revisit the lifestyle of the early Christian Communities (Acts 2:42) and their missionary activity which drew many non-believers; contrasting if our ministries and BECs are a reflection of such witnessing. The 3rd session highlighted the symptoms of those who have lost the vision, preventing leaders from responding to their mission and call. Leaders were also led to an evening of healing and reconciliation through a para-liturgy and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. The following morning after morning prayer and breakfast, leaders were invited to renew their vision and commitment to the mission of Jesus. There was also a discussion on the new methods/behaviours/cultures that can be introduced in the ministries and BECs of JCC to grow in the areas above. The recollection ended with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and a luncheon before leaders headed back to Kepong.
The JCC Leaders’ recollection was an event well organised by the Parish Pastoral Council of JCC. It reflected the kind of discipleship Jesus had with, His apostles, taking them away from the crowds to teach, form and be with them. In conclusion, it was a fruitful time for all those who attended the recollection and each person took home something from this time of understanding the heart of God for His people.