For the greater part of my life, I’ve known of God, yet did not have a clue as to who or who He is.
An Intellectual Faith
Growing up in a protestant household, I was your typical Sunday Christian: go for church service on Sundays with my family, attend Sunday school and participate in the occasional church camp. I grew up thinking I knew a lot about Christianity, having memorised several memory verses and reading cartoons about bible stories. I was able to differentiate between “right” and “wrong”, and I held strong beliefs on judgement and a person’s worth.
Eventually, my faith life (which had been built upon this superficial “wealth” of knowledge) came crumbling down while I was in secondary school, and my doubts about the faith started to kick in. I recognised that I needed to do something to mend my relationship with God and I tried to start attending church services with my friends, but eventually that was short-lived.
My co-sponsor, the JC classmate who suggested I join RCIY!
Relearning new truths about Christianity
Going into CJC, I felt like it was another chance for me to grow deeper in my faith and perhaps a shot at evangelisation. I dived into articles and literature on the reformation in a bid to “one-up” my Catholic peers. I had my beliefs on the Catholic faith and I saw myself as doing God’s work by spreading the “truth” about the protestant reformation.
Yet in my bid to one-up the people around me, I slowly came to the shocking conclusion that I was living with so much misinformation about the Catholic faith based on my own flawed interpretation of Christianity.
This nagging feeling that there was a lot more to Christianity than I was aware of culminated in my decision to go for the JC2 retreat in preparation for the ‘A’ Levels. During the retreat, I managed to get most of my questions answered, but I was still stumped by one in particular. It was 12am when I leaned over to my friend sleeping next to me and asked:
“Why do Catholics worship Mother Mary?”
My friend welcomed the question and we chatted for a while, and he suggested that I attend RCIY to find out more. I was skeptical until he assured me that there was no commitment to be baptised, that it was simply an opportunity to find out more about the faith.
My two co-sponsors at my baptism 🙂
A Welcoming and Supportive Community
When I first joined RCIY, I was welcomed by so many smiling faces who assured me that they were here to help me along my journey of discovering the Christian faith. They put to rest any concerns I had about being forced to undergo baptism at the end of the programme, and it really helped me to be more open in seeking God.
The RCIY team consisted primarily of Catholic converts who had gone through the same RCIY programme at St Ignatius parish, and they crafted sessions which were both engaging and informative. My sponsors were also there for me 24/7, and were always able to journey and hear me out whenever I had difficulties understanding certain doctrine or beliefs. This greatly encouraged me as I could really feel how genuine they were in wanting to help me on my journey of discovery. Along the way, a friend of mine decided not to continue on the RCIY programme, yet he was still welcome like family and joined us for meals together. This genuine love demonstrated by the sponsors really inspired me and amazed me.
My journey in RCIY did not end after baptism. We were introduced to the different faces in our community and taught to discover our charisms and to utilise them. This helped us to “ease” into the parish, and really made us feel at home.
RCIY had such a meaningful impact on me that I decided to re-join first as a befriender, and then a sponsor, to give back the love shown to me when I was a catechumen.
To those who are feeling even the slightest call to seek God, my advice to you is this: take a leap of faith and trust that He will make straight your path!
Sharing the good things the Lord has done for me!