Christ is risen, He is truly risen! This is the Easter cry, a shout of joy from the heart that darkness and death are overcome by light and life. This is the mystery we celebrate at Easter, the Paschal Mystery that God who became man out of love for us has passed over from death to new life. We carry this same mystery within our lives throughout the year. What difficulties and distress we experience are part of the journey into deeper and greater freedom and faith.
These post-pandemic days can be likened to the liberating Easter experience as we come out of the painful tomb-like isolation of the Covid-19 pandemic. We take the opportunity to reconnect in person, and to reach out to the poor who struggled alone because of the movement restrictions.
During the pandemic, the Franciscan Friars, together with the parish team of St Mary of the Angels, did our best to maintain connection by reaching out through videos for Sunday Mass, Daily Liturgy of the Word, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and many other occasions. These we did out of our desire to nourish seeking souls and lighten heavy hearts, even dancing and singing, which was out of the comfort zone of several friars, in the hope of bringing a smile to your faces.
Now that we can gather without restriction, the Franciscan Friars have resumed in-person activities. Our Devotion to St Anthony is back in the Church of St Mary of the Angels. Also returning is our Mother’s Day Concert, our once a year event to all who are “mothers” to us. Many of you have stood by us these many years contributing in many different ways, through prayers, ideas, volunteering your time and effort, regular financial support and the like. We will be sharing with you how you have sustained our friars, and helped to build our presence and ministries in Singapore and Malaysia. See the News section for more on this.
And we have our first Conference on Franciscan Spirituality coming up. Through the talks by Friar Wayne Hellmann OFM Conventual, we hope to deepen our knowledge of Franciscan Spirituality, and so be recharged and renewed for mission and fraternal relations! That’s in April and all are welcome, especially for the evening sessions!
April is a month for great celebration for us – Easter of course, and on 25 April, our Custody officially becomes autonomous. We are grateful that God has blessed us and guided us to this point where as a Franciscan Religious entity, we are now “mature” enough to be on our own, and can in turn care for other entities. We owe this journey to you, our steadfast friends and benefactors. You stayed together with us through the storms, and gave us the strength and resources to weather through the vicissitudes of life.
It is with deep gratitude that I pen these words of acknowledgement and appreciation. Let us pray that together we may journey authentically and audaciously on this sacred pilgrimage we call Life.
Peace and all good,
Custody of St Anthony