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THE SHIELD > Vineyard
  Catholic Association
By Ho Kai Huen, Peter, Chairman

Catholic Association (CA), a student body which is independent from the Student Association, consists of all Catholic students in our school. Being a main religious organization in Wah Yan, CA plays the role to enhance the faith of our members as well as acquaint other schoolmates with our religion. Apart from these, CA also acts as a coordinator of the four Catholic societies in our school, namely the Altar Society of St. John Berchmans, the Catholic Choir, the Christian Life Community and the Legion of Mary. In this academic year, various activities were held to enrich the religious life in Wah Yan.

The executive committee of CA was formed on 1 September 2000. With the guidance from our advisors, Fr. George Zee, Fr. Thomas Leung and Miss Eva Chau, we started our busy work of this academic year. The first thing we had to do is to decide upon a year theme. After long discussions, we all agreed upon "SERVE+SHARE=SEEK" as our year theme. Jesus commanded us to love each other in the Gospel. We believe that through serving the needy in our community is a good way to fulfill this commandment. This is the meaning of SERVE. Compared to those who have to face hunger, poverty, homelessness, war and plague, most of us are much luckier and richer. And as we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, we believe that we are obligated to SHARE our blessings with those unlucky ones. After all, by serving and sharing, we believe that we are able to SEEK the truth and the meaning of life. Hence, a formula "SERVE+SHARE=SEEK" is obtained.

While discussing our year theme, we also prepared for the opening mass. Shortly after the opening mass, we held an Orientation Day for our form one newcomers. This half-day programme consisted of a brief introduction of CA, some games and a tour visit to all the Catholic societies in our school. At the end of the program, all the new comers were encouraged to join at least one Catholic society. Many of them did it and some of them even join two or more.

October is the month devoted to Our Lady, Mary. Two Rosary gatherings were held in this month to revere Mary. The response was satisfactory. About twenty students and teachers took part in the gathering each time. The atmosphere was harmonious and all of us had a gracious experience in praying together with our Heavenly Mother.

Autumn is the golden time for tours. On 15 November, mid-autumn, the day after we contributed our sweat on the Sport Day, CA took the season to organize a pilgrimage to visit some churches in Hong Kong. Among them was a Protestant church. We hoped through visiting other Christians' Church, we could establish a more thorough understanding of each other. This pilgrimage was a successful one and most of us enjoyed a joyful and fruitful day.

Coming after the pilgrimage was the annual Christmas Celebration. The main programme in this function was the drama. We started preparing the scripts in mid-November. However, since examinations had begun in early December, we still had little time to do the preparation work. Rehearsals could only be held on the day just before the drama. Lots of things were done in a hurry. Fortunately, the drama was a great success. The story of the drama was about a teenager who was addicted to drugs and rave parties. After a reflection, he repented and mended his way by sacrificing himself to save a pair of twins. The drama was full of fun and won the appreciation of our audience. Another climax of the celebration was the solo performance of mouth organ by our vice principal, Mr. Yue. He depicted the birth of Jesus by playing a serial of Christmas Carols impressively. The Celebration was ended with a speech and blessing by our supervisor Fr. Zee. Here we would like to express our deepest thanks to Fr. Zee, Fr. Leung, Mr. So, Mr. Yue, Mrs. Flecture, Miss Chau and all other workers for their invaluable contribution to the success of this function.

During 26 Feb to 1 Mar, CA organized a four-day activity called the Catholic Festival. It was commenced with an Inter-Catholic-Societies Quiz in which Christian Life Community won the champion. On Day 2, we invited Deacon Yiu to share his experience of his vocation with us. The day followed was the Ash Wednesday and we held a liturgy in the Chapel to mark the beginning of the Lent. On the last day, a debate jointly organized by the Speech and Debating Society and the Scienmatics Club was held. The topic was "Religion hinders the development of Science" and of course, CA was on the opposition side. Throughout the Festival, a stall was set up to sell religious items during lunch times and after school. The response from our schoolmates, both Catholics and non-Catholics, was good and we sold most of our stock. Generally speaking, the Catholic Festival could be regarded as a success as it could enhance the religious atmosphere in our school.

Beside focusing on Wah Yan herself, we also served the community outside. In April and May, we organized two classes of Internet course for the elderly with Po Leung Kuk. About 20 students acted as lecturers and tutors to teach the elderly how to tour the Internet world. This social service was successful as we could live our year theme SERVE+SHARE=SEEK in our action.

Frankly speaking, though CA had put lots of effort in promoting Catholic Faith, the religious atmosphere in Wah Yan is still regarded as weak. However, despite our minority in number (the Catholics to non-Catholics ratio in Wah Yan is just 1 to 12), we do not feel desperate. We believe that all we have to do, as stated in our school prayer, is to try our best, and our Almighty Father will do the rest for us according to His plan. Thanks be to God! He really leaded and guided our executive committee in encountering all the difficulties. And we will, in the spirit of faith, continue to live our mission---- to preach the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ through our actions.

Finally, we would like to convey our heartfelt gratitude to our beloved advisers Fr. Thomas Leung and Miss Eva Chau. Without their invaluable and incessant advice and support, our activities can never go so well. Thanks should also be given to Fr. George Zee, Fr. Harold Naylor, Mr. Normal So, Mr. C and all other Catholic teachers for their whole-hearted support. A word of praise was due to the members of the four Catholic societies for their generous support and enthusiastic participation in our functions.

May the Almighty God bless all of them and continue to look after His loyal servants, the Catholic Association.

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