Fr Greg

OASIS Retreat in the Light Life Movement has given us a New Springtime in our Priestly Ministry


After the first level of OASIS Retreat of the Philippine group (Me, Mary Grace, Leslie, Jori and GM) we continued our monthly meetings reflecting on the 10 guide posts. We enriched ourselves with the new insights on the bible text that we had reflected. We always discover and share new insights and new inspiration. Our regular meetings and prayers enable us to become more united and committed to the task of evangelization of our people.

After our second level retrea t together with the new first level (Fr. Ivan, Fr. Chu, Fr. Chris, Fr. Hendrix) and second Level (Fr. Badong, Fr. Alwen, Fr. Onie, Fr. Romel) we continue our monthly meetings in different 4 Dioceses in the island of Negros. We continue our study or reflection on the 10 guide post or reflection n bible text and community prayer. The flow of our meetings 5:00 pm Arrival/ Snacks, 6:00 pm Holy Hour or Mass with the community, 7:00 pm Dinner with the parish priest, 8:00 pm Tent of Meeting (2hours),10:00 pm Other matters/ Business Meeting. 11:00Pm Lights Off. On the next day 6:30 am Eucharistic mass with Bishop or Vicar General followed by at 7:30 am Breakfast with Bishop or Vicar General. This activity enables us to become more cohesive, united and deepen our commitment to serve the people.

In our individual experiences we bring or carry or introduced the spirit of the Light Life Movement to the various groups in our parishes. For instance, during meetings of different mandated organizations (Family Encounter, Marriage Encounter, Marriage Enrichment, Days with the Lord Retreat for Young Professionals or YUPPIES and Youth, Children Catechesis, Seminars we integrate the practice of the Light Life movement. We light a candle at the center of the group(Light of Christ), each one opens the bible for reading and reflection and we end with Holy Rosary community prayer. In my parish we give out copies of Bible Almost 350 copies to families, BEC Leaders, Young Professionals (YUPPIES), Youth and members of the various community in order for them to get familiarized and accustomed to read and love the word of God. It is the Light Life Movement that has inspired us to use the Bible as very important in every meetings.

We also Advocate the Crusade of Liberation or campaign to anything that enslaves us or against every human person. I campaign the evil effects of using illegal drugs, gambling, liquors, cigarettes among the youth, yuppies and especially to the parents and I’m happy to see the positive result on this campaign to some people and effects of diminishes in the society.

We are so grateful to the Light Life Movement and OASIS Retreat that helps widen the horizon of our pastoral ministry in serving the people. It has also enriched and strengthen our spiritual life it makes us much closer to our fellow workers, priests and to God.

We are so grateful to Bishop Adam who recruited me/ us to join in the movement. To the moderator, to all our spiritual directors during our retreat the lay people and all facilitators for their service and inspiration.

We are looking forward to more enlightenment on the third level of the Family Oasis Retreat.

OnWards!

From: Light Life Movement Negros, Philippines

Fr. Gregorio Patino

Only you Can fill my deep hunger, my heart burns, my heart burns.

This was my first time to be in Europe, particularly in Poland. I had no idea of the Light-Life Movement. I had no idea of the nature of the Retreat I was to attend with. I asked the grace of openness and humility. I needed the grace of openness to be led in an unknown territory of prayers and reflections. I needed the grace of humility to confront with the unknown teachings and lessons to hear with. I followed the leadings of the Spirit through the gentleness and patience of my animators.

In Our Diocese, there is only once a year retreat for priest. Such retreat runs for five days. We do not have the luxury of time to make it longer. We need to attend to the pastoral needs of the Parish. It is a struggle to balance the Pastoral and Spiritual need of the Priest for effective and fruitful Ministry.

I felt I needed more Retreats. Parish works sometimes are draining and suffocating. I needed to be spiritually filled in. reflecting on this, I realized that I have spiritual hunger. I needed to be filled in by God's presence. I know that God is always present. I know that He is very real in the Eucharist I celebrate. However, like the feeling of thirst of water and a hunger for food, I long so much for God's presence deep within me. I needed to reconnect with Him. My retreat in Centrum Ruchu Swiatlo-Zycie in Kroscienko nad Dunajem provided me this opportunity to reconnect with God and opened my mind to learn more about my faith in God and devotion to his loving service.

In the retreat, I became more aware of my hunger, deep hunger for God's presence in my heart. However, there were blocks in my heart to allow God to enter. These were my sins and selfishness. I had layers of sins. I nurtured them with my selfishness, greed and pride. I faced my sins and admit them. I owned them. I asked for forgiveness. Hence, during the Community celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation in the Good Shepherd Parish, it was so humbling to narrate my litany of sins and so liberating to be forgiven and be blessed with such comforting assurance from the priest that God loves me so much, not because I am a priest, but because I am his son. Lord, have mercy. Christ have mercy.

Proclaim! That Jesus is my God and Savior! I really had some thoughts running in my head. I am a priest. Do I still need to say it? Do I need to proclaim it? Is not my life right now as priest a proclamation that Jesus is my God and Savior? Yes! There is no need to say it and proclaim it. However, deep in my heart, I felt I was ashamed. I knew. God knew. If I really say and proclaim it, then, why my actions are not so Christian at all times? Why I have kept sinning? Why I am hesitant to make even a sign of the cross in public places? The proclamation moved me to go back to the basic foundation of my faith, not that I know it, but rather, I have to really experience it. It is not enough to say "I know my faith." It is important to say "I have experienced my faith." This is the faith that truly experiences the loving embrace of God. This is the faith that truly feels God's loving mercy.

The Retreat made me realize with conviction and sincerity that Jesus is my God and Savior. I experienced His saving mercy in the forgiveness of my sins. He alone can give me New Life. He alone can change me to become His face in the community I serve. He alone can transform me that my hands may become His hands. He alone can make my heart feel like His heart to the poor and the needy.
My heart burns. My heart burns in love to serve Him more dearly. My heart burns in joy to care for the community entrusted to me. That in All things, God may be glorified.

Fr. Hendrix Alar
Diocese of Dumaguete
Philippines

 

My way to the Movement? A priest once asked me if I had something in common with a movement ‘light-water-gas’ and then took me for a retreat. About a half a year later I came to a falling community. The next six months passed with just rudiments of formation but then the fruit of retreats began to ripe. A sense of responsibility for other people came first, then a sense of communion and the discovery of the value of formation. Today I know that the Oasis is my place, here I find people through whom Jesus acts in my life and to whom He sends me and here I find true friends who help me survive difficult moments.

 

What has the Light-Life Movement given me? Friends. It is the environment in which I have been able to develop my talents, learn to pray and how to understand the Eucharist, become open to the others, and grasp that the world may be beautiful; but the most important is that it has shown me Jesus as the true and close God, who is present even in the most twisted situations in my life. He wants to straighten them; He wants to carry my cross with me, teach me Love, which is usually inconceivable. The fact that I came to the Oasis was the most cunning plan only God could make up for me, and I thank Him for this.

My adventure with the Movement started in the lower-secondary school. That was where I met my first real friends and became more opened to deeper relationships with people and, above all, with God. I was fascinated by a place where I could spend time, enjoy myself, and get to know God with my peers. My spiritual growth progressed, thanks to my community. It was the community that first showed me the new direction – that you can live differently and be happy. It was also the place where I started to discover my vocation. What was the result? Seemingly good, considering that I am in the seminary, and I consider it to be my place and my way. But do not worry, not every boy from Oasis has to go to the seminary... but, well, why not?