AUGUST 25, 2013, Vol 63, No 17


Young Catholics learn about new evangelisation
Conference participants commissioned to evangelise to others


Above: Risen Christ parishioners at a Year of Faith workshop conducted by Fr Erbin Fernandez earlier this year. Below: Screen grab of the parish’s Year of Faith site.Above: Risen Christ parishioners at a Year of Faith workshop conducted by Fr Erbin Fernandez earlier this year. Below: Screen grab of the parish’s Year of Faith site.

The Church of the Risen Christ is holding a series of activities to mark the Year of Faith (YOF).

These include exhibitions, talks, workshops, video screenings and a quiz on the Catholic faith. Topics range from the meaning of the YOF, Vatican II, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, a Biblical Walk Through the Mass to the Gospel of Matthew and the use of Catholic electronic resources.

In late 2012, parish priest Fr John Sim asked the Church’s executive committee to propose activities to help parishioners increase their faith during the special year, which will end on Nov 24.

Filipina Maria (front row, third from left), with fellow volunteers and pilgrims.Filipina Maria (front row, third from left), with fellow volunteers and pilgrims.

I worked at an information point at the train station called SuperVia in Campo Grande, Rio.

Most of the pilgrims housed around that area were either Spanish or Portuguese, and I do not speak any of it, but despite this significant barrier, God put me there for a purpose.

I learnt to share what I had, to discount what I didn’t, and to let go of myself to be able to hug strangers, considering them as close friends in the name of Jesus Christ. They left our station with a smile, and to be able to contribute to that lightness in their hearts was enough to make my service worthwhile.
Marcus with a Singaporean volunteer Molly Ng (left), and Indonesian volunteer Katherine.Marcus with a Singaporean volunteer Molly Ng (left), and Indonesian volunteer Katherine.As an international volunteer, I was assigned to the Pilgrim Kit Distribution department. I personally was in charge in sorting and giving out of the bags.

I spoke English and Mandarin, while most of the other volunteers spoke Portuguese and Spanish. Therefore, I handled most of the English-speaking pilgrims from Asia and UK.
Christian (left) performing a capoeira routine with the cathedral coordinator.Christian (left) performing a capoeira routine with the cathedral coordinator.It is another thing to be a volunteer for WYD instead of the “usual route” of being a pilgrim.

I was assigned to be stationed at an information point located at the main ferry terminal called “Praça XV Barcas”. It is where the Cariocas (citizens of Rio de Janeiro) take regular boat rides between downtown Rio and the city of Niterói where I was residing. Basically, I was there to give information to pilgrims and others regarding the events of WYD. Most queries were about directions to churches, Corcovado Mountain where the Statue of Christ the Redeemer is, and Copacabana beach.