Church of the Holy Trinity parishioners were invited to bring home a paper tag hung on a Christmas tree in the church foyer, which had a list of items to be purchased for needy Singaporeans.

Darren Boon highlights the efforts of three parishes

CHURCH OF THE HOLY TRINITY

Instead of monetary donations to help the needy this Advent/Christmas, Church of the Holy Trinity parishioners decided to purchase daily necessities for them.

Paper tags indicating the items needed were hung on a Christmas tree in the church foyer before the start of Advent. Parishioners then took home the tags, bought the items stated and took them back to the church during Advent.

Items included sugar, rice, cooking oil, tinned fruit, Milo and bath towel sets.

Also included were chocolates and cake rolls. Some needy Catholic families will also receive log cakes and ham for Christmas.

This project was conceived by the parish youth ministry to “create a platform for all our parishioners to contribute so that everyone can play a part in helping the needy and going that extra mile this Christmas”, said Mr Leonard Neo who is on the core team.

The project is organised in such a way that parishioners “don’t only give money just like that but they take the time and extra effort of love to go out, buy the items and bring them back [to church]”.

Mr Neo describes parishioners’ response as “generous beyond words” so much so that the collected items have to be stored in the biggest room in the church.

Monetary donations are also coming in, he added.

The beneficiaries are 59 families, including those of other religions, who are receiving aid from the St Vincent de Paul Society.


CHURCH OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

A mother-and-child artwork submitted as part of the parish’s Advent art project.

Church of the Holy Spirit parishioners have used art to express this year’s Advent theme, God is With Us, and also to raise funds for Mother Teresa’s Gift of Love Home.

“The primary objective was to provide an avenue [through art] to catechise,” said Ms Amy Lim, head of the parish’s catechetical ministry.

Under the project, the parish’s children, youth and adults were given three weeks from the end October to submit art pieces in any form, such as paintings, cross-stitches and prints.

Participants, who included children as young as eight and grandparents, were also asked to provide a short reflection on their work.

The parish will auction the paintings and proceeds will go to the Gift of Love Home.

“The participants show, through their contributions, another way of doing good works – by donating to the Church their artworks,” said Ms Lim.

More than 40 artworks are now on display until the Dec 18-19 weekend.

The bids placed on the paintings have been promising, said Ms Lim.

She added that the highest bid so far is $3,363 for a mother-and-child painting.

The project was inspired by the Church of St Mary of the Angels’ Heartspace art ministry, which allows people to creatively express their faith and enhance their sense of well-being through art.

Holy Spirit confirmands and catechists who were doing a community service project at Pelangi Village were also approached by the staff to use art to work with the elderly residents there. The catechetical team thought that the Advent art project would be a good way to identify talents, and after prayer and discernment decided to launch the initiative.


CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL SUCCOUR

The parish is raising money to buy religious books for children living in the Payatas Dumpsite in the Philippines.

Donate $2 so that a child living in the Payatas Dumpsite of Quezon City, Philippines, can receive a book about Jesus.

This is the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour’s 2010 Advent project. Since Christmas is about Jesus, we wanted to bring Jesus to others, to the poor and disadvantaged children in the dumpsite, said assistant priest, Fr Frederick Quek.

Under the project, storybooks on Jesus in Tagalog will be purchased in the Philippines and distributed to the children.

The project is done in collaboration with acts29, a youth mission group dedicated to evangelisation through mission and dialogue to serve the poorest of the poor and to build up the Christian community.

The group works with Paaralang Pantao, a school which provides free non-formal education in Payatas and Erap City to the poor children, according to acts29’s website. Other projects include providing lunch for the students in Paaralang Pantao, organising field trips and conducting photography workshops for the children. The group provided aid to Payatas residents when Typhoon Ketsana struck the area in Sep 2009.

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