2014

2014 PDF issues are available at this link:

http://issuu.com/catholicnews/stacks/946553dec9a14d3c82f7420b7d3807a5

2014 PDF issues are available at this link:
http://issuu.com/catholicnews/stacks/946553dec9a14d3c82f7420b7d3807a5
Dear Readers,

Greetings of hope and peace!

As the year comes to a close with the celebration of Our Lord’s Birth, let me take this opportunity to wish all of you, on behalf of the staff of CatholicNews, a joy-filled Christmas and blessed New Year.

I would also like to take this opportunity to inform you that rising costs in the production of our paper has made increasing the price of CatholicNews inevitable.

For the past 24 years, since 1990, the paper has been priced at 50 cents. It will cost 70 cents starting from January.
Over the years, some laxity, and to some extent neglect, has crept into the Sacred Liturgy.Over the years, some laxity, and to some extent neglect, has crept into the Sacred Liturgy.
“The Celebration of  Mass, as the action of Christ and the People of God arrayed hierarchically, is the centre of the whole Christian life for the Church both universal and local, as well as for each of the faithful individually.

“In it is found the high point both of the action by which God sanctifies the world in Christ and of the worship that the human race offers to the Father, adoring him through Christ, the Son of God, in the Holy Spirit.” (General Instruction of the Roman Missal #16)

The Eucharist is the heart and the summit of the Church’s life (Catechism of the Catholic Church, CCC 1407)

These statements serve to reinforce the importance and dignity of the Eucharistic celebration and rightly so.

I cannot recall the numerous times I’ve heard preachers and speakers extol with a humble pride on the beauty and simplicity of the Sacred Liturgy and how it is supposed to flow seamlessly within the Rites  uninterrupted.
Malaysian Friar Esmond Chua Order of Friars Minor www.franciscans.sgMalaysian Friar Esmond Chua Order of Friars Minor www.franciscans.sgWhen was the last time you had fun?
At the recent Conversion Experience Retreat, we did the “Hokey-Pokey”. It brought back fond childhood memories.

Prior to that, it was watching my nieces and nephews enjoy the sights and sounds of fireworks at the National Day Parade in August.

Name an occasion you felt embarrassed or humbled.
The solemn profession of my three brothers and I was a humbling experience. Family, relatives and friends from all around came in large numbers. It was humbling because I did not expect such a crowd, considering it was a weekday (Friday), which meant them taking leave. Their support, prayers and enthusiasm were a very visible sign of God’s love.

Name an occasion when you felt God was far away.
When I took God for granted. I found myself “doing” (ministry, prayer, studies, etc) more than “being” His child. It was then I began feeling as if I was “missing” God that I knew I needed to take a step back and remind myself to “be” rather than “do”.
Retreat master, Fr Laurence Freeman.Retreat master, Fr Laurence Freeman.
Participants at a two-day meditation retreat at Catholic Junior College, received tips on how to manage the “eight big problems in life” and to transcend them.

From Nov 29-30, about 600 participants attended talks by retreat master and The World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM) director, Benedictine Fr Laurence Freeman, watched videos and attended question-and-answer sessions.

At the start of retreat, called The Eight Big Problems of Life,  organised by WCCM Singapore, Fr Laurence asked participants, “What are you most seeking in life?

“The answer,” he said, “is that we are all seeking meaning, love, truth and beauty. All these are to be found within us...not further than a step away. They are to be found in a deeper dimension within us, in the space within our heart.”
Leaving the congregation after the Latin Mass on Dec 8 (from left): Archbishop William Goh, Fr Augustine Tay, Fr Anthony Ho and subdeacon Michael Feng.Leaving the congregation after the Latin Mass on Dec 8 (from left): Archbishop William Goh, Fr Augustine Tay, Fr Anthony Ho and subdeacon Michael Feng.
“The Immaculate Conception invites us to reflect on the dignity of the priesthood: the priesthood, just like the Immaculate Conception is purely the grace of God,” said Archbishop William Goh during a traditional Latin Mass on Dec 8.

