The English Speaking Community

 

 

 

 

CHURCH OF SAINT BENEDICT

English Speaking Community

Annual Report 2019-2020

 

The English Community is a multi-national congregation comprising mainly of Domestic Helpers, Expatriate Residents, and other English-Speaking Parishioners in Hong Kong. The parish activities enrich the spiritual life of community members and enable them to socialize in a place where they can share and serve others in Christ. 

     Rev. Raja Duggimpudi, PIME, was the Assistant Parish Priest and Spiritual Advisor of the English Community up to December 31, 2019, after which he was appointed as Parish Priest of the Sacred Heart Parish in Saikung. from January 1, 2020, Assistant Parish Priest Rev. Fructuoso (Tito) Lopez Martin, MG, became the Spiritual Advisor of the English Community.  Sr. Anitha Eddula, PIME, heads the Sunday School Catechism Classes. From January 1, 2020, Rev. Issac Nou, KMS, was appointed as Assistant Parish Priest. 

We invite parishioners from different parishes within our deanery to attend the Lenten and Advent Recollections. Living Rosary is also held twice a year, participated by different group members and parishioners.  

Every 1st Sunday, at 9:30 in the morning, Rosary Prayer is alternately hosted by the Bible Sharing, Choir and Sunday School groups.  Rosary Prayer after the Mass is also said for the sick and elderly. 

This year, the Live Christ, Share Christ (LCSC) movement continued to provide a series of Values Formation Teachings focused on Christian Personal Relationship. These were held for 4 Sundays within 14th of April up to 29th of September 2019.     

      The following groups with members serving a three-year term are responsible for most of the parish activities for the English Community

 

Coordinating Group:

The Coordinating Group is responsible for planning the major activities of the English Community and acts as the link with the Chinese Community through the Parish Council. Mr. Fernando Sun, Chairman, Mr. Andy Li, Vice-Chairman and Mrs. Susie Cheng Vice-Chair Lady, were elected to represent the community in the Parish Council.  Ms. Paula Francesca Sun was our appointed Treasurer from September 15, 2019 up to January 19, 2020. Thereafter, Mrs. Marcia Sun was appointed as the Treasurer. The Secretary of the community is Mrs. Sol Tang.  

The group normally meets once every two months on a Sunday or whenever necessary. Meetings include the Working Group Leaders. Together they organize parish functions such as Christmas and Easter celebrations. They also assist the priests in celebrating important events like Christmas Midnight Mass, Holy Week Liturgies and Annual Recollections.

 

Working Groups:

1.   ALTAR SERVERS’ GROUP

      Ms. Vivian Guillermo is the leader of the group. The Altar Servers’ Group has 9 members, including Filipinos, Indonesian and youth and children of the English Sunday School. The group prepares the Altar for the Eucharistic Celebration and instructs the members of their proper places and functions of service during the Holy Mass. The group is also in charge of keeping the used Sacred Vessels and linens for the next Holy Mass. The members also help and join in many church activities such as sharing, teaching, cooking and actively participating in the church’s evangelization activities.

 

2.   BIBLE SHARING GROUP

      Ms. Ritchel Ortilano is the leader of the group. Its main objective is to read, live and share the Word of God through the Holy Bible and to prepare any new member to choose or join in the four liturgical groups: Lector, Eucharistic Ministry, Altar Server and the Usherette. Its’ 26 members are divided into 3 working ministries, (1) the Membership Ministry conducts orientation of new joiners and let them understand the work done in the group. (2) the Tradition and Procedure Ministry prepares the altar during the Bible sharing activity. (3) the Music Ministry prepare songs and lyrics for sharing sessions. Rosary is prayed every Sunday morning and a monthly Bible Enthronement for every first Sunday of the month with an invited speaker.  An invited Priest and Brother outside the community and Sister within the community also help the group conduct regular Bible Enrichment sessions. They listen and share their Bible reflections and faith experiences in life before the twelve-noon mass. They also actively participate in some community outreach activities and church activities.

 

3.   CHOIR GROUP

Ms. Susan Baydo was the leader of the group up to February 2020, after which Ms. Yolanda Andrada was appointed as the leader. The English Choir has 40 members. The group leads the singing in the Church during the Sunday English Mass and other liturgies. Singing is usually accompanied by guitar and organ. Practices are conducted every Sunday from 10:30-11:30 am Besides singing they have excursion, outing and outreach activities during Statutory Holidays. They usually stay in the Church after Holy Mass on Sundays for the other activities such as new song practice and group meetings. Some members also join in the Monthly Rosary Prayers.

