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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

Category: Faith
Category: Special Events

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