APRIL 26, 2009, Vol 59, No 9

While the term “dying with dignity” has been often associated with euthanasia in recent times, the staff and volunteers of Assisi Hospice have been helping people in Singapore facing death to live life with dignity and to the fullest, for over 20 years. But it has not been an easy task. CatholicNews finds out what drives volunteers to spend much of their time with people with life-limiting illness.

(Left) Edith Oliveiro sorts out donated items for the Assisi Hospice Charity Fun Day.





The parish of St. Mary of the Angels is producing a musical on the life of St. Paul, in June at the NUS Cultural Centre, to celebrate the Year of St. Paul, which ends on Jun 29 this year. CatholicNews catches up with Lianne Seah, Dennis Heng, Anthony Tay, and Father John-Paul Tan, the original four people behind this production to find out more



SINGAPORE – Easter Mass was celebrated by the Faith and Light Community at Church of Sts. Peter and Paul on Sunday Apr 12. It was attended by about 13 special persons with intellectual disabilities, together with their families and friends of the community.

At Easter Vigil, the Church in Singapore (and elsewhere) baptised catechumens and received candidates into full communion with the Catholic Church. But what are catechumens and candidates, how do they ‘join’ the Catholic Church, and what is the preferred way to do this?

IN THE COMING weeks we will light the Easter Candle and proclaim the Risen Christ. In the midst of the darkness, its soft glow will celebrate the victory of Christ’s life over death, the conquest of love over fear. The soft light of the Easter Candle invites us all to consider the way in which the light of the Resurrection dawns in the midst of the experience of our shadows.

SINGAPORE – One audition, two “dry runs” and one final rehearsal, and about 20 altar boys from Church of St. Francis of Assisi (SFA) were ready to stage the Passion Play on the evening of Saturday Apr 4.

SINGAPORE – A youth theatre group performed a Passion Play on Holy Thursday, Apr 9 with just two characters.

Titled “The Fallen Ones”, the half-hour play held after the Lord’s Supper Mass in the attic of Church of Christ the King focused on Peter and Judas Iscariot, two disciples of Christ who betrayed the Lord during His Passion, how they felt, and how they responded.
VATICAN CITY – The rituals of Holy Week and Easter offer Catholics an opportunity to understand the “priceless gift of salvation obtained by Christ’s sacrifice” on the cross, Pope Benedict XVI said.

The Easter triduum, which represents the heart of the whole liturgical year, is a time for the faithful to immerse themselves in the central events of redemption, to relive the paschal mystery and to meditate “more vividly on the passion, death and resurrection of the Lord”, he said.

The pope explained the meaning of the Easter triduum liturgies.

SINGAPORE – This Easter, 96 families of students from St. Anthony’s Canossian Secondary School who are in some form of financial need, received Easter hampers. The items were donated by students and alumni, and packed by parents, students and staff on Saturday Apr 4.



Singaporean team trains catechists in Myitkyina, Myanmar

SINGAPORE – A Canossian Myanmar Mission Team from Singapore comprising Canossian Sisters Janet Wang and Angela Ng and volunteer trainer Ms Selvathi conducted a training course in January in Myitkyina for 165 catechists and teachers of the Holy Childhood, at the invitation of Bishop Francis Daw Tang. The group consisted of 92 trainees undergoing a two-year catechetical training course and catechists from the villages in the dioceses of Myitkyina and Banmaw.

VATICAN CITY – They brought flowers and messages to his grave. They sang songs evoking his memory. And they prayed for his beatification.

The fourth anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul II on Apr 2 was marked by a sense of anticipation following reports that the late pontiff would be beatified on the fifth anniversary next year.

VATICAN CITY – Some 1,800 Franciscan friars from all over the world were expected to converge on the Umbrian hill town of Assisi, Italy, to celebrate the 800th anniversary of papal approval of the Franciscan rule.

THE CATECHISM OF the Catholic Church defines an indulgence as “the remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sin whose guilt has already been forgiven”.

Especially for the Pauline year – marking the 2,000th anniversary of the apostle Paul’s birth – the Catholic Church is offering an indulgence to pilgrims who visit his tomb at the Basilica of St. Paul’s Outside the Walls.



SINGAPORE – Jesuit Father Philip Heng was installed as the new parish priest of Church of St. Ignatius by Archbishop Nicholas Chia on Apr 1. Jesuit Regional Superior Father Larry Tan, Jesuit priests, priests from the Singapore archdiocese and Father Heng’s family members joined parishioners at the ceremony.

Pope Benedict XVI delivers his Easter blessing on Apr 12. In his message he called for renewed efforts to bring about peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He said he would carry a message of reconciliation when he travels to the Holy Land on May 8 for a week-long visit. CNS photo

VATICAN CITY – Christ’s resurrection is not a myth or fairy tale; it is the one and only event that has destroyed the root of evil and can fill the emptiness in people’s hearts, Pope Benedict XVI said in his Easter message.

 “MY FATHER WORKED in the Ministry of Education. He believed then that Catholic mission schools provided the best education in Singapore, so we all went to Catholic schools” said Amanda Lee, who has two sisters and one brother.

“Although he encouraged us to pray the Our Father and the Hail Mary at school, he forbade us from doing so at home where only praying to our ancestors was allowed. This was because he believed that as Chinese, we should not follow a Western religion,” the housewife of five years said.


Interested to own a bit of nostalgia? Father Louis Fossion’s 1976 Beetle is on the market

Are Catholics here aware of the “social sins” (genetic experiments and manipulation, drug abuse, economic injustice, environmental irresponsibility) and do they feel that they have “sinned” in these categories either by contributing directly to the situation or indirectly by not doing anything to stop them? Do they confess to them?