I have always believed that it was God who called me to his Church, instead of me walking into the Church of St Bernadette on my own accord….
An Invitation From An Old Friend
After the Circuit Breaker in 2020, I was lamenting over my weight gain and was exploring personal training when I came across an old friend’s Instagram post on his fitness journey. I contacted the personal trainer and started training. From time to time, my friend would wait for my session to end and send me home.
During the car rides home, we reconnected and updated each other on our lives and I saw that he has matured over the years. He had received his baptism at a Protestant Church and has been active in church activities.
One random day, during our usual car ride home, he asked if I was keen to explore Christianity.
Up to that point, I had literally grown up in a temple within a Taoist and Buddhist environment, as my grandparents used to own a temple and were “Dang Ki”. Neither have I thought of conversion nor have I been a faithful worshipper.
Hence, I asked, “Eh, why are you so random and talk about faith all of a sudden?” He replied, “because every time during our car rides home you will ask if I have cell group and church activities”. Truth be told, I was not too interested in his church activities but wanted to engage in a conversation so that the ride home would not be in awkward silence.
He introduced me to the ALPHA series on YouTube. I went home and started watching the series and found myself very intrigued by this figure called God. He then invited me to join him for church service and I attended both the online and offline sessions. However, the more sessions I attended, the more unsettled I felt and the more questions I had, but there was no answers.
An Invitation From A Catholic Friend
Then one day, I remembered I was doing skipping rope exercise in front of my personal trainer’s house and I saw that he has a crucifix at the entrance of his house.
I was curious and asked, “Why do you want to a Catholic?”. Without hesitating, he replied, “Because the Catholic church was started by Jesus himself and the tradition is passed down from thousands of years ago. If you are keen to know about Christianity, sign up for RCIA. Go for at least three sessions and see for yourself.”
That was in August 2020 and most parishes had closed the registration for RCIA. I was at my wit’s end as I really wanted to attend the RCIA in 2020!
As I was googling for more details, I recalled having a friend who was discerning priesthood a few years ago! I sent him a text message – “Hey, you catholic right? I need help. I want to attend RCIA but I don’t know how to go about it.” He replied promptly, “So timely! No kidding, I am a sponsor for the first time in RCIA. Come to my church this Saturday; very likely this is the only church left for registration.”
I turned up for RCIA and the first thing Fr Aloysius said, “We have 1 inquirer this week (me!) and will have 2 more inquirers joining us next week, we will be closing the registration for RCIA this week.” I thought to myself, “woah I am so lucky!”
I Am Indeed Called by God
As I journeyed deeper into the faith, I realised I am not lucky but I am indeed called to the Church by God. Through His Grace, He has sent me angels who led me into His Church and they have helped me tremendously in my faith journey in getting to know Him.
During my first interview with Fr Aloysius, he had said, “The initial reason that led you to Church might not be the same reason why you remain in church or desire to be baptised.”
At that point in time, I could not understand what he meant. I just knew the reason why I walked into a Catholic Church was pure curiosity; and I want to be baptised because I know that God is real, God is always present in our lives, waiting for us to seek his counsel.
He will never abandon us, and if you have encountered God, you will know that God loves us so much that it pains him that we are in pain. His love for us is so immersive that words cannot articulate well enough.
I was baptised at the Church of Saint Bernadette on 11 April 2021 with the blessing from my family and love and guidance from my sponsor – Yvonne and newfound Catholic family.
My prayer for the Catholic Church’s 200th anniversary
Good and loving Father,
You sent the Holy Spirt to fill our hearts with your love and to shelter us under your care. My prayer is for the lost and hurt to open their hearts to You, Lord, to encounter You and receive You with open minds and heart. In these changing times, I pray that the Church continues to meet us where we are and the community to stay strong and united. I pray that we remain faithful to You, trust and leave everything in Your hands for You have A plan for everyone of us.