The Center for Accompaniment, Renewal, and Empowerment of Students (CARES) carried out the planned first recollection day for ICLA students on July 25, 2015. The Claretian Theology students joined the ICLA students for the recollection. Fr. Victor F. Sadaya, CMF was the Recollection Master.
In the conference he gave, Fr. Vic first asked the students the following questions:
- Do you still have the passion to live your Religious Life? Can you claim to be a passionate religious?
- Where do you draw your passion as a religious?
Fr. Vic gave 12 tasks to do in journeying through Religious Life with joy and passion. These tasks are:
1. Discovering our Unique Purpose in Life
2. Enlarging our Vision
3. Willingness to Walk a Ridge of Uncertainty
4. Seeing Life in Constant Wonder
5. Seeing Ourselves as God Sees us
6. Uprooting the Roots of Bitterness
7. Accepting the Challenge to Transformation
8. Affirming Our Belovedness
9. Affirming Others’ Belovedness
10. Being a Joyful Giver
11. Becoming a Selfless Servant
12. Living an Integrated Prayer Life
Expounding on the 12th task, Fr. Vic quoted from several sources to make it even clearer to the students that prayer is very important in the life of a religious and anyone who claims to be a follower of Jesus Christ. He said that integrated prayer life basically means a “rooting of oneself in Christ” for Christ is the whole meaning of a religious (Vita Consecrata, 16).
Based on the gospel of prayer (Sr. Luke’s Gospel), Fr. Vic stated, “If our activity is to be wise and fruitful and in accord with God’s will and plan, it must be preceded by moments of stillness, of prayer, of being alone, of intimacy with God, and of being in touch with our own inner worlds. If religious life is following Jesus, then a religious should follow Jesus in his prayer.”
“Only those who pray have a message to convey.” (Pope Francis)
Fr. Vic began his talk with some questions and ended it with two questions for the students to reflect on in the moments of silence and personal prayer provided for them.
1. Looking at my life at present, in what ways am I living with joy and passion?
2. How can I become a better religious? What are the challenges or invitations for me?
The recollection ended with the Eucharistic celebration presided by Fr. Victor Sadaya, CMF.
The Institute is very grateful to Fr. Vic for accompanying the students in their first recollection for Academic Year 2015-2016.