By Enrico Francis, Republic Polytechnic
Hi brothers and sisters in Christ! I’m Enrico a graduate from Republic Polytechnic.
Before RP, I was from ITE College Central. I struggled with 2 main things, to find a sense of belonging and find my own sense of identity. These struggles led me to want secular standards such as being good looking, smart, athletic and well-known. I was seeking worldly affirmations from classmates and friends when they comment on my instagram posts, or from late night conversations of gossip and putting others down to make myself seem like the greatest guy in school. This lasted for most of my 2 years in that course, because of these distractions and the upkeep of these worldly desires, I barely made it through ITE and at the end of it grew very tired.
Back then I only found God when I served mass as an altar server on Sundays.
Upon receiving the news that I would be enrolling in Republic Polytechnic, I was anxious about having to re-enact my life of struggling to uphold the worldly standards set upon myself to be cool and popular as well as the added pressure of getting good grades to attain my diploma. Going into my first week I felt very indifferent and I held the mentality that I want to get through these 3 years as swiftly as possible, scarred by the experience I had in the past. At the start of my second week God sent his messenger in the form of an old secondary school classmate. After we caught up and conversed awhile he asked me if I wanted to join the Catholic Campus Community in RP. At first I was skeptical as I already served as altar servers, I wondered if I could commit or even need another community. After giving it much thought I said my Yes.
We met every Monday and I still remember my first session, I was introduced to Lectio Divina. I was amazed at how personally God spoke to me through His Scripture, on top of that listening to the sharings of the others in the community I was amazed at how similar and also how different our struggles and callings from God were through that same piece of scripture. After the first session I felt a huge sense of happiness that I could not help but call my closest friends from my parish telling them about my first experience being part of this campus community. From these sessions I learned how to listen to God’s prompting and move to how God wants me to grow by the concrete steps needed to the promptings. The community taught me to be vulnerable especially to my fellow brothers whom till now I am actively journeying with. The community gave me a safe space to share my faith and grow spiritually and most importantly how to realise God’s Spirit actively moving in my life in school.
Upon graduation it was with a heavy heart when I had to leave my community. As the months flew by being without a community, I struggled in my prayer life, and as I brought up my struggles with my personal relationship with God to my Spiritual Director, he reminded me of how I was back then in community. In community I would share openly and be reminded constantly how God moves ever so actively in my life, in community at many times the members reminded me to give thanks to God for all the good things and even to find God in the bad things. The community has introduced me to Kingdom Friendships, where we build ourselves up not to be put on pedestals but to build each other for God’s great glory. I look forward in the next phase of my life to the next community of brothers and sisters to journey ever closer to God.
The Lord has granted me with a safe haven to journey towards heaven in – I encourage all of you, my brothers and sisters in Christ, to allow God to lead you into your safe haven too.