This year marks a very special time, the diamond year-our 60th Feast Day for our beloved parish, Church of St Michael! And this year’s theme is “Be the Change“. As disciples of Jesus, we are called to transform the world. We are reminded of our baptismal purpose, “WE are the light of the world”, We are that change. “Your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”-Matthew 5:16.
The 60th Parish Feast Day kicked off with this message: “Here we are sisters, and brothers, ready to open a 60 year-old bottle of wine. And that is what we are doing here in St. Michael’s. Looking at what we have done and there is so much more good that we are going to taste.” -Fr. Terence Pereira. Watch the full video here.
During the Feast Day Triduum, 22- 24 Sep, we were reminded that we are a work-in-progress. That we CAN change, only if we allow God to; and only if we constantly let God in. When we open our hearts to our Lord who is the potter and understand that we are but the clay, He will soften our hearts and we will begin to be transformed and continue to be transformed to become a better and better disciple after the heart of Jesus Christ. We must also be aware that our interior spiritual journey is a cycle and come to realize that our Faith trajectories are never linear. We can expect that there will be seasons when we serve others, and there will also be seasons that will evoke us to and call us to look at what more we can change. This process never stops and we can begin to recognize that this journey of faith is an ongoing process of refinement.
How do you feel when you chase after the things of the world? Do you feel tired “achieving” task after task? Do you constantly feel like you are seeking to be a better version of what you are made to be? Only God can change your life! But the only condition is… IF YOU ALLOW HIM TO. Think about the current situation in your life… What could your life be if only you would allow change and transformation by the Holy Spirit and your guardian angel’s guidance to happen? There are so many around us whose lives have been changed drastically because of our Lord.
So what is your story?
Ezekiel 36:26 says, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
“This feeling that I had that I feel like I don’t belong; that I look different from other people. Was I really supposed to be here?”
Watch and listen as Niel Stakes reflects during this year’s Feast Day Triduum on how he has changed and now sees God’s purpose for him
“I wasn’t feeling that well. Life to me felt joyless, meaningless and i felt depressed. There was a bitterness in me.”
Emmanuel Tan shares how issues and troubles of how nothing good ever happens to him but it all changed after he allowed God in.
“Honestly, I have no intention to get to know God. So many things had happened. Again each time, I find myself being back to square one.”
Witness Lilian Chua‘s story of how she responded and allowed God to transform her life.
On the Feast Day, parishioners participated in 5 different programmes to understand ourselves better, how we could serve others in our community, and experienced how despite the physical distance between us, we were an alive community feasting together in a virtual space and raising albeit a virtual glass of wine to toast the proceedings of the celebrations from our homes.
Fun for the Young
St Michael’s Feast Day Celebration for Young Children was held on Zoom on 26th September 2021, and it was a fruitful session filled with fun games and activities for both children and their parents. Through Kahoot quizzes, pictionary and even a St. Michael dress-up contest, children and their families learnt so much about our church and our faith! It was truly an eventful time of enjoyment, family bonding, and above all, celebration of our blessed archangel St. Michael!
For the Youths (For ages 13 to 20)
What makes a superhero? This was the question that the session revolved around. Through evaluating some of the characteristics of the most well-known superheros, such as Superman, we concluded that superheros use their powers for good to battle against their enemies. Although they may face discrimination and be mistreated, they remain steadfast to their belief. Contrary to popular belief, superheros do not need to have special powers, and we can be superheros as well, through our charisms. Charisms are special gifts from the Holy Spirit distributed to the faithful. They cannot be inherited, and these gifts thrive and grow when used for God’s loving purpose. To determine your charisms, you should consider your strengths and what you enjoy doing. Start being a superhero today!
For the Working Adults (For those in their 20s to 30s)
The session was truly fun-filled and real as we shared vulnerably on our struggles in integrating faith into our respective workplaces. Through the groups’ sharing, we get a glimpse of the struggles that individuals have in living the Christian life at work and learn from one another about the ways we manage these struggles. During discussions, we were also given scenarios which are common struggles that we all have and often struggle with but haven’t really gotten hold of how to manage it. Overall, the session was enjoyable, as we were given the opportunity to interact with people in the same phase of life as us and bounce off ideas from one another.
Outreach in our parish neighborhood
Over the Feast Day Triduum, we listened, we heard, we changed- with God’s word engraved in our hearts, we lived out how “we are the change’. We went in organized pairs, and went out courageously (“be courageous”, Day 1), to reach out to our neighbors in our parish ‘hood’ to share God our father’s love that He is alive (“Make a change, be alive”, Day 2), as we lived out our baptismal vows as disciples, reaching out to the corners our parish vicinity in HDBs all around us (Make a change, be a disciple, Day 3)
Gather as a community
The community gathered at 8pm to celebrate via a virtual get-together. We shared our stories and laughter, and we remembered the milestones that our parish had celebrated. Watching the montage video and Father Terence’s message to us, where we watched our fellow parishioners share faith of how did they grew for the past 10 years and their wishes for the church, we ended the night singing our hearts out with glee to our very own Glorious Hymn to St Michael, composed and arranged by Church of St Michael. We could thus feel how we Michaeleans are becoming more of the disciples God made us to be!
Written and Collated by Julianne Danielle Lim
Event Reporters: Ethan, Grace, Therese, Julianne, and Kelly