Nicholas Lee asks 20-somethings how they would like to see the Church grow in the new year

Use social media to engage youths

The effective use of social media can certainly help the Church better engage teenagers/young adults as this group spends a substantial amount of time on Facebook, Twitter and email.

Some parishes have started a Facebook fan page, but that is not sufficient. The church should actively encourage parishioners to check for updates on Facebook and post interesting updates on parish happenings to keep teenagers and young adults interested.

My perception of serving in the Church is that it is very time consuming and demands a high level of commitment.

Perhaps the Church can look at engaging teenagers and young adults through short-term or ad hoc involvements, such as helping out at the canteen, serving with the wardens or helping to clean the church once a month.

This will encourage those with a busy lifestyle to get involved and serve the Church.

Community bonding activities such as bowling or movie nights are good ways to get parishioners acquainted with each other.

I hope the Church can get more actively involved in serving the homeless and those in need. It will be good if more homes can be built by the Catholic Church in Singapore to take care of the homeless or to provide food and medical treatment for the needy, regardless of religion.

I hope to be able to share with people of different religions that our Church is a Church that helps those in need, regardless of race, language, religion and nationality.

If there are activities like visits to old-age home or fundraising for charity, I will provide my services.

On a more regular basis, I’ll be joining a choir in a parish community that serves during Masses on public holidays and monthly Holy Hour sessions. The choir provides a smaller, closely knitted support group, and helps me to keep my faith going.
Cassandra Seow, 24,
St Anne’s Church

Focus on prayer
I personally hope that the youth of our Church can be more rooted in prayer.

I hope that more among us would hold more dearly the divine power of prayers. Praying is usually seen as “boring” and “a chore”; an act that is “reserved only for the retired”.

We pray when we need something from God; others feel obligated to pray. Prayer sometimes appears to be unnecessary because we fail to realise the power of prayers.

Prayer is an important aspect of our faith because it allows us to build a relationship with God.

I hope that in the coming year and beyond, we will be more exposed to the many different kind of prayers. It is akin to maintaining our relationship with our loved ones.

To nurture a particular relationship with someone, we need to talk to the person, send text messages etc. In the same way, setting aside quiet time gives us an opportunity for God to speak to us and vice versa.

My prayer for our Church’s youths is that we heed God’s calling to be a prayerful community.
Alvan Raphael Mar, 25,
Church of Christ The King
Serving in RCIA Novena

Connect with youths
My dream is to witness more participation and involvement from the youths in our Church, starting from the time they are in Sunday class until after Confirmation.

When they are still attending Sunday school, maybe churches in a certain district could come together and organise activities such as car washes for charity, music/art/dance gig/performances cum mini funfairs, baking/cooking/dance/ music lessons to create bonding.

I think it is important the Church connects with the youth via things that interest them.

As the youths feel more connected with the Church, it is also important to bring in the spirituality aspect through cell groups and sharing, so that they feel the sense of belonging in community.

My wish for the Church is that everyone grows together and no one gets left behind.
Bianca Teo, 26,
Church of The Holy Trinity
Serving in Catholic Spirituality Centre (St Jude’s Music Ministry)

Making a 'home' for young adults
For many of us, being 20-something is to start a phase of life marked by great changes and new beginnings, such as in career and relationships.

As Catholics, I believe that one of our challenges lies in remaining “at home” with Christ even as we try to build our material homes. It is often easy to be led astray by today’s secular culture of careerism and material pursuits, being young people with many aspirations.

Among my community, it is a constant struggle not to be drawn by our generation’s byword of “success”, and to recognise instead where our true treasure lies, so that we might not forget our Catholic identity.

By receiving God’s grace through our home in His Church, we may grow in a true and beautiful way through being rooted in Christ. But what of the great many of our peers who are without such a Catholic community?

For the year 2012, I pray that the Church may be a “home” to many of these young adults as they journey through life. I pray for the blossoming of young adult communities and support groups for professionals, and for the success of programmes such as Christ@Work and Couples for Christ to name a few.
Daryl Gomes, 23, Church of The Immaculate Heart of Mary
Serving in NUS Catholic Students’ Society

More outreach needed
If there’s one thing that I think the Church can help people like myself, it is to probably pray for us... and to also do more outreach.

Perhaps church group members can personally invite someone to their group and get them started on it.

My hope for 2012 is to be more involved in church so that I can use my talents to serve God (whatever those talents may be).

I hope to focus more on God in my life and not to be “all over the place”, to put my full trust in Him so that everything else will fall in place.
Amanda Yap, 26,
Church of St Vincent De Paul

Learning from overseas mission trips

The Church can better engage and involve youths by harnessing the power of social media. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and other social networking tools can reach out to our technologically savvy youths.

Also, by providing interesting Catholic quotes and insights on social media, youths will become more interested in the Church, the faith and the love of Christ.

Programmes such as overseas mission trips can help to foster community bonding among youths.

Such trips will not only help the youths see how fortunate we are in Singapore but also see how the poor truly rely on Divine Providence for their necessities and food.

I hope the direction the Church takes in 2012 is one that will actively promote the liturgy of the Eucharist. The Mass being the source and summit of our Catholic faith should be better appreciated by Catholics, both young and old.

So I hope the Church can find ways to help us appreciate the Mass better and help us to grow in faith through the sacrament of the Eucharist.
Joyce Lim, 23,
St Anne’s Church
Serving in Catholic Spirituality Centre (St Jude’s Music Ministry)

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