We need to have space to pray, to be with the Lord, and to gather as a community. Lydia Lim, a lay Catholic who helps fellow Catholics discern their vocation and purpose in their spiritual life, shares her discernment and appreciation of the spaces that are and will be coming up in the archdiocese for silence, learning and community.
There are public spaces that are life giving and public spaces that are not.
Sometimes, silence is what a human being needs and what would bring her back to life. Yet the spaces where one can sink into silence, rest and be refreshed, are rare in a city. Rare too are indoor public spaces where you do not have to buy anything to stay.
As British writer, Zadie Smith, observed in an essay for the conservation of local community libraries, these spaces offer what “cannot be easily found elsewhere”. But libraries are not always quiet. For example, the National Library on Victoria Street can be quite buzzy with activity. One has to head to its reference section to find peace and quiet.
Screengrab of www.Stories.Catholic.sg
The archdiocese has launched a website featuring stories on how people have experienced the Lord in their lives.
The site, www.Stories.Catholic.sg, was launched on April 3, and contains stories ranging from finding the Lord as a result of life’s challenges to recognising the subtle workings of the Lord amidst one’s circumstances.
“The Bible is full of stories from the beginning to the end. That was how the early people of God communicated messages – through stories,” said Archbishop Goh, who came up with the idea of giving more prominence to real-life stories for the new evangelisation.
Members of Roses of Peace (from second left, Ms Noor Hanisah Binte Noordin, Mr Wan Muhammad Fazlan Nordin and Mr Mohamed Irshad) presented Archbishop Goh with a ‘Letter of Peace’. Also in the photo are Mr Andre Ahchak, director of communications, Archbishop’s Office (far left); Msgr Philip Heng and Mr Gerald Kong from the Archdiocesan Catholic Council for Inter-religious Dialogue. Photo: VITA IMAGES.
By Christopher Khoo
Mr Mohamed Irshad, founder and president of the initiative, together with Mr Wan Muhammad Fazlan Nordin and Ms Noor Hanisah Binte Noordin, visited Archbishop Goh at his residence on April 2 and presented him with a “Letter of Peace to all Christians in Singapore”.
The letter, which was also emailed to Singapore Christian leaders including Catholic priests, conveys the group’s gratitude to “our beloved Christian friends, leaders, and members of the community who have sacrificed their time and energy to spread the message of love across the nation”.
The Singaporean Opus Dei group poses for a photo in St Peter’s Square.
Attending a special congress in Rome was also an opportunity to celebrate Holy Week with Pope Francis for several young Singaporeans active with the Opus Dei.
A group of 18 Singaporean students, led by Opus Dei Fr Joe Lopez, attended the UNIV Congress, held in late March.
The congress, started by St Josemaria Escriva, founder of the Opus Dei, in 1968, is an annual international university congress that takes place in Rome during Holy Week. It is part of a workshop that includes activities such as an audience with the pope, international get-togethers, social projects and historical tours of Rome, according to the congress’ website.