The desire to keep God at the centre of her life moved Agnes to join community after she graduated from university. For the past 12 years, she has been actively participating in the pastoral work and life of her community. There, she is inspired and edified by those who share the same desire as her – to stay close to God despite the ups and downs of life. As a financial consultant, she enjoys meeting people, providing them a listening ear for their worries and helping them find solutions. To her, managing finances is like piecing a jigsaw puzzle, with every small step needing to be deliberated with patience and perseverance. In her free time, Agnes can be found either enjoying her swim time, watching documentaries or comparing prices of toiletries & daily essentials.
As a young boy, Francis wanted to be Batman because he wanted to help others. In his time as a police officer and a financial consultant, Francis realised his passion for journeying with others and a desire to help others beyond physical and material needs: to ultimately touch their souls by leading them to Jesus Christ. This led him to work for the Office for Young People before entering the seminary. Now as a third year diocesan seminarian, Francis continues to deepen his relationship with Christ. In his free time, Francis likes to read and keep fit so that he can bring more to Christ!
Br Collin is a La Salle brother and a family therapist. For over 30 years, Br Collin has been with the Ministry of Social and Family Development supervising probationers and working with their families. When he serves the boys in probation, the accompaniment and journeying always bring to mind the presence of God. He is also a clinical member of the Association of Marital and Family Therapy (Singapore). At Hopehouse, a home that serves the youth at risk in need of temporary residence, Br Collin is present to them as a home mentor, providing guidance and counselling. Even for the last, the lost and the least, he sees God in all of them. He also lectures at the St Francis Xavier Major Seminary. The truth that God is real and how he has witnessed of God’s presence in the people he journeys with have always given him hope. In his free time, Br Collin enjoys gardening – he loves plants and growing them. He also enjoys cycling to the barrage and enjoys the ride.
After Bernadine experienced God’s extravagant love for her, she desired to grow in a personal relationship with Christ. Moved by God’s grace, she continues to aspire to be a vessel of the Lord’s grace and mercy, and to be the light-bearer of Christ’s love. Bernadine currently works as financial analyst in a leading global professional services firm. She enjoys cooking, hosting, humming to random tunes and loves trying her hand at new things in her free time. She most recently tried her hand at kite flying and loved the challenge and thrill of launching the kite and keeping it in the air!
An introvert at heart, Timothy would not have guessed that community living would become so foundational in his life. His journey of falling in love with Jesus Christ and His Church began in his youth community at the parish of St Francis Xavier and continues today with his seminarian brothers at the St Francis Xavier Major Seminary. As a fifth year diocesan seminarian, Timothy enjoys journeying with young people so that they too may give their lives to Jesus Christ. He is also a self-professed Catholic geek who enjoys good films, anime and books. He highly recommends St Therese of Lisieux’s Story of a Soul – her childlike trust in God and ferocious courage in pursuing holiness for the sake of souls awakens similar desires in his heart.
Kirk and Claire Ho have been married for 23 years and have six children. They believe that marriage is a daily decision to love – a conscious decision not based on how they feel and is only possible by the grace of God. As a couple, they are active witnesses to God’s love in their ministry. From 1998 to 2010, they were presenters in the Catholic Engaged Encounter (EE) programme, preparing couples for marriage. They have both also completed the Masters in Family Education from The European Institute of Educational Sciences. Kirk and Claire are currently part of the core team of the International Federation of Family Development, planning the courses available in Singapore. In their free time, they like to discover new cafes and dining places where they can enjoy each other’s company over a good cuppa coffee and good food.
As a youth, the search for the purpose and meaning of life brought Colin to distant lands. During his travels, he experienced God’s providential grace and perfect timing in prayer and through the people that God planted in his life, who not only helped him discover his identity but also his call to marriage. Soon after he got married to Suzan, he graduated with highest honours from the John Paul II Institute of Marriage and Family in Melbourne and then came back to complete his training as a specialist in Emergency medicine in Singapore. Today, he finds meaning and purpose as a husband, father to 3 kids, doctor, teacher and advocate, and continues to (re)learn that true happiness lies not in living for oneself but for God and others.