He was speaking to Catholics who packed St Joseph Church (Bukit Timah) to celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.

The Mass in the Extraordinary Form was also to celebrate the 40th and 46th priestly anniversaries of Frs Augustine Tay and Anthony Ho respectively.

Archbishop Goh reminded the crowd that God had given the Church the ordained ministry because after His departure on earth, Jesus “wants to continue to be present in our midst so we can continue to encounter Him, personally and sacramentally, through the priest who celebrates the sacraments, particularly the Eucharist”.
An ACTS team member (centre) conducting an activity with vocational students.An ACTS team member (centre) conducting an activity with vocational students.Lay mission group ACTS (A Call To Share) recently carried out its maiden outreach to Myanmar with 33 participants visiting the homes of the Salesian Sisters in Anisakan, Pyin Oo Lwin and Chanthagon in central Myanmar.

The purpose of the Nov 22-29 trip was to serve the poor and needy as well as support the Salesian nuns in their missionary work.

The nuns at the Anisakan home care for 49 girls, providing them with training in sewing, knitting and embroidery. The Sisters also run a kindergarten for 150 children at the home.

The Pyin Oo Lwin home shelters 58 secondary school girls who receive educational assistance from the nuns.

At the Chanthagon home, 20 college-level girls receive help in subjects such as English, accounting and computer studies.

In all the homes, the nuns emphasise religious education and values formation to girls who come from poor families.
The Good Shepherd Sisters remember their pioneers and look forward to the next phase of their journey
The Good Shepherd Sisters and aspirants of the Singapore-Malaysia Province outside their new chapel at Good Shepherd Place, Toa Payoh Lorong 8.The Good Shepherd Sisters and aspirants of the Singapore-Malaysia Province outside their new chapel at Good Shepherd Place, Toa Payoh Lorong 8.

Rejoicing over their 75 years here, the Religious of the Good Shepherd (RGS) of Singapore-Malaysia Province celebrated with a Mass in their spanking new hall.

Over 200 family members, friends, collaborators, benefactors, current and former students  of Marymount Convent School joined the Sisters for the Mass and dinner on Dec 12 at Good Shepherd Place, Toa Payoh Lorong 8.

Fr Cyril Lee, who delivered the homily at the concelebrated Mass, noted that the four Irish Sisters who sailed to Singapore from Sri Lanka in 1939 endured much hardship. This included having their first convent in Punggol destroyed and being exiled in Bahau, Malaysia during World War II.

Today, he added, “the Sisters’ mission has diversified but the focus remains” in that they serve the needy and disadvantaged women and children.
Parishes and Catholic organisations review current practices to ensure compliance
Participants of the Nov 26-27, 2014 workshop on the Personal Data Protection Act learned how they could better protect information given them by parishioners and other service users. Participants of the Nov 26-27, 2014 workshop on the Personal Data Protection Act learned how they could better protect information given them by parishioners and other service users.

Parishes, organisations and offices under the archdiocese are in the midst of working to comply with the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA), which officially took effect in July this year.

Five PDPA workshops have been organised to date by the Chancery office exclusively for the Archdiocese of Singapore to ensure that the nine obligations under the Act are understood and applied within the Church’s ministry and work.

Between September and this December, nearly 100 parish representatives and staff from various Catholic entities have attended these two-day workshops. A half-day seminar in November was also conducted for the clergy.

According to the Chancery office, a draft PDPA policy is currently being reviewed by a lawyer and is expected to be rolled out in the first quarter of 2015.
Posing with the Cathedral Choir of the Risen Christ at the Dec 14 concert are (from left) choral director Sir Dr Peter Low; Archbishop William Goh; President Tony Tan and his wife, Mary; and Mrs Linda Low.Posing with the Cathedral Choir of the Risen Christ at the Dec 14 concert are (from left) choral director Sir Dr Peter Low; Archbishop William Goh; President Tony Tan and his wife, Mary; and Mrs Linda Low.

