“Every Christian must be a missionary! ” This was the rallying call Archbishop William Goh made as he outlined his 10-year pastoral plan for the archdiocese during a meeting with representatives of parish ministries.

About 750 people, including a few priests, attended the meeting, titled Building a Missionary and Evangelical Church, held at the Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

“If we compare our Church with many other dioceses, I think we’re doing very well.  If we compare our parishes with others, we are vibrant… so many Masses, baptisms, confirmations,” said Archbishop Goh. “Our priests are really hardworking.”

Nevertheless the Church here is in a crisis, he said.

“Half of the Catholics go to church. The Church is full thanks to the migrants,” he said. Migrant Catholics attending church here “are giving the impression that the Church is vibrant”, he said.

“How many of your children have stopped going to church?” he asked the crowd. “How many of your friends have gone to other Christian churches?”

Young people after Confirmation also stop going to church, he noted.

Furthermore, a sign that the local community is spiritually vibrant is the number of vocations from parishes. “If you have no vocations from your parish, it means that it is not [vibrant]”, he said. The fact that people are “not inspired to join means they have not fallen in love with Jesus”, he said.

He noted that the problem with the Catholic Church here is that “we are too functional”, too “activity oriented”.

“You must pray!” he exhorted. “Only the Holy Spirit can touch people’s lives.”

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