MAY 18, 2014, Vol 64, No 10

The Archbishop’s Office released the following update on Archbishop Emeritus Nicholas Chia’s condition on May 2:

His Grace, Archbishop William Goh, is happy to announce that Archbishop Emeritus Nicholas Chia has been making good progress in his recovery. The team of doctors appointed to prognosticate his condition has issued the following statement:

“Our Archbishop Emeritus suffered traumatic brain injury, enough to affect his speech, movement and his cognitive function. He has made good progress in terms of his ability to swallow and has recovered his ability to speak.

“He is still weak on the right side and is able to take a few small steps with the aid of a walking frame. We recommend sending him to Tan Tock Seng Hospital’s department of rehabilitation based in Ang Mo Kio (TTSH-AMK) for further rehabilitation.
The Magdala Centre by the Sea of Galilee. The Magdala Centre by the Sea of Galilee. A Singapore chapel built in a new basilica in Magdala, the Holy Land, is “providential”, said a priest working there. It is “the first in the world from Asia in the Holy Land,” Fr Juan Solana told some 200 people gathered at the St Ignatius Hall on April 24.

Fr Juan Solana
Fr Solana, builder of the Magdala Centre, an 8-ha area of land in the heart of the area where Jesus did most of his ministry, was giving a talk on new archaeological discoveries in the area and the Singapore chapel in the Basilica of St Mary Magdalene.

The basilica was built over the market of a first century port dating to before the birth of Christ and overlooks the Sea of Galilee.

On Dec 20 last year, 30 local benefactors and a few members of the Singapore Order of Malta were present at the dedication and blessing of the Singapore chapel, which local donors had contributed financially towards.
 
Live to forgive as misunderstandings are inevitable, and never let a night pass without expressing love for each other.

These are some words of advice on staying faithfully in love, from two couples who have been married for 60 years.Mr Victor Sim and Mrs Elizabeth Sim at the Marriage Encounter celebration on May 1. Mr Victor Sim and Mrs Elizabeth Sim at the Marriage Encounter celebration on May 1.

Over 1,000 people consisting of married couples, their families and friends attended the Worldwide Marriage Encounter in Singapore’s 35th anniversary celebration at the Church of St Mary of the Angels on May 1.  

The main celebrant for Mass, Archbishop William Goh delivered a homily reminding the congregation of what they should aspire to be, in order to live out the anniversary’s theme, to “glow as a community of faith and love”.
Church of St Joseph’s (Bukit Timah) football team members took part in the futsal competition at this year’s Harmony Games.Church of St Joseph’s (Bukit Timah) football team members took part in the futsal competition at this year’s Harmony Games.
Catholic youth and young adults from the Church of St Joseph’s (Bukit Timah) Football Club participated in this year’s Harmony Games with people from other races and religions.

Shamir Robinson, 19, said that “even though we were representing the Catholic Church, there were no barriers in interacting with others from different faiths”.

He was part of a team of eight men aged 17-34 who took part in futsal, one of the four events in the Harmony Games.
This year, the Hindu Endowments Board and the Hindu Advisory Board hosted the games at the Singapore Indian Association at 69 Balestier Road on April 26, under the theme ‘Play Together, Friends Forever’.
Canossian Sr Jane Chong, who has been living out her vocation through alternative therapy, shared that when she does not know how to deal with a client, she looks at the picture of Jesus (left) for help.Canossian Sr Jane Chong, who has been living out her vocation through alternative therapy, shared that when she does not know how to deal with a client, she looks at the picture of Jesus (left) for help.
At 21 years old, she was taking a secretarial course after her GCE A Level examinations when she felt the call to join the Religious life.

Jane Chong went to speak to Canossian Sr Marilyn Lim, and also attended retreats by the Canossian Sisters as the “call was very strong” and she “wanted to find out more about what it is”.

She eventually joined the Canossian Sisters at that tender age.

Sr Jane, now 53, shared that in 2004, she learnt about alternative therapy through a naturopath, and that it attracted her as she was “very interested in anything natural”.
Seminarian Cornelius ChingSeminarian Cornelius Ching
Seminarian Cornelius Ching was an insurance salesman for eight years but “felt something was missing”.

Through discernment and prayer, the Singaporean and Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary parishioner found that he had a calling to the priesthood.

In an interview with CatholicNews, the now 37-year-old Br Cornelius related his initial feelings when he was about to join the St Francis Xavier Major Seminary.

“I felt nervous [because] I wasn’t very sure about what the structure here is like,” he shared. “How am I going to be away from home for so long?”

