Representatives from the Japanese and Indonesian communities, Ms Naoko Tamura and Madam Juanita Dorothy Pantow, bring up the wine and bread. Photos by Vincent Kwa

SINGAPORE – Mission is not just a suggestion or choice, but a command from the Lord. It is the responsibility of every believer to spread the Good News to all.

This was the exhortation of Archbishop Nicholas Chia when he celebrated the World Mission Sunday Mass at the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour on Oct 24. He was assisted by the chairman of the Archdiocesan Commission for Missionary Activity (ACMA) Fr Kenson Koh and parish priest Fr Gregoire van Giang. Also concelebrating were Fr Paul Staes, CICM, Fr William Langenhuisen, SSCC, representing the Indonesian community, and Fr Antonio Gonzalez, representing the Spanish-speaking community.

Ms Paola Benitez from Colombia singing the thanksgiving song supported by friends from Chile.

In his homily, Archbishop Chia reminded the crowded church that there is so much evil in the world – wars, persecutions, poverty, exploitation, immorality. This was because many have not heard the Good News, and many do not believe in nor live the Good News. The world has time for fun, but no time for God. People are consumed by the individualistic, secular, materialistic and hedonistic culture.

“We may not be called to be missionaries in foreign lands, but every Christian has a mission to be witnesses of the Gospel. Not just talk about the Gospels but to live it!” he said.

In addition to being knowledgeable and firm in our faith, we must share the Good News with others by word and example. “It is by your faith, love and services that you will make God present in your family, your workplace, your neighbourhood and those you come in contact with,” he added.

Patrick Yap, who had won three consolation prizes at the ACMA Mission Photo Competition, said that the archbishop’s homily reinforced the call to mission for him. It also reminded him of focusing on local mission too.

“The message is very good. It reminds me that mission is everyone’s responsibly,” said Ms Lucy Yu, a participant of ACMA’s Lay Missionary Formation programme.

Three groups from Catholic foreign communities were also present at the Mass.

Bringing up the offertory gifts were Ms Naoko Tamara and Madam Juanita Dorothy Pantow, representing the Japanese and Indonesian communities respectively.

As a thanksgiving offering, Ms Paola Benitez from Columbia, together with friends from Chile, sang in Spanish the hymn, “Let me cry close to your wounds”.

By Diana Koh

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