Catholics attending a Year of Faith talk, given by Msgr Eugene Vaz, at the Singapore Conference Hall on June 22.Catholics attending a Year of Faith talk, given by Msgr Eugene Vaz, at the Singapore Conference Hall on June 22.Catholics working in the Central Business District have been preparing themselves for the Year of Faith by attending a series of talks by Vicar General Msgr Eugene Vaz.

The Catholic Prayer Society (CPS) has been holding these talks, based on Pope Benedict XVI’s apostolic letter Porta Fidei (The Door of Faith), on the fourth Fridays of each month at the Singapore Conference Hall.

The talks are conducted during lunch time and so far two talks have already been held in April and June, with two more scheduled for July and August.

In his talks, Msgr Vaz dealt with the content of the pope’s document, which explains the pope’s reasons for launching the special year and his desire for the renewal and re-evangelisation of the Church.

The special year is to be launched on Oct 11.

In the June 22 talk, Msgr Vaz cited passages from the Bible and explained that the “door of faith is God’s work”.

“God is always keeping the door open for people to enter,” he said, “giving people opportunities … to announce the message and proclaim the mystery of Christ”.

It is possible to cross this “spiritual threshold” when the “Word of God is proclaimed and the heart allows itself to be shaped by transforming grace”, he said.

He stressed that the pope wants “everybody to rediscover the journey of faith”.

Msgr Vaz also exhorted the 40-strong crowd to be “the face of Christ” in their workplace and help others to know God.

The CPS Shenton Way branch usually organises talks on the second and fourth Fridays of the month and, after consulting with Msgr Vaz, felt it would be useful to prepare Catholics for the Year of Faith, said Ms May Yip, a CPS facilitator.

There are plans for more formation talks when the special year kicks off in October, she added.

Attendees said they found Msgr Vaz’s talks beneficial.

Ms Jocelyn Low said they helped her to understand the special year better.

Speaking to CatholicNews, Msgr Vaz said it would be ideal if attendees read the pope’s document, issued last year, before coming for the talks.

An online version of the document is at http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/motu_proprio/documents/hf_ben-xvi_motu-proprio_20111011_porta-fidei_en.html

The next two talks are scheduled for 12.30pm on July 27 and Aug 24. For more information, visit http://cps.org.sg

By Darren Boon
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