“To promote community spirit through information and awareness of Parish activities.”
Church of The Holy Spirit
Celebration of Our Lady’s Birthday and 90th Anniversary of Her Apparitions at Fatima
This year the celebration of Our Lady’s bir thday was with a marked difference. As 2007 is the 90 th anniversar y of her apparitions at Fatima, our parish had a dual celebration. Fr Andrew remarked during Mass that although there was no Archdiocesan celebration of this anniversary it was good that we highlighted and brought it to the attention of the parishioners. Three junior legionaries, Jamie Bong, Hilda Lim and John Lim from Our Lady of Cenacle Praesidium acted as the three seers of Fatima – Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco respectively. It was hear twarming to see the enactment of the three apparitions of the Angel of Por tugal, also known as the Angel of Peace, acted by altar ser ver Franz Grosse. The children appeared so innocent and charming and were really awed by the appearance of the Angel. They looked like little angels themselves. At the last apparition, the Angel of Peace gave the children ‘Holy Communion’ in both species. John Lim, who had not received Holy Communion yet was thrilled to receive the unconsecrated host. Continued to page 8
1 Celebration of Our Lady’s Birthday and 90th Anniversary of Her Apparitions at Fatima 2 My Dear Parishioners . . .
3 • Bible Sunday 2007 • Cherish Those Moments 4 & 5 Remembering Fr Fossion 6 • Project Batam • Vocation Fair 2007
7 • Fund-raising Update for Village Children in Sabah • Dearly Departed
Contents 8 • Focus on Ministry Activities
MICA (P) 072/06/2007
MY DEAR PARISHIONERS... “Carpe Diem!” As the Confirmation 3 students streamed in for their interview with me, my mind flashed back to scenes from a powerful thoughtprovoking movie, “Dead Poets Society” (1989). The movie tells of an English Professor, John Keating (Robin Williams), a graduate of Welton Academy, who returns to his alma mater after a teaching stint in London. He wants to open the eyes and minds of the latest batch of the prep school’s overachievers. On the first day, Prof Keating ushers his students into a room filled with display cases and he encourages them to study the photos on display and to stare into the eyes of those who had walked the halls before them.
Keating: “Now I’d like you to step forward over here.They’re not that different from you, are they? Same haircuts. Full of hormones, just like you. Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they’re destined for great things, just like many of you. Their eyes are full of hope, just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make of their lives even one iota of what they were capable of? Because, you see gentlemen, these boys are now fer tilising daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? --- Carpe --- hear it? --Carpe, carpe diem, seize.” “Carpe Diem!” These are the most important words in the movie! It is Latin for “Seize the day” or more generally, “Live life to the fullest.” I asked each of the Confirmation 3 students, barely 15 years old: “What do you want to
do five years from now?” Some spoke with self-confidence, some were shy, some were modest, and some were ambitious - their parents had pre-ordained plans for their entire life. “Is that what you want or is that what your parents want?” Later I asked myself the same question: “Am I seizing the day and living my life to the fullest?” My thoughts went to another young man who had perhaps asked himself the same question some 70 years ago. The young man was from Belgium – our beloved priest, Fr Louis Fossion. He certainly lived a full and remarkable life as God’s instrument. Even on the eve of his death, his mind was as clear as ever. When I called his name, he held my hand firmly. Then I read to him Psalm 23 “The Lord is my Shepherd; there is nothing I shall want…” So what is life? A poster I spotted had these words: LIFE IS NOT A QUESTION TO BE ASKED BUT A MYSTERY TO BE LIVED. We need to ponder over this and seriously ask ourselves: “How do I want to live my life?” In our columbarium we can all go and see a reminder of Fr Fossion. A giant in faith. A man who lived a remarkable life and remained faithful to the Lord and to his calling right to the very end. What about us? What can each of us give to the Lord? Blessed Mother
Teresa once said, “God asks us to be faithful, not to be successful”. As a Parish community then, let us journey together in faith and in the next three years, we will look at the main theme of FAMILY. We want to be a family of faith, not a family caught up and trapped by the lure of riches and false values. We can all look ahead to working together for the renewal of families, the growth of Small Christian Communities (SCCs), a programme to welcome the return of lapsed Catholics, the Alpha Programme, ongoing talks, formation and lots of prayer. Our young men and women in the Confirmation class can take heart. What does the Lord require of us? “To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8). I wish all of you a very joyful Advent and a very holy and blessed Christmas. Our God is faithful!