He did not mention to his family that he was journeying with the seminarians until he decided to apply officially. When he told them that he was going to join the seminary, his parents were supportive while a couple of friends were “shocked, as this is a totally different career path”, and were asking if he was sure about his decision.
Sr Amy LeeSr Amy Lee
Lee Siew Hwee was baptised in 1992, at the age of 18 in Church of Christ the King where she attended RCIA. Taking Amy as her baptism name, she was confirmed four months later.
She was trained as a civil engineer and had worked for about six years before she decided to join a school of mission in the Philippines in 2002.

She had previously heard about the Cenacle Sisters in Singapore, but it was only in 2007 that she started to know about the Cenacle Sisters in Manila when she was looking for a spiritual firector to help her discern her next step as she was completing her studies.
The St Francis Xavier Major Seminary (SFXMS) in Ponggol. The St Francis Xavier Major Seminary (SFXMS) in Ponggol.
A seminarian should be deeply in love with the Lord, excited about prayer and eager to grow towards perfection, unafraid to admit weaknesses that need to be overcome.

This is according to Msgr Ambrose Vaz, rector of the St Francis Xavier Major Seminary (SFXMS).

Speaking to CatholicNews in an interview, Msgr Ambrose said that basically, a seminarian must “put others before yourself and be open to community living”.

Since stepping into this position last July, Msgr Ambrose has been consolidating and developing the vision of having “a brotherhood of disciples”, together with the “whole aspect of the new evangelisation”, which is a “direction set by Pope John Paul II”.

Movie stills from Chocolate Comedy (left) and Menstrual Men, two films to be screened at the CFF.Movie stills from Chocolate Comedy (left) and Menstrual Men, two films to be screened at the CFF.CANA the Catholic Centre will be organising an inaugural CANA Film Festival (CFF) for both adults and children this year.

To be held on June 7 and 8, the film festival will focus on the universality of Catholic social teachings. During the festival, documentaries, shorts and independent feature films of diverse origins outside the Catholic faith will bring to life the principles of Catholic social teachings.

The selection of participating films is closely guided by the principles of human dignity, association, subsidiarity, participation, common good, universal destination of goods, solidarity, dignity of work, dignity of creation and promotion of peace.

The staff, children and parents of Good Shepherd Convent Kindergar-ten distributed food items to needy families on April 29.The staff, children and parents of Good Shepherd Convent Kindergar-ten distributed food items to needy families on April 29.
To celebrate the Feast Day of their foundress, St Mary Euphrasia, the staff, children and parents of Good Shepherd Convent Kindergarten carried out a community service project on April 29.

Titled Project BLESS, it was a collaboration with the Marine Parade Family Service Centre (MPFSC), to serve the needy families under their care.

The kindergarten children and their families donated healthy food items including oats, brown rice, and tuna spread.

The children and parents were divided into six groups. Each group was given a family address in Marine Parade, a list of food items to be packed and coasters for the children to draw and decorate.

When the cards were done, the children and parents packed the food items, before setting off to the families to distribute them.

By Margaret Spruyt

Sr Andy (Andrea) CasusoSr Andy (Andrea) Casuso
Sr Andy (Andrea) Casuso, FMM, was called to the Lord on April 14.

She suffered two severe heart attacks and died on the same day at 9pm in a Philippine hospital. Sr Andy was 78 years old.

A memorial Mass will be celebrated by Fr Eugene Vaz and Fr Jacob Ong at the FILODEP Damian Hall, 49A Holland Road, on May 18 at lpm.
Artist’s impression of the Lourdes Pastoral Centre which is expected to cost between $10 million and $12 million.Artist’s impression of the Lourdes Pastoral Centre which is expected to cost between $10 million and $12 million.
The Church of Our Lady of Lourdes is building a pastoral centre to better cater to the needs of its parishioners and the largely South Asian migrant communities it serves.

The Lourdes Pastoral Centre is the second phase of a project to enhance the parish. The first phase, which involves repairs and restoration of the church – a gazetted national monument – has already been completed.

The third phase, a proposed spirituality centre, will commence only after the pastoral centre is built.

The church is “lacking in many facilities and amenities due to the growing number of parishioners and migrants”, parish priest Fr Augustine Joseph told CatholicNews.

According to parish records, there are about 1,800 registered parishioners including the migrants. Masses in English, Tamil and Malayalam are held on the weekends.
Visiting Indian priest Fr Amal Raj shares the Word of God during the Maundy Thursday vigil.Visiting Indian priest Fr Amal Raj shares the Word of God during the Maundy Thursday vigil.About 100 Tamil-speaking Catholics, including many migrants, participated in  an overnight vigil on Maundy Thursday.

The six-hour event, starting from midnight and lasting till 6 am the following morning, was held on the premises of the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes.

