Young people taking part in a time of worship at the cathedral on Feb 18.

By Natalie Wong Jiayan

The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd rocked with praise, worship and exuberance as it hosted 1,500 young Catholics from various walks of life for the Nox Gaudii event.

Titled “Welcome to the Father’s House”, Nox Gaudii (Latin for Night of Joy) was organised and animated by the Office for Young People (OYP). The Feb 18 event featured praise and worship, preaching by Archbishop William Goh, Eucharistic adoration, confession, prayer ministry and fellowship.

The evening began with an opening address by Fr Jude David, one of the OYP chaplains, who highlighted the importance of young people in the Church of Singapore.

“Tonight we want to invite you, young men and women of the body of Christ, to bring that vibrancy of life to this building of stone … and let the world see that we are not just a Church that is 2,000 years old, we are a Church that is ever young and relevant, and still speaks with a mighty voice, proclaiming Jesus to the ends of the world.”

The celebrations then kicked-off with an exuberant dance by the 41 participants of the OYP School of Witness, an eight-week live-in discipleship school, before leading into a time of praise and worship with songs like “Joy of The Lord” and “God and God Alone”.

Archbishop Goh, in his preaching, highlighted what it means to be in the Father’s house. Firstly, he elaborated on how young Catholics, despite having many achievements in their studies or their work, face the issue of emptiness in their lives.

“No matter what the world offers you, there is a certain dissatisfaction. No matter how successful you are, how much wealth you have, how many achievements you have made in your life, it remains empty.”

He underscored the need for people to have a life of prayer and a relationship with God to fill that void.
“Prayer is the heart of the Church. If people learn how to pray again, how to relate with God and with Jesus as his or her personal friend, then it will become the Father’s house,” he said.

Secondly, he drew attention to the role of the Church as a house of mercy and compassion. “The Father’s house must be a place where people can find hope and encouragement. The Father’s house belongs to everyone. No one must be excluded from the Father’s house,” he said.

Putting the spotlight on the Homeless Jesus sculpture in the cathedral compound, he stated that it serves as a reminder to make the Church a place of mercy for those who are poor, wounded and spiritually hungry. He also shared his plans to make the Sacrament of Reconciliation more available throughout the day at the cathedral.

Lastly, he stressed the importance of recognising unity in diversity within the Church. He noted that Jesus chose 12 apostles of different characters and talents, “who were different and yet united”.

Eucharistic adoration, confession and a time of ministering by prayer teams followed.

As the evening progressed, the prayer teams carried out street evangelisation in the cathedral’s vicinity, in which Catholics and non-Catholics were invited into the cathedral to light a candle for their prayer intentions.

Mr Shaun Yim, 23, a School of Witness participant, who took part in this activity, shared: “Initially, it was a little daunting to be partaking in an outreach of this magnitude. However, the grace of the Lord really shone through our worries as he led my prayer partner and I to individuals who were really open to our sharings. It was truly an incredible experience in letting Christ lead us ever so fervently as his messengers.”

Others said they were inspired by the Nox Gaudii event,

“Before this, I didn’t know what Nox Gaudii meant,” said Ms Cheryl Chua, 25. “After experiencing it, truly what a night of joy it was! It was very humbling to see so many youths and young adults seeking and experiencing Jesus’ love. A great reminder that Jesus has always and will always be there for us no matter what.”

“Nox Gaudii made me reflect a lot on how I can become a better person, and it was emotionally stirring for me, said Ms Sherry Chua, 23.

Nox Gaudii is a worship event organised by OYP once every two months to stir faith in the young people, and foster a sense of being part of the local Church. The next Nox Gaudii is on Fri, April 28 at OYP, 2 Lorong Low Koon (536449).
For more information, visit oyp.org.sg, Instagram: @oyp.sg, or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/oyp.sg/

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