It was an evening of music, colour and movement as the Cathedral Choir of the Risen Christ, accompanied by the Cathedral Chamber Consort, presented its annual Christmas concert at St Joseph’s Church, Victoria St.

Titled Prince of Peace, the Dec 14 event saw the choir singing and dancing to a range of carols and songs, from the traditional to the modern, and in different languages.

The 800 guests in the audience included President Tony Tan and his wife, Mary, Archbishop William Goh and diplomats from various countries.
Verbum Dei Sr Sandra Seow giving a sharing at the retreat.Verbum Dei Sr Sandra Seow giving a sharing at the retreat.
What is love and what are some of the obstacles to loving?

These and other related issues were tackled during an Advent retreat organised by the newly formed Archdiocesan Biblical Apostolate on Dec 13.

More than 60 people gathered at the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (FMM) Retreat House on Holland Road for the first programme of the apostolate, which is run by the Verbum Dei Missionaries.

“Love is not a feeling that makes our heart beat faster,” Sr Maria Jose M Egido told the crowd during the event, which had the theme, Open Your Heart to Christ.

“Love has to be felt in the hands -- when we give with generosity … in our feet – when we walk an extra mile for someone,” she said. “Love always implies self-sacrifice, self-giving.”
Archbishop William Goh giving communion to the sick during the Mass.Archbishop William Goh giving communion to the sick during the Mass.

“It’s an experience that gives one a feeling of God’s love through Our Lady,” said 89-year-old Charlie Goh.

“I truly felt the presence of the Lord here. I feel very happy,” said 25-year-old Esther Ong, a wheelchair bound victim of a hit-and-run incident.

Mr Goh and Ms Ong were among a group of people suffering from health issues who attended the Lourdes Experience at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Dec 6. They were seated in front, on wheelchairs.

Some 11,200 people attended the five-and-a-half-hour-long event for the sick, the third of its kind here organised by the Order of Malta, Singapore.

It had the theme, Lourdes, The Joy of Conversion.

“When we think of Lourdes, these three things come to mind: peace, healing and prayers,” Archbishop Goh said during his homily.
Running out of gift ideas for loved ones? Or wondering how you can meaningfully share your year-end blessings with others? Here are some suggestions from Mel Diamse-Lee.
Delight loved ones by donating on their behalf. And if you are feeling generous towards the less fortunate, consider  giving to the following Catholic non-profit organisations.

Clients in training at an ABLE partner agency.Clients in training at an ABLE partner agency.
Abilities Beyond Limitations and Expectations (ABLE)
 
ABLE helps youth and adults from low-income households suffering from muscular dystrophy or needing therapy to be able to perform basic daily functions, such as eating, toileting and personal grooming.

ABLE also supports  caregivers of people with muscular dystrophy by offering respite care, whereby a  homecare nurse or nursing aide attends to the client while the caregiver runs errands or takes a much-needed rest.

To donate, make your cheque payable to “ABLE Limited”. To find out more about the organisation and to contribute, check out www.able-sg.org
A Christmas present that helps loved ones get closer to God or enhance their marital relationship is surely a blessing.

 
 
Cenacle Sisters*
 
The Cenacle Sisters dedicate themselves towards giving retreats, spiritual direction, pastoral counselling, catechesis and other spiritual formation programmes.

The Cenacle Sisters in Singapore also need a convent of their own to reside in and accommodate small groups for spiritual formation.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The feast of the Incarnation invites us to contemplate on the wondrous beauty of God’s love. This God humbly reached out to us by assuming our humanity. He was born to share our fragile human condition. He came as a little baby without power or strength. He had no room for the night. He chose to be born in a cave without any honour and glory. He was announced to the lowly shepherds, the outcasts of society. Jesus, the Son of God chose the way of humility and lowliness so that He could feel with us.

