Church of The Holy Spirit
“To promote community spirit through information and awareness of Parish activities.”
World Day Of Prayer For Vocations
This year, the Catechetical Ministry celebrated World Day of Prayer for Vocations, on 12 April. More than 700 Catechism children and teens from Levels 1 to 9 were treated to an eye-opening experience by different religious communities. The Level 1 to 3 children were mesmerised by the selfless stor y of St Magdalene narrated by Srs Jessica and Joanna from the Canossian Daughters of Charity. They eagerly responded during their sharing session and their afternoon of fun ended with a rousing rendition of “Jesus Loves Me, Yes I Know”. Indeed, it’s not hard to see that they left with the Canossian’s Mission of “Making Jesus known and loved” close to their hear ts.
The teens from the Level 7 and 8 classes had a more inter active day. They met first with Sr Angeline from the Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood, who shared on responding to God’s call in a religious manner. They then moved on to a mini-tour around poster displays o n t h e d i f fe r e n t r e l i g i o u s vo c a t i o n s . Next, they participated in a spontaneous and interactive quiz that gave more interesting facts about the vocations. Though they were
The Level 4 to 6 students had a more “hands-on” lesson – they attended a special presentation on Vocations by the Daughters of St. Paul. They realised that the term “vocation” really means a way of life, not just a religious or priestly one. Motivated by this knowledge, they became increasingly captivated by a shor t movie “The Three Trees”. This movie highlighted that God has a plan for all of us and the importance of discerning God’s call. 1 World Day of Prayer for Vocations 2 My Dear Parishioners . . . 3 Landings – Welcoming Returning Catholics
initially somewhat reserved, the teens were soon warmed up by the enthusiasm of the team of coordinators. For the Level 9 teens, they joined the parish celebration. As one teen said, “I discovered new things about God and myself… my relationship with God has grown and is deeper now.” I am sure her peers would echo this view after that memorable day. Each catechism student was given a specially designed dove-shaped pr ayer card to encourage them to pray daily for vocations at the e nd o f the ir session. To end the event, the students and their families were invited to attend Sunset Mass at which His Grace, Archbishop Nicholas Chia, was the main celebrant. During mass, His Grace blessed the new logo commemorating the St Francis Xavier Major Seminar y’s 25th Anniversar y. Amy Lim
4 & 5 Pentecost 2008 - The Celebration 6 • Newborn Ruby ~ Congratulations! • Koinonia
7 • The Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus • Qì Gong on Mondays • Dearly Departed
Contents 8 • YO! What’s Up? • Focus on Ministry Activities
MICA (P) 066/06/2008
My Dear Parishioners...
once they made a U-turn back to Jerusalem. The physical distance covered was seven miles but they had been deeply touched. It is our desire that our youths will also come to make the Eucharist the centre of their lives and be truly Christ-and other-centred.
Hope Springs Eternal in the Human Heart At times it’s hard to read the newspaper, listen to the news on the radio or watch it on TV. We are constantly assaulted with a diet of war, racial hatred, religious intolerance and increasing violence in the world and in our local communities. We see the prices of rice, petroleum and other basic necessities escalating. Inflation continues to rear its ugly head. It sounds like all gloom and doom without a ray of hope, doesn’t it? Who has not heard of the recent natural disasters in Myanmar and China? The devastation and the ill effects of Cyclone Nargis and the earthquake in these places respectively, have not only struck us dumb but also caused many of us to be thankful for small mercies in our daily lives. We have been spared and opportunities abound for us to provide aid in different ways. Yes, there is hope yet in our world. We read about many beautiful testimonies of love, caring and sharing.
