Blessed Sacrament Church parish priest Fr Anthony Hutjes praying over a resident of the Singapore Leprosy Relief Association Home during Mass.

Blessed Sacrament Church hosted 24 residents from the Singapore Leprosy Relief Association (SILRA) Home on May 28.

The residents, comprising both Catholics and non-Catholics, participated in a special Mass during which parish priest Fr Anthony Hutjes prayed over them. They were later treated to lunch and entertainment by Faith Music Centre and parishioners.

Father Damien Society, the parish’s social outreach arm, together with the music centre, a Catholic-run school which teaches Christian music, organised the activities. They have been doing outreach to the home since 2009.

Mr Alvin Yeo, deputy chief executive officer of the music centre, who is overseeing the outreach to SILRA Home said although the Catholic residents have Holy Communion brought to them regularly, some of them have not attended Mass in a church for a few years.

Uncle Lim, a resident of the home, performing on the harmonica. He is accompanied by Cactus Rose, a Faith Music Centre band.

Mr Yeo, who is also a committee member of the Father Damien Society, said the organisers want to help these Catholic residents “share in the joy of attending a Mass” just like any other practising Catholic.

The society also hopes to help the residents attend Mass in church more regularly.

Residents said they are grateful and moved by the volunteers’ efforts.

Speaking to CatholicNews in Mandarin, Mr Tan Ah Yong, 63, a Catholic, said, “I’m happy. There’s food and drink … this is enough [for me].”

Another resident, Mr Lim Ah Lee, 76, said it has been “quite some time” since he has been to a church. He added that he was happy with the special Mass and that it lifted his spirits.

Students from Faith Music Centre, who performed for the residents, said the celebration was an inspiring one for them as well. One of the groups, Black Fire, comprising teenagers around 16 years old, said they found it meaningful “to bring entertainment to others”.

Also performing that afternoon was one of the home’s residents, known as Uncle Lim, who played the harmonica, accompanied by one of Faith Music Centre’s bands, Cactus Rose.

Meanwhile, the centre is planning performances for SILRA Home’s residents throughout the year and invites those interested to contact the school (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

By Darren Boon
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