Delighted to be part of the Catholic Church...

“I began this journey in 2008 when I was studying in Montfort. I would go along with my friends to the chapel every Friday. As I listened and read about God, my interest developed.

May 02, 2014

To be part of the Catholic Church, first believe in Christ

“I began this journey in 2008 when I was studying in Montfort. I would go along with my friends to the chapel every Friday. As I listened and read about God, my interest developed.

“One night, I had a strange dream in which I heard a calm and soothing voice talking to me. I knew it was God’s voice showing me the path I should take.

“I met up with my former school teacher who is a Catholic and decided to tell her about the dream I had. She told me that it was God calling me to walk in His way. My teacher then took me to meet IJ Sister — Theresa Chua. She explained the significance of my dream and advised me. After that, I went to church every Sunday to listen to the word of God but stood outside as I was afraid of entering. With time I became more curious and wanted to know more about God.

“So I decided to go with my friend to the Methodist church in Melaka. After six months of attending the Methodist church, I felt disappointed because I was being forced into baptism though I was not ready. I wanted to know the purpose of Christianity, what we are called to do for Christ. I approached my teacher again to get some advice. Then I started to go to St Peter’s and St Francis Xavier’s church.

“Finally, I joined the RCIA in 2013 at the Church of the Visitation to know and learn more about God. My Godfather, Eric Lim, has journeyed with me. He is a sure support and I thank God for him.

“I want to thank Fr Alvin, Fr Edward, Sr Theresa Chua, all my RCIA facilitators and my Catholic friends for helping me to know more about JESUS. I am happy to accept Christ in my life and be a part this community. I know that God will always be there for me no matter where I go and what challenges I face.

I will always remember what Fr Alvin had told me – ‘If you want to be a part of the Catholic Church, you must first believe in Christ.’ I hope and pray that I will become more like Jesus each day.” --Edward Tomo, Church of the Visitation, Seremban

I am enlightened about the Christian faith

“I was baptized in September 1970 at St Michael’s Church, Penampang and named Genevieve. Over these 40 over years, I was a Christian in name and did not know much about the religion, without interest to know more.

“About one year ago, I enrolled for the RCIA process with my husband as we had decided to have a faith to lead us in our lives. My husband will be going for his full initiation and I for my confirmation. I was very much impressed and found all the lessons very touching, interesting and fruitful.

“I find that I understand and know the Lord Almighty God better as compared to those days after my baptism. I have no regret for attending the RCIA which has broadened my knowledge of the Christian faith and the life of Jesus Christ and what He went through for mankind.

“I am more enlightened about the faith and am well prepared for my confirmation. God bless!” -- Genevieve Tay of St Mary’s Cathedral, Sandakan

Walk the righteous path in life

“After having been through the RCIA process I now understand a lot more about the Catholic faith and belief.

“Initially, I was very confused as to why there are so many Christian denominations, all claiming to be-lieve in the same person of Jesus Christ.

“The RCIA programme has provided a lot of understanding and guidance on the teaching of the Catholic Church and how we have to walk the righteous path in life and commit ourselves to the community to help others and be better persons.

“Personally, I am not yet a fully changed person but I can feel some positive changes in me. I now have more patience, am better tempered and will think twice before I react to anything. Thank you for the RCIA process and the sharing on how God moves in my life.” -- John Hiew, St Mary’s Cathedral, Sandakan

The Holy Spirit has set me free

“I named myself Robert at the age of 11 and over the years, everyone addressed me as Robert. My surname is Chan and Kian Jack is my name. I am married to Genevieve Tay Sung Hiang and am blessed with three sons Oliver, Aaron and Elton and three grandsons Wilfred, Alvis and Asher respectively.

“I studied in Ming Sang and transferred to Cheng Ming Chinese School. After three years of Chinese education, I was put to study in St Mary’s Primary and Secondary School. I completed my Overseas Senior Cambridge in 1972 at the age of 17.

