Archbishop William Goh addressing catechumens as part of their preparation for the Sacraments of Initiation.  Photo: VITA Images

Alfred Yap

Read the Word of the God and pray with adoration, contrition, thanksgiving and supplication.

These were words of advice that Archbishop William Goh gave to about 500 RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) catechumens across the archdiocese as part of their preparation for the Sacraments of Initiation into the Catholic Church.

They, together with their coordinators and some sponsors, had gathered at the Church of St Bernadette on Aug 25 to listen to the Archbishop as he helped them better understand what it means to be a disciple of Christ.

In his talk, Archbishop Goh encouraged the catechumens to acquire the habit of reading the Word of God daily and stressed the importance of having a personal Bible. In times of need, he said, a familiar word from the Bible can be recalled easily to help them respond to a challenging situation.

This will also help a person to know Jesus Christ, “the Word made flesh, better”, he said.

Archbishop Goh also emphasised that baptism should not to be regarded as a “graduation” from a course. Rather, it should mark the beginning of a lifelong process of getting to know the person
of Jesus more and more intimately.

Archbishop Goh recommended one way of praying using the acronym “ACTS”:

• Adoration: adoring God in all His glory and majesty as they begin their dialogue with God in humility.
• Contrition: acknowledging one’s shortcomings and sinfulness before God.
• Thanksgiving: giving thanks to God for all His blessings.
• Supplication: asking God for one’s needs and wants.

One must also be open to listen to the Word of God and not be blinded by one’s sufferings and thus fail to notice His blessings, said Archbishop Goh.

Catechumens who attended the session said they found it well-timed as it was the beginning of their RCIA journey. Many were happy to hear from the chief catechist himself and found his catechesis informative and easy to follow.

Others shared that it helped them to better understand what it means to be a disciple of God and how to build a relationship with God through prayer and the reading of the Word of God.

Organised by the Office for Catechesis, the session was the first of a series of four meetings with the Archbishop for those in the 2018/2019 RCIA process. These meetings were first held for catechumens in the previous 2017/2018 RCIA process.

To find out more about future Archbishop’s Catechesis for Catechumens and the RCIA process, email [email protected] The Office for Catechesis website can also be accessed at