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A large part of my growing up years was spent at Novena Church, (officially known as Church of St Alphonsus), that iconic church at Thomson Road. I started making weekly visits when I was 7, when my father took me along for the Saturday novena sessions. Five years on, I joined its youth group, Vine & Branches, together with my older sister. That was decades ago. Since then, the religious fraternity and church members have become very much a part of my life, an extended family of sorts. It’s where I formed some of my best friendships and made some…