“Whilst waiting for a permanent job, I worked as a general worker in a wholesale company and later in a construction company as a foreman for a year. I joined MAS in 1973 as a clerk and was promoted as an officer five years later till 1984. In 1985, I was a District Manager in an insurance company and moved forward as a Business Development Manager and Branch Operation Manager till 2010. After retirement, I was contracted as a Business Development Manager. I am currently researching and practising as a part time holistic therapist.

“For decades I was struggling, fighting against odds to look into the well-being of the family and the children’s education. I was lost due to my many commitments toward my family. I honestly have to thank God for his mercy, love and protection that has allowed me to move forward together with my wife in good and bad times.

“Though I was not a Catholic then, I used to ask God for forgiveness and mercy whenever I was in need of HIS grace. I could still remember vividly from the Scripture lessons in my earlier secondary school days of how merciful and compassionate Jesus Christ is. Every morning, in my office, before I started work I would always read the Daily Inspirational with Bible verses. This enlightened and gave me much confidence.

“I also thank HIM for the gift of our grandchildren. I was quite depressed after my retirement but these gifts (my grandchildren) have brightened my life. I am more confident to face the challenges ahead knowing that He will continue to guide me.

“Prior to joining RCIA last year, I met a few friends. We talked about Jesus Christ. After much thought and consideration, I finally came to the decision that I should not wait. It was about time to go back to HIM who had worked much in my life.

“During the past couple of years, there were some events in my family. My children’s business and the illness of one of my grandsons who has since recovered. I prayed every day for God’s grace and mercy to be showered upon my family.

“I am very grateful to have attended the RCIA programme which has enriched me with the knowledge of God, the teaching of Jesus and how we should walk in HIS path of righteousness. Though I had been Masses during my early school days, I could not understand the word of God. But the RCIA facilitators were well prepared and adopted simple interactive approaches which are easily comprehensible.

“I wish to congratulate all the facilitators who have taken the effort in good FAITH to take care of our spiritual well being. I strongly believe that they will continue the good work to bring God to others. I believe our faith will be strengthened and deepened with prayers.

“Brothers and Sisters, fear not and together we shall march to the Glory of God against all evils.” -- Robert Chan Kian Jack, St Mary’s Cathedral, Sandakan

Gradual Transformation through the RCIA

“I am married and blessed with a son. Though I have been married to a Catholic wife, I did not know much about the religion and I was not too interested in Jesus until one day, perhaps through God’s intervention, I decided that I needed to find out more about my wife’s religion. I was encouraged to join the RCIA programme by my parents-in-law.

“As one of the candidates in the RCIA, I would like to thank all my fellow RCIA mates who had journeyed together with me during the whole process in the RCIA. I am happy to have joined the RCIA and met them. We are now like brothers and sisters, a family within our group. We learned together, shared our experiences and supported each other. We were taught that this was a small community consisting of our group members and we should remain close to each other and journey together to strengthen and deepen our faith even after our baptism.

“We have learnt how to use the Bible, say our daily prayers and know how loving the Almighty God is and how HE has a hand in our life. During the sessions, there were certain topics or verses that had deeply touched my heart and will always remain in my mind. I believe this could be the gradual transformation or conversion which our facilitators always emphasized.

“I am very grateful and thankful to our facilitators who have spent time to guide and lead us in our journey of faith all through the year. I pray that God will bless them abundantly. --Alexander Hiew, St Mary's Cathedral, Sandakan

The Our Father, a meaningful and complete prayer

Our Father, who art in Heaven
Hallowed be thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
On Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass
against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil

“This is a wonderful, very meaningful and complete prayer that Jesus Himself taught us. I memorized and love this prayer very much as it fulfills all that I need. My journey of faith with my fellow RCIA mates and facilitators has been very interesting and enriching.

“Thank you to all dedicated facilitators for your guidance and friendship.

God Bless everyone in RCIA.

In Jesus Name, Amen” -- Daryl Lyngdoh Chua, St Mary's Cathedral, Sandaka

I understand myself better and my faith has been deepened
“My dad was not a Catholic but married my mom who is a Catholic in the Holy Rosary Church, Brickfields, KL, back in the 1960s. Dad didn’t become a Catholic because of objection from his parents as he was the eldest.