Visiting Indian priest Fr Amal Raj led the participants, who comprised both young and elderly, in deep prayer.
The event was organised by the Commission for the Apostolate for Tamil Speaking.
‘People are more important than efficiency ... I believe in compassion and personal authority.’ – Archbishop William Goh‘People are more important than efficiency ... I believe in compassion and personal authority.’ – Archbishop William Goh
Archbishop William Goh was appointed head of the S’pore Church a year ago. We speak to him one year on and get comments from various Catholics on what he has done.

Almost on time, he walks into the meeting room at the Archbishop’s House where the interview with CatholicNews is to be held.

“Do you want a drink? Coffee? Tea?” he asks me. I decline.

Heading to his seat, he is about to sit down when he decides that he should still get a drink for me and goes to the pantry.

“Ah, this bishop…” his personal assistant murmurs in mild amusement.

Throughout the hour-long interview (with a cup of tea for each of us now), it became obvious that Archbishop Goh, who took charge of the Singapore archdiocese a year ago on May 18, is confident of his plans for the Singapore Church.

Yet at the same time, he exudes humility when he speaks of these, insisting that he is “still the same person, the same priest, the same Fr William Goh”.
CTIS vice-rector Fr Peter Zhang.
The Chinese section of the Catholic Theological Institute of Singapore (CTIS), headed by vice-rector Fr Peter Zhang, will launch a certificate programme in Theology this July.

The programme aims to provide Mandarin-speaking Catholics with a firm grounding in the Catholic faith and Church teachings. According to CTIS, this will equip lay people to serve in the various Mandarin-speaking ministries, and in so doing, help alleviate the shortage of clergy who are proficient in Chinese.

The program is a one-year course providing a systematic formation in Catholic theology through six modules split over two academic semesters.
Archbishop William Goh serving communion  to a Friend- in-Need,  an aid recipient  of the Society  of St Vincent de Paul.  Photo: PETER KAYArchbishop William Goh serving communion to a Friend- in-Need, an aid recipient of the Society of St Vincent de Paul. Photo: PETER KAY
A special Mass to pray for the poor and aid recipients of the Society of St Vincent de Paul (SSVP) was held on April 12.
About 400 Vincentians, together with their Friends-in-Need (FINs or aid recipients), Caritas representatives, Canossian Sisters and well-wishers attended the celebration held at the Church of St Stephen.

Archbishop William Goh, Fr Eugene Vaz, Fr Louis Loiseau and Fr John Khoo concelebrated the event, the third to be held annually.

In his homily, Archbishop Goh noted that in the secular world, the line between what is deemed sufficient and what is a “want” is often blurred. This is a result of people’s inherent fear of not having enough.
Ms Sylvia Lim speaking at CANA’s Talk of the Town event on April 24 as facilitator Winifred Loh looks on.Ms Sylvia Lim speaking at CANA’s Talk of the Town event on April 24 as facilitator Winifred Loh looks on.
Opposition MP Sylvia Lim was a member and cantor in a choir at St Mary of the Angels for many years. And although she has not gone to confession for a while, she still tries to read the Bible daily.

These were some nuggets of her faith journey that Ms Lim, chairman of The Workers’ Party, shared at a dinner talk organised by CANA The Catholic Centre.

The April 24 event was part of CANA’s Talk of the Town series, which aims to have well-known personalities share how they integrate faith and life.

About 50 people attended the talk, held at the Catholic Centre’s Crossings Café at Waterloo St.

The evening took place in the form of a conversation with facilitator Winifred Loh, a Pauline co-operator working with the lay arm of the Daughters of St Paul.
Parish representatives attend strategic meeting with Archbishop Goh
Archbishop Goh at the May 3 meeting.Archbishop Goh at the May 3 meeting.
Every Christian must be a missionary!

This was the rallying call Archbishop William Goh made as he outlined his 10-year pastoral plan for the archdiocese during a meeting with representatives of parish ministries.

About 750 people, including a few priests, attended the meeting, titled Building a Missionary and Evangelical Church, held at the Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

“If we compare our Church with many other dioceses, I think we’re doing very well.  If we compare our parishes with others, we are vibrant… so many Masses, baptisms, confirmations,” said Archbishop Goh. “Our priests are really hardworking.”
Dear Buddhist Friends,

I would like to extend my heartfelt greetings and best wishes to all of you as you celebrate the feast of Vesak which commemorates the birth, enlightenment and final nirvana of the Buddha. May you continue to grow in wisdom, gratitude and compassion towards all sentient beings.

On this special feast we would like to thank you for the invaluable contribution you have made towards building a stronger bond of unity and harmony between us and the other religions in our country.  

Singapore is the most religiously diverse country in the world. People of different religions in our country live in close proximity.

Thus, it is of paramount importance that we continue to build genuine respect for one another and deepen our appreciation of our diversity and fraternity.