By His coming, He came to teach us how to love, so that we too might have life. Happiness in life is not dependent on who we are, what office we hold, what social status we have in society. It is given to those who are capable of love. By loving and emptying Himself in humble love and service, Jesus shows us the way to the heart of God. By identifying ourselves with God and loving as He did, we too can participate in His joy and peace.
Participants playing a game at the carnival.Participants playing a game at the carnival.Assumption English School (AES) held a carnival in conjunction with the annual school open house on Nov 22 in its temporary campus at 121 Queensway.

The event served as a platform for AES students to apply their classroom learning and promote entrepreneurship skills, as they designed, pitched sales and managed stalls by themselves.

All sales proceeds from the event went to the school’s upgrading project under the School Upgrading Programme or PRIME.

Pastry chef, Mr Jimmy Kea, was amongst a group of chef volunteers who offered to help in the event. Besides actively arranging for event partners, Mr Kea also offered his expertise in baking and cake decoration.
Fr Julian Nerius Roy Mariaratnam giving his sharing during the retreat.Fr Julian Nerius Roy Mariaratnam giving his sharing during the retreat.An overnight Advent retreat in Tamil, organised by the Commission for the Apostolate of Tamil Speaking and the St Joseph Tamil Prayer Group, was held on Nov 29-30 at Blessed Sacrament Church.

The retreat which began at 10pm, started with participants praying the rosary, followed by a short sharing by Fr Julian Nerius Roy Mariaratnam. He shared how to prepare for the coming of Christ this Advent.

Fr Julian also spoke about the unconditional love of God the Father, giving participants a deeper insight into the incarnation of Jesus.

By Sr Motcha, FMM
Bucking the national trend, many young Catholic couples are raising more children

Gregory and Elaine Ho: God’s gifts to us

Married in 2000, Gregory and Elaine Ho took a while to conceive their first child. They went for fertility treatments, including a surgical procedure, and had planned to adopt a child before they had their firstborn in 2005.

“We had so much difficulty trying for the first child and were so happy when he came along. Then came the second, the third and the fourth and we just accepted them,” said Gregory, 45.

The children are now aged 9, 7, 5 and 3 years respectively.

When news of the third and fourth children was received, well-meaning friends and relatives asked, “Are you sure you still want another child? A fourth child will be a burden financially!”

Fr Clifford Augustine at the Mass.Fr Clifford Augustine at the Mass.
“Do things out of the ordinary. Mingle with people you normally would not, such as the poor and marginalised,” said Fr Clifford Augustine at this year’s World AIDS Day Mass, which was held on Nov 30 at the Church of St Mary of the Angels.

The Mass, which is held annually, was organised by the Catholic AIDS Response Effort (CARE), a Catholic Charity which provides care and support for People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs).

Guests included friends and supporters, members and volunteers of CARE, and residents from the shelter home, run by the charity.

In his homily, Fr Augustine urged the congregation to pray during this Advent for a change in their lives,  to do what God wishes for them; to bring God’s light into their lives so that they too can share it with others.
Singaporean Sr Karen Eng,  Daughters of St Paul.  Currently residing in Italy in  preparation for perpetual vows.  Website: http://www.paulines.org.sg/Singaporean Sr Karen Eng, Daughters of St Paul. Currently residing in Italy in preparation for perpetual vows. Website: http://www.paulines.org.sg/
When was the last time you had fun?
Just last week! I went on a treasure hunt with my classmates as part of our class assignment. In two hours, we had to find and photograph ourselves with the “treasures” we found in central Milan, which included a historic opera house, a library which houses the largest collection of Da Vinci’s works, a 15th century castle and more!

Name an occasion you felt humbled.
I’m currently learning Italian but I feel like a stammering preschooler every time I have to speak it. Once, the visiting provincial superior asked if I liked Italian food. I wanted to say “I love it” but ended up saying “I love you” instead. She gave me a funny look so I hastily modified my reply!

