SEPTEMBER 17, 2017, Vol 67, No 19

Catechesis for a catechist

The Gift of My Church (#TGOMC) is a series featuring how Catholics from all walks of life have been touched by God through their service or participation in the life of the Archdiocese of Singapore. In this issue, newly minted catechist, Alexander Ee, shares with writer Magdalene Lee how God has led him to this ministry and continued to transform him through it.

Fr Erbin Fernandez welcomes new catechists from across the archdiocese to the Basic Catechist Certification course offered by OFC. Photo: OFC.

Alexander Ee started teaching catechism to secondary school students at the Church of St Ignatius in January this year.

Whilst relatively new in his tenure in the catechetical ministry, the decision to serve as a catechist was in fact the culmination of a two-year long journey since he experienced a personal encounter with God.

Despite being a “cradle Catholic” and attending Catholic schools such as St Stephen’s School and St Patrick’s School, the newly minted catechist was in fact someone who was uninterested in the faith during his formative years.

Cutting the cake to mark the 20th anniversary of the Cenacle Sisters in Singapore. From left: Ms Janet Ang, Sr Francisca Tan, Archbishop William Goh, Sr Linda Lizada, Sr Mel Benedictos, Sr Susay Valdez and
Fr Valerian Cheong.

By Clare Isabel Ee

More than 800 people celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Cenacle Sisters in Singapore at a gala dinner on Aug 26.

Archbishop William Goh and many who had benefitted from the Sisters’ work over the years attended the dinner which commemorated the Cenacle mission in Singapore.

“The work that we do – spiritual direction, spiritual accompaniment, retreats – are ones that are very quiet in our world today, where there’re so many goings-on,” said Sr Francisca Tan, the first Singaporean Cenacle Sister.

The ‘My Soul Proclaims’ event saw priests perform a variety of songs. From left: Fr Eugene Lee, Fr Edward Lim and Friar Derrick Yap. Photos: CASSANDRA GOH

Four priests, a seminarian and one Religious filled the Church of the Holy Family with laughter and cheer as they entertained with songs, heartwarming stories and dance.

Titled My Soul Proclaims, the Sept 4 event saw Carmelite Fr Edward Lim, Franciscan friar Derrick Yap, Redemptorist Fr Eugene Lee and Fr Valerian Cheong perform a wide range of songs.

Proceeds from the event went to the fundraising efforts of the Cenacle Sisters.

Mr Gerard Lee at a Catholic Business Network talk.

Avoid exaggerations and lies, which are common practices in the working world. Accept and take responsibility for one’s mistakes and give credit where credit is due.

This was some advice given by Mr Gerard Lee, a parishioner of the Church of the Holy Cross and CEO of Lion Global Investocrs, at a talk organised by the Catholic Business Network (CBN).

Mr Lee, who had previously worked for both the GIC and Temasek Holdings, was speaking at one of CBN’s My Journey Series of talks in which business leaders share their experiences of being “shepherds in the marketplace”.

Participants in a praise-and-worship session during the Aug 16-20 course.

The Institute for World Evangelisation (ICPE Mission Singapore) ran a pastoral care course titled Empowering the Wounded Healer.

Fifty-nine participants from Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia attended the Aug 16-20 course held at the former St Francis Xavier Major Seminary in Punggol.

Most of the participants were ministry leaders in their parish communities while others were ICPE members.

An art-making session during the programme.

By Karen Tan S. E.

A hundred and ten educators, including teachers, principals and school board members, learnt what it meant to be a “courageous” Christian educator at a recent faith formation programme.

The Aug 25 and 26 programme, held at Catholic Junior College, was organised by the Archdiocesan Commission for Catholic Schools (ACCS) and Australia’s Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) Office.

Senior staff from BCE Office presented the programme to the 70 local teachers who attended the Aug 25 session, and the 40 principals, vice-principals and school board members who attended the Aug 26 one.

Participants sharing during the programme at the Church of St Bernadette.

The Family Life team of the Church of St Bernadette collaborated with World Wide Marriage Encounter (WWME) Singapore to bring one of the latter’s enrichment programmes to the parish.

This series of four talks titled More Evenings for Parents – Positive Parenting covered topics such as parents’ expectations, parents’ image, criticism and discipline.

They were held on July 14, 21, 28 and Aug 4.

Participants pose for a photo with a colourful floral arrangement called Athappookkalam.

It was a joyous and colourful celebration of a traditional harvest festival for some 300
mostly Malayalee Catholics recently.

