I was born in a Hindu family. Religion meant following my mother to temples. I never felt a sense of belonging, more so after my mom passed I literally forgot all ties I had with Hinduism.
Whenever I needed or hoped for something I generally prayed to God in my heart. At one stage I truly believed that all religions lead to just one God.
Growing up my best friend was catholic and I have followed him to the Church a couple of times but I never knew what was going on.
When I met my wife that was when I really got exposed.
I followed my wife to church events and there was once I prayed and wished for 3 things. To my surprise I did get all my 3 wishes. It was almost like a miracle.
Before my wife and I got married in the Church we had to go through this 3 day programme Engagement Encounter. This encounter was the breakthrough I had when I started to realise how as an individual I can relate to this religion.
My wife and I agreed to have my sons baptised because we both knew that the kids would have good guidance.
I knew for a fact that I will take the path of getting to know the religion better eventually but I had always procrastinated.
I have had disagreements and arguments with my wife due to my actions, behaviour, habits etc. I didn’t have anyone to turn to for guidance.
After having kids, you would want nothing but the best for them. my wife had someone (Jesus) to turn to but I didn’t. For example when they are sick I didn’t know who to pray to.
Even though I had my scepticism I decided to give RCIA a shot which my wife pushed me to because I was a procrastinator.
After opening my heart to Jesus I am generally a happier person. I have become more appreciative and aware of my tangible and intangible possessions.
- I feel lighter.
- I gained a sense of belonging in the spiritual/religious world
- I have guidance. I understand why there are some things u should or should not be doing
- I have better control of myself
- I have absolutely no regrets taking this path
Going forward I would love to be more committed and devote myself into this community and somehow give back to people looking for certainty in their lives.
When I attended the first few classes going through the chapters on Genesis I was literally the most sceptical person in the room. Information and facts were clashing all over the place and somethings did not make any sense to me.
Even though I wasn’t able to make it for all my classes, the classes held by the sponsors were sincere and heartfelt. It made it easier to understand and accept the belief seamlessly even though I had my doubts earlier on. Before I knew it I asked myself how did I even doubt this in the first place. Which what I found amazing about myself.
During my growing up years, my family were Taoist believers and my mother would prepare fruits as offerings during the first and fifteen days of the lunar calendar.
I went to a Christian school during my primary and secondary schools so I have heard of Christianity since a young age.
There came a period of time when I was in Primary 3 that my father started his journey of looking for another religion as he probably felt that Taoism is not the religion for him. I followed him to Novena church on a few weekends and was fascinated with the church decorations, the crucifix and the rituals during the Eucharist prayers. At that time, there was a hymn “Spirit of God” which I really love singing and it is still 1 of my favorite hymns till now and I look forward to singing it whenever I attend Novena Church that time.
However we stopped going to Novena Church after my paternal grandmother suffered from a stroke when I was in Primary 4 as my father had to care for her. My father eventually became a Catholic 14 years later.
Upon my mother’s deathbed in 2019, she somehow agreed to accept God and become a Catholic even though she has been a Taoist believer all her life. This is probably also the deciding factor that seal the fate that I will become a Catholic sooner or later.
Somehow the images of God and Mother Mary never left me since my younger days and they are constantly in my mind. During my growing up years, I have had friends who invited me to their Christian Church and I have attended their services a few times but somehow my times in Novena Church always remains in my heart and I didn’t feel that peacefulness when I was in a Christian worship setting.
When I met my husband, his maternal side of the family are all Catholics and he always patiently share with me about the Catholic rituals, the gospel, God and Mother Mary.
I ever tried joining the RCIA sessions at Holy Trinity in 2015 but somehow, I didn’t feel ready to commit myself to God at that time.
There were a few times when I attended mass at CDM with my husband and somehow I felt a sense of peacefulness whenever I am in CDM. In May 2022, I finally felt ready to commit myself to God and it was then that I decided to join the RCIA sessions at CDM.
