Darren Boon catches up with the retired archbishop at his new residence five months after he stepped down
Five months after retiring, Archbishop Emeritus Nicholas Chia’s daily schedule now revolves around celebrating Mass at the Catholic Spirituality Centre (CSC), where he now lives, reading, praying and spending time before the Blessed Sacrament.
He also corresponds with people, meets with them and attends meetings, he told CatholicNews at his one-storey residence at the CSC, located opposite the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
In addition, the retired archbishop also makes monthly visits to residents of Catholic homes for the elderly to give them support and encouragement.
“I’m retired but that does not mean I do nothing but enjoy myself only. I still continue to see what I can contribute towards the Church,” he told CatholicNews in the study of his residence, which also includes a living room and kitchenette.
Archbishop Chia said he wishes to reach out to the poor and is concerned about the sick and disabled.
He also hopes to visit housebound people and is thinking about missionary activities.
“Helping the poor doesn’t only mean giving money or material things, but giving your love and concern. That’s important,” he emphasised.
Archbishop Chia said he is open to gracing Church functions but would advise people to approach Archbishop William Goh first. In the event that Archbishop Goh is unable to attend such events, Archbishop Chia says he would then try to accommodate.
Although he is back in the Hougang area where he grew up, Archbishop Chia said the “whole place is completely transformed”. Nonetheless, he is happy with his “nice” surroundings at the CSC.
He is also full of praise for the people at CSC. “The people here have been very nice and hospitable. I’m very impressed by their dedication and services,” he said.
Archbishop Chia also advised retirees to “thank God” for the gifts God has given them and spend their time “meaningfully reaching out to people and trying to radiate Christ” by their love and services.
“It is in giving that we receive,” he said.
By Darren Boon