Nox Gaudii (Night Of Joy) 2016: By This We Will Know Love (1 John 3:16)

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Just a week more to Good Friday and Fr. Jude David reminds us of the "Cross" +


Our Christian lives are marked by the cross. A clear sign of our conviction of our life in Christ. Our conviction for life, our conviction for love, our conviction that others may have life and love.
Fr. Jude challenges us to make Holy Week evangelical. The best thing we can give back to Jesus, is to bring someone to know him.

Read:
Nox Gaudii 2015: For He That Mighty Has Done Great Things For Me...
Nox Gaudii (Night Of Joy) 2015: You will be my people, and I will be your God
Nox Gaudii (Night Of Joy) 2015: Being A Church On Fire
Nox Gaudii 2015: Behold I Make All Things New

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Nox Gaudii 2015: For He That Mighty Has Done Great Things For Me...

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Office of Young People (OYP) turns 2!



"For He That Mighty Has Done Great Things For Me And Holy Is His Name!"

I recall stepping through the gates of Lorong Low Koon 2 years ago with Fr. Jude David delivering his 1st ambitious testimony of how he was called to this service of the youth and how he dreams of Nox Gaudii in the future taking up space in the indoor stadium!

I have now walked through the side gate of OYP countless times, and each time after Nox Gaudii walking away with a renewed spirit - that the Catholic Church of Singapore can be energised by young people of God. Two years on, and each time I bring new friends to Nox Gaudii, they can't believe they walked into a hall of Catholic youth. I'm proud of the work of OYP and always keeping your mission in prayer.

Read:
Nox Gaudii (Night Of Joy) 2015: You will be my people, and I will be your God
Nox Gaudii (Night Of Joy) 2015: Being A Church On Fire
Nox Gaudii 2015: Behold I Make All Things New

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Nox Gaudii (Night Of Joy) 2015: You will be my people, and I will be your God

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In 2007, I made my first visit to Bintan's Tanjung Pinang Asrama Putra Boys Home. It was a mission trip with STYG to expose our youth to the poorer living condition just a couple of hours from the shores of Singapore. For the first time this year, we made arrangements to invite the Asrama Putra Girls over to our sunny Singapore island. After much difficulties with finances and paperwork to leave the country, we finally played host to 4 teenage girls (Maria, Afni, Kristy, Sherin) and their mission leader, Manuela. The objective of the visit was to allow the girls to experience the diverse culture, lifestyle and food offered in Singapore.


Awaiting the start of Praise at Nox Gaudii

Among the tightly scheduled program was a trip to Nox Guadii (Night of Joy) August. We wanted the girls to have a taste of young catholic people from all parishes coming together to Praise and fellowship. Nox Guadii in the month of August; following all the festive filled SG50 National Day celebrations, was naturally dedicated to the Nation Jubilee theme of "You will be my people, and I will be your God - Proud to be Catholic, Proud to be Singaporean".



Fr. Derrick Yap who lead the JOY SG50 Thanksgiving Mass at the National Stadium in July was invited to preach on the theme.
He started with - Have you chosen to follow Jesus? To choose is to believe. "You will be my people, and I will be your God" is both a statement and a choice.
"But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body." - Philippians 3:20-21
Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." - John 6:68
God is Home, truly.



In this double bill SG50 Nox event, we not only had Fr. Derrick, but also acclaimed singer and songwriter, Corrine May who graced us with her time to share her journey in writing Bless Our Singapore.

Corrine shared about how she was lead to write a song about sanctification, a process of being made holy. The song reflected the image of a garden of our soul.




And we got a picture with the very talented, Corrine May

Both sharing by Fr. Derrick and Corrine were very localized, which turned out challenging for the Asrama Putra Girls to understand both for its context and their command of the English language. I believed the girls did enjoy Praise and adoration of the Eucharist.

More Nox Gaudii (Night Of Joy) 2015: You will be my people, and I will be your God Pictures

Read:
STYG Tanjung Pinang Asrama Putra Mission
The Tanjung Pinang Mission
Giving Back at the Missionaries of Charity
JOY SG50 Thanksgiving Mass
Nox Gaudii (Night Of Joy) 2015: Being A Church On Fire
Nox Gaudii 2015: Behold I Make All Things New

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JOY SG50 Thanksgiving Mass

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We came together, as ministries, as classmates, as friends, as families, as church and as Singapore. Catholics and non-catholics from all over our island graced the special JOY SG50 Thanksgiving Mass in celebration of our little nation's Jubilee celebration. 10,000 strong filled the Singapore Indoor Stadium as we gave thanks for 50 abundant years in Singapore's nation building.



Celeste and I didn't get the bid for the National Day celebration balloting this year, so she was determined to get tickets for the JOY SG50 event. And what a celebration it was! With a star studded line up from Gold 90.5 radio presenter, Joe Augustine, Channel NewsAsia caster and friend, Augustine Authuvan, singer songwriter, Corrine May, favorite Daughters of St. Paul nun, Sr. Wendy and all those ridiculously talented religious and friends from various music ministry that took the stage. In all honesty, I couldn't recall a "catholic" event of such scale that was put together with such quality and fluidity. This one pulled together all the tricks of a combined youth orchestra, band, choir, praise and worship singers, hip hop dancers, video production (with Red Dragon 4K cameras), stage lighting, live online video streaming and everything behind the scenes we couldn't see. It felt profession, it felt massive, it felt WOW! It felt like I was attending a protestant event, just that it was Catholic! It felt strangely comfortable celebrating mass, worshiping God and being surrounded by so many familiar faces. It was the taste a rejuvenated church on fire with Jesus!


