Banners designed and put together by the confirmands of the West district parishes. Photo by David Yung
SINGAPORE – For Anjelica Goh, 15, a Church of St. Francis Assisi confirmand, the West District Youth Rally allowed her to experience a sense of community within the Church and bear witness to the saying “the more the merrier”.
“It was nice to see everybody celebrating through praise and worship. I believe that the rally helped strengthen the bonds between the youths of my parish,” she said.
About 200 confirmands from the West District parishes attended the district Youth Rally held at Church of St. Ignatius on Saturday Aug 29. The theme for the rally was “Yours words are spirit and life; You have the message of eternal life”.
The day began in the morning with the youth gathering at their individual parishes for the parish segment activity which aimed to inform the youth on the importance of community as they prepare to enter their next stage of their Christian lives post-Confirmation.
According to Kimberly Ho, 15, a Church of St. Ignatius confirmand, the youth of her parish stood in a circle with each person alternating between looking in and out of the circle while holding hands. Everyone in the group was supposed to lean forward at the same time. If someone did not do so, the circle will crumble, and everyone would fall.
“It’s just saying that being part of a group, each person must help each the other out. If one does not want to cooperate, everyone else will fall,” she said.
Anjelica said that the songs and games in her parish segment encouraged the youths to mingle around, and made her realise the importance of community in a parish to create a sense of belonging. She hoped that others will feel the same and be able to act on community building.
The youths grouped together in the afternoon for the combined youth rally. Psalm 91, a youth music ministry from Church of St. Mary of the Angels led the praise and worship session. Brother Gregory Tan, a Jesuit scholastic shared with the youth about the word of God who encouraged the youth to communicate more often with their parents.
Walk on Water Productions, a community of young adults committed to building modern and distinctively Catholic plays, presented a skit about living God’s word, community and faith while Acts29, a youth organisation dedicated to evangelisation through mission and dialogue to serve the poorest of the poor, performed a sign-language dance item, and talked on the topic of mission and its work at the Payatas dumpsite in the Philippines.
The rally concluded with Jesuit Father James Tan celebrating Mass.
The most memorable part of the rally for Anjelica and Kimberly was a skit put together by the three performers from Walk on Water Productions which demonstrated how words which one says – whether criticism or praise – can affect another person.
“It showed that words we use without thinking do affect people. It really got me thinking,” Anjelica said.
Anjelica who will be confirmed in December, found the talks to be enlightening: “They’ve made me realise the importance of Confirmation and enabled me to take Confirmation more seriously.”
For Kimberly who was confirmed on Sep 20, the rally helped her to know more about life as a Catholic youth post-Confirmation.
She said: “The rally helped in the context because it gave us more insight into what Catholics should be like.”