SEPTEMBER 4, 2016, Vol 66, No 18

Jared Ng looks at the unique characteristics of the parish, among them an art ministry

St Anne’s Church is located in Sengkang, next to St Joseph’s

St Anne’s Church is home to an art ministry that decorates the church for certain festive occasions.

Located in Sengkang, the church also houses St Anne’s Kindergarten and is located next to St Joseph’s Convent.

Mother Teresa visited the parish when she came to Singapore in 1987 to set up the Missionaries of Charities’ Gift of Love Home.
NFP: Just another form of contraception?

Contrary to popular belief, Natural Family Planning (NFP) is not “Catholic Contraception” like it is commonly misconstrued. It isn’t the outdated “calendar rhythm method” either, where a woman estimates when her fertile period is, based on information gleaned from her previous six cycles. This method is quite unreliable indeed. So what exactly is NFP and what’s all the fuss about?

Natural Family Planning or NFP is an umbrella term for scientific, natural and moral methods of family planning that can help couples either achieve or postpone pregnancies by observing the fertility signals of a woman’s body to determine the most likely days of conception in the month. Some methods of NFP include the Sympto-Thermal Method, the Creighton Model System of FertilityCare (CrMS), and the Billings Ovulation Method (BOM).
Reflections from the Office for Young People, which led a group to WYD accompanied by Archbishop Goh and local priests

Praying the Divine Office in the field with Archbishop William Goh (right).

The Office for Young People (OYP) contingent for World Youth Day (WYD) was the official contingent of the Singapore archdiocese led by OYP chaplains Fr Jude David and Brian D’Souza. Accompanying the contingent were Archbishop William Goh and Fr Jovita Ho. 

The pilgrimage in Poland lasted from July 19-Aug 2. There were three main stages: the OYP-led Day of Recollection, the Youth Arise International (YAI) festival (which was a mini WYD if you like) and WYD itself.

There were many beautiful moments as well as challenges that the 170-strong group experienced during their pilgrimage:

July 20

  • Day of Recollection at Czestochowa. Visit to Jasna Gora Monastery
After arriving in Warsaw on July 19, we spent the next day travelling to and in Czestochowa, famous for the Shrine of the Black Madonna. 
Buddhist, Catholic, Hindu, Muslim and Taoist representatives offer perspectives from their own traditions

Ms Vasandy S. N., Master Chung Kwang Tong, Phra Goh Chun Kiang, Ustaz Goh Muhammad Redhuan and Msgr
Philip Heng.

Five representatives from the Hindu, Muslim, Taoist, Buddhist and Catholic communities came together recently to share about the topic of “birth”.

The event was organised by the Archdiocesan Catholic Council for Interreligious Dialogue (ACCIRD) on Aug 5 at CANA.

The 52 people who attended included ACCIRD members, Catholics from various parishes and archdiocesan organisations, guests from other Christian communities as well Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and Taoist friends.

It was intended to be a simple but rich evening of learning and exchange to promote greater interreligious understanding, respect and harmony.

Franciscan Friar John-Paul Tan leading the prayer and blessing of the clinic on Aug 20.

Mount Alvernia Hospital (MAH), has officially opened its second outreach medical clinic – Mount Alvernia Outreach Medical Clinic (MAOMC) at Agape Village.

Mr Chee Hong Tat, Minister of State for Health and Communications and Information, was the guest-of-honour at the official opening on Aug 20.

He was joined by Sr Jane Bertelsen, congregation leader of the Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood (FMDM) and Mr Phillip Tan, chairman of Mount Alvernia Hospital.
Fr Joachim Chang talks about the financial challenges

Fr Joachim Chang, parish priest of the upcoming Church of the Transfiguration, seen here with religious statues and artefacts to be housed in the new church.

A magnificently adorned tabernacle stands at one spot, life-size statues of Our Lady line a wall, while gleaming procession lanterns adorn one end of a corridor.

These are some of the religious items that can be found all around the temporary living quarters of Fr Joachim Chang in Punggol, near the former site of the St Francis Xavier Major Seminary.

These items and many more are waiting to find their home in the new Church of the Transfiguration (COTT), expected to hold its first Mass on Maundy Thursday next year, April 13.

Students of Canossa and Canossian Sisters performing a song item during the event held on Aug 23.

There were smiles all around as the five sectors under the Canossian Eduplex had a joint celebration of their anniversaries on Aug 23.

Canossa Convent, Canossa Convent Primary School (CCPS) and Canossaville Children’s Home celebrated their 75th anniversaries. Canossian School, which provides education for children who are hearing impaired, celebrated its 60th anniversary while Magdalene’s Kindergarten celebrated its 42nd anniversary.

