Conference Of Immaculate Heart Of Mary X Secondary 2 Catechism Youths Lenten Outreach Project

As part of its Lenten outreach programme, the Society of St Vincent de Paul’s (Immaculate Heart of Mary) IHM Conference distributed ration packs to 571 families living in rental blocks within its parish boundaries on March 26. Sixty five Secondary 2 Catechism students, along with 15 Catechists, joined in the effort to visit the families living in Blk 174 C and 174 D on Hougang Ave 1 and in Blk 8 Lorong Lew Lian and hand over the goody packs.

Before the outreach activity, the ration items containing a pack of biscuits, a can of tuna, cans of soup and baked beans, kaya jam, toothpaste, noodles and detergent were packed into bags.

On the morning of the outreach, the students and Vincentians gathered at the IHM Retreat House. They offered a short prayer and received a blessing from Fr Joseph Kace before setting out in several cars and two buses with the goody packs. For the students the Lenten outreach activity was something they had not done before and they were very excited as they set out after being briefed by their Catechists and Vincentians.

Said Javier Germanus Tan, one of the students: “I found it very fulfilling helping others. Doing this during the Lenten season was very meaningful to me.” Oliver Chia, one of the Catechists who accompanied the students going door to door, added: “It was heartening to see the elderly accepting our gifts and it was an eye-opener for the students serving the underprivileged.”

The purpose of the outreach was three-fold. The items in the pack were meant to help the families in a small way to offset their monthly grocery bill. In doing the distribution, it gave the students an opportunity to understand the living conditions and life of the less fortunate in their midst. It was also an opportunity for IHM’s Vincentians to look for those who needed more help. Several families who needed help were identified and Vincentians plan to visit them later to understand their situation better and provide them with longer term help.

Before going their separate ways, the Vincentians along with the students and Catechists returned to IHM for the final blessings by Parish Priest Fr Paul Ngo, and had lunch.


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