CPS JURONG (7 July 2006)
In January 2006, a call from CPS was made via a little notice in The Catholic News for people interested in setting up lunch time Masses in the International Business Park (IBP) at Jurong East. This would be the first CPS centre outside of the main city area.
The initial meeting, comprising only four people, including two CPS Representatives (Francis Chan and Cecilia Loke), was held at the IBP’s Atrium (now demolished) on 26 January 2006. Various administrative, logistics and manpower issues were discussed at length. Thereafter, the group met monthly, and eventually Fr Terence Pereira suggested that the Eucharist be celebrated weekly to gauge the response.
IBP is a complex of multi-national companies and the group felt sure there were Catholics who would be keen to come forward and join them. However, they had yet to source for a suitable venue with reasonable rent, and were also concerned about how to spread the word around.
By Godís grace, a meeting room at the German Centre was found to be a suitable venue, being able to accommodate the requirement of about 40 people. The date of the inaugural Eucharistic Celebration was planned for Friday, 7 July 2006, at 12.15pm.
Publicity for this new CPS centre rolled out around mid-June, and a set of Eucharistic Celebration kit was also provided to the team. The day arrived and Fr Terence celebrated Mass with a congregation of about 20. Being inexperienced, the new team was absolutely nervous, but May Tan and May Yip from the other CPS centres were on hand to assist so that all proceeded smoothly. The music ministry of CPS Suntec joined in lending their voices as a choir together with guitarist Anthony Lim.
Currently, as with other centres, CPS Jurong constantly faces uncertainties and restrictions in venue availability. Attendance averages 30 for each Mass and can reach to 90 for Days of Obligation. On days where venues for the Eucharistic Celebrations are unavailable, the group gathers for Rosary recitation. Activities like Stations of the Cross and full-day retreats have been organised for spiritual input and to foster fellowship among the Jurong East Catholic community.
It was the blessing of God that brought such wonderful people together to make it possible. CPS Jurongís goal is to touch the lives of fellow workers through the Holy Eucharist and Sacraments as well as be able to bring growth in faith, comfort and strength to all who come.