School Of Mission 2016 - Closing Mass and Agape Meal12-03-2017, Wellington, New Zealand
The School of Mission in Wellington, New Zealand, began on 23 October 2016 with 18 participants offering a clean slate to Jesus in order for Him to have the freedom to fill it in. The School ran under the leadership of Brian Suhada. In the last 5 months God has worked in each of the participant's lives uniquely. Some of their experiences would last a lifetime. They have experienced joy & laughter; pain & tears; struggles & challenges; all of which enabled them in some way to seek Christ, lean on Him and find their identity in Him.
The first part of the school involved teachings on the Catholic understanding of our faith. The latter part was the application of those teachings where the participants were given the opportunity to share what they have received to the people they met during a time of outreach around New Zealand. The weeks were brought to a close with a week of retreat led by Fr. Neil Vaney, a Marist Priest and Pastoral Director of Catholic Enquiry Centre, NZ. He gave them additional tools for discernment for when they arrive back to their home countries.
The School came to an official end on Sunday, 12 March with the closing mass celebrated by Fr. Bernard Espiritu, the director of the Pontifical Missions Societies, New Zealand. Fr. Bernard’s words were truly encouraging. Although things in life may seem burdensome to us, it is the burden that will unravel itself into wings and gives us the strength to fly. When the yoke is put on the bull, it means that it is time for the bull to get to work. We are to remember that when a yoke is placed on us there is always a farmer behind. In our lives, the farmer is Jesus and together with Him we are to move forward. The third point he shared was that God uses the simple and ordinary to make extraordinary things like a curtain material being made into a priest’s stole. God works through each of us no matter how ordinary we may thing we are.
The celebrations continued in the evening with a formal ‘Agape Meal’. On this joyous occasion, we had the privilege of having Mario and Anna Cappello - the founders of the ICPE Mission - join us by Skype to share their words of wisdom with the staff and the participants of the school. Their message focused on persevering in cultivating the seeds that are planted in their lives by God through the staff of the school. After the school, the participants would need God's grace to persevere in learning to walk with God. In the end their life's purpose would give God the greater glory.
Hearing some testimonies, we truly believe that God has done something marvellous in the lives of the participants of the School. We pray that God continues to journey with each of them wherever the Lord calls them to and that they be God's light to all whom they encounter in their journey ahead.
We, the ICPE Mission, sincerely thank each of you who have supported the participants and the staff of the school with your prayers. Much graces have been received during this time.
We pray that God's abundant blessings be also on you and your family at all times.