My wife, Helen and I started out as a married couple as “moving Catholics”- we moved from Church to Church – wherever it was most convenient for us we went. We were Pew Catholics who went to church on Sundays and did not really know much of our faith. 

As a young couple, we were trying very hard to have a child. We tried and tried over many years, but nothing happened. By this time, we had gone on 7 years without having a child… And the last thing any couple would want to hear from their doctors after trying so hard and so long, that maybe it is just not possible. Our doctors had even told us to depend on a miracle to have a child! Can you imagine how we had felt…?

But in this period, we had attended Marriage Encounter (ME), a weekend getaway experience for married couples to rediscover the joy of marriage and holy orders. This wonderful retreat rekindled our love of our Lord. We experienced so much from Him and we experienced the miracle we had been waiting for for 7 years – we received his gift shortly after, we were pregnant!

Having experienced a personal encounter of this miracle, we were brought so much closer to him through the birth of God’s first child in our marriage. We were elated and felt we were in the hands of God.

Love Starts In Our Family 2

But being in God’s grace was never in our hearts and minds then…

What filled our hearts and minds instead were the race of our lives – bringing up a boy in this world, concerns of our jobs, our families, owning a home, car and more.

We fought hard using our own strength to gain these possessions without much thought over God’s plan for us. We were caught up in all of that.

As our son Theodore started to grow, we intended to be closer to his Primary school for a shorter commute. We made the necessary considerations and made our move to St Francis Road. We did not plan for this and had no idea. Through God’s blessing and His plan for us, there was a church nearby and we were just 300m away from the Church of St Michael!

Shortly after we moved in, through God’s plan for Theodore, he was to be in the Altar Servers and he joined them. We ourselves found ourselves too, serving the Lord in this Church.

In a blink of the eye, I served as a Warden for 18 years. And in this time, I was just doing the work as a Warden without much thought over how this service should be: with Love and with mission of our Lord Jesus Christ. Instead, it was a long journey with much work in organising Family Carnivals and other events for the Church. 

However, in the past 8 years of family life, a truly revealing nature of God has a hand in how we would slowly move to a more loving family through our Lord Jesus Christ despite all the difficulties we faced as practising Catholics. Our struggles stemmed from mainly our lack of understanding of what our faith has to offer and that we were using secular standards to measure how we were doing in our family life. This led to many difficulties with each other. 

Reflecting upon these years, it was revealing that we had not much knowledge nor wisdom nor understanding of what our faith had for us. In the last few years since my serious illness and calamities in my health life, we grew closer as a family unit.

Slowly we were drawn to attend the daily Eucharistic Celebration in different phases. One by one. First it was me, then Helen and then Theodore.

I remember Helen asking many years ago why I had to attend Mass daily and I could not answer her, and that it was just that I had too. There was no other answer I could give.

Interestingly much later, Helen herself told me that she wanted to attend daily Mass. Theodore followed after. I believe these were directions in our adult lives we had to respond too. Again, no logical answer could be given. Only a belief that we can be closer to Jesus in our lives. 

We were led to go through Marriage Encounter for the 2nd time. This time around it was with our community in CSM and we were assembled and chosen to attend. With our consent we attended. Through the two  Marriage Encounters, we got to know more of ourselves that we were never alone in our Journey and we were with Jesus in communion together in Holy Matrimony. Much occurred and was  revealed to both of us as to how we should deepen our relationships and how we could guide each other to a Holy relationship with our Lord.

Since 2018, we have become better formed as a Family with our experience in many of the talks through the Vatican Documents and courses attended through the years organised by Office of New Evangelisation and in our Parish.

We now serve as a family, with the love of God in our hearts and a Mission for Jesus Christ. For me, now in the Catechetical Ministry and for Helen and Theodore, as Extra Ordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.

We recognise that we are Works in progress and work towards being even better disciples of Christ, being formed to carry out his Mission to build his kingdom here in this world.

We have learnt and experienced so much together and we continue to grow with others as One Family in a Loving Vibrant Community of Disciples here in our Church, our parish.


Written by: Joseph Yzelman

Edited by: Julianne Danielle Lim