Victor Teo's journey to the church began in 1962 with the Novena; the RCIA completes it
I FIRST STEPPED into a church (Church of the Holy Family in Katong) one Saturday afternoon way back in 1962. At that time, all I knew was a half-hour Novena service where we all prayed to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Since then, I have been attending the services and still praying to her at the Novena Church every Saturday.
Left, Victor with Archbishop Nicholas Chia, recalls his encounter with the Holy Spirit.
During these years, I have been blessed with many pleasant things in life - jobs (meeting good bosses and colleagues), marriage (having a close-knit family) and business ventures. I am also blessed with having Catholic neighbours, one of whom is responsible for bringing me on this RCIA journey.
After having attended the Holy Cross 2006/2007 RCIA classes every Wednesday for almost nine months, I must say that my journey has been smooth sailing. After having attended the Novena services for the past 45 years and by going through the RCIA classes, I have become more aware of the Catholic faith, and I strongly encourage non-Catholics to experience what I have experienced. I'm really looking forward to be baptized this Easter.
The most extraordinary experience I had was on one Sunday afternoon during our RCIA Day of Recollection - a whole-day retreat at the FMM House. We, the catechumens, were blindfolded and led into the chapel. "Blinded" in total darkness, I felt lost and needed to be guided. I realized that I needed to use my mind, ears and be totally reliant on my facilitator-guide.
When Father Valerian Cheong removed my blindfold, I was given a candle and led back to my seat. Somehow, staring at the flame, I started to cry inexplicably and I went down on my knees. At this point, with my eyes filled with tears and focusing on the flame, I felt a vision of someone standing in front of me (wearing a white robe as worn by priests). And with his hands stretching out, he whispered to me, "Victor, welcome to the church." I paused for a while and replied, "Please forgive all my sins." When we returned to the hall later to continue with the afternoon session, I began to wonder whether I was imagining things or dreaming at the chapel.
However, that evening after saying my rosary in front of the altar before bedtime, I felt the same vision again. This time the image was much clearer. It was just like looking at a processed printed colour photograph which was taken earlier during the day.
The next day, I felt a nice, sensational feeling which words just cannot describe. All I can think of is the Holy Spirit is certainly blessing me on this journey of mine. If I have a chance to say something to the Lord now, it'll be: "Forgive all my sins, Lord, and help me to be a better and more forgiving person."