Fr Andrew Wong Parish Priest
BIBLE SUNDAY 2007 Bible Sunday was initiated by the Regional Biblical Commission (RBC) of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei in May 1991. It was in response to the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) that emphasised the importance and central significance of the Bible for the Church and the world. Since then Bible Sunday is celebrated annually on the second Sunday of July to remind us of the importance of God’s Word in our lives. best three entries were awarded on Bible There were word puzzles, mazes and simple Every year the Conference of Bishops of games all centred on characters and verses Sunday. Other highlights on Bible Sunday the RBC would decide on the theme and from the Bible. Bible-related colouring were: message for the Archdiocese. This year the • Bible verses projected on the screen pictures were also given away. The response theme was “Go on your way, behold, I am was overwhelming! before each Mass and pointers on reading sending you like lambs among the wolves”, and reflecting on Scripture texts. based on the Gospel reading (Luke 10:1-12, • Enthronement of the Bible at the beginning To illustrate the importance of not just 17-20) for Sunday, 8 July. understanding the Word of God but also living of each Mass. it, the Bible Apostolate Team simultaneously • Posters of the Bible Apostolate’s activities With this theme in mind, the Bible Apostolate organised fund-raising in the canteen to help and Scripture Study programmes. Team asked ourselves what we could do for • A “theme of the day” proclaimed on the the Church in Mongolia. this year’s Bible Sunday. We realised that like wall behind the altar. all Christians, we are commissioned to bring • Special sale of bibles for adults, teenagers We hope that the celebration each year the Good News to others. Empowered by will draw more par ticipation from our and children, bible commentaries, study the Word of God, we were confident that guides, bible maps, wall charts and audio- church ministries. we could be a light to the world so we began visual materials. planning the parish’s Bible Sunday activities. “ Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” (Psalm 119:105) The Liturgy of The Word with Children For starters, a Family Bible Quiz was Ministry had activities for children at an introduced a week earlier and prizes for the attractive booth set up specially for this. Jerry Tan
Cherish those moments
In the extended church family, I serve as a member of the Scheut Missions Friends’ Committee (SMFC). There are seven members from different parishes, each with different talents. One is excited by selling; others excel in publicity, in arranging for food, in proof-reading and so on. We are blessed to have two committed priests to guide us with their spirituality and examples of love. Through them I have learnt that we do not have to wait to experience heaven in death as it can be realised on earth so long as each of us learns to bring joy to one another.
I was baptised at the Church of St Bernadette some 10 years ago. A decade on and having spent the last four years in the church community of Holy Spirit parish, I am beginning to view the ministries that I have joined and the people involved as gifts from God. At work, my ministry is to serve the needy patients and the people who work with me daily. When challenged with a difficult situation, I often ask myself, “What would Jesus do if He were in my shoes?”. I think the Sunday homilies influence me greatly in this area as not all the team members at my workplace are Catholic. As such, I cherish every moment as an opportunity to live my faith and bring joy to the people in the face of challenges. In church, I belong to the Ministry of Lectors and St David’s Choir. Members of these groups have touched me in many ways. They
are exemplary of a loving community. Recently, my son had dengue fever. There were many concerned “Holy Spiritites” who comforted my family and me through their smses, phone calls and visits. Some may consider these as little acts but it is usually the little things that speak volumes. I am also inspired by the commitment of the leaders of these Ministries. Giving my best at each reading and song at Mass; taking each song, each breath, as instruments to serve the Lord, are to me, precious moments to cherish.
