News Flash

Postponement of Church Renovation

Pls note that our church renovation  – announced previously to commence on 8 May 2017  – has been postponed until further notice.

Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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FLM Coffee Morning

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In addition, there will be a jumble sale offering a wide choice of pre-loved items; unique & quality handcrafted products by SIC Parents Craft Group such as newly-made miniature gardens, fashion accessories, paper batik  paintings, potpourri at very affordable prices. And guess the correct weight of a jelly cake (below) to bring it home! All proceeds will be used to support Family Life Ministry (FLM) components groups – Moving On Single Again (MOSA), Cancer Support, Marriage Encounter, Orang Asli Outreach – and other charities. 

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Commissoning of Neophytes & Fellowship

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by Shaun On

Just over a month after their baptism at the Easter Vigil Mass, the newly-baptised (now called neophytes) were commissioned at the 6 pm sunset Mass on 20 May 2017 at St Ignatius Church (SIC). Boldly stepping out from their regular RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) classes on Tuesdays, SIC Parish Priest Fr Andrew Wong CDD officially sent them out to evangelise the world with the Gospel. The entire congregation as a family, led by Fr Andrew, then prayed for the neophytes to strengten them in the new task entrusted to them. Baptism certificates were then presented individually to each. 

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At the farewell party which ensued after Mass, Fr Andrew and Assistant Parish Priest Fr Lawrence Ng CDD joined facilitators, confirmands & neophytes who brought along their family members and godparents. A good spread of Western cuisine was served and a creative team entertained those present with hymns, songs, music & games. To their amazement, the facilitators were asked later to play a game of musical chairs! 

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The final message given by the facilitating team to the neophytes was to always have the Word of God in their hearts and to know & love their neighbour. In this regard, they were encouraged to participate in any of the many programmes on offer in SIC parish for them to continue to strengthen their faith journey and use the gifts which God had given them to serve one another. 

rcianeophytes8Interested in learning more about the Catholic faith? Complete the application form at rciaformand submit to the church office. More information is available at RCIA

 

Catechist Retreat (6-8 May 2017)

by Vikram Martin

When I stepped into the hall of Villa Dominic on a cool Friday evening, eyeing all the arranged chairs, and having seated somewhere in the middle of the hall, the theme ‘Serve with Passion’ began to invade my thoughts. The two (2) questions that kept churning in my mind was, “What does it mean to serve with passion?” and “How to serve with passion in a sustainable manner?” At this point, it is important for me to disclose the reason I was there. By doing this, perhaps one might understand the motivation for me to hear the gentle voice of God and be led by the Spirit, in a three-day journey towards, what I would personally call, ‘Reigniting a lost passion for teaching’. 

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As a teacher, I have had my darkest moments. The thought of quitting and seeking ‘greener pastures’ in other industries had crossed my mind more than once before. Such is the curse of a doubting mind. I began to recall my years serving in various industries, at different capacities. Currently, as a history teacher in school as well as a catechist in church, I have become more aware of my intense desire to teach. I find fulfilment in shaping the hearts and minds of children. But I am also keenly aware that desires are as fleeting as my emotions. I need something to sustain my desire in teaching. That something is called ‘Passion’. There were burning questions that needed to be satisfied: 

• “Where does this passion come from?” 

• “Why is this passion important?”, and 

• “How can I ensure I do not lose this passion?” 

It dawned upon me that, despite my initial reluctance to attend this retreat, God had made it possible for me to be planted in Villa Dominic in order to answer these three fundamental questions. The next two  days, I attentively listened to Fr Michael Raymond expound on the topic of ‘Serving with Passion’. Through the entire session, my mind constantly reverted to the above-mentioned three questions. In a way, I had personalised the experience of the retreat to suit my objective: ‘Reigniting a lost passion for teaching’. 

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Where does this passion come from?

During the three-day retreat, I became aware of the origin of my passion for teaching. It stems from a ‘Purpose’. As I pondered on the word, I soon came to realise that the purpose of me having a vocation for teaching, is to ‘guide children to be responsible citizens, thereby building the Kingdom of God’. It was in this retreat that it became crystal clear to me: By focusing on ‘wanting to build a loving and sustainable community’, and not, ‘wanting to get a good job in the future’, the vision for teaching (and learning) shifted from ‘Scoring As’ to ‘Touching Lives’. In a nutshell, the passion within me originates, not in selfishness, but in selflessness. I just have to look at the crucifix for affirmation. 

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Why is this passion important?

We cannot give what we do not have. Children of the 21st century are very sensitive to their environment. They can ‘sense’ if a teacher has passion. Passion not just for the subject matter, but more importantly, passion for them. Preparing lessons and delivering them can be done, but without passion... the lesson is just a lesson with zero impact on the children. Throughout the retreat, during those quiet ‘reflection walks’, I reflected on this question. I became aware that I needed to infuse passion into my lessons, as often as possible. The reason was clear. Passion transforms a topic into life lessons. Passion animates what is printed on paper into “life”, through a child’s imagination. Passion directs a teacher and catechist into bringing the ‘culture of life’ into a world that promotes the ‘culture of death’. 

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How can I ensure I do not lose this passion?

