For my wife, Christmas is enjoyable when she is able to attend mass, sing the beautiful Christmas hymns and admire the decorations and flowers at our church. She is a simple person with simple needs.
The people who brought the joy of Christmas to us this year (December 2009) were kind-hearted Catholics like the newly wedded couple who treated us to a delicious dinner at a Chinese restaurant and a tour of Suntec City to see the bright Christmas lights and lovely decorations. They have pledged to spend Christmas every year with us, and it is a virtue that my wife and I will always look forward to and treasure.
Our church volunteers from the Church Of Holy Spirit took us for a seafood dinner and also a tour of Orchard Road to see the dazzling Christmas lights and decorations on 6th December. They also organised a fun-filled Christmas party and presented my wife and I with lovely gifts. The church choir came by our home on 23rd December and sang Christmas carols that brought sheer delight to my wife, who continues to struggle with five chronic illnesses, including schizophrenia and arthritis. The choir went the extra mile and presented my wife with a nice Christmas gift. The joys of Christmas was made possible by our Parish Priest, Reverend Father Andrew Wong who is able to feel the suffering of those who are in less than fortunate circumstances.
Two days before Christmas I bumped into Reverend Father John Bosco Pereria at Thomson Plaza. The first thing he asked me was how my wife and I were coping. I was deeply touched by Rev Fr John Bosco's care and concern. Undoubtedly, this is yet another Catholic who has shown compassion and kindness to us in the midst of the many uncertainties we face in our daily lives.
I am also encouraged that CARITAS has plans to initiate a new group for mental health over the next three years.
We are happy that with the continuing support of the Catholic community, we will no longer have a Silent night come 24th December every year.
I wish all our readers a Happy and Prosperous New Year.
Raymond Anthony Fernando
27th December 2009