MARCH 29, 2009, VOL 59, NO 7


SOME TIME AGO, there was a story in a newspaper of a school boy who found a wallet containing thousands of dollars. Being an honest boy, he took the wallet to the police who tracked down the owner and returned the wallet to him.

VATICAN CITY – Affirming the reality of an intelligent design for the creation and development of the universe is not a scientific theory, but a statement of faith, said the preacher of the papal household.

VATICAN CITY – As the Catholic Church works to become more present in the new digital media, it also must help teach people to be ethical communicators, said Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state.

SINGAPORE – Church of the Risen Christ celebrated the launch of F.R.E.E., a faith-formation ministry, on Feb 3. F.R.E.E. stands for Faith Renewal, Exploration and Evangelisation.

F.R.E.E. was previously known as CaFE (Catholic Faith Exploration), a group formed three years ago to run a video presentation programme  produced by CaFE U.K., a Catholic Evangelisation Service set up to help people encounter God in Scripture, Church teachings, Sacraments, Prayer, Community, Mission and Service.

IT ALL STARTED some five years ago, when the archdiocese was re-zoned and one particular area – Hougang Avenue 2 – previously considered within boundary of Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Nativity of the BVM), then fell under Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary’s (IHM) care.

The result of this re-zoning and some care from the IHM priests, is a fledgling of a Small Christian Community (SCC), all but just past one-year-old, comprising of parishioners from Nativity of the BVM, IHM and even St. Vincent de Paul (SVDP).

Parish priest of IHM Father Joseph Tan, had set the founding of this new SCC in motion a year ago with the help of some parishioners.

First, they did a ‘survey’ of the Hougang Avenue 2 area that comprises 20 blocks, on the lookout for homes “with some Catholic icons on the front”.

A Vatican priest says that the two sexes sin in different ways: Women are prouder, but men are more lustful. Below is his list of  how each gender sins. Is this true for Singapore? Find out in the next issue of CatholicNews.





Trish Stone, front, holds her nine-month-old son Patrick, as he plays with his twin brother, Mark, held by Cubby LaHood at her home. Ms LaHood co-founded Isaiah’s Promise, a support group for couples facing a troubled pregnancy. Ms Stone met with Ms LaHood during her pregnancy when she learned Mark would have severe disabilities. CNS photo

SILVER SPRING, Md. – Trish Stone is a firm believer in the sanctity of life. Although she comes by this naturally because of her Catholic upbringing, her belief also has been tested.

Commitment, communication and couple prayer will help build a healthy and intimate married relationship, encourages Father Peter de Sousa in his book, “For Better, For Worse”. How are you doing in these areas? Just remember, nothing happens unless you make it happen.

A MARRIAGE IS a relationship between a man-person and a woman-person. Each one grows and evolves as a person through an ongoing relationship. The conjugal relationship of newly-weds has to grow in depth and strength through the years and this requires an effort from each one to give 100 percent of himself or herself to the other, everyday for a lifetime.



President Barack Obama, at a Mar 9 White House ceremony, signs an executive order overturning the limits on federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research. The Catholic Church has long opposed such research because it relies on the destruction of human embryos. Advocates say the research may advance treatments and cures for deadly and debilitating diseases. CNS photo

Catholic leaders express dismay over the desire to push embryonic stem-cell research when adult stem-cell therapies have treated and even cured people of many debilitating conditions


 SINGAPORE – Every alternate Thursday morning, four to five women make their way to the CatholicNews office to help deliver CatholicNews to subscribers. They are affectionately known as the “CN packers”.



Women cheer as Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Cameroon’s capital, Yaounde, March 17. The pope said the Catholic Church can help bring answers to the continent's chronic problems, including poverty, AIDS and tribalism. CNS photo

YAOUNDE, Cameroon – Arriving in Africa, Pope Benedict XVI said the Church’s message of hope and reconciliation was sorely needed by a continent suffering disproportionately from poverty, conflict and disease.

SINGAPORE – A blood donation drive at Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) saw a good turnout of donors including foreign nationals, people from the neighbourhood and other parishes; among them were some 40 first-time donors including Sister Susan, FMM (photo).

The Sunday Mar 8 drive was part of the parish’s Lenten outreach. It was organised by the Ministry for the Sick, RCIY, Charismatic Prayer Group and the Singapore Red Cross.


Brother Dominic Yeo-Koh speaks with his fellow Gabrielite Brother Emmanuel Gaudette about the seminar.

BOARD MEMBERS, SCHOOL management committee members and school heads from the various Montfort schools and institutions in Singapore and Malaysia attended the first of two sessions of the Montfortian Education Seminar 2009 held at Boys Town on Thursday Feb 19.

The advantages of using money as a reward, as is the case in the Serra Altar Server 2009 initiative, outweigh the dangers of sending the wrong message, say the Serra Club.


 “That the quiet gesture of extending a hand gave rise to a huge uproar, and thus became exactly the opposite of a gesture of reconciliation, is a fact which we must accept. But I ask now: Was it, and is it, truly wrong in this case to meet half-way the brother who “has something against you” (cf. Mt 5:23ff.) and to seek reconciliation?”

SINGAPORE – Our secular society encourages personal and self interests and we want to hold on to what we have of material possessions, power, prestige and money, but these are only temporary, said Archbishop Nicholas Chia in a message for  Charities Week 2009.

The Church gives us this period during Lent to encourage every Catholic to take time to reflect on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, he advised. “We are called to focus on charitable deeds to help us draw closer to God and our neighbours. It is therefore important that we set aside time for prayer and spiritual reflection through the use of the Lenten booklet,” he said. “We should re-examine our ‘treasures’ in life since these determine the priorities and attitudes of our heart.”


Donation for Gaza T. K. Udairam, Chairman of Mercy Relief, shakes hands with Jerry Ow, Chairman of the Archdiocesan Crisis Coordination Team during the handing over of a cheque of $75,000 for humanitarian work in Gaza.

The money was contributed by the 12 different religions of the Inter-Religious Organisation (IRO) of Singapore.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore contributed $50,000.

Photo: Harmony Centre.

VATICAN CITY – The Holy See is offering online sacred music to help people worldwide to live this Lent with a spirit of prayer and reflection.

In a special Lenten section of the Vatican website, one can listen to liturgical hymns performed by the Musical Chorus of the Sistine Chapel, which for centuries has interpreted music for the pope’s liturgical celebrations. It is directed by Monsignor Giuseppe Liberto, and the oldest choir of its genre.
The site offers five Lenten hymns with lyrics and music, including “M’invochera e Io L’esaudiro” and “Signore, Il Tuo Mostrami Volto”.

It also offers passages interpreted by the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music in Rome, a scientific and academic institution founded by the Holy See, directed by Monsignor Valenti Miserachs Grau.

Editor’s Note: Vatican Lenten website: