APRIL 05, 2015, Vol 65, No 07

The chapel at Kingsmead Centre provides a clear view of the lush garden.The chapel at Kingsmead Centre provides a clear view of the lush garden.

A 500-year tradition of spiritual accompaniment came to Singapore in 1990 when the Society of Jesus established the Kingsmead Centre for Ignatian Spirituality and Counselling.

The retreats, prayer methods and spiritual direction offered at Kingsmead Centre, are all derived from the Spiritual Exercises practised and taught by the founder of the society, St Ignatius of Loyola.

Located at Victoria Park Road and right next to the Church of St Ignatius, Kingsmead Centre is an ideal space for the silence that one needs to encounter God within oneself or in nature.

The three-storey building is surrounded by a spacious and well-tended garden with many shady spaces.
Singaporean Br Kelvin Tan De La Salle BrothersSingaporean Br Kelvin Tan De La Salle BrothersWhen was the last time you had fun?
I can think of many: for example, in school, when my students share anecdotes or pose innocent questions (which can sometimes be embarrassing). These always bring a smile to my face! 

What do you like best about being a Religious/consecrated person?
Devoting my life to God:  serving Him in my daily life and constantly remembering that He has offered a gift which I had accepted freely.

What has sustained your life as a Religious, especially in the face of challenges/changes?
This may seem like a standard reply but it is of utmost importance that prayer sustain my vocation. Without this relationship and trust in God, the ministry can be very challenging and tiring. However with God as my soulmate and friend, all things are possible.
Young people exercising their faith by praying for one another during the March 13-16 Treasure Retreat.Young people exercising their faith by praying for one another during the March 13-16 Treasure Retreat.
Young Catholics received spiritual inputs, spent time in personal prayer and reflection, and participated in sharing groups during a stay-in retreat organised by the Office for Young People (OYP).

The March 13-16 Treasure Retreat held at Lorong Low Koon, aimed to help the 68 participants, aged between 22 and 35, to experience God in a community setting.

During the first Mass of the retreat, Fr Jude David urged participants to be like the humble tax collector in the Bible who prayed to God for mercy and found his home in God.

Topics such as the love of God, sin and salvation, the call to forgive, submitting to Jesus as Lord and living in the Spirit as disciples of Christ were also explored by Fr Jude and OYP staff, as well as by the prayer ministry, which helped participants reflect on what was presented.
Screengrab from the revamped website.Screengrab from the revamped website.

The archdiocesan website has been revamped.

Archbishop William Goh announced the move in a letter sent out to priests, Religious, and Catholic organisations,
The revamp took about a year to complete and was done by the archbishop’s communications team.

The archbishop said that the website was part of the Singapore Church’s efforts to “evangelise more people”.

The website aims to “reach out and engage Catholics, both active and lapsed, as well as non-believers on matters of our faith and how to live out our Christian calling as Catholics in today’s secularised world”.
Parishioners of the Church of Our Lady Queen of Peace meditating before Mass. Parishioners of the Church of Our Lady Queen of Peace meditating before Mass.

If you walk in 15 minutes before Mass at the Church of Our Lady Queen of Peace this Lent, you may notice parishioners sitting still, eyes closed and deep in prayer.

Usually there will be a flurry of activity 10 minutes before any Mass begins with the faithful scurrying into church with animated children on tow. Liturgical ministers will also be busy with last minute preparations.

However, these activites can lead to difficulties in paying attention and staying focused during Mass.

With this in mind, parish priest Fr Joachim Chang approached the Christian Meditation group to introduce silent meditation to help parishioners quieten and calm down before Mass. The pilot project started during Advent 2014.
Children praying the rosary at the Church of Our Lady Star of the Sea. Children praying the rosary at the Church of Our Lady Star of the Sea. Parishes in Singapore held a 24-hour vigil with the theme, “God,  Rich in Mercy”. The vigil was held from March 13, 8pm to March 14, 8pm.