Corinne started out serving in her parish with the Children’s Liturgy group, before moving into the youth catechetical scene. Six years ago, she left corporate life to avail herself more freely to doing God’s work. With her husband, they currently lead the RCIY program and their neighbourhood SCC in their parish. Pastoral care very close to her heart – a need she sees in, and outside the church. She firmly believes lay shepherding is an area women can make lasting contributions to, being naturally gifted with intuition and sensitivity. Though retired from work, she’s certainly not retired from life! She finds fulfilment in accompanying individuals on their personal journeys – discovering God and deepening faith in the sharing of common life experiences. Her desire is simply to plant seeds tirelessly to grow hearts for God – wherever He might place her. In her free time, she enjoys travelling, especially being in nature or exploring places off the beaten track.
Fr Eugene Vaz celebrated his 50th sacerdotal anniversary in February this year. He is best known for his gift of preaching: passionate and Spirit-filled, with stories that capture the heart and stirs faith of his listeners. Fr Vaz was the parish priest of Holy Family Church from 2015 until he was assigned to the Bethany East Clergy Residence in June 2020 as a resident priest. He enjoys reading, and listening to jazz and country music.
Fr Jude David is one of the chaplains of the Office for Young People, and the current rector of Cathedral of the Good Shepherd upon his return from Rome with his Licentiate in Dogmatic Theology. Fr Jude is anointed with the fiery passion for the Church – particularly raising a generation of young people to be men and women of faith – to be part of the “One Flock”, led by the “One Shepherd”: Jesus Christ (John 10:16). In his free time, Fr Jude pours his heart and soul into what the young people have affectionately termed “facebook/telegram ministry”, where he reaches out to sheep with a familiar and endearing “Hi, how are you doing?”.
Fr Jovita Ho has recently returned from a deeply enriching time in Rome, completing his licentiate in Church History from the Pontifical Gregorian University. Ordained in 2013, and now serving as the parish priest of St Anne’s Church since August 2020, Fr Jovita has been spreading the seeds of fire for the Lord in students and young people whose paths he has crossed. In these young people, Fr Jovita sees their openness and frankness which give him hope and motivates him to minister to them. While he fills the hearts of young people with the Word, he is nourished by the Lord through spending quiet moments with Him. If there was one food recipe he had to put into a time capsule for future generations, it would be the Hainanese Pork Chop Rice because when made with love it fills one’s belly AND one’s heart! Also because it is the first dish that his mum taught him to make.
Fr Valerian Cheong is the endearing father figure for our brothers in the St Francis Xavier Major Seminary. Appointed Rector in 2018, he oversees the spiritual, human, intellectual and pastoral formation of seminarians on their journey to the priesthood. The topic of vocation is one close to his heart: not only does he know it intimately from his own inspirational journey towards the priesthood, but also from journeying with countless young men in his role as a Vocation Director for the Diocesan Priesthood since 2014. Besides teaching Sacred Scripture to the seminarians and lecturing the laity at the Catholic Theological Institute of Singapore (CTIS), Fr Valerian is also the Chairman of the Senate of Priests for the Archdiocese, as well as the Co-Chair for the Catholic200SG Committee. In his free time, Fr Valerian enjoys taking long walks and sees to his fishes. He also plays the piano, the clarinet and the organ!
Gerald is currently a graduate student at Boston College, pursuing degrees in Theology and Business. Gerald spent the early years of his career in management consulting, but was moved to give the best of himself to Jesus and His Church, after a powerful encounter with the love of Jesus. Gerald spent the next four years in campus and young adult ministry with the Office for Young People, and jumped at the opportunity to combine his love for the Church with his skills in management when he was invited to work on organisational strategy at the Archbishop’s Office. In his free time, and to discover more of his new – albeit temporary – home, Gerald and his wife enjoy exploring the mountains of North America: hiking, kayaking, watching wildlife, and taking in the beauty of God’s natural creation.
Gracemary is a young working adult who fell head over heels in love with Jesus during her university life and continues to depend on God to guide her path each day. Besides her acknowledged need and love for God, coffee comes a close second (her go to is a lukewarm cup of flat white!). Before her current job as a COVID-19 researcher in NUS, Gracemary has interned in her parish as a youth pastoral worker, worked as a home-baker and a medical writer. An ideal rest day for her consists of cooking a much craved meal before heading to the beach for an evening of reflection and prayer 🙌🏻
As a young adult, Helen was often challenged by bible-quoting Protestant friends about Catholic teachings but found herself at a loss to answer them convincingly most of the time. Hoping to find the answers to questions asked of her in her youth, Helen joined a Bible Study group years later. There, her love for God’s Word grew and she was so excited and fired up with what she had heard and read that she could hardly contain her joy! Desiring to share this joy with others, Helen has been conducting talks on books of the Bible and on the biblical compatibility of Catholic beliefs since 2013. Over the last eight years, Helen’s Sunday Bible classes have grown in size, attracting attendees beyond the parish. Despite current COVID restrictions, she continues to facilitate the Church of St Francis Xavier (SFX)’s Biblical Apostolate Team (BAT)’s weekly Bible study sessions which are based on Dr Brant Pitre’s Mass Readings Explained. In her free time, Helen enjoys reading (mainly books on Catholicism), baking (mainly breads, cakes and pies!).
