Thanksgiving Mass held to celebrate generosity in archdiocese
Archbishop William Goh, giving his homily during the thanksgiving Mass. Photos: Catholic Foundation.
A year since the Catholic Foundation first launched the GIFT (Giving in Faith & Thankfulness) campaign, over $16 million has been raised to support the growth of the Catholic Church in Singapore.
On 5 December 2017, a thanksgiving Mass was held for the support garnered through the campaign. Over 400 participants, ranging from donors to volunteers, and representatives of various archdiocesan organisations, gathered for the celebration held at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd.
“We have gathered to praise and thank God for so many people who believe in our dream to build a more vibrant, missionary, and evangelistic Church,” Archbishop William Goh said during his homily.
During the Mass, His Grace emphasised the impact that the generosity of the community can make, not only to build up the Church, but for the good of society.
“The Catholic Foundation, which many of you are helping in different ways, helps to strengthen the operations of the Church,” he said. These operations include work like strengthening family life, leading young people to Christ, spreading the Good News, providing faith formation, and many others.
Archbishop William Goh urged, “We are Catholics not for ourselves, we are Catholics for humanity. We need to worry about the future of our country, the future of the world.”
Special gifts symbolising the work of various archdiocesan organisations were also offered during the Mass. They were brought forward by representatives from the Archdiocesan Commission for the Family (ACF), Catholic Spirituality Centre (CSC), Catholic Theological Institute of Singapore (CTIS), Office for Catechesis (OFC), Office for the New Evangelisation (ONE), and the Office for Young People (OYP).
Juliana Foo, Executive Director of Catholic Foundation, said, “It was especially meaningful to have the various organisations offer gifts representing their missions. We are thankful not so much for the funds raised, but for what God can do with these gifts we bring to Him. It means a lot to be able to offer up all our work to God. All that we do is for the glory of God.”
Before the end of the Mass, the archbishop expressed his personal appreciation for the board and staff of the Catholic Foundation.
“Thank you for taking fundraising off my shoulders, so that I can focus on the mission of the Church. I am trying to grow and empower the community, and I cannot be thinking about money all the time. So I leave it to these people to think of
that and I trust that God will provide for them,” Archbishop Goh said.
Mary Lim, a donor and volunteer with the Catholic Foundation, said in agreement, “God will provide the needed resources for the mission of the Church. The archbishop has difficult responsibilities as head of the Church in Singapore. It is good that there is a team in the Catholic Foundation to focus on raising funds.”
Leslie Chan, another donor, appreciated the event because it showed how the Catholic Foundation’s fundraising efforts are centred in the faith.
He said, “I appreciate the opportunity to come together and be a part of the community of followers, giving thanks to God. The contributions the Church receives are from different individuals, but it benefits the whole community. We could finally see some of the groups that were benefiting from our giving. They were real organisations with real people that work hard to bring Christ to others.”
The thanksgiving Mass was the first one the Catholic Foundation has organised, but will not be the last. Juliana Foo explained, “There are many more people we have yet to personally thank for their generosity, but we could not invite for the Mass because of space limitations. We will be holding more events in the future to express gratitude, because we know that every act of giving, no matter the size, is a blessing from God.”