As a Delegation, we inaugurated the Year of Oblate Vocations in December last year with some young men mostly from the mission parishes where the Oblates work. As a follow-up to that, it was suggested that this year we organize a day of recollection for youth. The committee for youth took up the responsibility and planned a schedule.
A day of recollection was held from 7th October evening to 8th evening, 2018, at a campsite in the prefecture of Tokushima. Five young men responding to our invitation came together along with Frs. Bernard, Steve, Selva and Bro. Yagi. The campsite which was surrounded by natural sounds of birds and streams, and the green environment created a peaceful atmosphere that helped us spend a very good day together.
At the beginning of the retreat, time was given to each one to introduce himself to the group. Then, we came together to prepare dinner. Fr. Steve cooked some Indian chicken curry. Having enjoyed a nice meal, we went for a Japanese bath. After refreshing ourselves we sat down for the first session that was conducted by Fr. Steve. Time was given for silent prayer and meditation. We also spent some time to get to know each other during the ice breaker. The evening ended with night prayer led by Fr. Bernard.
The next day began with the morning prayer led by Fr. Steve. After breakfast, we came together for the second session to listen to the vocation story of Fr. Bernard. He also shared some questions for silent reflection. The third session was conducted by Bro. Yagi, whose reflections were based on vocation and the daily life of a youth.
After lunch we had the Eucharistic celebration. During the homily Fr. Selva shared his experience of vocation discernment. The participants shared their experience of coming together. During the offertory, along with the bread and wine we also offered prayers for our families and for each other. At the end of the recollection we took a group picture and wished each other success in his commitment.
By Fr. Steve
(Stephen Savarimuthu OMI)