Life after baptism has truly been a blessing for me. On reflection, my spiritual life has gone through phases of learning, giving and loving. As a young baptised Catholic, I learn from role models and in this process I discover the joy of giving and receiving. Through learning and giving, I begin to uncover the truth about unconditional love. However, I know that the journey does not stop here. No one can claim that one has arrived. Selflessness is in itself elusive. The moment we think we have it, we lose it! Isabel Yong
ary .. .
herd ... Friend ...
Copies of the Souvenir Magazine commemorating Fr Fossion's 70 Years of Priesthood are available at Holy Spirit Church, while stocks last.
Fr William Lim and Fr John Van Dich
Project Batam: Restore My Church
In our joint effor t with the community of St Filipus, we were given the oppor tunity to par ticipate in building God’s kingdom spiritually. We are indebted to them for allowing us to witness Christ’s presence in a community much less for tunate than us. They taught us that joy could be found in any community, despite the pover ty – only if we allow Christ to be truly present in our lives.
At the blink of an eye, two years have passed and we have finally come to the end of another exciting juncture of our RCIY journey. On 9 June, we witnessed the dedication of St Filipus Church, the church we have restored! We star ted this project two years ago in the hope of repairing the “hole-filled” zinc roof and providing them with adequate chairs. Never did we expect that our generous Holy Spirit parishioners would be so suppor tive of our mission experience.
instead, we were able to build a new one. The old wooden church that fitted only 250 parishioners every Sunday is now transformed into a fully functional cross-shaped building that can seat 500 people comfortably.
In our interaction there, we found beauty in the lives they lead. They shared and were generous and charitable as a community. Their actions in witnessing the Good News encouraged their own congregation to grow from 300 to almost 500 worshippers. We were privileged indeed to have worked with a community, different in culture and language, that showed our Church is truly universal.
With the overwhelming suppor t, not only were we able to restore their church, but
However, the most significant growth was not the physical expansion of this church.
Amy Lim for The Faith Formation Ministry
Vocation Fair 2007
top four winner s could walk away with a Creative Zen Stone player each. This made the youth more eager to enter into conversations with the religious and lay volunteers to obtain the answers and get to know them better.
What is the meaning of vocation? The priesthood and religious are only reserved for special people, not ordinary people like me. I am too sinful and unworthy to serve God. God is calling me? Impossible!
Later Jude Tan, from the RCIY Ministr y shared how the witness and example of Fr Fossion, our former late parish priest, had inspired him. This was followed by a video on Fr Fossion.
These are some of the sentiments and thoughts of our youth whenever the word ‘vocation’ is mentioned. On 29 July, a Vocation Fair was held to promote vocations and to give our youth an oppor tunity to meet members of various religious congregations. It was organised by the Parish Vocation Promotion Team together with the Ministry of Catechists and volunteers from the youth groups. More than 200 youth from the Confirmation 1 to 3 classes; their families and other parishioners and
par ticipants from 10 religious congregations, contributed to the success of this Fair. The Serra Club that promotes vocations for the diocesan seminary was also there. All in all, the result was an atmosphere of exuberance and enthusiasm. The Vocation Fair kicked off with a buffet spread and a religious quiz. The
The last segment of the Fair was a talkshow styled forum where the guests shared their vocation stories which seem to have a common thread - they were inspired by Fr Fossion. The panelists were: Br Michael Broughton FSC, Sr Theresa Lim FSP, Sr Molly Lim FMM and seminarian, Br Jude David. They presented the following views: • Vocation is something ever y Catholic youth should find normal to consider at any point in their life;
fund-rAIsing UPDATE for village children in Sabah Remember the angelic voices of the Sabahan girls in our Attic on 10 December 2006? It was “Pay-it-Forward” for them. Having benefited from the hostel run by the Good Shepherd Sisters in Tenghilan, Sabah, they wanted to give the same oppor tunity to primary school children living in Liposo and Kelubaan. Ever y weekday, these children would walk two hours in each direction to and from their school in Pukak. The concer t at our Church raised S$15,901. When Sr Lucy deposited the money at the
bank, the teller was touched by the stor y and personally topped it up to S$16,000. That same day, a parishioner from our Church asked to meet the Sister s and donated another S$5,000. With this S$21,000 and money raised from other concer ts in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the Good Shepherd Sisters were able to build a hostel at Pukak for 24 children from Liposo and Kelubaan. When the hostel is fully operational, these children will no longer have to make a tedious 4-hour daily journey to school. The Good Shepherd Sisters would like to say a big THANK YOU to the Holy Spirit parishioners for their love and generosity. In June this year, a group of our parishioners visited Pukak to conduct cooking classes for the ladies and give English lessons to the children, through Bible stories and activities. The hostel was not yet operational then.
