However, the traditional print media have a certain edge over the electronic variety in that they can influence more deeply the recipients. The electronic variety have a tendency to be very transient. They appear at the click of a button and disappear with even greater speed, invariably leaving little or no impact on the recipient. The whole process of scrolling through texts on a screen is not exactly conducive to studied reflection.
Print media, on the other hand is there to be read, pondered, returned to again and again at will, at any time and any place without recipients having to remain staring at a screen.
"For the sake of their children, a s well a s for their own sakes, parents must “learn and practice the skills of discerning viewers and listeners and readers, acting as models of prudent use of media in the home”. As far as the Internet is concerned, children and young people often are more familiar with it than their parents are, but parents still are seriously obliged to guide and supervise their children in its use. If this means learning more about the Internet than they have up to now, that will be all to good.
Parental supervision Parental supervision should include making sure that filtering technology is used in computers available to children when that is financially and technically feasible, in order to protect them as much as possible from pornography, sexual predators, and other threats. Unsupervised exposure to the Internet should not be allowed. Parents and children should dialogue together about what is seen and experienced in cyberspace; sharing with other families who have the same values and concerns will also be helpful. The fundamental parental duty here is to help children become discriminating, responsible Internet users and not addicts of the Internet, neglecting contact with their peers and with nature itself."
Vatican II and the post-Conciliar documents have outlined the objectives of the Catholic Press and th ese objectives can be succinctly described a s follows: "To inform and to form through information." The purpose of the Catholic Press is thus, not merely to provide information or facts, but to provide, above all, analysis and commentary on the facts and thus contribute to the continuing formation in faith of the Church's members.
Dr (Rev) Robert Balhetchet
Rev Fr Johnson Fernandez
Rev Fr Richards Ambrose
2 HIGHLAND RD #01 -03,
FAX NO. 858-2055
The following testimonies speak a lot about NFP:
"After 25 years of marriage we are still in love. NFP has enriched our marriage and made our love grow." – ES
"Although abstinence is sometimes a pain, my wife makes all the waiting worthwhile. Every month is a honeymoon." – BN
“When my husband waits for me, I feel cherished and loved. The tenderness and the intimacy continue beyond individual contacts." – EL
NEWLY-ordained Jesuit Father Charles Sim believes that strong families are the backbone of a strong Church and healthy society. That is why he will be actively involved in family and individual counselling and therapy in the course of his priestly life. He spent the year 2000 studying for his Masters Of Science in family therapy at the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College, London.
Fr Sim, 37, will go back to London soon for further clinical training. The Jesuit, ordained on Dec 29 at the Church Of The Blessed Sacrament, said: “I see families as the fabric of society, unless you strengthen them, you will not be able to raise good Christians and good citizens. “It is within families that you produce good persons. If you strengthen the fabric of society, you can look forward to a healthy society and Church in Singapore.”
It is within families that parents promote vocations, he notes. “Small examples of love within the home go a long way in bringing up children with faith.”
He observes that family life work encompasses many areas. However, he would like to focus on helping families cope with their problems by teaching them coping skills.
“I’ve learned that families are unique and have their own resources to cope with difficulties,” he said. Fr Sim joined the Jesuits on March 19, 1989, after realising his call a year earlier.
ALL of us, Christians and non-Christians alike, experience turning points in our lives. You may have heard of the term metanoia, turning away from sin and turning back to God and His love.
This may seem incredible but numerous people, youths and adults, have experienced this turning point in their lives and responded to the altar call during Shine Jesus Shine (SJS) rallies.
What happens to them? A group of Catholics called The Befrienders, trained by the New Evangelization Team, then gets to know them better and leads them to the parishes near their homes where they may want to attend the Rite Of Christian Initiation Of Adults and get to learn about our faith.
Those who have problems attending regular classes but are keen to know more about Catholicism are introduced to facilities like the correspondence course in catechism.
To live a balanced life is to align the things we do to the important roles. We can do this by planning on a weekly basis and identifying specific goals for each of these key roles, for when these goals have been identified the activities or events to follow are often clear. Many people already plan and set job-related goals for themselves each week. Applying this idea further, have you ever asked yourself, what is your goal as a spouse this week? As a parent? The goals need not be ambitious. For instance, one goal could be to take your spouse out on a date, for dinner or a movie. As a parent, the goal could be to take a child to buy a pair of shoes or to see the dentist, or to attend a school function.
