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The Season of Advent will commence on 3 December 2023, which marks the beginning of the New Liturgical year 2023/2024. The new Church liturgical Calendar starts with Advent, followed by Christmas. Then comes Ordinary Time from the 1st to the 7th Sunday in Ordinary Week. After that, we have Lent and Easter, followed by the remaining weeks of Ordinary Time (7th to 34th Sunday in Ordinary Week), and finally, the Solemnity of Christ the King. The liturgical calendar will be enriched throughout the year with various memorials, feasts, and solemnities. Each liturgical season – week after week, Sunday after Sunday – invites us to reflect on how God is present in our daily lives.

The Holy Father, Pope Francis, has designated the year 2024 as the Year of Prayer in preparation for the 2025 Jubilee Year: “Pilgrims of Hope.” The Year of Prayer will begin this Advent with a special focus on the “Our Father” prayer. This presents an excellent opportunity for us to revisit the fundamentals of prayer, deepen our commitment to praying and loving God, and learn how to accompany others in their prayer life throughout the upcoming Year of Prayer.

In the upcoming liturgical year, the Church offers us an opportunity to strengthen our prayer life and deepen our relationship with Christ. We can achieve this by engaging in good spiritual exercises such as praying regularly, reading spiritual books, studying and reflecting on the Word of God, repenting, and practising acts of charity. Taking steps towards spiritual growth will elevate our faith and lead us to a healthier spiritual life, emotional well-being, intellectual growth, and physical health.

Our Church is dedicated to providing faith formation opportunities for people of all ages and stages of life, regardless of the language they speak or the ministry they belong to. We believe that learning and living our faith is a lifelong process that requires continuous growth and sharing with others within and outside our Christian communities. Our goal is to help everyone in our community deepen their faith, find inner peace, and live healthier and more fulfilling lives.

Only a handful of parishioners, especially those who were engaged in various ministries, took an active part in the faith formation and training program aimed at improving their understanding of God. Their involvement demonstrates their dedication to enriching their spiritual lives and taking a meaningful step towards building a closer relationship with God, enabling them to live their faith in a more profound way.

Our Church programs, activities, and formations are designed to help us become effective Church leaders, cultivate Christian values, and share the richness of the Catholic faith and tradition. Above all, by participating, you can identify your gifts and charisms for personal and communal growth in our synodal church.

As Parishioners of St Thomas, the Apostle, embarking on a synodal journey towards Communion, Participation, and Mission is essential. Let us actively participate in the upcoming liturgical year by being involved in ongoing formations and activities to ensure that we are aware of our faith journey and are an integral part of the Church, the Body of Christ. Let us journey together to achieve our Parish Vision and Mission for the coming year.

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