During the retreat, I realised that I will need to have a sustainable source of passion in order to travel on this long journey as a teacher and catechist. This was where the sessions given by Fr Michael became relevant to me. To ensure I do not lose this passion within me, I have to be aware of my strengths and limitations, and how to manage them. 

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Strengths

I have my unique set of skills, which over time, have become my strength. This is good, and yet dangerous at the same time, because I can easily succumb to ‘Pride’. With such realisation, the retreat had taught me to be constantly aware that I am able to do all things through Christ who strengthens me. This requires me to pray often, especially before beginning my lectures. By ‘tuning into God’s frequency’, I would be able to deliver my lessons with zeal and communicate and build a relationship with the children through the ‘eyes of Jesus’, filled with compassion and mercy.

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Weaknesses

Saying that, I do have my fears and doubts as a teacher and catechist. Those pesky inner voices of doubt, which surface from time to time, questioning my ability to be a “soldier of Christ”. Knowing that I am weak reminds me that I have a God who strengthens me. I am made aware to work on my weaknesses by trusting in God. This is where humility comes in. It makes me more human, thereby allowing myself to be more accessible to the children.

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What have I gained?

What I have gained from the retreat cannot be fully expressed in words. It is an experience. I have experienced the ‘goodness of the Lord’, and the ‘goodness of the Lord’ is something, for each of us to feel, touch, and taste. I am now aware of the importance of having passion in my teaching. Despite obstacles that I face in my teaching vocation, and though the journey is long and tiresome, I know that, when I focus on the child rather than on the child’s grades, or even on how well I perform as a teacher, I bring Christ to that child. Humility teaches me that God is in control and that I need to remind myself of “Who I am and where I am” – I am a teacher and I am in a school or in Sunday school. This realisation often allows me to focus on the well-being of the children and conduct myself appropriately in class, thus giving birth to the passion within my soul, sparked by the Holy Spirit. In a nutshell, by being Christ-centred, passion emergence when I become aware of my vision, namely to lead the children to be builders of the Kingdom of God.

I would highly recommend that catechists go for this retreat which held on an annual basis. The experience would help you ‘Serve with Passion’.

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Mother's Day Gift from Sunday School

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Sunday school students of St Ignatius Church had a pleasant surprise for mothers who attended English Masses during the weekend of 13-14 May 2017. For they were presented a candle each – decorated by the students in conjunction with Mother's Day which falls on 14 May. A total of 800 candles were given out. Mothers were also blessed by SIC Parish Priest Fr Andrew Wong CDD and Assistant Parish Priest Fr Lawrence Ng CDD.

Fr Lawrence mentioned that mothers can use the light of the candles to shine out to their beloved family members and people around them. Apart from honouring the mother of the family, Mother's Day is an annual celebration of motherhood, maternal bonds and the influence of mothers in society. May all mothers be the light to others. Happy Mother's Day to all mothers.

 

Novena to the Holy Spirit & Pentecost Rally

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AST-CCR Golden Jubilee Celebration

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Click onrciaformfor the registration form. 

 

102 Youths Confirmed in SIC

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On the fourth Sunday of Easter on 6 May at the 6 pm Mass, His Grace Archbishop Julian Leow celebrated the Sacrament of Confirmation with one of the largest groups of confirmands ever in the history of St Ignatius Church. Seventy four students from the English Sunday school and 28 students from the Mandarin Sunday school were anointed with the Oil of Chrism. It signifies their receiving the seal of the Holy Spirit to mark their total belonging to Christ and their enrollment in his service forever. With Confirmation – the completion of Baptism – the baptised are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed.

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In his homily, Archbishop Julian hopes that the confirmands are able to recognise the voice of Jesus the Good Shepherd after 11 years of catechism. In the real world, they have to face all the challenges, pitfalls and cliffs that they may fall over if they wander too far from the Shepherd. They must also share the faith, to bring others who are in darkness into the light, those in ignorance to undestanding. As it is also Vocation Sunday, Archbishop Julian shared that the call for each one of us is to discover what is God's will for us – what has God called us to. Are we living out that vocation that God has planned for each one of us? The basic vocation that each disciple of Christ is called to is to love as Jesus loves.

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In addition to bread and wine, confirmands offered up their talents and gifts for which they have been blessed with, and faith experiences encountered through Sunday school lessons, Renewal in the Spirit Seminar, service projects, Confirmation Camp and other activities. At the end of Mass, SIC Parish Priest Fr Andrew Wong CDD congratulated the confirmands who are now adult Catholics responsible for their own faith and spreading the Good News to others through words and actions. As they are now on a new journey of faith, he advised them to attend faith-formation programmes and serve in church ministries to strengthen their faith and be witnesses of God.

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Fr Andrew also reminded that: Faith is a life-long learning process and a special encounter with the Lord. The more you seek the more you will find. The more you find the more you will understand. The more you understand the more you will explore. And the more you explore, the more you will act in love through and with the Holy Spirit to give glory to God. SIC Assistant Parish Priest Fr Lawrence Ng CDD was the concelebrant at the Mass with godparents, family, friends, Sunday school teachers and fellow Catholics in attendance.

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Click on flickrlogo  for more photos.

 
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