Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
“Adventus” is the Latin translation of the Greek Word “Parousia” – The Lord is coming. The First Coming of Christ has historically passed and Advent prepares us for the Second Coming of Christ. However, we must first receive Christ in His First Coming at Christmas, if we are to be ready for His Second Coming.
Advent is thus a special time for us to pray and contemplate with Mary, as we prepare for Jesus to be born into our hearts. Appropriately, the theme for this Advent is “Bearers of the Good News”.
This theme reinforces the significance of consecrating the work for the New Evangelisation, to Our Lady, Star of the New Evangelisation, who leads us to Christ, the Light of the World. For Mary was the first to bring Jesus, the Good News, to the world.
After pondering what the Angel Gabriel had told her, she hurried to Elizabeth to proclaim the Good News of the coming of the Messiah.
The theme for the Masses was I Was Born For You. Carmelite Fr JunJun Agruda, a specialist on Teresian spirituality from the Philippines, was the main celebrant and homilist. During each Mass, participants prayed the daily Novena prayer and there was also veneration of St Teresa’s relics.
Fr JunJun shared that St Teresa, a Doctor of the Church, was a great spiritual guide to knowing God. Her writings, especially her books, The Interior Castle and The Way of Perfection, the priest said, act as a map in one’s journey towards Christ. Fr JunJun also emphasised that for St Teresa, humility was the queen of all virtues.
During an Oct 17-19 stay-in retreat in Plentong, Johor, Neighbourhood Christian Communities (NCCs) from Blessed Sacrament Church learned the importance of forgiveness and ways for them to move towards mission work.
Upon arrival by coach, retreat master and guardian of St Pio’s Friary and spirituality centre in Ulu Tiram, Johor, Fr Valentine Gompok, greeted the retreatants and their spiritual director, Fr Thomas Sukotriraharjo.
As part of the Building an Evangelical and Missionary Neighbourhood Christian Community retreat at Majodi Centre, the 73 participants attended three sessions by Fr Valentine.
The first was about the importance of forgiveness as a foundation to build relationships in communities. Fr Valentine said that people are “hard-wired” to retaliate when they have been hurt by others as their pride and self-esteem have been injured.
The federation, which has existed since 1924, helps coordinate efforts of Catholic medical associations and spread Christian principles throughout the world.
Dr Lee, who became the second Asian president of FIAMC during the 24th FIAMC World Congress in Manila from Oct 1-4, told CatholicNews that “it’s a great honour. At the same time, it was a little bit of a shock because I hadn’t expected it.
“I didn’t want to disappoint the Asian countries who elected me, who nominated me, so I accepted the nomination,” said the former FIAMC vice-president.