Name an occasion when you felt God was far away.
In my mid-20s, I doubted the Real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Being at Mass was painful; it was a weird, torturous experience of wanting God so badly yet being unable to believe. This went on for a year but the light at the end of the tunnel was the discovery of my vocation.
Organised by Fr Angel C. Luciano, CICM and Filipino Parish organisations in Singapore

Dec 15, Monday, 8pm
Love of God

CHURCH OF SAINT ANTHONY OF PADUA
Francis Cepe (94761255) / Tony Odiada (91391180)

CHURCH OF SAINT STEPHEN
Rey De Luna (97453947) / Manulet Bulaong (91258086)

Dec 16, Tuesday, 8pm
Love of Neighbour

CHURCH OF SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI
Agnes Paculdar (81235158) / Daisy Ducusin (93636408)
Age doesn’t matter as contestant Mrs Elizabeth Kolandasamy, 72, (front left) won the Saree Queen contest.Age doesn’t matter as contestant Mrs Elizabeth Kolandasamy, 72, (front left) won the Saree Queen contest.
It was a night of glitz and glam on Nov 22, as 72-year-old Mrs Elizabeth Kolandasamy, during the Elder’s Night Dinner, stole the show with her catwalk and dance, wowing the judges to win the Saree Queen contest.

The dinner for the elderly, held at the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, and organised by the Commission for the Apostolate of the Tamil-Speaking or CATS’ year-old Elders Ministry, was held to engage senior citizens in social events to boost their personal autonomy. It was also to let them know that growing old can be fun and entertaining, shared Mrs Louise Joseph, a CATS coordinator.

The ministry also organises spirituality-based activities, said Mrs Joseph.

About 110 people between the ages of 40 and 79 years turned up for the event, with about 80 percent of the participants being women.

To take part in the Saree Queen contest, the contestants had to be actively involved in the Elders Ministry. About 10 women, including Mrs Kolandasamy, who were dressed in their best sarees, were selected. One by one, they catwalked, danced and paraded their outfits.
The foundation, set up in 2012, is a channel for those wishing to support the Church’s capacity building

Archbishop William Goh with some members of the Catholic Foundation.Archbishop William Goh with some members of the Catholic Foundation.

In May and June this year, Archbishop William Goh shared his 10-year pastoral plan of Church renewal with the Catholic community.

He recalled that later, during his visits to parishes, many Catholics had asked him, “How can we make this plan happen?”
“Yes, there’s certainly a lot that we have to do,” Archbishop Goh affirmed, “but God will make it happen, not you, not me”.

Nevertheless, to help achieve this vision, the Catholic Foundation was established on Dec 27, 2012.

It seeks to promote philantrophic giving to support the capacity building needs of the Church in Singapore.
Religious and laypeople attend a special Mass held at St Joseph’s Church, Victoria Street, on Nov 29.
Religious, priests and laypeople singing together at the opening for the special Mass on Nov 29. Religious, priests and laypeople singing together at the opening for the special Mass on Nov 29.

In the presence of Religious and priests, the Archdiocese of Singapore celebrated a Mass dedicated to the Year of Consecrated Life on Nov 29.

Archbishop William Goh,  who was the main celebrant at the Mass at St Joseph’s Church , Victoria Street, said in his homily that in order to proclaim the Good News, Religious have to “radiate joy”.
 
He gave four indicators of how Religious can tell if they are joyful, consecrated persons.

Firstly, they need to “experience this yearning of intimacy with the Lord”, he said to about 200 Religious present.
Aspiring early childhood educators and those who wish to enter the preschool education sector can expect more support, as a new diploma scholarship programme is now being offered by the Archdiocesan Commission for Catholic Schools (ACCS) and Serangoon District Catholic parishes.

The programme aims to recruit students who are passionate about working with young children, who desire to be groomed to be future leaders for Catholic preschools, and who are committed to pursuing a full-time diploma in Early Childhood Education.

A Memorandum of Understanding between ACCS and Serangoon District parishes was signed on Nov 6 this year, offering a scholarship that hopes to attract young educators to bring in new vibrancy and creativity into preschool classrooms, especially in a time where early childhood education is seeing increasing demand.
Ms Koh busy at work on the centrepiece. Photo by: JEROME LIMMs Koh busy at work on the centrepiece. Photo by: JEROME LIM
St Joseph’s Church Victoria Street, marked the restoration of its 72 panels of stained glass on Nov 29. Guests who attended the occasion included Jesuit Msgr Philip Heng and Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong.

