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BEC Sharings

My BEC Experience 

By Andrew Hau 

My name is Andrew Hau and I am with BEC St Helena, Damansara Jaya. When my mother, who was a Catholic, passed away in 1999 at the age of 86, I was at a loss of how the funeral rites would be carried out. My BEC advised me to see the Parish Priest Father John Chia, who agreed to conduct the funeral rites after I explained to him I was unable to produce the baptism certificate of my mother but able to tell him the church at Titi in Negeri Sembilan where she was baptised.

You know what: Father John Chia is from Titi as well (of course, I was unaware of that until much later). The BEC helped to arrange the rites as well as the 7 days prayers. The BEC had come to our help during one of the most difficult time of our life when my mother passed away. For all the above, I am forever grateful to them. The BEC is not only there when we are in need of spiritual support but for social activities and friendship as well as we get to know each other better as we go for outings, picnics and excursions together, e.g. we had a wonderful time when we were in Cameron Highlands last year. This will help to bond with each other even better.

In the year 2003, I was encouraged to join RCIA by our BEC. I had wanted to follow my mother’s footsteps and religious belief all these while. The BEC was helpful through my RCIA journey with encouragement and support. The BEC members also had me in their prayers.  The various coordinators were very good and dedicated and we were taught various aspects of the Catholic faith. It was very enlightening and I had learnt a lot from all of them. I was baptised by Father Philip Tan in 2004.

I would urge all to take an active part in BEC activities such as prayers meet, excursions, pilgrimage etc so as to contribute positively to our spiritual, social, emotional and family life.

Building Relationships & Spiritual Life

By Faye Foo

I was baptised 5 years ago. Prior to my baptism, I was feeling helpless and depressed over some family matter. A friend brought me to SIC to pray. I did not know then whether prayer was going to help me or not. Not long after that both my husband and I joined the RCIA and became Catholics. You may be wondering if my problems went away as a result of my conversion, well the answer is no. It didn’t! But after my conversion I felt better and stronger. The beauty of Christianity is the ever presence of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is nice to find a friend that you can talk to at anytime of the day. You can tell him anything without feeling embarrassed. You can feel his presence and he is sympathetic. More importantly, you know he can help.

When I was younger, I was arrogant and felt I can deal with life’s challenges, until one day I was given a problem that is too complex for me. Through my conversion, I am now reminded constantly of God’s call of humility, although at times I do became impatient and annoyed with God for not helping me enough. After all he did say "Ask and you shall receive". It is times like this that I am fortunate to be part of a BEC. Through the regular gatherings, I have been able to listen, share and be part of a bigger community of people of one common faith within my neighbourhood. The rosary sessions at the BEC are always uplifting.

In my BEC food seems to play an important part. But honestly, it is just an excuse to gather and talk. Over time our friendship with one another develops and a bond is created. The conversation ranges from exchanges of views and advice that includes matters on family, business, leisure, health, household, cooking, teenage issues and many more. My youngest son is a teenager now and he has many friends in the BEC. He especially enjoys the bowling session where all the BEC members from 1 yr old to 70 yr old participates.

This and many other events at the BEC help build relationship not just between us adults but also between our children. In this day and age, our children are subjected to a lot of outside influences such as violence, drugs, pornography and others. And as a mother, I am particularly happy that the big brothers and sisters in our BEC are good examples for him! As a result of all the gatherings and BEC activities we have grown so fond of each other that we feel we are true brothers and sisters in Christ. Through our friendships, we have been able to carry out charitable works which is not only rewarding but fun.

When I compared my life before my conversion and now, I felt my life has changed for the better. Both my husband and I have been working on improving our spiritual life and the BEC has made this possible. What I now pray for is for my older children to follow in the footsteps of my husband and I in embracing Christianity. I will have to ask God to make me a better person to convert them and I am certain my BEC will be there to support this cause.

What BECs Mean to Me

By Ivy Hoh

My family and I spent much of our lives in Section 9, Petaling Jaya, in another parish. I was asked to be the coordinator for Section 9, which didn’t have a BEC group then. My assistant and I went around calling on each family to attend prayer meets, and to be a part of the wider community in the parish. We became very involved in the life of the parish and the BEC group still continues to be active.

We moved to our own home in SS25 in 1991, and my husband reminded me again and again that we now belonged to SIC parish. It was hard to pull up roots and move, but we were just four minutes or less away from SIC. I gave up being coordinator in Section 9, and together with that all my other involvements in the Liturgical and BEC committees. I had the feeling that my husband was secretly pleased that I was no longer rushing off to meetings in the weekdays, and coordinating and commentating at different masses in the weekends. I felt isolated and alone when worshipping at Mass at SIC, because I felt that there wasn’t a sense of belonging as I had no gifts of involvement to bring to the altar at Mass. 

In the beginning, because I didn’t feel a sense of belonging at all in SIC, I fell into the groove of being a Sunday Catholic. My children were busy with their tertiary education and I became more involved with work commitments and evening lectures. I kept telling myself that I deserved a break from church activities, from the pressures of attending meetings and from the demands on my time. Our only involvement was the Sunday Masses in the mornings. Sometimes there would be invitations to prayer meetings but it seemed like we always had other commitments, and they were more important. Sometimes I would go to other churches for Mass. Often I felt isolated and alone. And there were times we didn’t know what was going on in church, and sad to say we didn’t really care. Sometimes I felt guilty when from the pulpit came words such as “You must offer your time and talents for the good of all.” How do we do that if we are not called: I asked myself several times. This went on for 16 years.

Then my husband passed away in 2007.  A dear friend said that she would contact my BEC coordinator. His warmth and his caring ways were facets I will always treasure. There were no judgments and no condemnations. One of the BEC members prepared the booklets for the liturgy for the funeral mass, and every night for seven nights they came to pray, and their moral support and their presence was greatly appreciated. The other profound fact was the members of BEC Section 9 also came every night to pray with the family. After that period, there were invitations to prayer meets and I was never allowed to lapse back into the old ways, because my neighbours from four doors away would come by and remind me and even offer to give me a ride. There was no escape! We became involved and together with that came the sense of belonging. Our contributions to something as simple as a BEC coffee morning brought home the fact that there were important lessons for the whole family including my young grandson, as we all chipped in.

Personally I felt how important these first impressions were in the life of a young child, to be involved in the wider community, to be generous, to be caring, to become a better person, and most important to have that sense of belonging. Every home we went to for prayer meets exuded a warmth and sense of hospitality that came through when we shared a meal. Our home now was open to our bigger family and we enjoyed their company. These were important times for our family as I knew that through our loss of a dear one we had also gained a supportive family in our BEC. The call to be BEC is always there, but it has to be acted upon. Someone once said that for a person to become a person of worth, he or she has to be with other persons.

The sense of belonging can only come from that.

 
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