First Inter Ministry Retreat
Over the weekend of 21-22 Apr, the first ever inter- ministry Retreat for CSM, commenced! The first batch of ministries that participated were the Ministry of Lectors, Choirs, and Neighbourhood Christian Communities (NCC). We understand that this time together provided opportunities for both spiritual renewal and for the participants to more clearly realize one’s purpose in building the kingdom of God by being in the body of Christ. To show their praise and thanks to the Lord, participants got to write their own psalms.
By Julianne Danielle Lim
O What a Night!
One could mistakenly think that a party planner was involved in the set up! With fairy lights that welcome you behind the shade of lace curtains, more fairy lights that lined the grass, huge trees sheltering us, and the city’s skyline around Esplanade Park – our friends from Society of St Vincent De Paul (SSVP) used their creative gifts to illuminate the holiday spirit on the eve of Labour Day, for everyone present and passers-by. Hage, a Mongolian tourist in her 20s who is currently working in Japan, beamed with warmth in her eyes and cheer in her voice, “I was just walking through this picnic and was invited. I am so happy to talk to so many people from your church. Singaporeans are so nice, I feel so nice!” Roland, who strummed and sung 12 songs on his Ukulele, heartily spoke: “praise God for the good weather, the good company and this party”.
The acoustic tunes, light breeze, ice cream and food, provided everyone with a pleasant ambience conducive for a short catch up with friends and to get to know new ones. Eileen clarified, I’m not Catholic (yet) but I’m here with Ben, who is Catholic.” Eileen and Ben had just moved to CSM’s vicinity and decided to check this event out together. Friends of theirs, decided to join them too as they worked in the area. While other bonds were formed, appreciating the clouds and trying to spot stars difficult to find, were a moment to share for others.
Mabel, aged 82, was spotted sitting on a mat. She joyfully exclaims, “I sit on the floor every other day to sew and do patch work on blankets for Tan Tong Seng Hospital” At such larger events where the whole church gets to meet, we often find ourselves broadening our minds and opening our hearts, to receive Jesus’ love from each other, as we reach out to our neighbours to give Jesus’ love. Whether we get to know each other over Old Chang Kee curry puffs and KFC deep fried chicken, or through games where one has to shout each other’s name when the sheet is dropped, this first picnic together as CSM community, was magical!
By Julianne Danielle Lim
St Mike’s Challenge
The challenge to St Mike’s parishioners was actually:
“What is my role in this community?”
It was unusual, when the day of our parish games started with breaking the Word together and reflecting on “One Body with Many Members” (1 Corinthians 12: 12-27). We were asked how well we know our friends at church and whether we reach out to others to invite them to different events in church. Fr. Terence asked if we separate our social activities in church from a spiritual and prayerful time.
He said it shouldn’t be the case. In excerpts from Archbishop William’s pastoral letter, “Our Christian communities must become genuine “schools” of prayer, where the meeting with Christ is expressed not just in imploring help but also in thanksgiving, praise, adoration, contemplation, listening and ardent devotion, until the heart truly “falls in love”.
Leon Chng, shared his faith story of how the care of others in a church in Melbourne, touched him while he was studying there as an undergrad. And it was only because of it, that he didn’t grow distant from the church. In fact, he took on bigger roles and stepped up in this church. He delved deeper, sharing that he could have easily gone from spending lots of time growing up in CSM with aunties and uncles, to not going to church while he was aboard. Leon testifies and implores us all to keep inviting others to our activities in church.
With that, we proceeded with the next five game challenges where we ran amok in games such as “Hunter, Squirrel, Earthquake”, “Beer Pong” (no real beer in it!), “3 legged race”, “Chapteh”, and “Blanket Drop”.
By Julianne Danielle Lim
Read the full pastoral letter from Archbishop William Goh: An Invitation to Prayer at Work – https://www.catholic.sg/an-invitation-to-prayer-at-work
Did You Know?
The pope changes his name after he is elected. Do you know the reason? It started way back in 1009 when Peter di Porca was elected. He started the trend because he considered it unseemly to style himself Peter II after the first head of the Church, St. Peter.
Before Peter di Porca, there were other popes who had changed their names because they were of pagan origin. John II was the first of such popes in 533 when he changed his name from Mercury (name of a pagan deity), but the trend began with Peter di Porca.
These days the change of name allows the new pontiff to show esteem for a previous pope, signaling to the rest of the Church a style or vision that this new pope wants to adopt.
By Fr. Terence Pereira