JUNE 12, 2016, Vol 66, No 12

Left: Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Singapore volunteer Thomas Flinchum teaching English to officers at the detention centre housing asylum seekers in Manado, Indonesia. Right: Trainee teachers making flash cards for young children at a lesson taught by JRS Singapore in Myitkyina, Myanmar.Left: Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Singapore volunteer Thomas Flinchum teaching English to officers at the detention centre housing asylum seekers in Manado, Indonesia. Right: Trainee teachers making flash cards for young children at a lesson taught by JRS Singapore in Myitkyina, Myanmar.

Amid a global refugee crisis, volunteers from Singapore have been reaching out to refugee and migrant communities in neighbouring Indonesia and Myanmar.

Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Singapore, like other JRS chapters around the world, has been working on projects that educate and serve refugees and other displaced and marginalised persons.

Assisting in education is one way for JRS Singapore to help build a future for people who may spend years in limbo and unable to work legally.
Foreground from left: Sr Marilyn Lim, Sr Geraldine Tan and Mr Thomas Tan shovelling cement into a cavity on the roof of the soon-to-be-completed St Joseph’s Home in a ‘topping out’ ceremony on May 31.Foreground from left: Sr Marilyn Lim, Sr Geraldine Tan and Mr Thomas Tan shovelling cement into a cavity on the roof of the soon-to-be-completed St Joseph’s Home in a ‘topping out’ ceremony on May 31.

A significant milestone in the redevelopment of St Joseph’s Home was reached during a “topping out” ceremony on May 31.

Board members, staff and construction workers gathered in high spirits for the event held at 921 Jurong Road.

The ceremony saw Canossian Sr Geraldine Tan, St Joseph’s Home administrator; Mr Thomas Tan, Catholic Welfare Services chairperson; and Canossian Sr Marilyn Lim, vice chairperson of the Catholic Welfare Services management committee, shovelling cement into a cavity on the roof of the six-storey home.

The act symbolised the completion of external structural works for the nursing home for the elderly.

“The new home will have 412 beds and up to 190 staff,” Mr Tan told CatholicNews. The rooms will “provide sufficient space” for each resident as there won’t be too many beds in each room, he added.
Dr Bosco Ning, a lecturer in moral theology from Taiwan, speaking at the workshop organised by the Catholic Theological Institute of Singapore.Dr Bosco Ning, a lecturer in moral theology from Taiwan, speaking at the workshop organised by the Catholic Theological Institute of Singapore.
The Chinese Department of the Catholic Theological Institute of Singapore (CTIS) has for the first time organised a Mandarin workshop on the Theology of the Body.

The May 27-29 workshop saw Dr Bosco Ning, a lecturer in moral theology from Taiwan, expounding on the key themes of St John Paul II’s seminal work. The Theology of the Body is a compilation of a series of 129 lectures delivered by the late pope on human sexuality, marriage and family life.

Some 70 participants, including faculty and students of CTIS, other lay Catholics, Religious, and some who are not Catholics, attended the talks by Dr Ning, who is from the Fu Jen Faculty of Theology of St Robert Bellarmine, Taipei.

Dr Ning is also the author of a seminal Chinese-language textbook on Bioethics.
Religious congregations in Singapore are joining hands to raise funds for two of their communities in need of a new home.

They will be selling food and drinks at a carnival on July 31 to raise money for the Daughters of St Paul and Cenacle Sisters. The two congregations have to vacate their current premises at Jurong West Street 42 in 2017.

Visitors to the food and funfair, to be held at the Church of St Ignatius, can enjoy braised pork belly, curry prawn noodles and soon kueh prepared by the Good Shepherd Sisters and nonya bak chang prepared by the Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood Sisters among others.

Other segments of the carnival include an auction, wine and cheese tasting, and games.

Other Religious congregations taking part include the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary Sisters, Carmelite Fathers and Marist Brothers.

“We are very appreciative of the other congregations coming together as a sign of solidarity and despite their own financial needs, to help us for this event,” said Cenacle Sr Francisca Tan.
Priests walking in procession to celebrate the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. Photo: HAI SING PAO Priests walking in procession to celebrate the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. Photo: HAI SING PAO

Pray for China’s clergy to be witnesses for God, and support the Church there through donating religious books and sharing of experience.

These were some suggestions that Fr Henry Siew gave during a Mass to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China on May 24.

Fr Henry, who is spiritual director of the Archdiocesan Commission for Apostolate of Mandarin-speaking (ACAMS), urged the 700-hundred-strong congregation at the Church of the Holy Cross to pray to our Lady of Sheshan for the China Church.

In China, Mary is venerated at the shrine of Sheshan, near Shanghai.
A Caritas Sri Lanka staff member handing out relief items to a flood victim.A Caritas Sri Lanka staff member handing out relief items to a flood victim.
Caritas Humanitarian Aid & Relief Initiatives, Singapore (CHARIS), the overseas humanitarian arm of the Church in Singapore, has pledged an initial $20,000 in grant aid to Caritas Sri Lanka in response to the recent flooding disaster.

The funds will be used to aid ground relief efforts – providing food, clean drinking water, hygiene kits and other necessary support for those affected.

Heavy monsoon rains have devastated several parts of Sri Lanka since May 16. The death toll from the floods and landslides has risen to more than 100 with many still missing. According to the government’s initial assessments, at least 4,000 houses are reported to be damaged and more than 319,000 people have been displaced from their homes with immediate need for secure shelter, food and water.
Dr Tony Tan meeting with Pope Francis on May 28 in Rome. According to media reports, the pontiff accepted an invitation from Dr Tan to visit Singapore.  Photos: Courtesy of the ISTANA and the MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION (MCI). Dr Tony Tan meeting with Pope Francis on May 28 in Rome. According to media reports, the pontiff accepted an invitation from Dr Tan to visit Singapore. Photos: Courtesy of the ISTANA and the MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION (MCI).

President Tony Tan met Pope Francis in Rome on May 28 during his eight-day state visit to Italy and the Holy See.

A statement issued by the Holy See Press Office said the meeting was “cordial” and the parties spoke about “the good relations between the Holy See and Singapore, as well as the collaboration between Church and State, especially in the educational and social fields,” according to Vatican Radio.

The statement said they also spoke about the “importance of interreligious and intercultural dialogue for the promotion of human rights, stability, justice and peace in Southeast Asia.”
Married couples, priests honoured during their vocation anniversaries

Left: Couples embracing one another after their renewal of marriage vows. Right: Nancy and Thomas Lim celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary.Left: Couples embracing one another after their renewal of marriage vows. Right: Nancy and Thomas Lim celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary.

Seventy married couples and four priests celebrated their milestone anniversaries on May 21.

The event, themed LOVE MATTERS, was for the first time, jointly organised by the Archdiocesan Commission for The Family (ACF) and its Family Partners, in conjunction with Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME) Singapore’s anniversary celebrations.

The celebration took place at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament.

Fr Terence Pereira opened the event with a talk titled Lovin’ Notion, Love in Motion. He spoke about the call to serve as an expression of love.