A colleague led Ong Bee Kim (Bernadette Ong), 32, to a RCIA session and it changed her life.
I HAD ATTENDED services in an Anglican church for slightly over a month when one of my colleagues invited me to attend a talk at Church of the Holy Cross one Wednesday evening in August 2006. There, I was told to fill up a form for RCIA.
I was a little apprehensive. I recall telling my colleague that I might choose to walk out of the room anytime during the two-hour session if I did not find it interesting. My colleague then left me with her niece (who, like me, was new to Catholicism) to sit through the session.
Abovie, Bernadette Ong is ready to say 'yes' to continue her personal mission to always be of help to others.
To my amazement, I found it very interesting. Subsequently, I attended Novena and Sunset Mass in the same week with my colleague and her niece. I felt very touched when the hymns were sung and the Word was broken. I was very comfortable throughout.
Before I knew it, I was attending church talks and weekly Masses without fail, rain or shine. I even attended Masses, talks and Holy Hour by myself. I suppose that whatever I was experiencing then, must have been through the work of the Holy Spirit. And this could never be possible unless I was very open to his words. I was doing my daily prayer before bedtime and each time I would ask God to guide me and teach me more about him.
I would say my journey was very smooth in that there was no disruption (from work or other personal matters) that would stop me from attending weekly RCIA class.
I recall many incidents when I shuttled from place to place before attending classes or Holy Hour but somehow I always managed to make it in time. I knew about Jesus back in my secondary school days when I took up Bible studies as an 'O' Level subject. But the Word did not sink into my mind then, and so I did not make progress in this faith. However, my perspective changed while going through RCIA. I began to search fervently on the Internet for information and I read a lot on Catholicism.
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My faith grows daily as I constantly seek him to guide me and grant me peace. I have come to trust him more each day and I think there is nothing that could change my mind on taking up discipleship with him. And I am truly looking forward to the day of my baptism.
Now, I have taken up volunteer service at SILRA (Singapore Leprosy Relief Association). Through him, I have come to realize that I need to do something for others, to help the needy, the helpless and forgotten people of our society.
I have also signed up to be a facilitator/sponsor in the next RCIA journey in my parish. I will pray to God to send the Holy Spirit to those people whom he has chosen, and let me bring them closer to him. I have been telling myself, as I prepare for baptism, "Be not afraid, just let him guide me and work through my days till baptism and thereafter!"
The Rite of Election was quite a significant moment because we got to meet the Elect and Candidates from other parishes. I felt that I was accepted not only by my own parish, but by the entire Catholic community, as can be seen by the presence of brothers, sisters and priests from other parishes. I felt a strong sense of "unity" as we share a common faith. I enjoyed the entire rite and I think it was very beautifully delivered and the ambience was solemn but warm.
I felt very touched during the homily when Msgr Vaz said that our Lord Jesus not only said "No" to temptations while in the wilderness, but he always looked up to God to say "Yes" to his words. Similarly, when I have decided to take up discipleship with Jesus, I must not only be firm to say "No" to personal and worldly temptations, but I must be able to remember his teaching and to defend him.