For myself, while penning this column, I often stopped to ponder and even to pray. “Lord, do you hear me? Do you hear the cries of your children in trouble?” Before one can digest the news of one catastrophe, another one erupts somewhere else. O God, where are you? We need faith in our lives. Faith as small as a mustard seed is all that is asked of us. Do we have it? In the midst of all the broken lives and shattered dreams, we must not fail to see God’s hand empowering good people to come forward to care and to share. We see the milk of human kindness flowing and also see wonderful examples of heroism that defy all explanations save that of God’s love being poured out through His human instruments. We begin to look at the lives of those near and dear to us and we thank God for good health, for His Divine Providence and unending love.
In the Faith Formation of our young ones, we now have a full-time Catechetical Coordinator, Amy Lim, who is no stranger in our parish. Amy sees to the running of the catechetical programmes and the Rite of Christian Initiation for Youth and Children (RCIY and RCIC) of more than 900 children and youths.
Do we not then realise that truly, all is gift and we are called to be people of faith, people of gratitude, people who cannot take things for granted? Yes, our God’s goodness draws out the best in us and in turn, we are challenged to reach out to those in need. In the recent Pentecost Triduum in May, we see how prayer and the para-liturgy of using just bowls of water can be so powerful as a symbolic act for cleansing and healing. We also see how forgiveness and reconciliation must be ongoing in our lives. We thank the Holy Spirit for moving mightily in our Triduum and giving us the zeal to build a community that “enters to worship and depar ts to serve”. Have you asked yourself where you will be ser ving in the years ahead? Many exciting programmes have been planned but let me make special mention of the recently renovated Youth Room, “Se7en Miles.” Under Jar vis Tan, our young and energetic Parish Pastoral Executive, we now have a venue where youths can meet in a spirit of friendship. “Se7en Miles” has been carefully and tastefully furnished to make it conducive for prayer, seminars and group sharing. Jarvis explained that the distance between Jerusalem and Emmaus (cf. Luke 24) was seven miles. The two confused disciples were transformed after their encounter with the Risen Christ. In fact, four wonderful things happened - Jesus drew near alongside the two disciples; as Jesus spoke, their hearts were burning; then their eyes were opened at the Breaking of the Bread; and at
We h ave j u s t l a u n c h e d “ L a n d i n g s ,” a programme that seeks to give returning Catholics space to be incorporated once more into the community. Look out for “Family Life Ministr y” where we hope the needs of many families can be better addressed. Our Parish Assembly (PA) will be held on 31 August and we need your cooperation and par ticipation to fully realise the needs of our parish. What do you want to see? What are your dreams and aspirations? Do not miss PA 2008! It will be a wonderful oppor tunity for you to give us your feedback so that together, we can work towards a dynamic life-giving parish. I would like to thank our present Executive Committee (ExCo) and Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) members. As they will end their two-year term soon, we will be electing new members. Will you stand up and be counted? Let us move on in a spirit of hope. Come what may, we must continue to do our par t as Catholics, witnessing to the ends of the ear th. Each day is a gift. Live it well with gratitude, for hope springs eternal in the human hear t!
Fr Andrew Wong
Landings – Welcoming Returning Catholics
support to help reintegrate our brothers and sisters back into the Church. We hope to help them discover that even while they have been away, they are loved by God and are called to holiness like all Catholics. A typical parish Landings group meets for two hours weekly over a 10-week period. It consists of parishioners who have been trained in this ministry - some of whom have themselves been away and have ‘returned’, as well as inactive Catholics who are exploring the possibility of returning.
All of us may know someone who has been away from the Church and who may consider returning. While some are comfor table to return to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation and attend Mass once again, others may need support for a period of time to reconnect with their faith. Landings acknowledges that inactive Catholics l eave th e Ch u r c h fo r v a r i o u s re a s o n s . Unfor tunately this phase outside the Church becomes an integral par t of their life. We hope that Landings can be the catalyst to lead them back. Landings is a parish-based ministry led by lay people to welcome returning Catholics. It was star ted in the USA almost 20 years ago by Paulist Fr Jac Campbell and proved popular and successful there and in Canada.
