First-ever Biblethon in the Catholic Church of Singapore

The mothers’ group, who come to Verbum Dei house for prayer and sharing every alternate Fridays, organised the Biblethon event together with the Missionaries. It took place on 22nd and 23rd April 2017 at the Agape Village.

The event started at 6pm on 22nd April with the enthronement of the Bible, and Fr. Valerian Cheong kick-started by reading aloud Matthew 1. After that, an unbroken chain of readers unceasingly read chapter after chapter of the New Testament till Sunday late afternoon. There were even participants reading in Spanish, Bahasa Indonesia, Tagalog and Mandarin.  It took exactly 23 hours to reach the last chapter of the book of the Revelation. At the end of the whole event, Fr. Valerian Cheong celebrated the closing mass of the Biblethon. The whole atmosphere of the event was very spiritually enriching as participants proclaimed wholeheartedly the Word of God throughout the 23 hours.

Before the actual event began, participants ranged in age from primary school children to youths to seniors registered for it by choosing their respective chapter and time slot of their choice. Participants were then each given a Biblethon card to collect monetary support for their reading which would go to the Verbum Dei fundraising efforts. The target for this event was $50 000. However, $80 000 was raised instead.

We are very thankful for all the people who took part in this Biblethon event. We are very grateful too to Paul and Esther Loo from Cocoa tree for sponsoring the goody bags, as well as to Monica Lee for baking those yummy butter cookies for the participants. Thank you too to Aloysius and Irene for running the pop-up cafe during Saturday evening and Sunday. Thank you to Albert and Florence for donating the books for sale. Thank you to all Verbum Dei disciples and friends for helping us by taking turns to ‘do duty’.

Most of all, we want to say a Big thank you to Diana, Siang Wah, Vivien, Rachel, Amelia, Sandy and Adeline from our Mothers’ group who really put so much hard work in making this event a very fruitful one.

Here are comments from some participants:

“I am really glad that I got to be part of this biblethon. I love reading, and so this was the perfect opportunity for me to contribute to Verbum Dei fundraising efforts. And what a great idea to have the Word of God proclaimed around the clock like that!” ~ Daphne Rodrigues, Holy Cross parish

“Our family felt the “Biblethon” was rather creative, a daring initiative, a fun and novel idea to raise funds.
It generated quite a number of questions even as we asked for support from family and friends; a good way to show our love for His Word.
Luke and I would read the Bible as part of our preparations before our lector duties at Mass.

However we have never done it this way before nor listened to full chapters being read out like this.
It gave us new perspectives on His Word. It was truly amazing how the words leapt out to us.
His Word is truly alive and kicking – and at times even right into our faces” ~ Paul Ow, Our Lady of Perpetual Succour parish

“I wanted to do my part to share the Word of God to others, whether they’d be believers or otherwise. Hearing others read the preceding chapters before Mark 3 reminded me of the meaning of Easter. That is, that Jesus came, He healed the sick, taught God’s ways, was sacrificed on the Cross for our sins and was resurrected as He foretold.” ~ Cheryl Seow, Wesley Methodist Church

“I liked the experience and the Bible passage I read enlightened me suddenly to the meaning of what Jesus meant to us and did for us.” ~ Genevieve Yuan, Our Lady of Perpetual Succour parish

“It was an experience I’ve never had before and was very touched to see people together to read the Word of God. When you sit in the room and listen to the words being read out, there were moments when I was reminded of God’s great love for me. Thank you for planning this event! It was a great experience.” ~ Venetia Lai, Risen Christ parish

“Participating in the Biblethon on Sunday 23rd April was not only a unique experience for me but also the first time at proclaiming the Word of God (not through music). The warmth of the prayer room greeted me the moment I arrived at 3pm and I was pleasantly surprised at how God was drawing me into His presence as I let my heart do the listening through the Reading of the Book of Revelation. I felt a deep sense of gratitude and joy as I pondered on how I was called to be part of this Biblethon- “Great and amazing are your deeds, Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, King of the nations!” (Rev 15:3)” ~ Audrey Ruyters, St. Ignatius parish

“My Biblethon experience was very interesting especially when I was reading the Gospel of John, reading Matthew 16 and collecting donations. My sisters and I used to fight about reading the Bible aloud at night prayers, but this time, as I was waiting my turn, I thought, “Finally I don’t have to fight with my sisters about reading the Bible aloud!”
I am going to read the 3 other Gospels so that more people will donate.” ~ Sonia Goh, 9 years old, Holy Cross parish