First PAG in St. Peter’s & St. Francis Xavier’s Church in 10 Years

The facilitators were made up of a few teams in charge of different parts of the camp. Besides the youth ministers from the diocese, a team from St Theresa’s Church Malacca helped in the skits and testimonies, a team from the Portuguese Settlement helped with the games and security, while the music ministry was led by Christopher Luke Felix and his team from Kuala Lumpur. Being a 4-day camp allowed for the sessions to be better paced and there was more time for games eg captain ball and station games to encourage group bonding.

The team inserted a more Christ-centred dimension into the PAG. The sessions in the camp taught the participants to realise all their gifts from God. They discovered more about themselves and the talents they had. ‘I have been shy to dance but now I’m not,’ said Alyssa Mary Carvalho. The participants also learned about the gift of God’s love, the gift of their parents and the gift of the people around them. Eliza Tan said, ‘I have gained more knowledge about God and more confidence in myself.’

In one of the sessions of praise and worship, Chris taught the participants 6 positions of prayer eg kneeling, prostrating etc. Many participants expressed that Adoration and Inner Healing before the Blessed Sacrament for the first two nights was the highlight of the camp. Just before the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Deacon Adrian challenged the participants to conversion and turn away from the addictions in their lives. A few smokers brought their cigarette boxes and put it before the altar where it was destroyed publicly at the Closing Mass. Another notable session was the Gift of Sexuality where the group was divided according to their gender and had their own ‘pillow talk’ session with young speakers Jessica Lee and Christopher Felix.

Many parents attended the talent night with performances by the participants. Unlike previous PAGs, the skits, dances and mimes were pre-planned and the participants proudly put up a great show for the night. At the conclusion, the entire group of participants presented the Portuguese dance Mahlau Mahlau and invited the parents to dance the Branyuk. A big thank you to Chris Lazaroo, John Paul Sequerah and Aunty Jasinta Lazaroo for helping out in this part of the camp.

One third of the parents who were invited came for the Session with Parents on the final day. After an introduction by Deacon Adrian, the speaker Raymond De Gracious, humbly shared about his struggles with parenting and invited a discussion. They joined the participants for the Closing Mass with Fr Damian.

Many of the participants were moved to help more in the parish and in upcoming camps. ‘I love this camp so much’ said Alston Benedict. ‘I have a calling to be a missionary to help people who are in need of help and serve the church in gladness’.