Mission work can be an eye-opening experience. Here, a volunteer shares his experience helping the mentally and physically disabled in Malacca.A youth feeding a resident of Happiness Centre for the mentally and physically disabled.
As our buses pulled over at a centre for the mentally-disabled, I wondered what it would be like meeting people who had impaired intellectual and physical functioning. Mr Roy Collar, founder of the centre called Happiness Centre, and Brother Celestine Toh, received us warmly.
I was there accompanying a group of youth from the Redemptorist Youth Ministry from Novena Church. Led by Redemptorist Father Francis Vijayan, we visited the Happiness Centre in Malacca from Dec 17-21 as part of a mission trip to expose ourselves to the world, and to help the less privileged and disadvantaged.
Visitors to the Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary get an explanation of symbols on the altar.
For a group of visitors who had never stepped into the Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, a tour of the sanctuary was more than just sight-seeing.
It was for them to find out more about the Catholic faith as part of an evangelising effort organised by the parish.
The participants were invited to visit the church as part of a Christmas carolling effort at Heartland Mall and NEX in Serangoon Central, where parishioners distributed the invite flyers to the public. The outreach effort also saw volunteers going around the neighbouring streets and blocks to distribute flyers.
Archbishop Goh speaking at the celebration marking the start of a new catechetical year.
The state of catechesis in Singapore is sobering. There are people who leave the Church after Confirmation and the RCIA process, said Archbishop William Goh.
Speaking at the annual celebration marking the start of a new catechetical year on Jan 6, Archbishop Goh said this was a failure of catechesis, which is not a question of content but of pedagogy and initiation.
The universal Church is struggling to find the “right” way to form young people and adults and he encouraged catechists to “think out of the box” to find ways to effectively evangelise those being catechised.