Organised by the Archdiocesan Commission for Malayalam Apostolate, the Onam celebration was held at the Catholic Archdiocesan Education Centre on Sept 1.

Onam marks the summer harvest and is a major annual event for Malayalee Indians in and outside Kerala, southern

Catholics from Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore at the Exodus conference held from Aug 31-Sept 3. Photo: VITA Images

Catholics from Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore learnt more about the issues and challenges involved in serving migrants during a four-day conference titled Exodus.

The Aug 31-Sept 3 event was organised by the Episcopal Commission on the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerants (ECMI) and Singapore’s Archdiocesan Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People (ACMI).

The conference had the theme, Jesus, Gift to the Vulnerable and Voiceless, and was held at the St Francis Xavier Retreat Centre in Punggol, and Agape Village.

St Joseph’s Home residents using the custom-made merry-go-round with children.

By Jared Ng

An intergenerational playground and infant and childcare centre were launched at St Joseph’s Home on Aug 28.

The aim of the playground and centre, located within the vicinity of the eldercare facility, is to encourage interaction between children and the elderly and promote a sense of inclusiveness.

“Having an infant and childcare centre within the home reminds us of the purpose of life and the importance of play and simplicity – two things that are often forgotten in the frenzy of our day-to-day,” said Canossian Sr Geraldine Tan, executive director of St Joseph’s Home.

Children re-enacting the Fatima apparition on Aug 19.

A re-enactment of the apparition of Our Lady at Fatima took place during Holy Hour for children on Aug 19 at St Joseph Church (Bukit Timah).

Visiting priest Fr Lionel Thomas from St Peter’s Church, Melaka, who conducted the Holy Hour, explained to the children the significance of the apparition and the messages from Mary to the three shepherd children.

He emphasised the importance of reverence towards the Eucharist and the “sacred joy” attained through daily recitation of the rosary.
New Wine Conference builds upon a similar conference held last year

Participants learn about managing tensions at the conference organised by the Office for the New Evangelisation.

Priests, Religious, parish pastoral council members and ministry leaders were among the more than 150 people who attended the New Wine Conference held at St Joseph’s Institution Junior on Aug 26.

The event aimed to build on a similar conference held last year, which had the theme of “Communion”.

Organised by the Office for the New Evangelisation (ONE), this year’s conference had the theme of “Communion around the Word” and was centred on Sacred Scripture.
Friends, former Boys’ Town residents and many others bade him farewell at his funeral

Students from Gabrielite schools salute as the hearse containing Br Emmanuel’s coffin leaves the church.

By Jared Ng

“I love them all. I will pray for all of you.”

These were some of Gabrielite Br Emmanuel’s last words for his loved ones, former students and all who knew him according to Br John Albert, who was at his bedside during his final moments.

“He was a man who always wanted to make a difference,” said Br John, provincial of the Gabrielite Brothers in Singapore, who delivered a eulogy at Br Emmanuel’s funeral Mass on Sept 4 at St Joseph Church (Bukit Timah).

About 1,000 people attended the solemn occasion including students from the various schools under the Gabrielite Brothers in Singapore.

1. Ms Melissa Lim has been appointed to the Board of ABLE SEAS for a term of two [2] years with effect from 10 July 2017.

2. The following have been appointed to the Archdiocesan Commission for Tamil Speaking (ACTS) for a term of two [2] years with effect from 1 August 2017 with Archbishop William Goh DD as the President:
a. Fr Antony Maria Joseph: Spiritual Director
b. J Rogers Kolandasamy: Chairman (Church of Risen Christ)
c. Peter: Vice Chair (Church of St Anne)
d. Sangeetha DonBosco: Secretary (Church of Christ the King)
e. Benjamin: Treasurer (Church of OLSS)
f. Karmel Alexis: Member (Church of Blessed Sacrament)
g. Thiviya Nathan: Member (Church of Blessed Sacrament)
h. Thomas Marian Anthony: Member (Church of St Francis of Assisi)

It is believed that a medium from the Philippines has recently visited Catholics in Singapore with the intent of exercising her practice. She is said to diagnose and cure the sick of their illnesses when she is in a state of integration with the "Santo Nino". The name Santo Nino – "Holy Child", refers to the Infant Jesus as He is popularly known in Spanish-speaking countries and the Philippines.

The practice of inviting the "Santo Nino" or any spiritual entity, including those believed to be Catholic religious figures such as saints or members of the Holy Trinity, to take control of a person's body, is not consistent with Catholic teaching. This refers to a situation in which the spiritual entity assumes control of a person who has accepted them, often in order for this person or the entity to exercise power over another person.