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Sunday School Way of the Cross

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St Ignatius Church (SIC) Sunday school recently organised two Way of the Cross (WOTC) for its students which were well-received. A WOTC for primary children was held on Sunday 17 March whilst another for secondary level was held on Sunday 24 March, both at the Rooftop of Costantini Community Centre.

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WOTC is held every Friday of Lent at SIC but having Sunday school children & youths themselves act out Jesus' final journey on earth (via 14 stations or scenes on the way to Calvary) makes it more immersive & meaningful for their peers watching. After its completion, several principal characters shared their feelings whilst acting out their roles and all were touched by the significance of Christ's sacrifice for all humanity.

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The WOTC for primary children was organised by the Sunday school Support Team whilst the event for secondary students was planned by the class catechists of Forms 3 & 4 with youths providing support in operating the sound system. Costumes for the secondary WOTC especially the Roman soldier helmets & their attire were made by Form 4 catechist Marcia Yap and were used by the primary WOTC actors & actresses.

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According to Sunday school coordinator Ivy Wong, it was heartening to see many parents joining both sessions as well as many children who were experiencing the WOTC for the first time. There were also positive feedback from parents. Ivy invites more parents to join the Sunday school support team as it consist of parents of students, and is thankful to have parents supporting the ministry & making it a fun, faith-learning place.

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Click on Youtube to view a video of the WOTC for primary children. More photos taken by the Parish Communication Team (PCT) are available for viewing & downloading atgooglephotos


 

Catechist Retreat 2019

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The central theme that is echoing in my mind for this year’s Lent is Repentance, Renewal and Expectation. As I journeyed to the Methodist Centennial Chefoo Centre in Brinchang, Cameron Highlands, my hope was that I would be able to live out the central theme of Lent. I was not disappointed. During the retreat which was held from 8-10 March, I listened to Fr Simon Pereira (Novena Church, Singapore) as he shared his experiences and key points on rediscovering our calling as catechists. I began to ponder on the four key points, namely encounter, response, transformation and mission.

I reflected on my six years as a catechist. Have I encountered Jesus in my lessons, in my students, and in my colleagues? How can I have this encounter? As Fr Simon illustrated in his talk, we meet Jesus in the Eucharist, who alone empowers us to do His mission. Still, the burning question remains: How should I respond to Christ's invitation to encounter Him? As a catechist, I know the answer. As a disciple of Christ, I still lack the courage and will to live the answer. I realise I still have a long way to go. This is my repentance stage. In humility, I know who I am and I know where I was. This is what my 2019 Lent is shaping up to be. I need to pray for the grace to accept God’s will in my life. I spent the rest of my available free time at the retreat centre praying the Rosary and other chaplets. This practice helps enlighten me as I seek to empty myself and cast myself at the foot of the Cross.

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Through God’s love and mercy, I hope I can be transformed into being in the image and likeness of God – renewed. Renewed to undertake the mission of spreading the Good News to little “lambs” entrusted to my care in my Catechism class, with the expectation that He would make all things new in our life as a caring and welcoming community. As I relive the moments at the retreat centre, I cannot help but feeling blessed having attended the Catechist retreat. I made it a personal journey of repentance, renewal and expectation. I have gained some insight that would make my spiritual journey enriching this Lent and beyond as I encounter our Lord’s grace, mercy and love, guiding me to respond to His calling to be a faithful and vibrant catechist. by Vikram Pio Martin

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It was an eye opener for me, a member of the Sunday school support team which was invited along, because church retreats usually are supposed to be quiet. But not this one. Fr Simon Pereira's sermons were interesting and meaningful. He understands what the youths are facing today and he guided us as educators to be at their level, to understand them, to love them and to know more about God. I already look forward to next year's retreat. by Josephine Tan

My first time attending the retreat was an experience I’ll never forget. During the three days, I was given the opportunity to meet new people, and forge friendships through sharing, song, and growing in faith and love. by Angela Chan

The location was beautiful and it was a very nice retreat. Fr Simon helped us grow spirtually and I was given the opportunity to lead praise and worship. by Adrien Rahul

My first experience definitely impacted me in various aspects of my life, both spiritually and mentally. The support given by all the catechists and Fr Simon were truly inspiring and a major blessing to me. Each one of them managed to touch my heart and make me a better person. by Isabella Wong