Currently I felt more at peace with myself and knowing that I am 1 step closer to GOD, it helps to enhance my beliefs in him. Also, knowing that I will meet my mother and my other loved ones again one day upon my demise has also set my heart at ease.
During the RCIA sessions, the sponsors are very warm and welcoming towards me and my husband. They really make us feel very at home and I felt that I have made the right decision to join CDM’s RCIA session.
I was a Buddhist and only praying occasionally, following the family tradition. Leading an ordinary life and knowing there is a lot of imperfections of my inner self, I was looking for growth to be a better person, a better husband and father to my family.
My parents and most of my siblings are Buddhist, except one of my elder sisters is Christian (Protestant).
When I was dating my wife, who is a Catholic, I attended mass with her in church occasionally. I felt comfortable and she did not force me to convert. Whenever we discussed our religion after marriage, she was very firm that she wouldn’t convert to Buddhism but was fine for us to have different religion.
However, I know deep in my heart I would like to have the same religion in our family as that would make us more united by holding the same faith.
That desire grew even stronger when we celebrated our daughter’s infant baptism.
However, I didn’t take any action until around year 2020 when I started looking for RCIA enrolment. I sent email to my neighbourhood church on their RCIA enquiry website , but didn’t get any response.
Later, one of my wife’s friend introduced us to the Church of Divine Mercy. We were told the church is very welcoming. So, our family visited this church for mass and indeed we felt so comfortable and enjoyable. Thereafter, we started to attend weekly sunset mass and my daughter who is 9 years old started joining the catechism class. When the RCIA enrolment was announced, I decided to join without hesitation. It all happened just in good timing.
After having gone through the RCIA journey, I learnt a lot about the bible, the faith and belief about Jesus. There is a gradual change I noticed within myself. I felt more calm, peaceful and able to put my trust in God on anything beyond our control. I learnt about prayer and to be more appreciative with what God had given to me.
Since I’m now baptised, my wife has told me that she felt touched by my decision, and I’m also joyful to be a follower of Jesus Christ.
Our family has begun to pray together more often at home and our relationship is now closer with our heavenly father, our Lord present in our family.
My journey to baptism began 25 years’ ago when I first encountered the Catholic Faith. I remembered at my mother’s funeral wake (she was a Catholic), the Teochew Prayer Group from St Joseph’s Dying Aid came nightly to pray at my Mother’s wake. At that time, I started to learn how to pray the rosary in Teochew and in the midst of our bereavement, I found calmness and peace.
After my mother’s demise, 2 of my siblings and my father were baptized subsequently. However, I was too caught up with my career and establishing a family life that I did not actively search for God.
It was my late sister, Delphine that actually inspired me. She was actively involved in her church ministries, Children Catechism, Chinese RCIA, Bible Studies and Legion Mary. Whenever the opportunity arose, she would bring me to participate in the church activities. She would encourage me to pray to Jesus and to believe in Him. I had phobia as I had difficulties in understanding the mysteries in the rosary prayers. I also found the Bible very intimidating just by looking at the thick volumes. However, Delphine told me that nothing would be difficult and impossible if you have faith. She shared her own faith journey with me too and told me that if I did not take a step forward, I would not be able to experience how different life would be as a Christian. In 2019, Delphine was seriously ill and during her hospitalization, I witnessed how the Christian brothers and sisters from her Ministries visited her and prayed for her. I was touched by their sincerities and kindness toward Delphine.
Almost 3 years after her death, my sister Ellen approached me and asked if I was ready to find out more about the Catholic Faith. I could not attend the RCIA in the past as my job had irregular hours and I often worked on shift including weekends. However, in 2022, I learnt from Ellen that Church of Divine Mercy in Pasir Ris is conducting RCIA on Saturday afternoons. The timing and my work schedules fit in perfectly and my sister is also willing to accompany me through the journey. This gave me the encouragement to sign up for the RCIA Journey 14.
