FEBRUARY 1, 2009, Vol 59, No 3

Palestinians mourn during the funeral for their relatives killed during an Israeli offensive in Beit Lahiya, Gaza Strip, on Jan 15. Archbishop Nicholas Chia said that the Church is in solidarity with the people in Gaza, who are suffering fear, death and deprivation. The Church also understands the desire of the Israelis to live without threats from rockets, he said. Both communities have a right to live with dignity and in peace, he added. CNS photo

SINGAPORE – The deaf community from Johor and Singapore attended a two-day annual retreat themed "Jesus the bread of Life" at St. Francis Xavier Major Seminary on Dec 7-8.

It was conducted by Brother Lionel Thomas, a seminarian from the Malacca-Johor diocese.

Participants were given a deeper insight and understanding of the Eucharist. Other activities included Praise and Worship during which members jumped and clapped as they let their "fingers do the talking"; Holy Hour when they knelt in adoration and prayed in Sign Language; a forum; and meditation based on biblical verses.

MANILA – A replica of a Black Nazarene is placed outside a church in Manila, Philippines, before being paraded in the capital on Jan 7.

Some 80,000 pilgrims turned out for the annual celebration escorting the statue of Jesus through the streets.

SINGAPORE – The prayer room at St. Joseph Church (Bukit Timah) was burglarised on Monday Jan 5 and the monstrance containing the Blessed Sacrament, stolen.

The break-in was discovered at about 6.00am that morning by the caretakers of the church. The caretakers, a husband and wife team, then informed parish priest Father Edmund Chong.

The glass case in which the monstrance holding the Blessed Sacrament was kept, was smashed. The monstrance and Blessed Sacrament were missing.

The prayer room, called The Upper Room, is located in a separate wing from the main church. It is locked daily from 10.00pm to 6.00am.

SINGAPORE – Some 600 adoptees, mainly elderly, from various communities were treated to a Chinese New Year nine-course lunch at Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Upper Serangoon Road, on Monday Jan 19.

Guests were seated by 10.00am. But for the organisers, Matthew 25 and Willing Hearts, the day began at 6.30am as their volunteers prepared the food and activities.

(From left) Joseph Lim, Johnathan Lee, Christopher Thong, Reginald Ng and Daniel Lim, boys who work hard to excel both academically and spiritually.There is no contradiction between living the Catholic faith and doing well academically, as Joyce Gan finds out when she spoke to some of the top students at Catholic High School

CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL scored high in the GCE-O level examinations last year. The school produced 12 of the top 43 students in Singapore, and all 12 scored nine A1s.

These students made Catholic High the school with the most top-scoring Chinese students, according to a Jan 13 report in The Straits Times.

SINGAPORE – Staff and students of Nanyang Polytechnic gathered for Mass on campus on Jan 13 to mark the start of the school semester. It was organised by the polytechnic’s Legion of Mary.

A LITTLE OVER eight years ago, my niece heard these words from a woman, "I will not bring this child into the world." The woman was not an expectant mother, she was my niece’s obstetrician/gynaecologist. At five months into her pregnancy, an ultrasound revealed my niece’s child had no apparent brain matter. A subsequent ultrasound revealed that her son had an encephelocele and that the build up of spinal fluid had squished his brain to the top of his head making the brain itself undetectable on a regular ultrasound. Many experts advised termination of the pregnancy.

LAWRENCE, Kan. – “I was aborted and did not die.” That statement might sound like a headline from a supermarket tabloid.

But in the case of Gianna Jessen, 28, of Nashville, Tenn., it’s true.
Ms Jessen told 500 students at the University of Kansas that her mother was seven-and-a-half-months pregnant when she went to a Los Angeles clinic for an abortion in 1977. But the saline solution injected into her mother’s womb to abort the foetus somehow failed to accomplish its deadly task.

BY THE 28-kilometre mark, Father Michal Gitner was suffering from cramps in both legs, but he endured the pain, bit his lips and kept going. Stride-by-stride, in a never ending series of left-right, left-right, he ran, on and on, toward the 42-kilometre finish line.
Father Michal had run marathons before, but those were during his younger days. Now, going on 49 in a few weeks, it was quite different. But run he must; it’s an obligation he could not fail to keep.


CHINESE NEW YEAR was always a rather boring time for me, except the part where I received ang pows (red packets containing gifts of money that the older generation gives to the younger generation). But oh what we all had to go through to "earn" them! To have had to endure hours of visiting relatives, of smiling for them despite my sleepiness (travelling in a car always makes me sleepy) and to have had to answer the same questions that I was asked every year. However, what got my goat most often was having to re-memorise the names of my relatives.