December 21, 2017
"Gratitude is the memory of the heart." As the year 2017 was drawing to an end, the ICPE Mission NZ Community hosted a thanksgiving BBQ dinner. This was a gesture of love and appreciation to our benefactors and co-workers who have offered tremendous time, effort, and resources to assist us in our mission. With the beautiful view from the lawn and the winds holding on for a while until we finished, it was a pleasant evening.
December 19, 2017
This week, we spent our Thursday morning with about 25 residents of the Vincentian Home. They have been excitedly looking forward to it.
We began the day with some action songs, followed by a sign language presentation to the song "We are the Reason".
In her short message of hope and joy, Benilda proclaimed once again the Good News that the Lord Jesus was born for our redemption. He came to save us from the bondage of our sins and open the doors of heaven for us.
Our brothers and sisters from the Home joined us enthusiastically with tambourines and maracas as we sang some Christmas Carols.
After chatting with them, we left the place feeling truly blessed for the encounter.
December 16, 2017
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news
-Isaiah 61:1 -
The 10th December 2017 was yet another day to celebrate for the ICPE Mission, as the New Zealand Community at St. Gerard’s celebrated the covenant of eight of our brothers and sisters. Firstly, we had three new members formally added to the family. Having completed the Missionary Formation in October this year and discerned the will of God for their lives, Dionisius, Stefanus and Susanna pronounced their ‘YES’ to be with the ICPE Mission, before the witnessing congregation at Sunday Mass.
Before the mass began, each of them presented a meaningful symbol and it’s significance.
Stefanus presented a symbol of the holy family and said the Lord was inviting him to be a member of His family, the Church, through the ICPE Mission.
Susanna presented a pebble
representing Jesus the Rock, on which the Lord was inviting her, as He did to Peter, to build His church.
Dionisius presented the Benedictine crucifix that he wore around his neck and said that the Lord was inviting him to imitate Him in carrying his Cross, keep it close to his heart and bring Him to others.
Further, we had five of our brothers and sisters renewing their covenant for a period of three years. They were Brian and Susan, Joseph and Marie, and Susilo. With due preparation over a few months assisted by Benilda, the group reflected intensely on the video talks on the covenant by Mario and Anna. As they walked in a procession into the presence of God that morning, it seemed as if heavens were rejoicing together with them.
Fr Neil Vaney, the celebrant at Mass, gave a very inspiring homily on our call to evangelise and stressed on the need for every one of us to witness to God’s love and mercy, both in family life and as a Community. Post Communion, being strengthened by the Lord and relying on His grace, the eight brothers and sisters walked up to the altar as their names were called out and pronounced their covenant commitment.
It was witnessed by Wimpie Santoso, ICPE Executive Council member and Fr Neil gave them a special blessing thereafter.
After Mass, the Sunday congregation joined us in celebrating the happy event over a spread of snacks and fellowship. It was a very meaningful celebration that left the congregation in awe and amazement to have young people committing their lives to the Lord, as some of them testified. What we had witnessed this day was God’s unfailing love, faithfulness and his abiding presence among His people. “And you shall be my people, and I will be your God.” ~ Jer 30:22. One can only respond with a deep sense of gratitude and praise. To God be the highest glory!