St John Bosco said, “One third of youths have a vocation”. Youths, do you hear him speaking in your hear t of hear ts today? Recent Recollection and Events: • 26-27 October 2007: Diocesan Vocation Discernment Recollection • 27 October: Annual Aspirants’ BBQ Jarvis Tan for The Parish Vocation Promotion Team
• There is no age limit when God can call you and it simply star ts with a desire; • God could call anyone to religious life or priesthood. It is not reserved for ‘saintly or holy’ people; • To answer God’s call is ultimately a call to live life to the fullest, to be fully human and fully alive.
Our Parish Pastoral Executive Jar vis Tan is our full-time Pastoral Executive. His role is to assist the priests and the Parish Pastoral Council Executive Committee (PPC Exco) in the pastoral planning and programmes of the church. The three main areas of his ministr y are: Youth, Family Life and Small Christian Communities (SCCs).
When we conducted the 2-day weekend Bible Camp, the Liposo and Kelubaan children made an additional 4-hour journey on both days, at times, through heavy rain. We were ver y touched. It meant that for the entire week, they had walked four hours daily. On the Sunday, the children put up skits of the Bible stories they had heard. We taught them hymns and were humbled by their enthusiasm and energy in singing. They are fast learners and were grateful for whatever little we shared with them. All of us who went agree that it was a ver y enjoyable and spir itually uplifting experience indeed! Jane-Marie Lim
DEARLY DEPARTED We remember our dearly depar ted Brothers and Sisters in Christ who have gone home to the Lord: May Vestina Lee Yen Wah June Victor Mahimy July Mary Doris Lesslar Michael Chai Magdalene Quek Mun Neo John Toh Chee Hong Rev Fr Louis Fossion cicm Elizabeth Liau Siew Chin Aug Soosaipillai Gabrielpillai Juliet Wee Sep Paul Emmaus Ng Oct Mary Chan May Ying “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.)
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FOCUS ON MINISTRY ACTIVITIES by Diane Chai
SMALL CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES (sccs)
SOCIETY OF ST VINCENT DE PAUL (SSVP)
Mission • To encourage and fully support the growth of more SCCs in our parish. • To use the AsIPA (Asian Integral Pastoral Approach) to build and support the SCCs. • To facilitate training in rotational SCC leadership to promote and encourage self-sustainability.
Mission • To ser ve the “Friends in Need” (FINs) and provide them with financial, educational and social support • To seek spir ituality through pr ayer and meditation • To bear witness to the love of Christ through daily living and to create relationships with those in need About our Ministry • P r e s e n t l y c o m p r i s e s 1 2 m e m b e r s , “Vincentians” • Meetings ever y Tues @ 7.00p.m. • The distribution of monthly food ration and cash ever y 1 st Thurs of each month • Once a month home visits to the existing 29 families in our parish that comprise 40 family members • Visits to three Homes for the aged to provide lunch, tea and social interaction • Annual outings and a Christmas par ty for FINs and their children • Financial contribution for education of poor children in neighbour ing countr ies (e .g. Burma, Vietnam, Thailand), through the SSVP National Council Events • Once every two months: » Canteen operation » Meeting of the six parish “conferences” that comprise the Par ticular Council (PC) for Nor th District • Annually: » Retreat for all Vincentians in Singapore. » Celebration of SSVP Feast Day. » F e l l ow s h i p g a t h e r i n g a n d d i n n e r o f Vincentians, held on a rotational basis. Contact Charles Wee (HP: 98288980) Dominic Abraham (HP: 90188385) Joseph Francis (HP: 92380382)
The congregation prayed the prayers taught by the Angel of Peace and Our Lady at their apparitions during each decade of the Rosary. A Powerpoint presentation of the history of the apparitions, the messages and how to respond to these messages of Fatima was shown, after which the congregation prayed the Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary Prayer, a request made by Mother Mar y herself. The evening concluded with the singing of ‘Happy Birthday’ to Our Lady.