Sr Agnes Kong passed away on Aug 4.

Born on July 3, 1936, Sr Agnes Kong grew up in a loving home. She was educated at the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus, Victoria St. As a young girl she loved the Novena and became an active member of the Novena Church choir directed by Fr Gerald Joyce, CSsR.

After completing secondary school, she joined TB Nursing training at Mandalay Road Hospital, Singapore, in 1956 which was run by the Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood (FMDM) Sisters, the first English and Irish missionaries.

Here she felt the calling to Religious life and entered the FMDM Congregation in 1958. Her Novitiate was at Ladywell Convent in the UK.

Sr Deirdre O’Loan passed away on Aug 13.

Sr Deirdre O’Loan was a much loved and inspiring principal who was always concerned about the welfare of the students and staff of Catholic Junior College.

Her students in her home tutorial group, A5 of 1975/76, treasure her as a great teacher who loved her students and inspired them to excel, and they continued to meet her regularly throughout the years.

Mr Augustine Tan, chairman of the Archdiocesan Land and Properties Singapore, said, “She helped mould me into what I am today. She inspired me to love English literature and her greatest asset is to help you believe in yourself and your abilities. Her spirit of being truly caring for others will forever stay with us.”

SJI students posing for a photo with Fr Stephen Yim, parish priest of the Church of the Sacred Heart. The students made pilgrimages to all five Holy Doors in the archdiocese as part of a programme to deepen their understanding of mercy.

St Joseph’s Institution (SJI) students took part in various projects throughout 2016 to reach out to the marginalised in society and also deepen their understanding of mercy.

On Aug 6, Sec 2 Catholic boys set out on a pilgrimage of the five Holy Doors in the archdiocese. The activity was part of the school’s Religious, Moral and Social Education (RMSE) programme to coincide with the Year of Mercy.

Accompanying them on the pilgrimage were school chaplain Friar Michael D’Cruz and seven other Franciscans in formation.

The first stop was the Church of Divine Mercy where the friars conducted a paraliturgy based on the Parable of the Prodigal Son.
Darío Grandinetti plays Pope Francis in the movie, Francisco – El Padre Jorge, to be screened at the CANA Film Festival.

For a week in September, film buffs will be able to watch a myriad of feature and short films gleaned locally and worldwide at the second edition of the CANA Film Festival (CFF).

This year, the festival boasts 23 films, post-screening panel discussions, film master classes, live performances, an art exhibition by local artists, and a bazaar and food market run by social enterprises. 

The biennial festival, to be held from Sept 7-13, aims to bring noteworthy independent films that espouse the universality of Catholic social teachings through depictions of good versus evil, friendship, hope and disappointment, life, love and loss. 

The Social Mission Conference discussed ways Catholics can reach out to the poor

Mr Laurence Lien (far left), the conference moderator, with panellists at the Aug 13 Social Mission Conference: (from left) Assoc Prof Teo You Yenn, Mr Zainal Bin Sapari, Dr Christopher Cheok and Mr Jonathan Chang.

Assisting low-wage workers, helping single parents find work-life harmony and supporting caregivers. These were some of the topics discussed during the Aug 13 Social Mission Conference organised by Caritas Singapore.

The biennial event, which began in 2008, aimed to deepen Catholics’ understanding of the Church’s social mission in reaching out to the marginalised.
Taking time off his busy schedule on Aug 13, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle spoke with CatholicNews on a number of topics regarding the Church.

Asked about his main concerns for the Church in Asia, the Archbishop of Manila said he was worried about the increasing gap between the rich and poor, the degradation of the environment and the growing number of young people leaving the Church.

“While the world continues to reinvent itself, growing wealthier and wealthier, the poor are being left behind. It makes me sad because the goods of the world are meant to be shared by all, not a few,” said Cardinal Tagle.

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle said he was worried about the number of young people leaving the Church.

On how the Church can help: “We will continue to teach and journey with the marginalised.”

Cardinal Tagle with young adults performing an action song at the Young Adults Mission of Mercy Event.

Young people who attended the Young Adults Mission of Mercy Event organised by Caritas Singapore Young Adults Committee said they felt empowered to be instruments of God’s mercy to others.

“I feel empowered and enriched,” said Ms Samantha Chang, 26. “The sharings of Cardinal Tagle, especially his experiences with the refugees has really made me reflect on the part I can play.”

Ms Alesia Gian, 24, said she had a clearer idea of how to use her gifts to help others, especially the poor and suffering.

About 180 people attended the event, held on Aug 14 at Agape Village. It was an extension of the Social Mission Conference 2016 held the previous day.

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle was the main speaker at the event for young adults aged between 18 and 35.