As for my first experience in this cathechist retreat, I honestly thought I would feel out of place with the older cathechists around. But getting to know them all and spending time with them was completely fulfilling and amazing. The testimonies of some of the cathechists and Fr Simon's talk really had a great impact on me, especially on ways to connect with students. I thank Fr Simon for coming all the way to Cameron Highlands and being there with us and most importantly to the teachers who helped make this retreat possible. The best thing in the retreat was when we sat down together in the hall and talked to one another about the things we like about each other. by Tiffeny Joy Jankins

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BEC-SSO Outreach in PJ Old Town

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Eleven members of our BEC SS3 St Catherine followed the St Ignatius Church (SIC) Street Shepherd Outreach (SSO) team on Saturday evening, 9 March 2019, to help out in the SSO ministry of distributing food and drinks to the urban poor in Petaling Jaya Old Town. Team leader David Foong, in his briefing to us, said the outreach serves anyone and everyone, regardless of race, religion or creed. Many of the people who drop by are single, elderly people who live alone and without much financial resources, so the food and drinks they get in the outreach are something they look forward to. It rained for a while just as we arrived to set up a small table to put the food and drinks on the five-foot way in front of a shop which had shuttered for the day so we were not obstructing anyone.

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David asked our members to take charge of handing out the food and drinks. After serving those who were already waiting for their food, there were still a few food packets left as the rain could have prevented more regulars from coming. So led by David, we took a walk around the area to hand the items to those we felt were in need. BEC members who were participating for the very first time in street feeding were unanimous in their praise and support of this challenging outreach that requires passion to go out on the streets week after week. Martin said: “Today’s outreach was interesting, it was also an eye-opener for me as I was given the opportunity to experience how it feels to help other people who are in need.”

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“To see the people queue for the food and be happy after receiving it made me feel really blessed with what God has already and will provide for me,” said Marie. Emily said it was an eye-opener that many urban poor are lonely people without anyone to care for them and the outreach has shown how we should appreciate family and help others in need. For Marvin, the smiling faces of those who went away after receiving the food and drinks made his day way better! Marissa meanwhile felt that we should be grateful for the life we have been given and share that blessing with everyone. BEC SS3 St Catherine is thankful to the SSO for allowing its members to jointly help out in this street outreach. We hope to go on another one, this time in KL, in the not-too-distant future.

 

RCIA Facilitators Retreat 2019

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To prepare for the coming of the Lenten season, St Ignatius Church (SIC) Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) facilitators organised a retreat at the Maranatha Retreat Centre, Janda Baik, Pahang. The retreat took place from 1-3 March 2019. Fr Simon Pereira from Novena Church Singapore was invited to give the team members a refresh and renewal guidance to continue their journey in RCIA. The theme was on “Empowerment” so that RCIA team members are empowered to be sent to evangelise and to build strong human relationships.

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Fr Simon reminded that there shall be no intense focus on Jesus’ miracles but rather on Jesus’ teaching of quiet moments, be in solitude, get connected and be close to Our Father. Current society is filled with brokenness and woundedness, especially in relationship matters. RCIA facilitators dealing with adults shall be empowered with the Word of God, proclaiming the Gospel to newcomers who wish to embrace the faith. Fr Simon touched on “Encounters, Liberation, Transformation and Mission”, with the final word that God is Love.

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Fr Simon also gathered all his children and celebrated the Sacrament of Reconciliation with them. Mass was celebrated every day as the Eucharist empowered the divine presence to all to continue the sharing of God's presence. Fr Simon then blessed the facilitators, walking two by two, by saying that “Christ is depending on you”, and the facilitators responded with “and I on Him”. The final moment was prayer from the entire team to thank the Lord for His presence throughout and that Fr Simon be blessed for his many human encounters to shepherd all his missions. Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus!

Click on RCIA for more information.

 

Opening of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

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After the 6 pm Mass at St Ignatius Church (SIC) on Friday 22 February 2019, SIC Parish Priest Fr Andrew Wong CDD blessed the new Atrium located on the second floor of the new extension building adjoining Costantini Community Centre. The blessing was held on this date to coincide with the Feast of the Chair of St Peter the Apostle. Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) is parent-child faith formation programme for children taking place in the Atrium which is a sacred, hands-on space in which children, their parents and catechists can reflect, hear and celebrate the essential mysteries of the Catholic faith as revealed in sacred scripture and the liturgy.

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Children have the opportunity to respond in their own way to the material presented, e.g. a parable; Bible enthronement; an explanation of the altar; grace & courtesy whilst at Atrium; significance of Jerusalem in salvation history. Originating in 1954, CGS was developed in Rome by Dr Sofia Cavalletti (a Biblical scholar trained in Catholic theology) and Montessori educator Gianna Gobbi. It adopts a Montessori-based approach to faith formation for children ages 3 to 12. The Montessori method of education – developed by Maria Montessori and used for more than 100 years in many parts of the world – is a child-focused educational approach based on scientific observations of children.

