This past summer I had the opportunity to participate as one of the coordinators in the annual Motjari Retreat. Prior to June, I had never even heard of the organization. It was when my brother decided to join that I found out about the Motjari Group and its program. 

A couple of weeks before the day of the retreat, the parents of the Motjari Group approached me after mass and informed me of a situation in which Mark Chang, who was supposed to be the head coordinator responsible for leading the retreat, would no longer be able to make it. Mark had recommended me as his replacement, and the parents hoped I’d be able to fill the gap. At the time, I was reluctant, but I didn’t think I could refuse so I said I would do it. 

The retreat began with breakfast. It was small but enough to kick off a day full of activities, which began with Father Foeckler. The theme for the retreat was Mass. Accordingly, Father Foeckler spoke to us on the Liturgy of the Word and the Eucharist. Personally, I thought the lecture was phenomenal. He took a topic that could be boring and delivered it in a manner that was not only engaging but also interesting and thought-provoking. The same could be said about the rest of the activities as well. 

I realize as we get older, we find ourselves more frequently in situations in which we do not know how we should behave, or what is the “right” way to handle such situations. As Christians, we are obligated to act according to God’s Word. Unfortunately, however, while many Christians declare themselves as Christian, they don’t understand what it means to be a Christian because they don’t go to mass, and they neglect the Bible. Consequently, they lose a vital part of themselves, which is their identity. Therefore, it is crucial that we understand our faith, which underlines who we are.  

During the retreat, I was amazed by some of the responses that the little kids gave when they were trying to answer a question .  or speak of their opinions. It was clear to me that these kids have been making a conscious effort to read and understand the Bible. They may not recognize it right now, but they will soon come to see what they are doing is strengthening their faith and their identity as Christians. With that being said, I thought the theme for the retreat was appropriate as it helped them realize why we do what we do as Christians. In addition, I was delighted to find out there is a group like the Motjari at our church that fosters the youth so that they may never lose a sight of their faith and who they really are. 

The overall experience of the retreat was wonderful, and I want to thank Mark for his recommendation, the parents for putting together an excellent retreat, and God for presenting me with an opportunity to witness the future of our church. 

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