SINGING CAROLS at commercial establishments has enabled The Harvesters to raise funds for a missionary group and evangelise the general public about Christmas.
“We started carolling for fundraising purposes last year as an extension of our evangelistic ministry,” said Ms Jane Lau, who coordinated the carolling.
The group, whose mission is to evangelise, raised some $2,000 last year for the Catholic Welfare Services and the Missionary Community Of St Paul The Apostle.
This year, between Dec 7-23, the group carolled at three commercial establishments, CK Tang, Serangoon Garden Country Club and Strawberry And Spice Restaurant, and in the homes of some group members.
Ms Lau added: “We hoped not only to raise funds but also to spread the Good News during the Christmas season.” She added that the group agreed to sing at CK Tang because it is a very popular public place.
HOSANNA! Music Ministry (H!MM) continued its public outreaches this year by carolling in busy shopping centres and country clubs.
“Christmas presents a unique opportunity for our ministry to continue in its mission to spread the love and message of God,” noted H!MM executive director Andrew Tan.
From Dec 1-23, H!MM sang carols at five different locations, including the Village Market @ Orchard, Ngee Ann City, Fort Canning Country Club and Northpoint in Yishun,.
The group’s repertoire included songs that welcomed the audience, such as O Come All Ye Faithful, Go Tell It On The Mountain and Do You Hear What I Hear?”
A second series of songs told the Christmas story with readings of the Nativity verses from Luke’s Gospel. Songs included One Small Child, Sweet Mary, Away In A Manger and Silent Night.
CATHOLICS and Baptists blended their voices together to sing carols in the housing board estates on King’s Road.
The joint carolling was initiated by the Evangelization Committee of the Church Of St Ignatius headed by Ms Anne-Marie Ang, 45.
They met up with the leaders of the neighbouring International Baptist Church (IBC), decided to rope in 25 members from each of their choirs and select the songs for the carolling. After separate practices, the respective choirs came together just 1 /2 hours before they were to perform at one of the void decks of a Farrer Court and Queen’s Close housing block on Dec 16.
Under the baton of music director and Pastor Tom Anderson from IBC, the combined choir blended harmoniously a cappella.
Curious residents from the quiet neighbourhood stopped to watch as the carollers, attired in black and white with a touch of red or green, began their first song. Many remained and many more families came to enjoy the carol singing.
Three Catholic groups embarked on various carolling projects to bring the message of Christ to different groups of people.
- Catholics, Baptists jointly sing carols in HDB estates
- Hosanna! Music Ministry continues public outreach with Christmas carolling
- The Harvesters raise funds for missionaries, evangelise by carolling
CARMELITE Sister Mary Euphrasie Of St Joseph, also known to many friends as Sr Mary or Sr Fussy, served as an Extern Sister (Sisters whose duties include marketing and receiving visitors) for 52 years until 1996 when she had to give up her duties due to weakening health.
And so the enclosed Sisters had more opportunities to enjoy her happy and pleasant company until the Lord took her away on Dec 6.
Born in Feb 18, 1915, Sr Mary intended to join the Good Shepherd Sisters as a young girl, but the Lord had other plans. She made her profession as a Carmelite Sister in Jan 1948.
She was very diligent in the preparation for the Mass and the Divine Office. Each day, she would take pains to prepare for the next day’s liturgy and if she was not sure of anything, one could rest assured that she would find help from any Sister who was available, until she got everything right!
ARCHBISHOP Nicholas Chia will be the main celebrant at the Mass commemorating the centennial of the birth of Prelature Of Opus Dei founder, Blessed Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer (right) on Jan 9 at the Church Of The Holy Family.
Pope John Paul II has described Blessed Josemaria’s call for men and women to sanctify themselves and to cooperate in the sanctification of others in their daily ordinary life.
The Opus Dei Prelature’s apostolate in Singapore began in 1982. There are now four local Opus Dei centres, two for women and two for men.The Prelature’s spiritual activities comprise retreats, recollections, talks, meditations, doctrinal classes and spiritual direction.
Its members, mostly lay and married, also organise informal academic classes, professional get-togethers and family enrichment seminars.
Frs Michael Chan, Conor Donnelly and Jose Luis Lopez are priests of the Prelature based in Singapore.
For enquiries on Opus Dei, call 775-4513 or 779-0652.
By Eric Valles
ARCHBISHOP Nicholas Chia expressed solidarity with Afghan refugees during a special Mass on Dec 14 and urged Singapore Catholics to take concrete action to help the needy and suffering and pave the way for peace.
