Left: Fr Eugene Vaz giving communion to one of the Friends-in-Need (FINs). Right: Archbishop William Goh mingles with FINs during the tea reception. Photos: Richard Koh and Danny LeeLeft: Fr Eugene Vaz giving communion to one of the Friends-in-Need (FINs). Right: Archbishop William Goh mingles with FINs during the tea reception. Photos: Richard Koh and Danny LeeNine chartered buses ferried more than 600 aid recipients of the Society of St Vincent de Paul (SSVP) Church of Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) for a special Mass on April 25.

Several SSVP members, or Vincentians, used their own cars to shuttle wheelchair-bound FINs while a mini bus was also deployed to bring St Joseph’s Home residents to and from the church.

During the Mass for Friends-in-need (or FINs as SSVP beneficiaries are known), Archbishop William Goh said that “if we don’t share our faith in Jesus, who is the giver of gifts, we are short-changing our FINs. When we give them Jesus, we are not only giving them the ability to endure everything in their lives but also the courage to face suffering.

“When we give the gift of faith, we also give the gift of contentment. We give them the gift of dignity, recognising them as our brothers and sisters of the same Father,” he said in his homily.

Archbishop Goh also reminded Vincentians to proclaim the Gospel by serving the FINs humbly.

“It is not what we do, but how we do. Only humble service can touch people’s lives. If we are condescending, the face of Christ will not be received.”

Several other priests including SSVP spiritual advisers – Fr Eugene Vaz and Fr Adrian Yeo – also attended the Mass.

Mr David Lau, a member from the SSVP Faith and Formation team said, “the Mass is a good way to show tangible, genuine concern for the poor, the most vulnerable members of society”.

“It is in times like this that we feel a heightened sense of togetherness and solidarity with our FINs. It is also a way to make more evident the Church’s mission to be a witness of mercy and compassion.”

After Mass, everyone headed to St Gregory Hall for a tea reception and fellowship.

During the tea, several FINs showed their interest in learning more about the Catholic faith.

Some 200 Vincentians also helped to serve the FINs by dishing out food at the buffet stations, while others helped by bringing food to elderly FINs.

It was the fourth time that  SSVP has held a special Mass for FINs.

By Magdalene Tan

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