This was in response to Pope Francis’ call to offer 24 hours of Eucharistic adoration and reconciliation during that period. Fr Stephen Yim, chairman of the Senate of Priests in his email to all priests on Feb 10, encouraged all parishes take up the call of the pope.

At least 12 parishes dedicated 24-hours to prayers.

While most parishes held Eucharistic adoration and reconciliation, the Church of St Bernadette held a two-hour Eucharistic adoration from 8-10 pm on March 13 while St Joseph’s Church (Victoria Street) held Eucharistic adoration and guided prayers from 8 pm on March 13 to 4.30 pm on March 14.
Fr Henry Siew breaking bread in a paraliturgy during the Parish Transformation Process retreat.Fr Henry Siew breaking bread in a paraliturgy during the Parish Transformation Process retreat.A programme to help Catholics live out their mission as disciples was launched recently, with parishioners from Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary taking part.

More than 20 members of various parish ministries attended the “Journey” retreat facilitated by the Office for the New Evangelisation (ONE).

The event, held at the St Francis Xavier Major Seminary from March 7-8, was part of the new Parish Transformation Process (PTP) initiated by ONE.

In the PTP, parish and assistant priests work with ONE and other collaborators to nurture disciples who will transform the parish culture into one that is communitarian and also outward-looking.
Celebrants at the Mass to mark the second anniversary of Pope Francis’ election (from left): apostolic nuncio Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli, Archbishop William Goh, Fr Ignatius Yeo, Fr John Nguyen van Dich, Fr Francis Leong and Msgr Francis Lau.Celebrants at the Mass to mark the second anniversary of Pope Francis’ election (from left): apostolic nuncio Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli, Archbishop William Goh, Fr Ignatius Yeo, Fr John Nguyen van Dich, Fr Francis Leong and Msgr Francis Lau.
If you want to win the world over, “it is through the way of mercy and love”, said Archbishop William Goh.

He was speaking at a Mass to mark the second anniversary of the pope’s election at St Joseph’s Church, Victoria St on March 15.

Archbishop Goh noted that Pope Francis is immensely popular not only within the Catholic Church but also among many other Christians, including pastors and bishops.

“They are so interested in what Pope Francis is saying … because he speaks a language of mercy and compassion,” Archbishop Goh said to the crowd at the 10 am Mass.

 “This is a harsh world we are living in,” Archbishop Goh said in his homily. “In this modern world, if you make a mistake, you are condemned ... The world will not give you a second chance. If you commit adultery today, immediately divorce. No forgiveness. This is not the way of the Church ... The way of the Gospel is of mercy.”
Masjid Darul Aman’s youth development officer Ustaz Shahril Nizam  holding a quiz for youths from the Church of the Holy Family.Masjid Darul Aman’s youth development officer Ustaz Shahril Nizam holding a quiz for youths from the Church of the Holy Family.Catholic teenagers, along with their catechists from the Church of the Holy Family, visited a mosque on March 15 to gain a deeper understanding of another religion’s beliefs and customs.

Upon arrival at the Masjid Darul Aman at 1 Jalan Eunos, the 60 15-year-olds who are undergoing Level 9 catechism were greeted by their hosts and mosque executive chairman Mohd Ali Suri.

They were then split into different groups and brought around the mosque by guides from the Nanyang Technology University Muslim Society.

The Catholic youths felt that the information shared by their guides, who were close to them in terms of age, were easily received and understood.
For Catholics who wish to know more about the Church’s overseas humanitarian and disaster relief efforts, there will be a Humanitarian Forum and Fair (HFF2015) on May 30.

The forum will take place from 1 pm-8.30 pm at Catholic Junior College, and is themed: One Mission. Many Borders. Love Multiplied.

The two-yearly event will have a forum featuring eminent local and overseas speakers. They will be sharing insights and experiences on key humanitarian topics.

