Although English was not her mother tongue, this did not deter Ms Aya Takeda, a Japanese, from learning more about the Catholic faith.
Ms Takeda said she knew little of Christianity till she married into a Catholic family. It was through ceremonies such as weddings and funerals she attended that she slowly learnt about the faith, she said.
Wanting to know more, she called up the Church of St Bernadette to find out about courses on the Catholic faith, and was directed to the Alpha course. The course helped her to understand the basics of Christianity, she said.
She later joined the parish’s RCIA programme. Her first six months was more about gaining knowledge about the faith but later, she started to feel closer to God spiritually and “had no doubt that my choice to be Catholic is right”.
Since embarking on the RCIA programme, she has learnt to be more appreciative of people and things that she used to take for granted. “I feel very grateful and thank God every day,” she said. “I also learnt to forgive and let go of minute problems in life.”
Ms Takeda said she is grateful to the support and prayers from the RCIA community especially in the lead up to her baptism. “During Lent, I felt like I was tested on many occasions. There were suddenly so many things that made me upset,” she recalled.
Ms Takeda said she now hopes to find the courage to share her Catholic faith with her friends.
“Many of my Japanese friends are curious about Christianity but it is often a taboo topic to talk about religion among the Japanese. It could be an opportunity for them to learn about the religion when I openly speak about my RCIA experience to them,” she said.