Sunday, May 23, 2010

Send Off 2010 Pentecost Sunday 23rd May 2010

Last nite was graduation night at the SFX Loyola Hall for the 2009/10 batch. Congrats to all our neophytes and once again thanks to all the RCIA facilitators who worked so hard gathering the lambs for Jesus. Well done and keep up the good job.

Dearest Neophytes or more appropriately Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
On behalf of the Parish Pastoral Council we wish to congratulate and welcome you for being our latest batch of graduates from our SFX RCIA programme. We are indeed proud that you have chosen a religion founded by our Lord Jesus Christ over 2000 years ago. His message then and now is very simple “Love one another as I have loved you”
I know that the Roman Catholic Church had been branded as very unfriendly, snobbish, proud Catholics as compared to our brethren in our sister Christian Churches. That is a perception which I hope you manage to dispel after your 9 months journey with SFX. It is not easy but you actually are in control as you are now part of our Catholic Churches and how you treat others will now be the reflection of the Catholic Church. So be friendlier and have a smile for all you meet daily, be it in Church or elsewhere, and slowly but surely the message will be that Catholics are now a lot friendlier and more loving sincere Christians.
Service is the epitome of love. I remember Bishop Emeritus James Chan’s motto of “To Serve Is my Joy. “ Today I urged you to start to serve after having been served for the past 9 months or so. You need to know that your being baptized, confirmed and receiving the Sacrament of the Eucharist is but the beginning of your journey back to join our Father in eternal life. While we are still on earth we need to join our brethren in your various neighborhood communities called the Basic Ecclesial Community where the members gather together as a community, breaking bread, serving the community by providing service to the loved one, marginalized such as the poor, migrants, and the differently-able and Proclaiming the Word of our Lord. Last Sunday you were privileged to listen to a realistic and powerful and person sharing by Beth and Angela on what it means to belong to a BEC.
Tonight we are fortunate as several of our BEC leaders are here to invite you and to speak to you more on how the BEC functions. All in we have 18 BEC in SFX and you are welcome to join them but ideally you are encouraged to join the BEC where your home is based. Give your contact details and we will assign you your BEC i.e. if you want to join SFX BECs
SFX comprises of several Parish Structures, of which the Parish Groups fall under. The Parish Assembly meets yearly to determine the general policies of the Parish. The parish priests, PPC, core team members of the BEC’s and Parish Groups are represented in the Assembly
Our Parish Pastoral Council comprises of parish priests and lay leaders from the BEC’s and Parish Commissions and is responsible for formulating overall pastoral policies of the parish. It meets monthly to plan, propose, evaluate and discern what needs to be done to enhance the pastoral well being of the parish. It facilitates consultation and proposals for action.
The Parish Co-coordinating Council comprises of parish priests and all chiefs of BECs and Parish Groups and acts as a decision making and implementing body of the parish. It discussed matters or issues that the PPC proposed for adoption or implementation. PCC also provides the forum for reporting and giving feedback to members on matters affecting the Parish.
Parish Finance Committee comprises parish priests and appointed members of the Parish and is responsible for making good use of the financial resources of the parish in fulfillment of its objectives.
Parish Groups in SFX are placed under 4 Commissions i.e. Worship, Integral Human Development, Sectoral and Evangelical & Catechetical.
Worship Parish groups are normally directly related to a priest in the celebration of the Eucharist such as liturgy team, Bass, altar ladies, hospitality ministers, and worship groups such as Charismatic, Marian Devotion
Integral Human Development focus on justice, work in solidarity with those who are committed in their struggle for greater freedom, peace the marginalized in our society. Examples are FSC, Reach, Wheels, and SVDP
Sectoral covers a wide range of activities aim in promoting spiritual and moral values and fellowship for children, youths, single adults, married and senior citizens. Parish Family Movement, Emmaus, PFM, LifeLine, Life Teen and Dawn come under Sectoral Commission.
Evangelisation and Catechetical Commission has its primary objective of carrying out the mission “to make disciple of all nations” Faith formation is provided here, this is where the RCIA, Firm Foundation and Sunday School, confirmation group belongs to.
For 2010 and 2011 you can also opt to join the Golden Jubilee Committee who has lined up several projects to commemorate our 50 years of SFX. Projects line up include dinners, pilgrimages to Malacca and even Spain together with St Ignatius Church Singapore who is also another Jesuit run parish celebrating their Golden Jubilee too.
I thank you for listening and now would like you to take some time to visit the various booths to get to know about your BEC’s and parish groups. Hopefully you can decide tonight which BEC or Parish Group you would like to join. May you go out and offer yourselves to the society so that you can begin your journey as Disciples of Christ. Good night and God bless you and your loved ones.
Loh Lawrence
23rd May 2010

Sunday, May 16, 2010

In the beginning

I was first involved in the Catholic Basic Ecclessial communities back in the earlie eighties. I remember how the Redemptorist priests came over for their missionary work in the Church of the Immaculate Conception Johor Baru. I was quite attracted to them as the priest who came was a friendly person who was able to communicate well with us. I remember his name as Father Peter and he came over to our old home where he conducted the sacrament of reconciliation in one of the rooms. I find it strange now that he did not offer to say a Home Eucharistic celebration at that time. I wonder why.
I remember the time when a few were us were gathered to share on the book "Five Loaves and two bread" Without much guidance we navigated our own way but this did not last long as people were unfamiliar and gave up after one or a few sessions.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Kick start and be alive again

Although this blog was created in 2008, there was no posting as I was not ready and know not what to say. However with the encouragement of James Oh and few others I will attempt to pen something here that hopefully will be of interest to you. What shall I do with this blog?

Perhaps I shall use it to bring back the days of old and remember situations in my life where God had been there for me. Another area could be a summary of books that I had read or biblical stories or teachings that I learn. Stories of SFX and some humour to go with.

You who are reading this blog can also help with your suggestions.

You too can post your interesting comments and articles as we share in building up this blog.