Vocational Encounter for the Youth in St. John Parish, Malaysia

Anticipation of freshness and excitement were the few words we can describe the first Vocational Encounter. Fondacio Malaysia was invited to animate in the parish of St John the Evangelist from 5 to 7 July 2019. However, with the onslaught of a few youth programs that preceded the VE weekend, very few people registered for it.  Regardless of this situation, we carried on with the small number of 12 participants including youths, members of YLDC students and Fondacio members.

With the several interesting sessions prepared we began with our Expectation Check. We stated our desire and goal to live a fruitful encounter and also to discover further ourselves and what is in store for us.

We continued with a movie entitled “The Walk”. It is a story of a young man who recalls his dream to be an acrobat and a tight rope walker.  As he pursued it relentlessly, going through different stages of fears and determination, he was able to do what he had dreamt.  With the debriefing in the process by our animators, we were repeatedly brought to his determination as an example for us in the session: “My aspiration in life” to urge further in our lives and what we desire deeply from the most fundamental part of us to achieve.

Dreams are great but there are also realities in the world that are within and outside of us, which could be deterrent forces in preventing us from attaining our goals in life. Here is where we look in the social issues that are embedded in and around us.

From here in facing the social issues of life, sometimes we find ourselves at an impasse.  But impasse or not, we realized that God calls us beyond all our human issues and realities.  At this point of the weekend, we identify where and how God is leading us. Gradually, we are led to understand the meaning of being called and the art of discerning His call through the choices we had made or are making.  Through very significant moments and decisions we had taken, we made stops and checks of our path of faithfulness that would lead us to the vocation given to us by God. As we arrived at the end of the weekend of Vocational Encounter, we asked ourselves on how we make progress in our life as we continue to seek our true vocation in life and the communion with our fellow men and women. We ended the whole Vocational Encounter weekend with an artistic movement by each one that culminated into a one integrated body mass in harmony.

I believe this Vocational Encounter weekend is first a journey to encounter our inner aspiration within oneself.  It then unfolds us towards our dream to uncover the desire of God, calling us to live in obedience to Him.  Walking along this thread of life, we learn to heed God’s call upon us, leading us gradually to our holiness and vocation in Him.

By Maria Yan (Community Coordination team member, Fondacio Malaysia)