He was deep in prayer one day when he felt a voice saying to him, “Have you consecrated this new work of the new evangelisation, the priests, the Religious and the laity? Have they committed and consecrated themselves to the Blessed Mother?”
That was the start of Archbishop William Goh’s desire to consecrate the work of the new evangelisation in the local Church to Mary, Star of the New Evangelisation, for a year.
And he did so during a special Mass on Oct 7 held at the Church of Christ the King.
“We cannot speak of the new evangelisation without asking Mary for inspiration, and for her powerful prayers,” he told priests, Religious and lay Catholics gathered at the Church of Christ the King.
Mary “is the greatest evangeliser because she received the Good News of the Saviour [by] being called to be the Mother of the Redeemer”, said the archbishop.
He noted that if one wants to be an evangeliser, one has to have a sense of urgency, as seen in the joy that Mary shared with her cousin Elizabeth during their meeting.
“When we love people, we want to give them the best. What can we give them? Joy.”
He stressed that evangelisation is not just by words but through “deeds of charity”.
“Evangelisation doesn’t mean you have to keep on talking. It is in the way that Mary was committed in carrying the cross after Jesus. Mary was faithful until the end,” he said.
He also emphasised the need to be passionate evangelisers in the face of uncertainty.
“To evangelise, we have to be thickskinned,” said the archbishop.
“If we put our whole effort into this new evangelisation, I can tell you, my dear brothers and sisters, we can arrest the speed of secularisation that is taking place in Singapore. If we don’t do something, you will meet the fate of what is happening in Europe.”
He warned that “if you want your children to be godless, in the next generation,” then just ignore the work of evangelisation.
“Just have a normal, a mediocre Christian life. You might escape but your children, and children’s children, will not escape the full impact of secularisation.”
After reciting the prayer of consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Star of the New Evangelisation, representatives from the different parishes placed bouquets in front of the picture.
Fr Erbin Fernandez, episcopal vicar for the new evangelisation said, “every parish will host the icon for a few weeks” until October 2015. “You are invited to do different Marian devotions and many activities of mission.”
By Lorna O’Hara