Parish priest, Fr Ignatius Yeo, in his speech, thanked the Singapore government and especially the Preservation of Sites and Monuments Board and the National Heritage Board, for helping to make the restoration project a reality.

According to Fr Ignatius, the church is home to “the largest collection of stained glass in Singapore”.

As part of the afternoon event, the 100-strong audience enjoyed a choral performance by two all-female choirs – Philomela, a Finnish chamber choir, and VOCO Singapore.
Lorna O’Hara speaks to various students who did well in their PSLE despite facing challenges.

The ca
Former St Anthony’s Canossian Primary School student Ophelia Liew with her form teacher Mrs Agnes Lim (left) and Sr Geraldine Lim.Former St Anthony’s Canossian Primary School student Ophelia Liew with her form teacher Mrs Agnes Lim (left) and Sr Geraldine Lim.ncer survivor
As bubbly Ophelia Liew puts it, if anyone taking the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) does not ace it, it “is not the end of the world”.

If one were to see the 12-year-old today with her plaited lustrous hair, the thought that this St Anthony’s Canossian Primary School girl used to be bald as she battled leukaemia would never have crossed one’s mind.

“My mum kept telling me to be a survivor and not be a victim of leukaemia,” she said.

Leukaemia is a group of cancers which often starts in the bone marrow.

At the tender age of six, Ophelia had to undergo chemotherapy.

“When I went to school, my friends teased me in Primary 1 because I didn’t have hair. They thought I was different from them. They didn’t understand until my teacher explained to them that I had cancer,” said Ophelia, as she flashed her pearlie whites.
Catholic Theological Institute of Singapore graduates pose for a photo with Archbishop William Goh. Beside him is vice rector Fr Peter Zhang (in black) and rector Fr James Yeo (on Archbishop Goh’s left).Catholic Theological Institute of Singapore graduates pose for a photo with Archbishop William Goh. Beside him is vice rector Fr Peter Zhang (in black) and rector Fr James Yeo (on Archbishop Goh’s left).

It was an exciting time for 23 students on Nov 21, as they were the first batch of students from the newly set-up Catholic Theological Institute of Singapore (CTIS), to receive their Certificate in Theology.

“The graduation of our first cohort truly gives CTIS a sense of pride and satisfaction, because it is the culmination of a year of hard work for everyone, students as well as staff and lecturers,” the institute’s rector, Fr James Yeo, told CatholicNews.

The institute which provides theological training to help Catholics develop their religious knowledge, was established on Jan 22. It welcomed its first students at 55 Waterloo Street on Jan 27. Its second intake was on July 7.

The Certificate in Theology course comprises six modules: The Second Vatican Council, Introduction to Christian Philosophy, Overview of Catholic Theology, Fundamental Moral Theology, Introduction to the Bible, and Research Writing. These modules are taught by priests and Religious.
CITY

Cathedral of the Good Shepherd: Under renovation/restoration.
Church of Sts Peter & Paul: No penitential service.
Church of St Alphonsus (Novena Church): Under reconstruction. No penitential service
Church of the Sacred Heart: No penitential service. Confessions available before every Mass
Church of Our Lady of Lourdes: Dec 14: 8.45am (Tamil) and 5.45pm (Tamil), Dec 17: 8.00pm
Church of St Michael: Dec 15: 8.00pm
Church of St Teresa: Dec 16: 8.00pm
St Joseph’s Church (Victoria Street): Dec 18: 8.00pm
Church of St Bernadette: Dec 19: 8.00pm

Forming the IJ Link at CHIJMES with IJ Provincial, Sr Agnes Lee (fourth from left).Forming the IJ Link at CHIJMES with IJ Provincial, Sr Agnes Lee (fourth from left).More than 400 Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (CHIJ) students, staff, alumni and the Infant Jesus (IJ) Sisters, joined forces on Nov 9 to set a new Singapore record for the longest human chain.

