Below is the text in an article for the first Emmaus Evening this year. The article appeared in the print and Internet Edition of the local Catholic News. Do take a read if you missed the event.
MORE than 2,000 people -- the young and the young-at-heart -- flocked to the Novena Church last month for the relaunch of the Emmaus Evening.
The monthly event for youths, launched on Jan 25 last year, stopped late last year after attendance dwindled. However, as the Senate of Priests felt that such an event was a good way for youths to come together to pray and receive formation, the decision to restart the Emmaus Evenings was made earlier this year during a Working Youth Committee meeting. This comprises youth members and the district and archdiocesan youth chaplains.
The relaunch on Feb 27, with the theme The Cross of Glory, began with a rousing praise-and-worship session followed by Mass. The lively music during the event had the enthusiastic crowd raising their hands, tapping their feet and swaying to the beat.
Fr Richards Ambrose's homily was an evangelistic one. He called on all youths to review their relationships with God and challenged them to discipleship. To be witnesses for God, one has to deny oneself, pick up one's cross daily and follow Him. Persecution and hardship come with this privilege, for a Christian is identified by his suffering, like Jesus.
Fr Richards also called on the crowd to be rooted in the person of Jesus, not in things which the world offers. Fr Michael Sitaram, an archdiocesan youth chaplain, concluded the event by announcing that Bible camps and leadership programmes for youths will be held this year. The Emmaus Evening, for the time being, will be held in Novena Church every last Friday of the month.
Fr Simon Pereira, the other archdiocesan youth chaplain, also said there are plans to hold a celebration for youths in the Singapore Indoor Stadium next year. Till then, he said Catholic youths can look forward to good clean fun in disco sessions to be held in the Saint Clement's Pastoral Centre at Novena Church in the coming months.
Many youths left that evening with renewed spirits. Said Kenneth Vincent, 16: "It was splendid! I will definitely come for future Emmaus Evenings!"