Lawrence Lorai Jungan, middle gentleman, front pew

By David Tan

July 30 2020

KARAMUNSING – Lawrence Lorai Jungan was expecting to be fully initiated during the Easter Vigil along with 11 adult catechumens for the English RCIA. However, his journey was put on hold by the coronavirus pandemic when the Church was forced to postpone the celebration of the sacraments.

Jungan recalled “I have faith and complete trust in God that I will eventually receive the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion), and will be able to follow Jesus.”

Brimming over with joy, which was hard to contain, Jungan at the Scrutinies shared his gratitude that he, and others, are just a few steps away from being a Catholic. He exclaimed “Thank God I’m now just a few steps away from Baptism and being born again as a full-fledged Christian!”

He admitted unabashedly that the abrupt stopping of the RCIA Sunday class did have a worrying effect on him “I admit I was a bit concerned when the Sunday RCIA class was stopped abruptly.”

Although becoming a Catholic takes a little longer this year because of the pandemic, the Church is constantly checking with the authorities for the moment when the Church could resume the pastoral activities in the parishes.

Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish addressed the long overdue Reception of the Sacraments of Initiation for all her catechumens for the three languages (English, Bahasa Melayu, Mandarin) with a new approach.

Traditionally, the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Rites of Scrutinies are conducted on the 3rd, 4th and 5th Sunday of Lent. Because of the delay by the lockdown, this year the rites (including handing over the Creed and the Our Father) were all performed within one session.

The rituals for the RCIA English catechumens, which were conducted by parish priest Fr Paul Lo, took place at the Cathedral on Jul 28. Ten catechumens will be receiving the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion, while two candidates will be formally received into the communion of the Catholic Church on Aug 25.

Compliance to the SOP protocol was observed at the Scrutinies with social distancing, wearing masks, hand sanitizing, temperature scan and contact tracing as a way to help the government to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Archbishop John Wong, in a pastoral letter to all clergy and Parish Pastoral Councils within the archdiocese, urged its full compliance “The sooner we can overcome the crisis the better for us. Let us continue to pray for all the victims of the pandemic that they are comforted by people who come to their aid.”