 

4.   EUCHARISTIC MINISTERS’ GROUP

Ms. Jocelyn Nogar is the leader of the group; her duties are to give the schedule and tasks to the members in preparation for the Holy Eucharist. The Eucharistic Ministers’ Group has about 14 members consisting of different nationalities. Their duties are to help the Priest to deliver the Body and Blood of Christ during Holy Mass. The group conducts refresher and training seminars for old and new members to refine their way of serving the Holy Eucharist. All members join other activities of the community. Some members also help teach at the English Sunday School.

 

5.   LECTORS’ GROUP

Ms. Marcia Sun is the leader of this group and serves by preparing the Holy Mass Readings for the week and the Lectors’ Schedule for the month. The Lectors’ Group consists of 18 members who read the Scriptures during Sunday Mass and other Church Liturgies. The group’s members consist of different nationalities. They serve as Commentators and Readers. The group also prepares and attends to those who wish to offer Prayer Intentions during the Holy Mass and helps and coordinates with the Priest in preparing the Prayers of the Faithful. Many of the members also help in various community celebrations and activities.

The Power Point Team headed by Ms. Antolie Rimando and assisted by Ms. Mary Jane Galletes, serves by making sure that the Scriptures, Prayers and Hymns are properly projected in the Church’s front wall during Holy Mass.

 

6.   SUNDAY SCHOOL GROUP

Mr. Andy Li is the leader of this group. The English Sunday School prepares children of the community for their Sacrament of Initiation. School term starts in September and ends in May and classes begin at 10:15 am and finish at 11:30 am

 Last year, there were around 40 students registered and they were divided into 6 levels according to their knowledge and age. They were taught and looked after by 10 teachers, under the supervision of Sr. Anitha. They also encourage the students to participate in Mass celebrations and do the Rosary prayers.

The teachers and students from level 5 are participating in the liturgy as readers and Prayers of the Faithful, while parents in level 1-4 participate in the offering. Since January 2015, the Sunday school children sing as the choir at the 12:00 noon Mass on the fourth Sunday of each month. They also take part in the monthly celebration of the community, including the celebration of Christmas and Holy Easter.

This year, the Sacrament of Confirmation usually held on Pentecost Sunday and the First Holy Communion on Corpus Christi was rescheduled due to restrictions on Social Distancing. 

 

7.   USHERETTES’ GROUP

Ms. Aileen Nebrida is the leader of the group. The Usherettes’ Group has 20 members.  The group collects Mass Intentions and prepares the Holy Mass Offerings.  Before the mass, they also prepare the English Community Bulletin Board by posting the latest Parish Newsletter, put new candles for offerings and arrange the chairs needed by the Extraordinary Ministers. They also greet the parishioners and escort them to their seats before the start and during the Holy Mass paying special attention to those parishioners requiring special assistance.  During the Holy Mass, they guide the offerers, bring the children up near the Altar for the Lord’s Prayer and assist the Eucharistic Ministers at Holy Communion. They coordinate and work closely with the Lectors’ Group and the Eucharistic Ministers’ Group.

 

  

List of English Community Activities 2019-2020 

 

Date

Yearly Activities

2019

 

October

6

Monthly Group Rosary Prayer

 

13

LCSC Values Formation Teaching – Christian Personal Relationship Talk 5

 

27

Solemn Living Rosary 4:00 pm (with Fr. Tito Lopez)

November

3

Monthly Group Rosary Prayer

LCSC Values Formation Teaching – Christian Personal Relationship Talk 6

 

10

Coordinating and Working Group Meeting at Rm. 201 3:30-5:00 pm

December

1

Monthly Group Rosary Prayer

Advent Recollection at the 3rd floor hall 2:30-5:00 pm

 

8

Christmas Celebration – Lunch and Program prepared by the English Community at 3rd floor hall 1:00-4:30 pm

Lighting of the Christmas Tree at Church Lobby 5:00 pm

 

22

Sunday School Christmas Party

 

24

Christmas Eve Mass at 9:00 pm

 

25

Christmas Day Lunch combined for all groups at 3rd floor hall

 

31

New Year Eve Bilingual Mass at 9:00 pm

2020

 

January

1

New Year Celebration at 3rd floor hall 12:00-5:00 pm

 

5

Monthly Group Rosary Prayer

 

19

Coordinating and Working Group Meeting at Rm. 201 3:30-5:00 pm

February

2

Monthly Group Rosary Prayer

July

5

Monthly Group Rosary Prayer

 

12

Feast Day of St. Benedict Bilingual Holy Mass