SINGAPORE – The Church of Divine Mercy (CDM) celebrated a Dedication Mass on Jan 9, attended by some 1,500 Catholics including parishioners and Divine Mercy prayer groups from all over Singapore.
Archbishop Nicholas Chia was the main celebrant of the Mass, alongside CDM’s parish priest Father Johnson Fernandez, assistant priest Father Ignatius Yeo and 29 other priests.
The dedication rite that evening saw a relic of St. Faustina deposited beneath the altar as well as the anointing, incensing and lighting of the altar and the church.
In his homily, the Archbishop thanked God for the “gift of the new church” and expressed hopes that the church would be “an inspiration to all faith to respond and spread God’s mercy and love”.
Highlighting the ABCs of mercy – whereby one should “Ask for His mercy”, “Be merciful to others” and “Completely trust in Christ” – the Archbishop said that “mercy is love and extended to others” and urged the congregation that has received love and mercy from God to “let it overflow from us to others”.
He also encouraged the congregation to join in the Divine Mercy devotion to the benefit of oneself and the Church.
Calling the occasion a graceful day for the Singapore diocese, Father Johnson in his address said he hoped the new church would be a “space where people come for God in spirit and in truth with a trust that humbly opens themselves to the working of God in His merciful love”. May the church also be a place where God’s people will find comfort and where their “hearts will burn for a desire of conversion”, added Father Johnson.
Meanwhile, Catholics expressed their joy at the Church of Divine Mercy’s dedication, and hoped that the new church will become the main place for them to congregate and pray the Divine Mercy.
One such person, Lucia Cho, 58, from Church of the Holy Cross, said she really felt the presence of God at the Dedication Mass that evening.
“At least we have a place to come annually for Divine Mercy Sunday,” she added.
Father William Lim, the spiritual director for the Archdiocesan Divine Mercy Apostolate told CatholicNews that they have held the annual Divine Mercy Sunday Masses at various parishes as a form of evangelisation and promotion of the Divine Mercy.
To date, Father William said that 30 out 31 churches have the devotion, and added that the apostolate will be at the new church to celebrate the annual Divine Mercy Mass when the chance arises.
Father Piotr Prusakiewicz from Poland who preached at a triduum leading up to the Dedication Mass told CatholicNews that he is happy to part of the church’s celebration. An inspirational speaker on Divine Mercy and on the life and spirituality of St. Faustina, Father Piotr said that the cross and tabernacle of the church speak to us “about a loving, merciful God”.
He added that the decision to name the church Divine Mercy is “a sign that God’s mercy is flowing and spreading” and added that the world today needs Divine Mercy in one’s sinfulness, so as to experience God’s mercy and forgiveness, change one’s life for the better, and thus be able to reflect mercy and love to others as well.
The decision to name the new church Divine Mercy was made upon Archbishop Nicholas Chia’s consultation with his council after an overwhelming number of suggestions from Catholics in Pasir Ris and around Singapore had requested so.
By Darren Boon