RCIA / New Converts to Catholicism 2017
Melvin Singh, wife Siow Yuen and their three sons have been on a dramatic journey to God.
Melvin was born into a family that observed Sikhism and Hinduism but he grew cynical of organised religion and became “a loud and proud atheist” in early adulthood.
However, Melvin and his wife Siow Yuen were always drawn to the Catholic faith and would occasionally visit a church.
“Our oldest also attended a Catholic kindie but I never sensed any urgency in embracing a faith,” Melvin said.
That all changed in December 2015, when Melvin confronted his mortality.
“I was diagnosed with a very rare cancer. There was limited expertise in the world and it was really down to a belief that what worked for other cancers, may work for mine too,” he said.
“My two brothers encouraged me to pray and I did. They hoped I would forge a relationship with God, and I did.”
“Within days of being diagnosed, I was on a flight to Singapore with my family when Siow Yuen handed me a magazine to distract me. It turned out to be a copy of National Geographic with Mary as the cover. That was the start of an incredible journey with her leading me to God.”
“There were many miracles (my perspective) that transpired during that period,” Melvin adds.
Melvin was paralysed trying to decide on a course of treatment and would pray in the Adoration Chapel in the Church of St Teresa, Singapore. While praying he received a call from a nurse assistant to one of the doctors he had visited.
“She told me her name was Mary Grace. When God guides you and gives you peace, and Mary asks if you will turn up, you go!”
“And we did. Surgery was a success and it has been 18 months since. Not out of the woods just yet but the journey was jam packed with other miracles that made my family believe in the Year of Mercy, I was spared,” Melvin said.
Melvin benefited from the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) program.
“It was educational, spiritual but most of all, comforting in that we journeyed as a community. We were a mixed bag of cultures and it was wonderful to embrace God’s village,” he said.
He would like to thank Adrian Lowe and family, as well as Michael and Annette Tan who guided them during the RCIA/RCIC (Rite of Christian Initiation for Children) classes.
Melvin’s family has hit the ground running with their faith. In preparation for reception into the Church, Siow Yuen and Melvin did a thirty-three day consecration to Mary, which is the highest form of Marian devotion and was propagated by Polish Conventual Franciscan, St Maximilian Kolbe, among others.
“I am moved by what Maximillian Kolbe did for the people around him,” Melvin said.
The Franciscan influence is also present at Melvin’s Parish in Kellyville, Our Lady of the Rosary, which is in the pastoral care of the Conventual Franciscans. The parish priest, Fr Alejandro Lopez OFM Conv, also helped Melvin and family on their journey.
All this preparation lead up to the sacred moment of the Easter Vigil, when the family received the power of God’s grace through the sacraments.
“When I was baptised, I expected to cry. But I couldn’t stop smiling. I felt so much love; it was amazing. It was as if God’s embrace just got a little tighter.”
To celebrate their conversion to the Catholic Faith, the Singh family is planning a trip to Lourdes and Vatican City.
“I am in a rush to introduce my children to God’s amazing love and the history,” Melvin said.
Melvin’s zeal for Christ’s teachings gave him a wonderful sense of humility and supernatural hope for the journey ahead.
“We try to live as close to God’s teachings as possible. I have much to learn and don’t want to overwhelm the children but Siow Yuen is an incredible mother who has been patient and resilient. With God on our side, I am certain this journey will be eventful and spiritual,” Melvin concluded joyfully.