Vision To be a communion of communities where the Good News is manifested in each SCC and the faith is balanced in devotion and social-mission, leading to a participatory church.
The statue of Our Lady of Fatima was resplendently decorated with an arch of peach roses and bouquets offered by the congregation. After Mass, parishioners happily snapped photos with their mobile phones while others enjoyed their slice of ‘birthday cake’ outside the church.
The four commonalities of an SCC are, for people: • To come together to pray and reflect on Scripture; • To support and care for one another; • To learn to live out their role as disciples and how to connect their faith to life. • To have a mission or outreach e.g. to the less fortunate, the sick or the elderly in their neighbourhood.
Pardon Prayer My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love You. I implore pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love You. Amen.
Angel Of Peace Prayer Most Holy Trinity Father, Son and Holy Spirit
I adore You profoundly and I offer You the most precious Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges, and indifferences by which He Himself is offended. And by the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and those of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg You for the conversion of poor sinners. Amen.
Most Holy Trinity, I adore you! My God, my God, I love you in the Most Blessed Sacrament
About our Ministry • There are 24 Estate Rosary Groups, each with a coordinator. • Some groups have grown into SCCs that meet monthly or bimonthly. • There is a Core Team that looks into weekly activities e.g. Talks, to encourage parishioners to come together as a SCC.
Events Archdiocesan SCC Day • 13 Oct • Oct (annual) Nightly rosar y prayers within each estate. • 31 Oct All Saints’ Day sunset and closing Mass for October Rosary Month. • Canteen duty by SCCs in 2007: » Mustard Seeds of Green Meadows – Jan, Mar, May, July, Sept, Nov. (6x year regular) » St Thomas Aquinas (Thomson View) – Mar, July, Sept » St Faber – Aug (ad hoc) Plans for 2008 Recruitment and formation of a parish SCC Pastoral Team to focus on awareness, promotion, formation and activities for SCCs. Contact Timothy Kow
PARISH EDITORIAL COMMITTEE Diane Chai • Elizabeth Ng • Janet Chan Adelind Tay • 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
CHURCH OF THE HOLY SPIRIT 248 Upper Thomson Road, Singapore 574371 Tel: 6453 6340 Fax: 6451 5745 email@example.com www.holyspiritchurch.sg Design by - FIREFLY MEDIA Tel: 6295 1181 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
PASTORAL CARE FOR THE SICK Mission To bring love, joy, cheer and companionship of Christ to the housebound “Referrals” the elderly, the sick, the terminally ill and those recovering from acute operations. About our Ministry • Star ted in January 2006 • Currently 12 member s divided into two groups (English- and Chinese-speaking) • Meetings once every two months • Home visits provide pastoral care, emotional and spiritual suppor t and administering of Holy Communion • Weekly or for tnightly visits on Wed, Thur and Sat mornings. Frequency depends on the needs of each Referral Events • 8 Nov @ 5.00p.m. – Special annual Mass for the sick and needy. Contact Joseph Bong (HP: 97550078) Dominic Fernandez (Chinese GP) (HP: 93659166) Mary Koh (English GP) (HP: 96203125) Sr Florence Wong FMDM (HP: 93825913) (Spiritual Director)