At Landings we offer returning Catholics a suppor tive community in which they can ask questions and discuss issues relating to their faith. We listen with compassion and offer
Landings is not “a ‘saved’ ministering to the ‘sinners’”. The ministry does not claim to answer everyone’s questions but through it people can, when necessary, be referred to specialist help. For the ‘active’ Catholics who par ticipate in this ministr y, it provides an oppor tunity to share their faith and participate in the Church’s mission to welcome those who are returning; a chance to grow and learn from each others’ spiritual journeys. For more on Landings, visit www.landings.org.sg, email us at returning@:landings.org.sg or call Tony at 96880920. Tony See
LETTING GOD IN Our Pentecost Triduum was led by Fr Bill Heng, a Redemptorist priest. He has kindly contributed this article for our reflection and spiritual growth. “Why do we hold back what is in our hearts and take for granted those special people with whom we spend the most time?” How often we place on our parents, our discomfort of dealing with issues of the past and present or the situation into which we are born. This provides only a temporary outlet for the emotional pain we experience but ultimately it prevents the love from flowing and the light and healing to take place in our hearts. We wear masks and we strip ourselves of the very essence of how our Lord has created us, in His likeness and thus, we fail to let HIM be the DIRECTOR of our lives. In our life (our script) we refuse to let go of the role we play. We cover up with makeup, lighting and props. We get so caught up with the materialistic world that we fail to see the need to let GOD be an essential part of the process. As we grow personally and spiritually, there comes a time when we are called to release ourselves from the emotional pain we have carried from our childhood. Sometimes an event such as an illness or a loss can illuminate feelings we have buried and forgotten. Once we become conscious of the pain and allow ourselves to simply feel it, healing can begin. Being with the pain, bringing it to GOD is an essential part of our growth process. The support and understanding of our family helps God’s Love to enter our hearts and minds. As our hearts begin to open, love blossoms, forgiveness becomes a way of being and when our hear ts are full of love and trust, healing naturally unfolds. In prayer God reveals us to us. When we are serious about our prayer life, God helps us to identify our scripts and masks and gives us the courage to die to our false self and receive the grace to Love (the will of God). Seeking His will enables us to overcome our fears and compulsions. So, for example, if a husband and wife die to their (father/mother) issues and choose to love, they allow God to lead their lives. And the two become one. This is where St Alphonsus says, “Whoever does not pray will be damned”. Fr Bill Heng
PRAYER FOR THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT Holy Spirit, Giver of all supernatural gifts, who filled the soul of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, with such immense favours, I beg You to visit me with Your grace and Your love and to grant me the gift of holy fear, so that it may act on me as a check to prevent me from falling back into my past sins, for which I beg pardon. Grant me the gift of piety, so that I may know the things of God and enlightened by your holy teaching, may walk, without deviation, in the path of eternal salvation. Grant me the gift of for titude, so that I may overcome courageously all the assaults of the devil, and all the dangers of this world that threaten the salvation of my soul. Grant me the gift of counsel so that I may choose what is more conducive to my spiritual advancement and may discover the wiles and snares of the tempter. Grant me the gift of under standing, so that I may comprehend the divine myster ies and by c o n t e m p l a t i o n o f heavenly things detach my thoughts and affections from the vain things of this world. Grant me the gift of wisdom; so that I may rightly direct all my actions, referring them to God as my last end, so that having loved Him and served Him in this life, I may have the happiness of possessing HIM eternally in the next. AMEN
NEWBORN RUBY ~ CONGRATULATIONS! At Easter this year, neophyte Sandra Ruby Lee was one of 26 who was baptised into the Catholic faith at our parish. It was an occasion of great joy and celebration for both the parish community and her family, which now boasts three Catholics. Daughters Janice and Alison were converted before her. Since her schooldays at Fairfield Methodist Girls, Ruby believed in God. Later, she married her husband who is a staunch believer in ancestral worship. She felt that this put a pause to any opportunity for her to explore her belief in God further, but it did not end there. In 2007 Ruby broached the subject of her desire to embrace the Christian faith to her husband. Thankfully, he gave his blessing but specified that he would only permit her to conver t to Roman Catholicism. Hailing from a Catholic school himself, he felt that the Catholic church is the one true church. To Ruby’s great joy, he also told her that he had secretly attended both their daughters’ baptisms about four years ago.