It was part of CHIJ’s 160th anniversary celebrations which was organised by the CHIJ Alumni Association.

During the event called IJ Buzz-aar, participants were grouped according to their height before taking a walk around CHIJMES where the first CHIJ was set up.

According to Dr Claire Ang, president of the CHIJ Alumni Association, a total of 402 people gathered to create a record for forming a human chain.

A Singapore Book of Records official later presented certificates to CHIJ representatives.

Dr Ang also said that the previous Guinness World Record stood at 311, but “we need confirmation from Guinness, [which] will take some time”.
Archbishop John Ha of Kuching, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, seen here with Pope Francis during the October Extraordinary Synod. Archbishop John Ha of Kuching, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, seen here with Pope Francis during the October Extraordinary Synod.
Ideas were ‘frankly expressed’, says Archbishop John Ha of Kuching

The journeying together (which the word “Synod” means) of the Bishops as shepherds of their respective Catholic communities with Pope Francis was for me a profound experience of the universal Church as a pilgrim people. The Bishops were from all over the world. While some knew one another, a lot were meeting for the first time – new faces but not strangers. There was warmth because there was a deep sense of brotherhood that came from the Bishops’ common calling in baptism and ordination (priestly as well as episcopal).

What had we Bishops come to journey together for? To share our pastoral experiences and search together for a relevant and effective way of pasturing our respective flocks in today’s world.
A retreat for women by women spiritual directors. Participants of the Come Be-loved Daughters of God retreat, held on Nov 14-16, with some of the spiritual directors at Kingsmead Centre.A retreat for women by women spiritual directors. Participants of the Come Be-loved Daughters of God retreat, held on Nov 14-16, with some of the spiritual directors at Kingsmead Centre.
Busyness pulls women away from God. Juggling multiple roles, such as, being co-provider of the family, wife, mother, daughter caring for elderly parents, sister, grandmother and friend can make one feel harried, fatigued and drained of energy. Faced with this daily, the tendency is to limit or deny the need to spend time with the Lord.

But God’s gentle whisper can still rise above the noise and din of daily activities. And for the 15 women who heard the invitation to Come Be-Loved Daughters of God retreat, and responded with openness from Nov 14-16, the rewards were empowering and liberating.

Unique gifts

The hushed surroundings of Kingsmead Centre, well-tended gardens dotted with shady, quiet corners, provided the restful backdrop to coax the women to ponder their unique gifts and identity as God’s daughters.
The Sri Lankan community posing for a photo during this year’s Migrant Sunday celebration. With their chaplain, Friar Julian Nerius Roy Mariaratnam, (in brown habit). The Sri Lankan community posing for a photo during this year’s Migrant Sunday celebration. With their chaplain, Friar Julian Nerius Roy Mariaratnam, (in brown habit).

The Sri Lankan Catholic community started from humble beginnings. It was set up by Sr Mary Susila Thomas in 1995 together with Ms Clara Perera, 66, who has been living in Singapore for 24 years. They went to Tekka market in search
of fellow Sri Lankan Catholics.

Their efforts have reaped rewards as now, the Sri Lankan community is a close-knit group comprising about 150 members.

CatholicNews spoke to the community after Mass in Sinhala at the Greccio Friary in CHIJ Queen of Peace (CHIJ QOP) on Nov 9. What was apparent was how the community harnesses the power of social media and technology to spread the Good News.

It has created a mobile application “Supuwatha” or Good News, which gives daily Mass readings in text, audio and video – in Sinhala and Tamil.
CN, Nov 16CN, Nov 16
I would like to thank the CatholicNews editorial team for running the article, R U Texting in Church, Put the Phone Down! (CN, Nov 16).

I am in total agreement with the article, and I believe that publishing this article will give many people food for thought. While this article was written in the US, I think this is a concern that is also present in Singapore.