He set the tone for the event held at the Church Of St Bernadette when he said in the opening prayer: “We are appalled by the springing up in the world today of terrorist attacks and conflicts. But we must ask ourselves, ‘What can we do in such situations?’ ”
During the homily, he noted the pope’s concern for world peace that led him to designate Dec 14 a special day of prayer and fasting.
Said the archbishop: “The Sep 11 terrorist attacks brought about innumerable suffering, death, destruction of homes, sickness and disease, rendering millions of people starving and homeless.”
WHEN the Marine Parade Family Service Centre (MPFSC) was opened in July, the Church here began a new way of reaching out to people in need, right in their own neighbourhood. At the centre’s blessing on Dec 15, Archbishop Nicholas Chia commended the Catholic Welfare Services (CWS) and Gabrielite Brothers for initiating the project with the government.
The presence of the centre shows that the “Church is showing that it is a light in a place where there is certain darkness”, such as in areas where there are problems with the youths, families and others, he said. He added that with the stresses families undergo today, there is a need for trained people “who can reach out and care for them”.
The centre, located at the void deck of Block 53 in Marine Terrace, is headed by executive consultant Samuel Ng, who was once involved in one of the pilot projects of the Gabrielite Brothers.
IT WAS a wet and rainy evening on Dec 27. But inside the Singgahsana Hall of the Malay Village in Geylang Serai, fellow ship and cheer abounded as Muslims and Catholics greeted one another warmly. The special dinner, which brought together some 300 members of the Muslims and Christian communities, is believed to be the first-ever joint celebration of Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Christmas in Singapore.
Also present were members of the Inter-Religious Organisation. The event, the fourth in a series of Christian-Muslim dialogue sessions which started in April last year, aimed to create a deeper sense of fellowship, understanding and collaboration between members of both faiths.
FIVE students of the Canossian School For The Hearing-Impaired were overjoyed to learn they got excellent results in their Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE).
The students, Li Dun Rui, Ong Jing Yun, Cornelia Tan Yii Lin, Lim Jin Wen and Kuo Ning Y i’s aggregate scores ranged from 231 to 261.
They acknowledged that there will always be room for improvement in their grades, but were pleased with their results all the same.
They attributed their success to the teachers at the Hearing Impaired School and St Anthony’s Canossian Primary, where they were integrated, for believing in them. Their friends and parents provided the support, they added.
In the forthcoming issues, you can expect more inspiring articles on living our Catholic faith as well as more up-to-date news from the Vatican and the rest of the Catholic community around the world.
All this is being made possible by the new web offset printer we have engaged. The new printer has CPT (colour to print) technology that makes it possible to print the paper within a short span of time.
This also means that our partnership of 35 years with Tiger Litho Offsetprinting comes to an end. We will miss the friendship and dedication of Mr Foo, whose company served us through thick and thin. We at CN are clearly in the midst of transition as we expand our mission of bringing the latest news in the Catholic world and feature articles communicating the values of Christ.
Changes have been made as far as personnel are concerned and changes will be seen in the areas of responsibility that have been affected by these changes - if nothing else, new faces will be seen and new voices heard.
Changes were necessary for a renewal of the archdiocese and as a new year dawns the Church in Singapore looks forward with hope and expectency of change - for the better. One must, however, not confuse changes with change! Changes are very easy to effect - at least relatively so. Change is much more difficult to achieve - real change, and change for the better, that is!
Archbishop Chia issues first Pastoral Letter THE tragedy of Sep 11 and the sufferings and tensions in its aftermath have brought to the consciousness of the world the urgent need to build a culture of respectful dialogue and cooperation between all the members of the human family.
In the shadow of that tragedy, His Holiness Pope John Paul II issued a powerful message for the World Day Of Peace, Jan 1, 2002. The theme of his message, No Peace Without Justice. No Justice Without Forgiveness, addresses a number of issues in our contemporary world, placing emphasis on the necessity of justice and forgiveness as the source and condition of true peace for all.
To eliminate the social and cultural causes of terrorism, religious leaders must work together and emphasize the greatness and dignity of the human person and the oneness of the human family and at the same time take the lead in publicly condemning terrorism and denying terrorists any form of religious or moral legitimacy.
In our pursuit of peace in the world, let us bear in mind that peace is the work of justice and love. True peace is the fruit of justice which ensures full respect for rights and responsibilities, and the just distribution of benefits and burdens.