Hello everyone! I’m Abigail, I’m 24 this year and I’m working as an Occupational Therapist. Eight years ago, I started my RCIY journey at the Church of St Ignatius. I was just 15 years old then when my family encouraged me to join the ministry to enquire more about the Catholic Faith. As an inquirer then, RCIY had given me the opportunity to come to know who this almighty God is, whom everyone has been talking about, and it was also the start of my lifelong relationship with Him.
Abigail with her RCIY batchmates
The Start of my Lifelong Relationship with God
Weekly RCIY sessions was something I had looked forward to as I got make new friends and share with likeminded individuals. The facilitators and befrienders of the community were always open in sharing with us knowledge about the faith, significance of various practices and even their personal encounters with Christ which helped me to relate various aspects of the Catholic faith to my own life.
Post baptism, I was a Sunday Catholic. After completing the journey in the RCIY cycle, God as the main priority of my life slowly faded away. He soon became someone in the shadows whom I had always forgotten. Mass became an obligation which I dreaded going for. In those years, I was focussed on achieving material things such as getting good grades and trying to do things just to please others. Having a community or serving in a ministry was probably the last thing on my to do list.
Receiving the Sacrament of Baptism at Easter Vigil 2013
Losing my Identity
As a result, I grew further and further away from God and the void in me grew bigger and bigger each day. Despite becoming the top student in my course and earning the opportunity to complete my last year of university studies overseas, I was neither satisfied nor happy. Instead, I became fearful of the future and started feeling lost in life as I found myself living to please others. The material things I once thought could bring me all the happiness in the world became nothing but added stress as I strived to “perfect” myself into a person someone I did not know. Life lost its meaning as I started to lose my identity.
Experiencing God’s Love and Mercy
It was not until a friend encouraged me to attend the AWAKEN retreat in 2018 where I experienced God’s mercy and love for me. He revealed to me my brokenness and helped me to realise my identity as His beloved child. The void I felt previously was filled with His love. That was when I realised that He was the missing puzzle piece in my life. I slowly began to see how important it was to place God in the centre of all that I do. Through the retreat, I was also reminded that faith is never a private matter but always one of communion. This was when I began my search for a community and decided to give the RCIY ministry a try.
Abigail’s conversion experience: AWAKEN Retreat 2018
When I first entered RCIY as a facilitator/sponsor, I was fearful and felt very inadequate as I was not strong in my knowledge of God. I had also felt that I would not be the best example of a good catholic to the inquirers since I had strayed away from him for many years.
Additionally, I had several unsuccessful attempts in sharing about the Catholic faith when speaking with my non-catholic family and friends previously. However, journeying with the inquirers over the past year had in fact helped me return to basics, to gain the “head knowledge” and it also helped me to more strongly proclaim my identity as a child of God. I have also grown to realise that having a deep, intimate and personal relationship with Jesus was just as, if not, more important than being strong in my head knowledge alone.
Journeying in St Ignatius’ RCIY had allowed me to experience what it is like to be part of a Christ-Centred community as we (facils, sponsors and inquirers) got to know one another on a personal level and continued to support/spur one another on in deepening our relationship with God. Serving as a facil/sponsor eight years on, the RCIY community continues to be my home, comfort and safe space to grow in faith, proclaim my identity as a child of God and to bring Christ to others.
Joy and laughter with the RCIY Facils
God has a Purpose for each one of us
One truth I would like to claim is that God calls each and everyone of us for a purpose and He will never let us do something He has not prepared us for. Therefore, if you feel a stirring in your heart to join RCIY and accompany someone on the journey, do not be afraid to say YES to Jesus’ call, for 2 Corinthians 12:9 says “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”.