CLS Retreat 2022

Thirty members of the Kuala Lumpur Catholic Lawyers Society (CLS) gathered at the Bayou Lagoon Resort Melaka for their first annual retreat in three years.

CLS President Godfrey Fernandez thanked the Executive Committee members, especially the younger members who worked tirelessly to arrange a comprehensive retreat.

The theme, Ut Vitam Habeant (That they may have life), was taken from John 10:10. The retreat was divided into four conferences over three days, with CLS Ecclesiastical Assistant, Fr. Gregory Chan, the retreat master.

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Pre-retreat Get-Together 1
Conference one entitled “I called you” (Jh 15:16) was on a dialogue that bears fruit – vocation. Fr. Gregory asked what the lawyers and advocates did to de-stress in their vocation, and the quality of life and the quality of the decisions made when they are not stressed.

In the second conference, Fr. Gregory shared the parable of the Prodigal Son (Lk 15) and asked the retreatants about the times they didn’t feel they belonged in their professional and personal lives. Fr. Gregory stressed the need to establish their legacy, as opposed to focusing on the need to claim their share of the inheritance as the Prodigal Son did. In the latter case, the Prodigal Son claimed his share even if it meant in effect saying to the father, “You are dead to me”.

Retreatants shared their professional and personal experiences on feeling “belonged” and “unbelonged”.

During the third conference, the retreat master shared a unique perspective on the parable of the Samaritan Woman (Jh 4). The adversarial process in the exchange with the woman in the parable ultimately reveals that true worship is the worship of the Holy Trinity when Jesus reveals that He is the Messiah, the Anointed One. Fr. Gregory concluded that an encounter with God must lead to one seeking to do His will and the need or longing for intimacy must involve reconciliation in relationships. He pointed out that the woman in the parable had spread the word about Jesus to her community, which was a message to all of us to evangelise.

The final conference was on the wish or desire to see Jesus (Jh 12:20), and the questions posed for reflection were “Where do you see your Lord and Saviour — with a cursory glance or are you ready to give up everything for the Lord? How then do you live your lives as lawyers? Be yourself resounding of the truth. Let’s not fake it. Be real.” Quoting William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Fr. Gregory concluded “To thine own self be true”.

The retreat concluded with Sunday Mass and a group photo session.


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