The speakers include newly appointed global humanitarian director of Caritas Internationalis Suzanna Tkalec and Msgr Enrique (Kike) Figaredo, Apostolic Prefect of Battambang, Cambodia.
At Catholic Education Conference, Archbishop Goh and Jesuit priest exhort educators to point to the source of Catholic values and talk about the stories of their Religious foundersArchbishop William Goh challenged educators to speak of the source of values, Christ, to their students during teachable moments.Archbishop William Goh challenged educators to speak of the source of values, Christ, to their students during teachable moments.

The impassioned homily of Archbishop William Goh rang outthroughout the packed auditorium of St Gabriel Secondary School on March 16 as he encouraged teachers to talk about Catholic values to their students and point to Christ as the source of these values.

“A Catholic school that does not proclaim Christ explicitly at the end of the day, I don’t think is a Catholic school,” Archbishop Goh told some 400 Catholic educators, parents, members of school management committees and Religious Brothers and Sisters attending the Catholic Education Conference organised by the Archdiocesan Commission for Catholic Schools (ACCS).

At the Mass prior to the conference, he said that with the world changing rapidly as a result of technology, science and mass communication, “traditional values that we hold so strongly and steadfastly are being eroded away”.


My dear brothers and sisters in Christ

Alleluia! Christ our Lord is Risen! This is the day that the Lord has made! Let us rejoice and be glad! Indeed, we say, “Paschal triumph, paschal joy, only sin can this destroy!” This is our message to the world that is on the brink of despair and hopelessness.

We are living in a world where each day, life seems to get more and more hopeless. The world is changing so rapidly that traditional values are being put in question. One cannot but be bewildered at the speed of change taking place in society, not just on the economic and technological front but more importantly, on the level of life and culture.

We are living in a world of counter culture where the worship of God is replaced by the new religion of science and technology; humanity is replaced by love of self before others; and individualism and freedom at the expense of the community.
The ceremonial recalling of the foot-washing rite is liturgically related to the whole mystery of Holy Thursday – to the priesthood and the Eucharist. CNS photoThe ceremonial recalling of the foot-washing rite is liturgically related to the whole mystery of Holy Thursday – to the priesthood and the Eucharist. CNS photo
The following article has been released by the Archdiocesan Liturgy Commission

The foot-washing rite, called the Mandatum was re-introduced into the liturgy by Pope Pius XII in 1955.

A circular letter from the Congregation for Divine Worship (CDW) explains its purpose: “The washing of the feet of chosen men which, according to tradition, is performed on this day, represents the service and charity of Christ, who came ‘not to be served, but to serve’ (Matt XX: 28). This tradition should be maintained, and its proper significance explained.” CDW, Paschales Solemnitatis (16 Jan 1988), n. 51.

The rubrics for Holy Thursday in the new Roman Missal (2011) - Mass of the Lord’s Supper §11 states (with emphasis added):
The men who have been chosen are led by the ministers to seats prepared in a suitable place. Then the Priest (removing his chasuble if necessary) goes to each one, and, with the help of the ministers, pours water over each one’s feet and then dries them.
For the last several years, a few local parishes have included women in the foot-washing (Mandatum) rite in the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday.

The rubrics of the 1970 Missal, however, specify that only males may be selected.

While Pope Francis has washed women’s feet on Holy Thursday, the fact that he has not changed the rubrics to authorise women’s participation suggests that he intends the Universal Church to keep the Mandatum all-male.

Foot-washing has always had a double symbolism in the Church: Christ’s institution of the ministerial priesthood, and the more general idea of love and service.
Dear Prime Minister and Mrs Lee,

The Roman Catholic Church in Singapore and I are with you in your pain as you mourn the loss of your beloved father and father-in-law.

Your father was not only a great statesman. He was also a good and upright man who lived passionately his calling in life, which was to be a faithful husband, a dedicated father and a visionary leader.

Singapore owes her nationhood to him. As a nation, we have him to thank for everything we are proud to call “Singapore”. Indeed, we count ourselves truly blessed to have had such a giant of a leader at a time when Singapore counted for nothing in the eyes of the world.