There are a lot of points that resonated with me, mainly, the conundrum of whether or not we should address parishioners who use their mobile devices during Mass.

I’m 28 years old and even I (not just my parents) have noticed this growing concern as people’s attachment to their mobile devices grew over the years.
Foreign spouses and their children having fun at MacRitchie Reservoir.Foreign spouses and their children having fun at MacRitchie Reservoir.Blessed with fine weather at MacRitchie Reservoir on Nov 12, more than 40 foreign spouses, some with children in tow, got together and had a chance to get away from their daily routines.

The women who are spouses of Singaporeans, come from Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.

During the outing, they took part in games, won prizes, had lunch together and mingled.

The event was part of the foreign spouse programme, which aims to foster bonding among participants and help build mutual support.
Screengrab of the top winning entry of the SHAREfest video competition – ‘Overwhelmed’ by Church of Our Lady of Perpetual SuccourScreengrab of the top winning entry of the SHAREfest video competition – ‘Overwhelmed’ by Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour
To encourage Catholics to take up the call to evangelise on social media, 10 video entries were submitted for a video competition  called SHAREfest, Stirring Hearts: A Real Encounter Festival. Each video was no more than five minutes.

The competition, organised by the East District Youth Committee, was held at the Verbist Hall in the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour.

A workshop was held in July to equip participants with video-taking skills and ideas on how they could go about shooting their videos. 

A total of 92 people, comprising mainly youths from East district parishes, turned up on the competition day on Nov 15.
Fr Paul Goh presents sand from Singapore to Sr Benedykta Mazur.Fr Paul Goh presents sand from Singapore to Sr Benedykta Mazur.
Sand from Singapore’s National Stadium now has a special place in a museum built in honour of St John Paul II in Wadowice, Poland.

The idea to fly the sand from Singapore came about when tour guide, Mr Ivan Lui from Faith Tours, during one of his previous trips, found out that the museum had started a collection of sand and soil from places where the late pope visited. The museum asked Mr Lui to collect the sand.

Arrangements were made and Archbishop William Goh officially acknowledged its origin.

“His Grace was most gracious and offered every assistance to have the honour of having Singapore remembered in this special museum,” Mr Lui said. 
The thanksgiving Mass at the Church of the Holy Cross on Nov 5.The thanksgiving Mass at the Church of the Holy Cross on Nov 5.
More than 400 people attended an evening thanksgiving Mass on Nov 5 to celebrate the beatification of Bishop Alvaro del Portillo. Blessed Alvaro, the first successor of the founder of Opus Dei, was beatified in Madrid, Spain, on Sept 27.

About 200 who were present at the Mass, held at Church of the Holy Cross, had travelled from Singapore to Madrid to witness the beatification ceremony.

During the Nov 5 Mass, Fr Avelino Marin, Regional Vicar of Opus Dei in Southeast Asia, recalled that he was ordained by Blessed Alvaro, who had once visited Singapore.

Fr Marin explained that each beatification or canonisation is a celebration of the victory of God and of the Church in the life of a person.
From left: Old SJI boys, teachers and De La Salle Brothers honouring the late Br Kevin Byrne on Nov 15. Inset: Br Kevin was SJI’s longest running principal from 1979 to 1991.From left: Old SJI boys, teachers and De La Salle Brothers honouring the late Br Kevin Byrne on Nov 15. Inset: Br Kevin was SJI’s longest running principal from 1979 to 1991.
Two hundred voices from St Joseph’s Institution (SJI) old boys, teachers and De La Salle Brothers, echoed in the Singapore Art Museum, as they gathered for a memorial Mass on Nov 15 in honour of their beloved principal.

Irishman Br Kevin Byrne who was SJI’s principal from 1979 to 1991,  battled Alzheimer’s disease in his later years and had a bad fall this year. Months later at 83, he passed away in his hometown in Castletown, Ireland on Sept 26.

Cherished by many, he was known for his calm demeanour and foresight as without him, SJI would not have gotten its independent status in 1986.

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