When their daughter Janice heard about her father’s agreement, she immediately signed mum up, without her knowledge, for the then forthcoming RCIA. Ruby embarked on her RCIA journey and the rest is history, as one says. Ruby gives a glowing account of her RCIA experience. Every step of the way, she was edified as she participated in the singing, sharing, praying and fellowship. She feels blessed to have had the support of sponsors and facilitators to smoothen her journey, and spiritual guidance and RCIA talks to enlighten her faith walk. For Ruby, her consistent testimony of each RCIA session is one of happiness and inner peace. She feels that one of the best fruits of her conversion is greater tolerance.
Dur ing her baptism and the Euchar istic celebration, Ruby shares how overwhelmed she felt then as she received the body and blood of Christ for the first time. She still experiences that peace and “spiritual high” each time she receives Holy Communion. Ruby, we warmly welcome you to our parish community and the Catholic family. We pray that you and all our “new family members” will walk in the love of Christ and experience His continued blessings. Mary Tay with contribution from Sandra Ruby Lee
Koinonia Jesus didn’t come to run programmes, He came to make disciples. Therefore though it is impor tant to organise activities in the overall parish Youth Programme, the most impor tant ministr y and work that we are called to do among the youth is to form disciples; youth disciples who continue to ser ve and make contributions either on a ministry, parish or even a diocesan level. Brother Rogers of Taize in one of his books wrote “God is Love alone. When a youth discovers his gift he discovers his axis of existence”.
Koinonia, meaning ‘communion’ or ‘fellowship’ in Greek, is a 2-year servant-leader discipleship formation for youths. The programme allows them to discover their gifts and how they can be gifts to others. The main 3-fold orientation is “to form Community Builders with a Eucharistic Spirituality and Contemplatives In-Action.” The group started in February. They meet every Saturday from 2.30pm – 5.00pm in the new youth room “Se7en Miles”. Each meeting begins with 45-60 minutes of prayer where members take turns in pairs to plan and lead. The strong emphasis on prayer is to form and train youth leaders who are able to confidently plan and lead prayer sessions. More importantly, they learn that prayer is the foundation on which their work should be built.
The meeting continues with educating members in one of three topics: Catechesis, Human Formation or Skills Competency. These are areas that help each member in their personal growth and ministry work such as planning and facilitating youth camps, organising youth events and programmes, helping out at parish events and having outreach or mission projects. Being in Koinonia requires commitment, openness, humility and a desire to learn and to ser ve their peers. For more information, please contact Jar vis (HP: 98272300 / email: email@example.com) Jarvis Tan
The Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
It was hear tening to see the congregation singing the Kyrie (Lord have mercy), Gloria, Sanctus (Holy, holy), Agnus Dei (Lamb of God), Pater Noster (the Lord’s Prayer) and even the Credo (the Creed). The use of Latin has made somewhat of a revival in our parish, especially at the Saturday Sunset and Sunday 7:00a.m. masses.
The Sacred Heart of Jesus is a representation of His divine love for humanity, and devotion to it has been closely associated with a spirit of reparation and humility. The modern devotion to the Sacred Heart began after St Marguerite Marie Alacoque (1647-1690) claimed Jesus revealed himself to her in several visions. It obtained papal approval from Pius IX in 1856 and the feast was extended to the whole Church. In 1928, Pius XI affirmed the Church’s stand to the devotion, saying that all who honoured the Sacred Heart “would be endowed with an abundance of heavenly graces.” It was in this spirit that the evening of 30 May found our parish chapel filled to capacity as many gathered to celebrate the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Having sung at two Friday night masses that were attended primarily by altar servers, I was glad to see members of the larger community attend and participate in the Liturgy, much of which was recited or sung in Latin.
