An unforgettable summer

Summer time in the northern hemisphere is over but life goes on. The two-month summer break was one of the most exciting and interesting for us missionaries for it was the time for us to animate some activities for our students such as Vocation Camp, English Camp, Summer Camp and Students’ Retreat because students were not so busy with their studies and those were from distant provinces just remained in their boarding houses.

The Rogate family (FDZ and RCJ) had a joint Vocation Orientation and Summer Camp where 11 young girls from different provinces of Vietnam joined us. It was a wonderful and very interesting activity for our students because they learned much and enjoyed themselves. It was also a good opportunity for us to get to know them, especially their attitudes and the way they related with others. For myself, it was a good moment of knowing them better for this would help me in accompanying them in discerning their vocation in life. This was also a special time for them to pray more deeply and know themselves more seriously.  Most of all it was a great moment for them to understand their value and their purpose in life in the spirit of Rogate, their road map in understanding God’s plan for them. What impressed me most was their willingness and openness to be helped in their vocation discernment and their enthusiasm to know our congregation, especially our charism and spirituality.

After a period of silence, we continued with the English Camp activity which lasted for 3 days. Six of our students joined us and most of the activities were very educational. They were able to develop and appreciate their talents, abilities, sportsmanship and camaraderie in the one Family of Rogate.  The activities and games were more about team building and the instruction was in English, which helped them improve and develop their English skills. Towards the end of our summer camp we visited one of the orphanages, managed by the SVD fathers,  near the place where we stayed. We sang and played simple games with the orphans.

After days of sharing, observing, playing, listening and praying with the students, I felt a great appreciation for their efforts and willingness to grow and learn, especially in relating with each other. I knew they were challenged by their experiences but at the same time I knew too well that they had learned a lot.  I knew that they would never forget their experiences as they moved along their journey in life especially in their discernment process. I believe that this summer activity has helped them appreciate the value of life and friendship.

Reflecting on these wonderful experiences I am so grateful to all of the students who joined us during the vocation orientation and summer camp; to the community for their support and to all the people who made these activities so successful. May they serve as an inspiration to the young people who are discerning to follow Jesus in the priestly and religious life.  And may the good Lord of the Harvest continue to guide and protect each one of us, especially the Rogate Family, whose members are dedicated to pray for more and Holy Vocations in the Church with a total commitment in giving true witness to the mission entrusted to us… the ROGATE.

Sr M Elmie Guilaran fdz

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