Prime Minister Lee Hsien Long who graced the event commented that when he heard of a Catholic Thanksgiving Mass, he thought of a gathering at St. Peter and Paul's Church and not a filled Indoor Stadium.

As many religious groups organised thanksgiving events for SG50, PM Lee took the opportunity to hype up religious harmony and at the same time rally himself into the good books of the upcoming Singapore election.


A special Singapore Catholic Church History video by PixelMusica was screened in the presence of PM Lee showcasing the stories I have come to know very well from Pilgrimage In My Backyard (PIMBY).

Our Catholic Light is a film that tells the story of how missionaries such as the Paris Foreign Missions brought the Light of Christ to Singapore, to serve the needs to the people through the Catholic Church. Since 1821, the Church has played a pivotal role in Singapore’s nation building through its work in education, healthcare, and social services, serving people regardless of religion, race or language.

The story is told through the lives and personal testimonies of 25 priests, religious, church workers and volunteers. More than a thousand man hours of work (research, pre-production, production and post production) went into the making of this film.


Corrine May performed her World Premiere song dedicated to the country - "Bless Our Singapore"
The lyrics to the song - heartfelt, sincere and truly a blessing. Corrine May is such a beautiful talent, allowing Christ to shine in her song, voice and music.
Bless Our Singapore

O Lord, hear our prayer
Bless this land where we stand
May we be light for our nation
May we be salt for this land

To this land, you sent our Fathers
For the church their blood was shed
They served the island's sons and daughters
Like the wheat that forms the bread

On this land, you grew a garden
From the toiling of our hands
We thank you Lord for every blessing
Trusting your eternal plan

Holy Spirit light the way
Keep us faithful, this we pray
Till we reach Heaven's shore
Bless our Singapore

On this land, you choose to feed us
on the altar of our hearts
May we be Christ for one another
Never fear to bear the cross

Holy Spirit light the way
Keep us faithful, this we pray
Till we reach Heaven's shore
Bless our Singapore

Holy Mary, full of grace
Help us give Him, all our days
Till we reach Heaven's shore
Bless our Singapore

Till we reach Heaven's shore
Bless our Singapore

Little voices from CHIJ Kellock Choir joined together to perform "You Are Mine". Can't help but gleefully grin with pride as I was once (many, many years ago) just like them. That blue pinafore and white blouse followed me 10 years of my life!


The finale brought to stage priests, religious and all the performers in a resounding praise and worship medley ending with "Shine, Jesus Shine". Confetti shot to the air as the event drew to a close.

Thank you church for sharing Christ's JOY this SG50!

More JOY SG50 Thanksgiving Mass Pictures

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Category: Faith
Category: Special Events

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STYG Lenten Play 2015 Performance

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This video took a little too long in the editing room due to my commitments with school and work *classic excuses*. But Hey! Still it's better late than never.
I cannot be more proud of the youth who spent weeks rehearsing and putting this act together for the children at Good Friday.


Presenting to you - St. Teresa's Youth Group's (STYG) Passion Play 2015!

Behind the Scenes

Final briefing before the start of the performance




Backstage dressing room






Final thanksgiving prayer. it's a wrap!

More STYG Passion Play 2015 Pictures

Read:
STYG Lenten Play 2015 Performance
STYG Lenten Play 2011 Performance
STYG Lenten Play 2011 (Full Dress Rehearsal)
STYG Lenten Play 2011 Rehearsals, Props & Costumes
STYG Lenten Play 2010 Group
STYG Lenten Play 2009 Group
STYG Lenten Play 2008 Group
STYG Lenten Play 2008 Video
STYG Lenten Play 2007 Video
STYG Lenten Play 2007: Behind the Scenes
Youth In BLACK!

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Nox Gaudii (Night Of Joy) 2015: Being A Church On Fire

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Nature has a way of reacting to its surroundings. A flame will bring light to its environment and in addition, warmth. A flame when kindled will burst into a fire. Fire can transform, it can destroy or it can cleanse. I am always mesmerized by the burning flames of fire. At camp bond fires, I can stare endlessly into the flames that dances in shades of red, orange, yellow and blue. The warmth, the sound of crackling wood and the smell of char burnt remains. The element of fire reminds me of such beauty and at the same time such danger.

Unlike other evangelical or charismatic christian denominations, the Catholic church locally is known to be traditional and often subtle in our outreaches. We are commonly described as lukewarm or reserved. I'd like to think that each of us has a little flame in us from Pentecost. If many little flames come together for the mission of Christ we will burst into a raging fire - fearless, swift and powerful to spread the gospel.
"I have come to set the world on fire, and I wish it were already burning!"
Luke 12:49
This is the fire of faith, the fire of passion, the fire of conviction, the fire of love, the fire of holiness, the fire of hope. When this fire touch our lives, it changes us forever.

We are called to come together to be a fireplace. Many in our church have yet to meet Jesus. Can we be a fireplace to grow friendship and to share our lives?


Fr. Jude David's preaching on Being A Church On Fire
"If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames."
1 Corinthians 3

My little handmade flame after Nox Guadii with a personalized message


"We know we were made for more than ordinary lives
It's time for us to more than just survive
We were made to thrive!"
Thrive, Casting Crowns
Burn with praise!

Read:
Nox Gaudii 2015: Behold I Make All Things New

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