Camp Fidelis was held for the first time on 24-25 August 2013 at FMM House. This 2-day, 1-night camp saw 19 students from a diverse range of schools, subjects and backgrounds gather together for a weekend of fun and faith-filled activities. These students came from universities ranging from London all the way up to Glasgow, studying subjects ranging from medicine to music, but all were united by a common desire to seek the truth and understand their faith more fully.
Despite cramming many talks into a short time frame, our participants enjoyed them immensely and felt that their understanding of the faith was greatly enriched. The first talk by our Spiritual Director, Fr Edward Lim, OCD, was on the topic of “Faith & Reason”. Sharing his experience as a medical doctor before becoming a priest, he talked about the importance of using both faith and reason in our studies and future working lives. Fr Erbin Fernandez gave the second talk on “Why Keep the Faith and How”, where he explained concepts in Pope John Paul II’s encyclical Fides et Ratio (Faith and Reason), and also gave practical tips adapted from Alcoholics Anonymous’ 12 Step programme. The next talk was a sharing by Louis Figueroa on his experience as an American Catholic living in the US, the UK and Europe, and the different challenges young Catholics would face abroad. Last but not least, Benedict Tang wrapped up the camp with a primer on apologetics in his talk on “How to Defend the Faith”, which showed participants how to charitably explain and defend what they believe to their friends of other faiths.
In addition to all these thought-provoking and intellectually stimulating talks, the camp also provided ample bonding time for the participants, most of whom had not known each other beforehand. They spent the afternoon pelting each other with water bombs in a bid to steal plastic bag “tails” from the opposing team. They also worked together in teams to complete a scavenger hunt, finding items like dead leaves, blue t-shirts, and even an original 8-line poem in iambic pentameter. Mealtimes were also great opportunities for participants to get to know each other better, particularly when the whole group went out for an unscheduled supper at Adam Road Food Centre.
It was all in all a great experience for everyone involved. As the first event conducted by the newly-formed Catholic Students’ Overseas Community (CSOC), this will hopefully spell more such activities for overseas Singaporean Catholic students in the near future. The CSOC Committee would like to thank everybody who has helped us in one way or the other, as well as our sponsors for being exceedingly generous in their contributions, and most importantly God, Who makes all things possible.