Catholic and non-Catholic young adults grappled with the deeper issues of life over a meal recently
Is there more to life?
Twenty-six young adults, comprising Catholics and non-Catholics, were asked this question as they gathered for a “Food and Faith” programme organised by the Verbum Dei Missionaries.
The July 29 event, which saw participants discussing faith issues over sandwiches and other savoury food, was held at the community’s house at Taman Mas Merah, on the West Coast.
Explaining the decision to hold the event, Verbum Dei superior Sr Maria Jose M Egido said she observed that many Singaporeans love to talk about the food they have enjoyed with their family and friends.
For this reason, she was convinced that Singaporean Catholics have “great potential to share also their faith with even greater gusto”.
“The idea for ‘Food and Faith’ came about because we wanted to create an opportunity for Catholics to actively go and invite their non-Catholic friends to explore about life and the Catholic faith,” she said.
“We named this event ‘Food and Faith’ because it comprises sharing our faith in the context of a meal.”
The afternoon began with a reflective moment during which participants were each given a piece of clay and were asked to mould it into a symbol to represent their lives. A portion of a documentary, entitled The Human Experience, was later shown.
“Life is worth living because it just is,” Ms Adeline Tan, a Verbum Dei Lay Disciple, shared with participants after the screening.
Although people may lose hope and direction in life, it is not in the nature of life to be despairing, said Ms Tan, 34. Rather the nature of life is to be hopeful, she said.
Ms Tan, who was baptised when she was 20, spoke about her journey in the Catholic faith. She attributed the many “unexpected coincidences” in her life as opportunities where God showed her His love and led her to discover the answers to the “what” and “why” of her life.
She also shared that the greatest joy in life comes from loving others.
She urged the participants to “be open” in their search for meaning in life. “For when we are open and genuine, we will not be disappointed” she said.
An array of assorted sandwiches and other savoury food was then served to participants as facilitators led various groups in sharing their thoughts and reflections.
Mr Kelvin Chia, 28, who is not a Catholic, said he attended the gathering to learn more about the faith. “I guess this will be the start of a journey for me,” he said.
Ms Emily Ng, 26, who is also not a Catholic, agreed, saying she was “happy” to be in an environment where she can “express my own views”. n