Our Church’s rich musical tradition, its vast repositor y chant and sacred polyphony, are founded on Latin. For this reason, the General Instruction of the Roman Missal urges that all Catholics be able to sing in Latin the commonly sung par ts of the mass. Most impor tantly, however, the use of Latin as the lingua franca of the Roman Catholic Church is a symbol of its universality. As someone born post Vatican II, this was made real for me that night. The congregation’s singing in Latin struck a chord in me, reminding me not only of the sacredness of the Liturgy that we are all called to par ticipate in, but also of the relevance, even in these modern times, of the apostolic tradition from which it comes. It was cer tainly a privilege to be par t of the celebration.
SIC + DEVS + DILEXIT + MVNDVM
QÌ GONG ON MONDAYS
DEARLY DEPARTED We remember our dear ly depar ted Brothers and Sisters in Christ who have gone home to the Lord:
The Chi Dynamic and Meditation Society, founded by Grandmaster Anthony Wee, conducts Qi Gong exercises for thousands of people of various races in Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and the United Kingdom for the promotion of health and self-healing. Qi Gong is an ancient Chinese art concerned with developing, circulating and balancing “Chi” – the body’s internal or vital energy for health and well being. Its fundamental objective is to promote health and self-healing through harmonious energy flow. In the traditional Chinese medicine, Chi is the invisible energy that flows along the meridians of the body. Disease occurs when the Chi flow is interrupted or blocked. Unlike acupuncture which uses fine needles inserted at meridian points to stimulate Chi flow, the ar t of Qi Gong uses various breathing techniques and exercise to enhance the development, circulation and balance of Chi within the body. The art also teaches us a mindbody connection - where the mind focuses, Chi will flow to the focal area of the body. The Qi Gong classes were first introduced to our parish in September 2005. The classes are held every Monday from 8:00p.m. to 9:30p.m.
Lucas Neo HALMM, Saturday Sunset Choir
(except for public holidays or when there are special masses/functions at the church). There are five instructors – Michael Kang, Vincent and Lilian Keng and Agnes and Ronald Ng. Presently there are about 80 practitioners registered with Holy Spirit Church. About 45 to 50 usually turn up every Monday. Beginners pay $50 for each module of three months. There are three modules, after which the participants pay only $10 per month. The instructors are volunteers and all fees collected are given to the Chi Dynamics and Meditation Society which carries out charitable works, including donating monies to the Cancer Care Societies and to the churches where Qi Gong is practised.
Katherine Liu Lan
Joshua Wong Yu Cheon Martha Lau
Alexis Kwek Tong Chu Tan Teng Chong, Richard Thomas Toh Siow Tong Rosemary Lee Kheng Hiong Michael Yeo Keng How Freda D’Cotta
Chah Nai Moh Paul Yap Tiam Hock
“Kindness and faithful love pursue me every day of my life. I make my home in the house of Yahweh for all time to come.” Psalm 23:6 (N.J.B.)
Those interested in Qi Gong please contact Ronald Ng (Tel: 96227884 / email: shinefar@ singnet.com.sg) or simply come during a practice session. Ronald Ng
YO! What’s Up?
FOCUS ON MINISTRY ACTIVITIES
The main theme of this Youth Outreach (YO) programme was relatively unchartered, aimed directly at the youth of our parish and their non-Christian peers. Through various activities, the Word of God spread to others who were unfamiliar with the Christian faith. Those who have not yet had a chance to experience God’s greatness finally had an opportunity to do so.
