Fr Bruno Saint Girons speaking to the visitors on Jan 8.

Residents of Marsiling Zone 1 who visited the Church of St Anthony recently said it was an eye-opening experience for them.

Ms Nancy Lim, a Taoist, said that although she had been to Novena Church before, the visit allowed her to gain a better understanding of Catholicism.

She said that Taoism and Catholicism both share similarities such as prayer, sacrifice as well as a belief in heaven and hell.

Ms Lim was one of some 40 people, including Muslims and Hindus, who visited the Catholic church on Jan 8.

The Marsiling Zone 1 Residents’ Committee organised the event with support from the Inter-Racial and Religious Confidence Circles (IRCC).

A church representative told the visitors that St Anthony of Padua, the church’s patron, was a lobbyist for the bankruptcy law which allowed debtors to relinquish their assets to creditors instead of going to prison. Such a reform was adopted in Padua, Italy, in the early 13th century.

French priest Fr Bruno Saint Girons also explained the Mass to the visitors. Every Mass is a reminder of God’s forgiveness of man and an opportunity for the faithful to renew themselves spiritually and be witnesses of love, he said.

S Jayaleela, a Hindu, but who prays at Novena Church from time to time, described the coming together of the different races and faiths to visit the church as beautiful and interesting.

The inter-faith tour also brought the residents to the Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery in Sin Ming and to the An-Nahdhah Mosque in Bishan.

By Darren Boon
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