800 priests, Religious and laypeople gather to mark special year
Parishes and Church groups received scrolls containing the Creed during a special Mass to launch the Year of Faith on Oct 11.
Pope Benedict XVI had called for the special year to run from Oct 11, 2012 to Nov 24, 2013. He has asked Catholics to spend this year studying, professing and demonstrating their faith.
During the local launch of the special year at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, parish priests received a scroll from Archbishop Nicholas Chia on which is printed the Nicene Creed in Latin and Singapore’s four official languages.
The scrolls were to be taken back to parishes and enthroned during Masses on Oct 14.
Representatives of Church organisations also received a scroll of the Creed in English to be installed in their workplaces with a prayer service.
About 800 people comprising priests, Religious, and laypeople attended the celebration.
Before the Mass started, Vicar General Msgr Eugene Vaz led a reflection on the significance of the Year of Faith.
Parish representatives carrying their parish banners and priests of the archdiocese then entered the cathedral in procession.
In his homily, Archbishop Chia urged all Catholics to pray and reflect on the Creed, spend time reading the documents of Vatican II and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and reflect on the Bible.
He also expressed his desire for the Catholic community to “grow in faith” and “reflect the faith to others as well”.
One highlight of the celebration was the Cathedral Choir of the Risen Christ leading the congregation in singing Credo, Domine, the official hymn for the Year of Faith.
Some Catholics shared their thoughts about and hopes for the special year with CatholicNews after the Mass.
“I think that we are blessed that the Holy Father had set aside this time to remind the whole Church to go back to the roots of faith, to remember that our faith is rooted in the experience of God’s love,” said Ms Jacinta Phoon, a senior medical social worker at Assisi Hospice.
She hopes that local Catholics do not “remain complacent just because our churches are full”.
“Faith has to become a deeper experience and not just head understanding.”
Mr Mervin Neubronner, from the Church of Our Lady Star of the Sea, said he hopes to see the Singapore Church experience a “dynamic growth” during the special year.
Brandon Seah, 17, from the Church of the Holy Trinity, shared that he would like to see “more avenues for outreach like praise and worship sessions” during the Year of Faith.
“I hope that this Year of Faith will inject a sense of joy in the beauty and the gift we have in our faith,” said Franciscan Friar Michael D’Cruz. “And in this way, we become truly happier people and our joy welcomes others.”
By Darren Boon