During Easter Vigil 2014, I had the joy of baptising six adults in our parish of Holy Rosary.
All of a sudden – out of the blue – one of the newly-baptised voiced out, “Father, are not all people in the world the children of God?”
I replied, “Yes, you are right, but many, many people do not really know it and do not live accordingly.”
This is a very basic question that should make us think. Being baptised is not in the first place becoming Christian or Catholic. It is in the first place discovering and living out that we are the children of God!
Churches (Catholic and/or Protestant of different denominations alike) are there to help people to discover and enjoy living as children of God. Being a child of God is an ongoing process.
In his message for World Mission Sunday 2014, Pope Francis reiterates the close connection between evangelisation and joy. In his short message, he mentions the word, “joy” (or rejoice) at least 33 times. He wants Mission Sunday to be a celebration of grace and joy.
Evangelisation is a celebration of grace because it is the work of the Holy Spirit and he alone gives wisdom and strength to those who are open to his promptings. It is a celebration of joy because Jesus in whom Christians proclaim to the world, is the “manifestation of joy”. Jesus not only brings Good News, He is Good News to everyone who encounters him.
Therefore, on this year’s Mission Sunday, the Pope asks us to reflect on the close connection between grace and joy in the work of evangelisation.
“Power! Power! Power!” shouted the 3,000-strong crowd of mainly Filipinos as they fist-pumped the air during a time of praise and worship at the Toa Payoh Sports Hall.
The venue was bustling with activity on Oct 5 as Catholics celebrated the 23rd anniversary of El Shaddai in Singapore – a Charismatic movement founded by Filipino Mariano Zuniega Velarde, popularly known as “Brother Mike”.
The celebration included skits by the youth ministries from El Shaddai and Blessed Sacrament Church, dances, life testimonies and a documentary on the history of the El Shaddai movement in Singapore.
One highlight of the event was Mass celebrated by Archbishop William Goh and several other priests, during which he spoke on the theme for the full-day event: Go and Tell the Great Things the Lord Has Done for You.
To celebrate CHIJ (Kellock) Primary’s 50th anniversary, the school, together with various companies, held an outing for under-priviledged pupils at Universal Studios Singapore on Oct 2.
Together with The Business Times, The RICE Company and Resorts World Sentosa, the school organised the Children for Children (CfC) programme which has been running for seven years.
During the event called Start, Show and Share Kindness Today, pupils of CHIJ (Kellock), supported by the staff of the school, set up craft and games booth, put together gift packs, penned heartfelt messages and staged performances to drive home the message of starting, showing and sharing kindness.