By Jesus’ grace and love, Janice was called to a ministry to serve as a worship leader and minister to others through the Holy Spirit. Despite feeling inadequate, Janice’s experience of Christ’s mercy keeps her going in answering His call to feed His sheep. Inspired by the truth that every Catholic is a missionary sent to make disciples of all nations by virtue of baptism, Janice is passionately and actively involved in the ministry work of Jesus; empowering young individuals in evangelical outreach. She endeavours to one day echo St Paul’s words, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim 4:7). Janice is married to her wonderful husband, Christopher and is blessed with three children. In her free time, she enjoys reading , meditation and also trying out new recipes.
Joseph’s encounter with God started at a very young age. Actively participating in retreats, fellowship with community and serving in Catholic activities during his formative years have led him closer to God. As a working adult, Joseph has held various appointments at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and overseas assignments. In his current role as Singapore’s Chief Negotiator for Climate Change, Joseph appreciates the unique opportunity given to him to spread the love and care for creation and encourage others to be good stewards of creation. As God has blessed us with His creation, he firmly believes that the onus is on all of us to take good care of it and to leave this world in a better shape for our children and future generations to come. In his free time, Joseph enjoys watching movies, jogging and playing mahjong!
Sr Geraldine Tan is a member of the Canossian Daughters of Charity, commonly known as the Canossian Sisters. The seed of mission was planted in her even at a young age of five, when she saw the pained expression of her grandmother while accompanying her to a clinic for an injection. The rest is history; Sr Geraldine entered the nursing profession, was a vocal activist in the hospice and palliative care community, and today is the Executive Director of St. Joseph’s Home of Catholic Welfare Services. There, she sees how hope is alive in the midst of suffering and learns to depend on God and to work together with her Sisters and staff as a team. Although the topic of suffering is often heavy and uncomfortable, Sr Geraldine finds the courage to speak about it as she sees it a calling to be with the sick and the dying. For her, when it is a calling, all difficulties are blessed by God for a greater glory. In her free time, Sr Geraldine enjoys reading – especially autobiographies and about culture and places!
It has been over 52 years since Sr Linda answered the call to religious life in the Religious of the Cenacle, a congregation whose main ministry is formation in the faith and any form of spiritual ministry, like retreats and spiritual direction. Since then, the Lord has taken her on a great adventure, including 12 years in Rome where she served as a General Councillor for the Congregation. Through her work in retreats and spiritual direction, Sr Linda has come across many who go through loss and grief. Encountering these experiences have convinced her that these are opportunities for growth and change. In her free time, Sr Linda enjoys reading, playing the guitar or listening to music!
Tony, or more fondly known as Uncle Tony, spent his entire career in foreign exchange trading. However, after many years in the corporate life, Uncle Tony felt empty (though he did not know it then). He felt very unsettled and that there was more to life. When he was 40, he heard an announcement calling for help to serve in the RCIA ministry and something inside urged him to answer that call. As he served in RCIA, Uncle Tony found fulfilment in accompanying others in their journey of faith. In 2008, he founded the Landings program in Singapore to reach out to Catholics who have left the Church and accompany them on their journey back. For Uncle Tony, his foundation of faith and reason for his true hope has been strengthened by God through his many life experiences. His big pastoral heart desires for others to uncover the presence of God in the realities of their everyday life.
Steph is a passionate disciple who feels called by God to use her gifts to help others encounter the freedom of the Lord, just as she has in her own life. With 23 years of dance experience, Steph has conducted various workshops and has empowered many young people of OYP to worship freely and to use their gifts for the glory of the Kingdom in the past 6 years. She firmly believes in the power and importance of creative means of evangelisation, especially in our world today. Steph has a thing for baby emperor penguins and has also recently been enlightened to the beauty of coffee. Honestly what took her so long?