It is paramount that each and every Catholic lay person seek holiness in the professional and social life as it is there that Christ needs to be witnessed.
This was the core message in Fr Eugene Vaz’s address to participants of the Neighbourhood Christian Community (NCC) Day held at Catholic Junior College on Oct 12. The theme was Making Christ Known, and it was attended by 230 representatives from the communities in 19 parishes.
In order for lay people to strive for sanctity and witness effectively, Fr Vaz continued, it is necessary to understand our professional and social life well.
Being city dwellers, each of us is faced with the challenge of bringing Christ into our hectic lives and our social circles, he added.
Fr Vaz also used a short video presentation to communicate that Christians should not see city life as incompatible with being religious.
Fr Vaz noted that cities in antiquity bore similarities with those of today. The city, then and now, remains a place of refuge, where justice is maintained, and a place of spiritual seeking. Christians bring their faith into city life so that cities remain the best expressions of human civilisation, he said.
Episcopal Vicar for the New Evangelisation, Fr Erbin Fernandez, in his reflection, encouraged the NCCs to pray for the city.
He said that when the city prospers and becomes what God had intended it to be, the Kingdom of God becomes visible and concretely felt by people.
Reinforcing this year’s NCC Day theme during his homily at Mass, Archbishop William Goh encouraged the neighbourhood communities to keep sharing their faith with one another, and with those whom they meet in their daily lives.
He underlined the necessity for a community-consciousness in the work of making Christ known and added, “No Christian works alone.”
Some participants shared their experience of being in NCCs. “My faith has grown in and through the experience of love shared among the community,” said Mr Michael Lewis from the Church of Our Lady Star of the Sea. “The mutual support and inspiration shows me that Christ lives in my community.”
Ms Noella Antony from the Church of St Michael said, “Through my NCC, people from many walks of life are brought together. In the sharing of stories and testimonies, I see God living and moving, this is how my faith is deepened.”
Each year, the archdiocese celebrates the presence and ministry of the Neighbourhood Christian communities with an NCC Day.
All baptised Catholics belong to a Neighbourhood Christian Community according to their area of residence in Singapore. Find out more about your own community by contacting Daphne Leong at [email protected] or call 6858 3011.