My RCIA journey is enriching and I also met a group of helpful and kind Christian brothers and sister who were willing to mentor me. The group discussions we had on the scriptures were also very enlightening and I no longer found the bible overwhelming and intimidating. I found joy, peace and love whenever I entered the church during our RCIA sessions. I was finally baptized on 8th April 2023 and on the night of my baptism I felt a strong spiritual connection with God.
I am ready to start my new faith journey with God anchored in my daily life. I have joined my estate NCC through my Godma’s encouragement as a first step in my faith journey. It is indeed true that nothing is impossible with God’s help and our faith in Him.
Teresa’s Story (received into full communion)
The scale of the Rite (of Election) and the commitment from the Cardinal, Priests and the community touched my heart. Seeing the Catechumens and Candidates, from the young to the wheelchair-bound, making their decision to become Catholics reassured me that I had made the right choice. I knew then that my journey with Him is not alone but in the company of the entire community with common Faith. My heart is full of praise for God’s abundant Grace and Love for mankind.
The RCIA class has been an wonderful journey of faith. From the sacraments, I have been given warmth by a loving community and given testimonials by volunteers. Through deepening my understanding of Catholic teachings, I have found tranquillity and peace. The Easter day baptism was a truly encounter moment that strengthen my connection to God. The RCIA class has not only empower my faith but also provided me with a loving community. I am grateful for this life-changing experience.
I have been attending St Michael Church for mass for 40 years but got baptised despite a mix parentage of Indian Eurasian. I have moved to Pasir Ris 9 years ago and was finding for a Catholic Church and finally I found Church of Divine Mercy near my home.
Last few years I had severe financial losses in my business. Had a hard time and lost my mind. Was in a desperate moment of suicide. That’s where there was a calling from our Lord to get connected to RCIA. I made a point to get connected through the Youth Ministry for RCIA. I started my journey to be closer to the Lord through RCIA journey despite having trouble to attend class because of having to work on Saturdays for 12 hours. I went out of the way to sacrifice for no-pay leave on Saturdays. As I started having a very strong bonding with the Lord, He gave me confidence to think right to settle my business issues. My mum and brother both chronic patients supported me to journey into RCIA. My boss wanted to terminate me for not going to work on Saturdays and I was not bothered by it. As I felt so much more comfortable with our Lord knowing the fact that He will be there for me always for all my problems and will not allow me to end my life.
Slowly I got off from my problems and now I am baptised and very proud to be our Lord’s child. I would like to evangelise Christ the King to others as He will always hold us in His arms as He is our only Saviour. I am proud to be Christian. My family is very happy. RCIA journey sponsors, Francis who conducted the sessions, Fathers Damian, Peter and Venus and the whole team out there who came to support us for the entire journey are God-sent angels. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart.
Back during school days in secondary school, I was from a protestant school, I was also from a CCA that shares a christian background.
Fast forward to days prior to RCIA, I was already married to a cradle catholic. Back then, we would go to church on a weekly basis. My family was free thinker and her family was of catholic background. Generally understanding the surface level of the faith was not hard.
Actually this wasn’t my first RCIA experience. In fact, back in 2018, I signed up for RCIA at another church. I had already met Anisia, then girlfriend, and she encouraged me to signed up for it. At the start, I really wanted her companionship through this journey, however upon signing up, they segregated the females and males apart which means she couldn’t be my sponsor/companion. Therefore it made me lose drive in attending it. After about 3 sessions, I stopped going for RCIA.
So one Sunday in Church of Divine Mercy (CDM), an announcement was made that now RCIA is being held in CDM. So we thought since it’s so near our place why not try it again. But the same worries were surfaced up again. But we were assured that Anisia, now my spouse could attend and journey as my companion.
Truth be told, the faith is so deep that one cannot simply “complete” the journey in RCIA. The journey is a long one and the people – sponsors, companions and the fellow candidates all made the journey better.
There were questions along the way and there are still questions. But I feel with all these doubts, we need to know the RCIA team is there supporting us as well as the whole church.
Now that we are considered neophytes, there are still things that I’m unsure of, but I’ll have to keep asking and finding out more.