The Christian Meditation group at Church of St. Bernadette started in January 1993. The Church is centrally located in Singapore and people from all walks of life have joined our weekly meditation meetings over the years. Our existing group consists mainly of Catholics as well as members who come from other faiths. Some of our early meditators went on to start new groups in other parishes.
Our weekly meditation sessions are held at the Church’s Adoration Room. A few days before each meditation session, we send a transcript and audio file of the forthcoming talk via group chat. We find this group chat facility a useful tool to keep each other informed of important events at the parish and the Singapore meditation community levels.
As we need to observe silence and reverence, we do not have much opportunity to interact and have fellowship with each other in the Adoration room. To allow us to build a closer community, our group holds bi-monthly fellowship sessions at the Church canteen where we share food and get to know one another better. We also open our library for members and new comers to borrow books, CDs and DVDs on Christian Meditation. Being part of the parish community, our group participates in inter-ministry activities like working with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (making toys, playing Bingo and arranging Karaoke singing for friends-in-need) and participating in the Parish Feast Day celebrations. Also, at the invitation of the RCIA facilitators, we introduce Christian Meditation to the newly baptized and some of whom have become meditators.
Sometimes, during our sessions in the Adoration room, visitors would come in to personally pray. To those who are interested to know what we do, we introduce meditation to them and invite them to join our regular sessions.
One of our group members, Allan Tan, has penned down his thoughts on Christian Meditation.
“There are all types of exercises but lesser realize that our minds also need to exercise for total wellbeing. I discovered this group at St. Bernadette and joined just a couple of months ago. Through the weekly group meditation and self-practices at home, I begin to discover that it has impacted me in many ways, namely:
Keeping myself in harmony through complete silence and stillness by harnessing my attention just to God. I repeat the mantra to achieve this blissful peace. Group dynamic helps myself and the group to achieve discipline in practising Christian Meditation. I am sure many of us look forward to our weekly meetings. Christian Meditation also brings me closer to God. It is a covenant between God and I. The greatest impact, I found relaxation, peace and harmony. I also found great fellowship amongst the group.”
As for myself, I was seeking to join a ministry to serve and grow spiritually as a disciple of Christ post my baptism in April 2017. I joined this group shortly after and am deeply encouraged by the warmth and loving kindness extended by Bernadette & Dominic (our group leaders) and the members. I am especially motivated by Fr. John Main’s opening prayer which was written beautifully, simple yet sums up the essence of Christian Meditation. WCCM has taught me much about discipleship and fidelity. Through the regular practice of meditation, we have benefited from the fruits of the Spirit which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Group picture of our 25th anniversary celebration taken with (seated from 3rd left) Fr. Eugene Vaz [WCCM Singapore Spiritual Director], Fr. Kamelus Kamus [Parish Priest of St. Bernadette Church], Fr. Patrick Goh [Assistant Priest of St. Bernadette Church], Fr. Paul Staes [Treasurer General, CICM and former Assistant Priest at St. Bernadette Church] and (seated left) Peter Ng [WCCM Singapore National Coordinator] and community guests.
As we share in the common journey of Christian Meditation, wouldn’t it be wonderful to encourage one another by sharing our stories? For this reason, we would love to feature your meditation group in our next edition of Community Buzz To know more, write to firstname.lastname@example.org