The Malabar RC Men’s Ministry, comprising men ranging from 35 to 80 years, was inaugurated by Fr Joseph Heffernan OP on February 21, 2001. He commissioned the group to serve the communities of Malabar, Carapo and D’Abadie.
One may be surprised that on request of ‘Fr Joe’, as he was fondly called, a lady took up the challenge of inspiring the men by inviting them one by one to come and form the Men’s Group. That special lady is Sylvia John, a former catechist of the parish.
The Men’s Ministry is one of the many groups of the Malabar RC Church, located at Subero Street, Malabar, Arima. This group has been engaged in many different activities, such as hospital visits, visiting other parishes to encourage men to form their own group, organising a children’s fiesta, camps for children, assisting a needy child in primary school, parish fundraising events and many more.
With all these activities, this group of men was still very interested in building up their spirituality. When they were told by one of the Alpha administrators in their parish, who is also a member of the Men’s Ministry, that Alpha is a spiritual journey about the life of Jesus Christ and that it is also one of the tools used to evangelise, they all came to an agreement that this is something they were willing to experience.
The men came out in their numbers. Each session started with praise and worship, a video and then the men would be divided into groups where they shared their challenges, experiences and the love of God.
The Alpha Team consisted of three persons, two from the Malabar Alpha Team, Wedd Eastman (administrator), Kenny Blackman (group host) together with the assistance of the Suburban Vicariate Alpha Coordinator, Gabriel Smith who was also a host.
This just goes to show that in Alpha, we are family and we always come together to assist our brothers and sisters in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ to everyone.
The day-away retreat was phenomenal. It was held at the Pilgrim Room at Mount St Benedict. The day started with praise and worship, the viewing of videos and a group session.
In the afternoon, the men were prayed for individually and the presence of the Holy Spirit was felt throughout the prayer session. These men opened their hearts and souls and surrendered themselves to the Holy Spirit.
The day ended with songs of praise, worship and dance. It was truly an amazing experience not only for the participants but also for the team members and helpers.
At the end of the Alpha Journey each person was asked to give a testimony on their experience and it was truly amazing. They were excited to let others know what this Spiritual Journey had done in their lives. Their message to the men’s ministry and other men’s group is to “Try Alpha”, The Journey Has Just Begun.