Much preparation was done in the weeks leading up to this event and all the effor t was not wasted. Many non-Christians showed interest in becoming Catholics. YO! What’s Up? held on 24 May, star ted off with a session of Praise and Worship led by our parish youth. After some icebreakers, two people from the Rite of Christian Initiation for Youth (RCIY) shared their experience, as a sponsor and an inquirer. A youth-targeted mass conducted by our parish priest, Fr Andrew followed, with a slideshow depicting the plight of the victims of Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar preceding it. Fr Andrew brought the mass to the level of the youth and some commented that he was more like a “brother” to them. With the final Praise and Worship session after the mass, favourites like ‘One Way Jesus’ were sung, ending this Youth Outreach with a bang. Dinner was provided and during that time, many of our non-Christian friends approached the RCIY for more infor mation on the Catholic faith. YO! What’s Up? not only allowed nonChristians to under stand more about our Christian faith - it also gave us a chance to evangelise and deepen our own faith and love for God while enjoying ourselves at the same time. Definitely what I would deem a memorable experience, Youth Outreach 2008 was cer tainly a great success. Kelly Tseng Junior Catechist
by Diane Chai
Mission To bring the Life-giving Word of God to others
Motto The Word of our God stands forever About our Ministry • The Ministry comprises 25 members • To cultivate a sound basic knowledge of the bible and the church’s understanding, members are regularly updated and trained via ad hoc courses and periodic biblical retreats • Bible programmes and talks by notable scholars are invited to give talks • Scripture Studies programmes are held every Wednesday at 9:30a.m. and 7:45p.m. Events • Touching the Mysteries: Scripture and the Rosary (Wed 13 Aug to 10 Sep @ 7:45 p.m.) • Praying the Scriptures (17 Sept to 29 Oct @ 9:30 a.m.) • The Infancy Narratives of Jesus (Wed 5 to 26 Nov @ 7:45 p.m.)
Contact Jerr y Tan Teresa Chia
(HP: 91281418) (jerr firstname.lastname@example.org) (HP: 96986168) (email@example.com)
FLOWER ARRANGEMENT MINISTRY Mission To praise and thank God for the beauty of nature and His great love for us About our Ministry • The Ministry comprises 12 “flower” ladies • 4 teams rotate on a monthly basis to arrange flowers in the main church and chapel • Depending on the team on duty, members meet either on Friday or Saturday morning • On special occasions and feast days all team members jointly decorate the church • An experienced florist is occasionally invited to demonstrate and teach different skills for more creative and beautiful flower arrangements • Members gather periodically for fellowship, sharing and “makan” Events • 26 June – Mass in Honour of St Josemarie Escriva (founder of Opus Dei) • 15 Aug – Our Lady’s Assumption Contact
Joan Tan (HP: 96955119) Dorothy Ong (HP: 97319715) (firstname.lastname@example.org)
HOLY SPIRIT SODALITY Mission To be messengers of Christ’s love and compassion About our Ministry • The Ministry comprises 46 members • Whenever called upon, members reach out to the parish’s bereaved families by praying at funeral wakes at 8:30p.m. • Quarterly meetings are held at 8:00p.m. The next meeting is on 27 Aug • Since 2003, the Ministry’s main annual event is to organise the All Soul’s Day evening Mass. Members sing in the choir, serve as lectors and lead in the rosary recitation Events • 5 July – Outreach to 37 residents of Missionary Sisters of Charity • 3rd week of Sept onwards – practice sessions on hymns for All Souls Day Contact
Angela Soo-Tho Lilian Foo
(HP: 98738073) (email@example.com) (HP: 96822296) (firstname.lastname@example.org)
PARISH EDITORIAL COMMITTEE Adelind Tay • Diane Chai • Elizabeth Ng • Janet Chan Janet George • Mary Koh-Tay Special thanks to Henry Seah and all those who have provided contents for this issue. Fr Andrew Wong (Parish Priest) Fr Jean Nguyen Van Dich, MEP Fr Gerard Weerakoon
CHURCH OF THE HOLY SPIRIT Archdiocese of Singapore 248 Upper Thomson Road, Singapore 574371 Tel: 6453 6340 • Fax: 6451 5745 • email@example.com www.holyspirit.org.sg Design by - FIREFLY MEDIA Tel: 6295 1181 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org