“In June 2013, Dad was not able to walk and needed a wheelchair. Then he was diagnosed with fourth stage lung cancer which had spread to the spine. He was told that he had months to live. However, before his illness, Dad had prepared his standard operating procedure (SOP) for what to do when he or Mom passed away. Dad had two options, either a Chinese funeral or Catholic funeral. So, Dad actually had been considering conversion for some time.

One day in July 2013, his Catholic friend, a neighbour, visited him and Dad mentioned his intentions. “On July 30, 2013, Dad felt very bad and sent me to see his lawyer and told me to go to church to see the priest. I told the church clerk of Dad’s intention and situation. Also, that Mom is a Catholic and that they were married in church. She told the priest that this was an urgent issue and immediately the priest contacted me and then spoke to Dad. Within an hour the priest came to our home and Dad was baptized.

“As a child, Mom guided me on how to pray, took me to church and I went for Catechism in school to learn about the Catholic faith. However, I didn’t think of getting baptized.

“Even though my Dad had become a Catholic, I was still undecided. I must say that our church clerk, Jenny, encouraged me to join my parents in the Catholic faith and so I decided to go for RCIA to learn more. When I told my brother and sister of my intentions, they too joined me.

“So, on September 1, 2013, we started our RCIA faith journey. I really didn’t know what to expect. But thanks to all the RCIA facilitators, who prepared their topics well, I gained insight into the Catholic faith and the Catholic Church. My RCIA journey has deepened my understanding of myself and increased my faith. I am glad I took the first step.” -- Karen Loh, Church of the Visitation, Seremban

The RCIA Process Helped Clear My Doubt

“It took me quite a while before I decided to join the RCIA process though I had promised my girlfriend to become a Catholic since we entered into a relationship. It was actually a big challenge for me as I was brought up in a pagan family.

“I think I am lucky because I was guided by my girlfriend and her family. My other Christian friends were also journeying along with me in my faith life. They shared with me about God, His love, mercy and compassion. A close friend told me that each of us is born unto this world with a purpose, and that purpose is the driving force of our journey in this life. They also talked about Christ, the Saviour. This information helped me understand about Christianity, bit by bit over the years and cleared my doubts.

“The RCIA process was a very good starting point for me to understand Christianity. After almost a year of attending the sessions, I found out that there is not much difficulty to follow the teaching of Christ, the Almighty God. The facilitators shared their precious experiences and knowledge with us and we were free to ask questions, though at times some questions were out of topic. Their teaching and guidance led me to become “educated” in the Christian faith.

“From the RCIA I know how to read the Bible, which is the powerful word of God. But I know that it will be a long way to go to understand the whole Bible. I pray that I can get to know more about Jesus in a deeper sense.

“Lastly, I would like to say thank you to all the facilitators who had put in much effort to teach and guide me throughout the RCIA sessions. I would also like to thank my girlfriend and all of her family members as well as mine for their support, care and love.” -- Jimmy Lo of St Mary’s Cathedral, Sandakan

I found peace and joy

“Shalom! I was a Buddhist before I enrolled in the RCIA programme. I knew nothing about the Catholic faith. I only knew that there is a place called church where people gather to pray and worship Jesus. I used to follow my Catholic girl friend to church on several occasions. There were some rituals during the Mass which I did not understand at all. I asked and she explained. I found it interesting to know more and she encouraged me to join the RCIA process to explore more.

“On my first day in the RCIA, I was asked to buy a book Our Journey Together. This was my first book about God and Jesus in particular. I was committed to learn about this man Jesus and how he wants to change us. I was very eager to know more and more about him.

Without realizing it, I experienced some changes. I used to be very sensitive and got easily irritated over very minor things. Little things would trigger my anger and frustration. Now, I am a more peaceful person and can feel the joy in me yet I don’t know why.

I know that to follow the way of Jesus Christ is not easy. However, I will try my very best to continue my journey of faith, putting Jesus Christ in the centre of my life. I want to remain a faithful follower and believer of Christ as I am now part of the mystical Body. Amen!” -- Lucas Chan of St Mary’s Cathedral, Sandakan

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