OCTOBER 01, 2017, Vol 67, No 20

Encountering God and hope in the workplace

The Gift of My Church (#TGOMC) is a series featuring how Catholics from all walks of life have been touched by God through their service or participation in the life of the Archdiocese of Singapore. In this issue, writer Carolyn Lim discovers how an undergraduate found hope during an internship at a Catholic organisation.

Joshua Chan (centre) in a group photo with his colleagues from the OFC. Photo: Joshua Chan.

When undergraduate Joshua Chan, 24, struggled to find an internship during his third year at the National University of Singapore, he began to wonder if God was testing him. Discernment and prayer led him to consider an internship in a Catholic organisation, even though his peers were heading for roles with large corporations.

Joshua had found himself desiring something other than “meeting KPIs and making money”, he shared. So, when he learned of an internship offered by the Office for Catechesis (OFC) through a friend, he readily applied.

OFC, located at the Catholic Archdiocesan Education Centre at Highland Road, has 11 full-time and part-time staff. They are tasked with the training and formation of catechists, analysing the state of catechesis in the archdiocese, and developing strategies to strengthen faith formation.

Finding Faith Through Job Loss

According to data released by the Ministry of Manpower this year, the slowing economy has hit job seekers hard. The struggle to find new jobs was even harder for older workers, degree holders and PMETs (professional, managers, executives and technicians).
Two families came forward to share their stories with Margaret Leong and Tee Hun Ching, hoping to encourage and support fellow families to soldier on, knowing that God has a plan for them amidst the difficulties.

Refusing to give up on their marriage gave Jason and Jenny the chance to reconnect with each other again.

Jason and Jenny first met at a friend’s birthday party in their hometown of Malacca. He was 21 years old, searching for direction in life. She was 16 years old, fresh-faced and full of zest for life. This was the start of their bittersweet life together, one which is now unfolding with Christ.

Being young and full of dreams, Jason and Jenny moved to Singapore and worked hard at their jobs hoping to carve out a wonderful life together. Jason was a highly skilled machinist in a multinational company dealing with Oil Tools. Jenny was an accountant and also in a multinational company. They took frequent holidays together and ate out regularly in restaurants. To their families, Jason and Jenny seemed like the perfect couple living the perfect dream.

However the crisis at work began to unravel the empty married life they were living for the past 10 years. In their pursuit of making money, they forgot each other.

The Daughters of St Paul made a cameo appearance during the Sept 9 concert. From left: Sr Theresa Lim, Sr Wendy Ooi and Sr Gesuina Mariko Ogata.

By Theresa Khoo

As the haunting tune of a bagpipe pierced a packed Church of Sts Peter and Paul, the audience strained to see where the music was coming from. A young man in tartan kilt marched in from the front left of the church, playing Amazing Grace, and was soon joined by two singers mouthing the familiar words.

This opening act to the God’s Spirit in Song Concert unveiled an evening of diverse music as six singing groups in the archdiocese came together with several guests to give praise to God and raise funds over two consecutive Saturdays for the building projects of the Cenacle Sisters and the Daughters of St Paul.
Students were present in churches on Sept 9-10 to affirm the importance of school-church-home partnership.

St Anthony Canossian Primary and Hai Sing Catholic schools’ students forming the choir at the Church of Divine Mercy.

Students from Catholic schools, their parents, staff and alumni were at various parishes recently to emphasise the collaboration between school, church and home in the formation of young Catholics.

Over the Sept 9-10 weekend, students served in the choir for Masses at some parishes, while others served as lectors, altar servers and greeters in addition to presenting the offertory gifts.

Parishioners arriving for the 11 am Mass at St. Anne’s Church were pleasantly surprised to be greeted by a choir of CHIJ St Joseph’s Convent girls welcoming them at the church entrance.

Verbum Dei Srs Maria Jose M. Egido and Sandra Seow (from left) cutting the anniversary cake on Sept 9.

“These 20 years are a reminder for me of God’s faithfulness as well as the need to continue to trust in Him” said Verbum Dei Missionary, Sr Maria Jose M. Egido. “I have seen so many miracles that God has worked in our community because I trusted in Him.”

Sr Maria Jose was speaking at a Sept 9 Mass to mark the 20th anniversary of the Verbum Dei Missionaries in Singapore.

The nun established the Religious community here in 1997, and was sharing about the initial challenges she experienced.