JULY 19, 2009, Vol 59, No15
SINGAPORE – About 50 people gathered at Choice Retreat House in Jurong on Sunday Jun 28 to mark the close of the Year of St. Paul. Organised by the Daughters of St. Paul, the occasion also marked the congregation’s 15th year in Singapore.
Among the parish of Sts. Peter and Paul’s many activities to celebrate the year was one encouraging people to read at least one epistle of St. Paul. This took the form of a Pledge Book which people were asked to sign. To encourage participation, the parish even produced an audio CD of a few of St. Paul’s epistles to help visually-impaired pledge-takers fulfil their pledge. Some 2,000 persons eventually signed the pledge. The book will be sent to Rome as a sign of the local Church’s response to the year.
? For communion minister Ivan Wong, the Year of St. Paul has meant the added challenge of living up to the mission of Christ on a daily basis. By putting Christ to work at work, he strives to model what it takes to be a decent human being in everyday encounters. During this special year, Ivan took the additional step to distribute Holy Communion to the sick at their homes.
Friendly, lovable Msgr Eugene Vaz works tirelessly to share with people the word of God in every area of his ministry
Bible scholar Father Ambrose Vaz wants others to be as excited as he is to know the power and love of God through the word of God
FATHER AMBROSE VAZ was rather worried when he was first asked to take up Bible studies at the Catholic University of America, Washington D.C., by Archbishop Gregory Yong in 1986. He thought the study of Scripture was daunting because he had to study various ‘Bible languages’ and he wished that he could go and study other courses. But “now I am so glad I did it”, he said. Today, he (and his brother Msgr Eugene Vaz) are among the Singapore archdiocese’s most respected teachers of the word of God.
In the first of a series of articles on money and Catholic Social Teachings, we look at what the Church says about wealth and poverty.
The Catholic Church has always been concerned about the poor and cares deeply for them. Its emphasis on the poor has led some to say that the Church over-romanticises poverty and spurns wealth.
Ms Esther Wong (left) explains to participants the meaning behind a meditation exercise before sending them off for their individual reflection. Photo by Daniel Tay
SINGAPORE – Seventeen people with different religious affiliations came together for a one-day interfaith retreat titled “Meditation in the Park” on Saturday Jul 4.
SINGAPORE – Mdm Yip is in her 70s; she walks with a limp and is diabetic. She lives in Aljunied housing estate, in a three-room apartment, with her daughter, who works as a mobile phone salesperson till 10.00pm everyday to make ends meet. Three times a week, Mdm Yip makes her way to the nearby Church of St. Stephen for free meals provided by Willing Hearts.
Starting this year, the parish of St. Stephen has collaborated with Willing Hearts to provide free cooked food for the needy in the neighbourhood.
THE CELEBRATION OF Father’s Day every year provides us with the opportunity to express our affirmation for our priests whose selfless lives have brought much growing to our own. While much publicity in the media and even in our parish communities extol the qualities of our personal fathers on Father’s Day, little is spoken about our priests, our spiritual fathers whose quiet, unostentatious and tireless devotion to us is taken for granted and quickly forgotten.
He has brought back with him a deepened knowledge about Spirituality, which he described as a “treasure and beauty of our Catholic heritage” that allows one to have a “profound encounter with God”, an experience that many people are longing for.
SINGAPORE – The seed of the Saint Ignatius Young Adults Eucharistic Adoration Community was sown in Grace Low whilst on a pilgrimage to Lourdes in November 2007. There, Ms Low, a senior manager in her early 30s, received a prompting during benediction whilst in adoration to bring young adults to the Eucharistic Adoration and, in the silence, hear the voice of God.
SINGAPORE – A cup of water, a plateful of food, and shelter from the hot sun – that is what Mr Fu, a 38-year-old labourer from China, looks forward to at lunchtime. He has been in Singapore for a year and comes to Matthew 25, a soup kitchen located in front of Punggol Park, for a free lunch, everyday, to save money. This is because he sends most of the little money he earns here to his family of five in China, to put his children through school and give them a better life.
AMONG THE VOLUNTEERS at Matthew 25 are eight Chinese nationals. Most are “study-mamas” – women, usually from mainland China, who accompany their children to Singapore for their education.
The St. Francis Xavier Youth Choir sings at their parish Christmas pageant last year. They will be singing a musical on the life of St. Francis Xavier on Aug 7 this year. Photo by Stefan Tan
Musical on life of St. Francis Xavier to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Church of St. Francis Xavier
SINGAPORE – The award-winning St. Francis Xavier Youth Choir will be staging “The Call” at the Victoria Concert Hall on Aug 7, 2009. This is the choir’s third musical and it is being performed to celebrate the parish’s 50th anniversary.
SINGAPORE – Forty children from Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary spent three days at a stay-in camp during the June school holidays. The camp, held at the church grounds, was organised by the Primary Five catechists because they saw that it would be beneficial to the kids as well as enjoyable and educational.
In a documentary about her struggle that she produced and which aired on network television in May, she was often shown holding a rosary during her treatments.
Church of the Holy Spirit
The Bible Apostolate has organised activities leading up to Bible Sunday including:
The frst will be hosted by the Sri Krishnan Temple at Waterloo Street on Wednesday Jul 29. The evening will start with the tour of the temple, a meal hosted by our Hindu friends and a talk “Loving Thy Neighbour” with questions-and-answers to follow.
SINGAPORE – The Catholic Church in Singapore is doing its bit to curb the spread of the Influenza A (H1N1) virus. The parish of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, for one, has been screening the temperatures of churchgoers, using handheld infrared scanners, before allowing them to enter the church building for Mass since the weekend of Jun 27-28.
FATHER PATRICK GOH, chancellor of the Singapore archdiocese, confirmed that instructions issued by Archbishop Nicholas Chia on Apr 30 on the precautions to be taken during Mass are still in force. Parishes are also strongly urged to cancel youth camps, said Father Patrick.
The archbishop had instructed that Communion not be given on the tongue, that people avoid shaking hands during the sign of peace at Mass, that they not hold hands at the “Our Father”, and that holy water fonts not be filled (photo).
“In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways to our ancestors through the prophets; in these last days, God spoke to us through his Son.”( Heb 1:1-2).
Below is a summary of a refection for Bible Sunday 2009 written by Bishop Cornelius Sim for the Regional Biblical Commission of Malaysia-Singapore-Brunei
JOHN THE BAPTIST prepares the way for Jesus who proclaims: “This is the time of fulfilment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the Gospel.” (Mk 1:14)