Archive for August 4, 2019

Sharing of a dear brother in Christ…❤️

Posted: August 4, 2019 by CatholicJules in Testimonies

I was baptised on Mar 31 at Easter Vigil in 2018. My name is Meng and I’m now Jude-Maria too.

RCIA was an express train for me …

I had sought acceptance to the Catholic Church with a RCIA waiver.

My main justifications for this request ?

I had attended the Greek and Russian Orthodox Churches in Singapore previously and was nearly baptised in the Russian Church if not for work which took me to be based in Vietnam. My wife belongs to the Russian Orthodox denomination.

From 2016 to 2017, I had also started attending Holy Hours, Fatima processions, masses.

Even before I understood the Blessed Sacrament of the Most Holy Sacred Host, I must have holed up in adoration rooms in at least quite a few Catholic Churches countless times since 2010.

My (eventual) god-mother then arranged for me to meet some priests to justify my case of getting the RCIA waiver in October 2017.

I met Fr Michael ARRO first and he rightly insisted on the need for a “basic education” and introduction so that I can better understand the church, and especially since i was not illiterate.

I then met Fr Edward LIM the following week from meeting Fr Arro, and strangely in a session that didn’t take too long, I ended up asking Fr Ed if he was willing to admit me into his RCIA program even though it was nearly at half-way point …

RCIA : was my first taste of COMMUNITY
Of course, now in retrospect I can see how we Inquirers or Catechumens were bubbled wrapped and babied by brothers and sisters in the RCIA ministry and oftentimes also the active members of other ministries of Sts Peter & Paul (SPP). My catchup coach for RCIA was himself by then pursuing his Neocatechumenal Way with his wife. What rich diversity even at the beginning. And the workers for God’s work at RCIA speak volumes about how important such ministries and communities are.

After baptism, we were encouraged to join ministries. I am aware and still know these are wise and practical suggestions. To quote St Josemaria Escriva, “Conversion is the task of a moment; sanctification is the work of a lifetime.”

But journeying without companions must be the “Road to Emmaus when Jesus did not show up” (an episode that doesn’t exist) – for a neophyte, a returning Catholic, a born-again Catholic, a Catholic who graduated from CER, etc …

Some circumstances took me out of the post-baptism RCIA sessions at SPP and also ministering options which will work for me seem few …

God know better – I had been attending Catholic Prayer Society lunchtime masses since 2018 before baptism – the reflection session in the announcement after mass on 2018 May 2 finally activated me and called me to action. I contacted brother Julian whose face and name I recognised – he was an ex-colleague whom I didn’t know personally then and he invited me ‘to come and see’.

What happens at these Ephraim reflection sessions ?
It is primarily a get-together of people who work in the Changi Business Park area. Catholics, Christians, or folks open-minded to a session of up to 60-minute, where we read then reflected on sacred scripture and shared our thoughts (therefore reflections). ‘Where two or three gather in my name, I will be there among them.’

Usually we reflected on scriptures for the upcoming Sunday during Ordinary Time. At Lent, Easter, Advent, Christmas, we do use the materials provided by the Office of New Evangelism (ONE).

I attended my first reflection, then a second and a third and it went on throughout 2018 to the first 4 months of 2019. Those who attended who were just another Catholic to me initially, became members of a community who were supportive, humble, sincere – we all came together to share, our love of God, and sometimes our personal struggles, at work or at home or at church – the spirit of the community is communicated outside of our meetings in our WhatsApp group where we shared, requests for prayers, materials useful for formation and activities and events of the greater Catholic community in Singapore …

I soon attended my first reflection session for SCC (Small Christian Community) for Lecterns, Choir, etc led by Fr Terence PEREIRA. I began to sing at choir for CPS Changi and the “greeter party” to welcome our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Ephraim became a place of solace, a joyful 60-minute, away from the hectic demands at work or home – a piece of heaven here in my earthly pilgrimage – to meet members of the body of Christ – my first community of fellow-sinners and prayfully fellow-Saints-to-be.

With the experience of Ephraim – our community, this must have been one of the activation-moment for me, I proceeded to have less reservations with regards to Catholic programs – I will respond to calls to come and see, solicited or those I chance on…

Also, to be engaged with other “communities” in addition to Ephraim – journeying with brothers and sisters in our continued Catechism and formation. I was even able to volunteer to carry Our Lady of Carmel in the annual procession of 2018, attended my first silent retreat with Opus Dei, etc.

There are some personal constraints on what I can offer to God in ministries consistently at parish churches at the moment, I continue to pray and I thank God for the communities He was able to arrange bespoked for me.

For the love of God, we pray for you who are unable to participate in communities outside of your own household, social and work networks. We invite you to ‘come and see’, as a community that continues to grow by help from the Holy Spirit, the Word and examples Jesus left us in the Gospels, and God the loving Father who longs for the prodigal child’s return.

Come and see, or pray to God for you to find a community suitable for you today.

Holiness

Posted: August 4, 2019 by CatholicJules in Meditations, Memory Book