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Sessions are held every Saturday from 9.30 am to 10.30 am. The first session starts on 23 February 2019. As of date, the eight students already enrolled will be taught by three trained catechists and six assistant catechists. According to CGS Coordinator Angeline Kam, her hope is for every child to be able to undergo this parent-child journey to develop a deep understanding of & love for our Catholic faith, that they grow up never to leave the Church, and turn to God always.

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Also present at the opening were Assistant Parish Priest Fr Lawrence Ng CDD, Br Joseph Lim CDD and Sr Maria Chan who is part of the Mandarin CGS which will commence in late June 2019. Churches with Atriums have given SIC the honour to host the Level 1 Part 1 CGS training programme to be held from 27 May to 1 June 2019, 9 am to 5 pm.

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More photos taken by the Parish Communication Team (PCT) are available for viewing & downloading atgooglephotos

 

Weekly Eucharistic Adoration

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Beginning October 2018, parishioners will be able to attend 24-hour Eucharistic Adoration which will be held every Wednesday (Tuesday midnight to Wednesday midnight) in the Prayer Room. All are invited to come and spend an hour in adoration weekly. Kindly register and keep St Ignatius Church posted on your committed hour via sms or whatsapp to Richard Lai 019 333 1002 or register online. On all other days, the Prayer Room will remain open from 7 am to 11 pm.

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Chinese New Year Mass 2019

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Be grateful to God, surrender everything to Him and be evangelisers – these were the three main points St Ignatius Church (SIC) Assistant Parish Priest Fr Lawrence Ng CDD stressed in his homily at the Chinese New Year Mass on 5 Feb to usher in the Year of the Pig. The 10 am bilingual Mass saw the church filled to the brim as many parishioners came in various shades of red, an auspicious colour befitting the festive spirit. The main celebrant was Parish Priest Fr Andrew Wong CDD.

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In his homily, Fr Lawrence told the congregation to thank God and be grateful for the many blessings He has given us over the past year. Also important was to thank the many people who have helped us overcome our many difficulties. He also said we should surrender everything to God and not to worry too much about what life holds for us. “Accept whatever God gives you,” he added, whether blessings, happiness, sufferings or illnesses. “Take whatever God gives as a challenge.”

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On evangelisation, he said as we have been baptised and sent we have a responsibility to share our faith with others, especially this year which has been declared an extraordinary year of mission. He said all of us are called to be missionaries, not just the priests. He suggested that we do small things to bring the message of God’s love, simple gestures like a smile. Besides the bread and wine, also offered as offertory gifts at the Mass were flowers (representing adoration and admiration), red candles (hope and peace), new year cakes (unity and fellowship) and fruits (happiness and achievements).

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The rite of commemoration to ancestors was performed at the end of the Mass, led by Frs Andrew and Lawrence, to remember our ancestors. All bowed three times before the ancestral tablet while gifts of flowers, cups of wine and fruits were offered. Everyone then lined up to wish both priests a Happy Chinese New Year and receive an angpow from them. Oranges were also distributed to all who came. The morning ended with an energetic lion dance at the church entrance.

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More photos taken by the Parish Communication Team (PCT) are available for viewing & downloading atparishlife

 

A Saturday Well-Spent

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by Emily Bong

About 70 core team members from the various BECs in St Ignatius Church (SIC) spent an enlightening and inspirational Saturday on 19 Jan at a formation on leadership skills and succession planning. Coordinated by the Archdiocesan BEC Animating Team (ABECAT), the formation was facilitated by Monsignor Mitchel Joseph and our own Rita Krishnan, who is chairperson of ABECAT. The participants were pleasantly surprised when His Grace Most Reverend Julian Leow, Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, dropped in at the start unannounced. He was on his way to another function and decided to just drop by. In his short address, he encouraged us to keep up the good work in our BECs. Several topics were covered in the formation, and group discussions were held.

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Monsignor Mitchel shared several enlightening stories, which touched many hearts so that most of us were glad we came for this formation. For instance, he stressed that a leader need not be perfect (just as Jesus didn’t choose perfect disciples) but with guidance and God’s grace, any person can be groomed to be a leader to serve the Lord. We shared views on what important steps we must take to build our BECs, ways to increase trust in our BEC community and emulating Jesus’ nine traits/characteristics (never promote oneself, obedient to the Holy Spirit, cast a vision, team builder, relationship builder, control with Christ authority, know how to engage in head-on crisis, daily prayer and empower people).

