SINGAPORE -- Priests of the archdiocese learnt more about the Neocatechumenal Way when its catechists shared their community’s charism in the work of the new evangelisation with them.
Fr Pippo Lauria, Mr Fernando Valdes and Ms Kate Mcgarr – who are responsible for the Neocatechumenal Way in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia – spoke to the priests during their recollection held at the St Francis Xavier Major Seminary on Nov 7.
In the first session, the team shared the witness of their personal lives, of how during their own crises of faith, each had experienced Jesus Christ in the Neocatechumenal communities in their respective countries.
Their sharings also highlighted how today’s Christians could be attending church as a matter of religious ritual only, and when real crises arose, they could fall away unless they had been sufficiently evangelised, inserted into a small community and over time formed in their faith.
The team later presented the Christian itinerary of the Neocatechumenal Way, which showed how Christian communities are formed and matured in order to serve the mission of the Church.
The priests found the presentation informative and challenging with some sharing later that they were impressed with the conviction of the catechists and their clear proclamation of the Gospel.
Episcopal Vicar, Fr Erbin Fernandez, who journeys with the Neocatechumenal Way community at the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, said he is “grateful” for what he has learnt from the organisation.
The re-discovery of the central message of the Gospel, the kerygma (or proclamation) has been a great gift to him, he explained. “It has helped me to face crises and challenges with a certainty and hope that is a pure gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Archbishop Goh, who also attended the recollection, encouraged the catechist team in their work of evangelisation in the archdiocese.
The team was invited by the Office for the New Evangelisation (ONE) to conduct the recollection as part Archbishop Goh’s pastoral vision to create a vibrant and evangelical missionary Church.
Archbishop Goh is inviting ecclesial movements and lay communities to share their charisms with priests to help them discern how these charisms could aid in re-evangelising parishes.
Archbishop Gregory Yong welcomed the Neocatechumenal Way to the archdiocese in 1978. There are now nine communities in five parishes comprising about 280 members of all ages.
The Neocatechumenal Way was born in Madrid, Spain, in the early 1960s. Its charism is to make Christian communities like the Holy Family of Nazareth living “in humility, simplicity and praise … where the other is Christ”.