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A clip from the movie “A Bug’s Life” was shown where the ants faced a crisis, and we were asked how we would respond if we faced a similar situation. Here, we learnt that we should instil the following for our BEC – have a common goal, work as a team, be joyful and happy workers, and plan with a vision in mind. We also need to be positive thinkers – be an encourager rather than a discourager. Therefore, as core-team members we should help each other out and do our part to serve God and our neighbourhood as a community of Christ with love and compassion.

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Monsignor Mitchel also shared that BECs were started in Central America in response to a crisis where the elite were suppressing the peasants. The poor then set up small cell groups to fend for themselves, with priests joining to help them. This movement then spread to Asia. In Malaysia, Monsignor Mitchel said BECs play an important role as they would be at the forefront to preserve the faith should a crisis occur, for instance, if churches are closed down or there are not enough priests to serve the people.

 

SIC Celebrates Pongal Festival 2019

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Shortly after the 6.45 am Mass on Sunday 13 January, parishioners of St Ignatius Church (SIC) gathered around a pot of rice being cooked outside the main church entrance to celebrate the Pongal Festival. Meaning ‘overflow’ or ‘boiling over’, festivities typically begin with the boiling of harvested rice with milk, brown sugar, ginger, tumeric stalks or other ingredients. Earlier at the Offertory during Mass, gifts of kesari (a sweet Indian food comprising semolina, sugar, ghee, water & milk), pongal rice, laddu (flour, ghee/butter/oil & sugar) and a basket of fruits were offered up. 

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SIC Parish Priest Fr Andrew Wong CDD, Assistant Parish Priest Fr Lawrence Ng CDD, Br Joseph Lim CDD and seminarian Br Selvam were on hand to watch contents of the dish boil and spill out from the pot accompanied by shouts of “Pongalo Pongal” (which means “to overflow” in Tamil). Parishioners had the opportunity to taste some Pongal delicacies and watch dance performances at the cafeteria where the event organiser – SIC Tamil Group – had their coffee morning to raise funds for their activities.

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Pongal is a four-day harvest festival celebrated by Indians all over the world but especially in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It begins from the first day of the Tamil calendar in the month of Thai (usually in mid-January) when crops such as rice are harvested and to show gratitude to the almighty and the generosity of the land. Pongal resonates with us Catholics who are grateful to God for the bountiful harvest of the land and life-giving sunshine & rain – it also gives us an opportunity to show our solidarity & unity with like-minded people who value the natural habitat.

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More photos taken by the Parish Communication Team (PCT) are available for viewing & downloading atparishlifeor googlephotos

 

Sunday School Orientation Day 2019

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authorvikram

As I walked to the St Ignatius Church (SIC) Costantini Centre lift on Saturday 5 January, I wondered what the orientation was going to be like. I had a lot of expectations as I wanted to start 2019 with energy and purpose. I was not disappointed. Our facilitator was Mr Christopher Raj, a very talented trainer. I found the focus of the trainer for this orientation was geared towards human connection. The sessions allowed us catechists to rethink the way we approach our students. One aspect of the session engaged us to rethink on the way we can approach the first catechists, our students’ parents. That triggered a deeper interest in me during this orientation. As I sat with my group No. 4, I wondered what the session will be like, since we get to play with Lego (a line of plastic construction toys).

After the praise & worship session led by the SIC Youth Ministry, our facilitator introduced us to the Lego Serious Learning experience. Throughout the session, as we did serious construction work with our Lego bricks and parts, I realised there is a deeper meaning in what we are constructing. Every piece we use has a purpose and as we complete our structure, I come to realise how our talents, aims and motives influence the big picture. I began to reflect inwardly and began to realise that engaging with students and parents would help us in spreading the Good News, the fulfilment of the Great Commission our Lord and Saviour gave to us

How do we do that?

I did not have the answer to this most critical question. This was where God taught me to be humble and open to ideas. As I listened to the wisdom shared by other catechists, including the youths who committed themselves in serving Sunday School, I learned how we can reach out to the students and parents this year. As I walked back to my car and drove home, I began to reflect and got excited. I wanted to make a difference, not by myself, but with the help of my fellow catechists. I am, of all people, truly blessed for the opportunity this orientation day had given me.

Click on Sunday School for more information.

 
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