DECEMBER 23, 2018, Vol 68, No 26

Catholic News features ABLE in this series on Catholic social service organisations.

isaac wheel chair
Isaac Kalaiselvan during a rehabilitation session at the ABLE Rehabilitation Centre.

Jared Ng

Isaac Kalaiselvan was a happy family man. He worked in a shipping company and like everyone else he was looking forward to the future.

Then came one day in November 2006, he was struck with multiple health issues. First, he suffered a heart attack then he had to go through a series of subsequents surgeries including a heart transplant and the amputation of his left leg due to an infection. Isaac also needed treatment for renal failure and memory loss.
Jared Ng

As World Youth Day (WYD) Panama approaches in January, many young people are eagerly waiting to discover for themselves the characteristic values of youth and the richness of the Catholic faith.

Furthermore, what is unique to this worldwide gathering of young people every three years is the exchange of cultures.
This is what one Singaporean will be hoping to experience when she travels to Panama.

“I want to experience the universality of the Church,” said Sharon Leong. “I have no expectations ... I will leave it to Him to surprise me,” she said.

Sharon, along with 12 other people from Novena Church, will be travelling as a contingent from Jan 19-29 led by Redemptorist Father Francis Vijayan. The official WYD events are scheduled to take place from Jan 22-27.
Participants of the 2nd Asian Deaf Catholic Conference in the Philippines.

Singapore will host the 3rd Asian Deaf Catholic Conference (ADCC) in May 2020.

The Singapore community hopes to inspire many deaf Catholics in Asia to “grow their Catholic faith despite challenges”, said Mr Nathanael Thomas Oswald, President of the Singapore Catholic Deaf Community (SCDC). They expect some 1,000 deaf Catholics to attend from across Asia.
Father Jovita Ho

“Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen, and to stand with confidence before the Son of Man.”

I am going back home to Singapore for Christmas, and though my departure date is approaching, my ticket was purchased in end-February and my luggage all packed and readied a few weeks ago. Why am I doing all these? Because I long to see the faces of my family, friends and loved ones, and I long to celebrate Jesus with them.

Advent marks the beginning of a new liturgical year and it speaks of three main themes; watchful waiting, preparation, and justice.
Kenson koh talk

Pray for the grace to those who are tested positive for HIV/AIDS and help them regain their dignity and give them hope to continue to live fulfilling lives. This call was made by Father Kenson Koh, Spiritual Director of the Catholic AIDS Response Effort (CARE).

Show them love instead of discrimination so that they may truly experience the love of God. He spoke about the many who have tested positive for HIV/AIDS and are afraid to reveal their identities for fear of condemnation and ostracism by the community.

Fr Kenson was addressing the faithful who attended the annual World AIDS Day Mass on Dec 2 at the Novena Church. It was attended by some 1,500 people including staff, volunteers and residents from the CARE shelter.
The Ask Me Anything series on interfaith discourse is supported by the Ministry
of Culture, Community and Youth

priest panellists-cropped

Christopher Khoo

From divorce between married Catholic couples, to gays and if they could still go to heaven, to infant baptisms and why we do not practise contraception – these were a few of the burning questions put to a panel of Catholic priests in a special community-led forum on religion.

Archdiocesan Chancellor Father John-Paul Tan, moral theologian Fr David Garcia and Fr Ignatius Yeo, Professor of Sacraments and Sacred Liturgy at the Catholic Theological Institute of Singapore, fielded questions on Catholicism at the Ask Me Anything series of discussions, held at The Arts House on Dec 8.

Ask Me Anything is a community-led series on interfaith discourse in Singapore, supported by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.
Blue Fish Bauble
Blue Fish Bauble: In this painting, a fish symbol can be seen in a bauble. Nancy said that the Bible has many significant references to fish. Jesus commissioned His 12 disciples saying, ‘I will make you fishers of men’.

True beauty cannot be possible without some form of imperfection. Too often today, many people get caught up in their physical appearances that they forget how beautiful they really are, made in the image of God. No amount of perceived flaws can take away that beauty.

For Nancy Loh, a former journalist turned freelance painter-writer, in life – as in painting – the idea of imperfection can mean different things to different people. “To me, in many senses, imperfection is perfectly okay. It can even be intensely moving and beautiful,” she said.

Nancy took up oil-painting seriously in her 50s as she was drawn to the beauty she saw around her. “I’m passionate about translating such scenes onto canvas.”
What is it like to be “homeless”? Countless of people are “homeless” this Christmas. The Advent season of Peace, Hope, Joy and Love now explodes into the Light that offers the gift of “Salvation” to all peoples at Christmas. Yet, people continue to live in the darkness of their pain and suffering.

The “homeless” are those who live in the streets. They are those who swallow their pride and dignity as the voiceless and faceless members of society who are so often shunned, disregarded and accused of lying whenever they seek some support.

How many of us are guilty of consciously or unconsciously inflicting such pain on these “homeless”? Some questions we Christians, could reflect on, especially during the Christmas season might be: What if the tables were turned and we suddenly find ourselves destitute and homeless on the streets? How would this piercing rejection and ridicule feel like for us?
catholic choir protestant choir
The Catholic choir of St Elisabeth (left) and the German Gospel Choir (right) performing at the Church of St Teresa.

Bernadette Lee

A hush fell over the crowd as young and old listened to “Silent Night” sung in Singapore’s four official languages.
The 120-strong crowd was listening to German-speaking Catholics and Protestants celebrating the popular carol’s 200th anniversary at the Church of St Teresa on Dec 2, the start of the Advent season.

“Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht! – 200 years of a Christmas carol on world tour” was an initiative by the Austrian Embassy, and co-organised by both the Protestant and Catholic German-speaking congregations in Singapore and the German Embassy.
Efforts of teachers, classmates live up to motto to help others in need

Joanna Chong with her parents and form teachers Ms Regina Julian and Ms Melina Chua (far right).

Christopher Khoo

Her cheerful demeanour and shy smiles belie the painful physical challenges she has had to endure over the past few years.

Thirteen-year-old Joanna Chong was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour when she was in Primary 3. She underwent an operation to remove the tumour in Singapore, went to South Korea for a special form of radiotherapy, and returned to Singapore for chemotherapy.

Often the treatments left her weak and unsteady in gait.

Yet through it all, she was determined to continue her studies at CHIJ Our Lady Queen of Peace with the help of her teachers and classmates.
Christmas Mass schedule


Under renovation/restoration

Dec 24 : 6pm & 11.30pm
Dec 25 : 8.30am, 10.30am & 5.30pm

Dec 24 : 9pm (M) & Midnight Mass
Dec 25 : 8.30am (M) & 11am

Dec 24 : 9pm & 11.30pm (T)
Dec 25 : 7.30am, 9.15am (T), 11.30am & 1pm

Dec 24 : Midnight Mass
Dec 25 : 9am, 10.30am, noon & 5.30pm
02 cn26 2018

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Fr William Lim (1952-2018).

Fr William Lim, a diocesan priest of the Archdiocese of Singapore, passed away on Saturday, 8 December 2018. He was 66.

Fr William Lim was born on 18 March 1952. He was ordained a priest on 20 May 1990. Fr William served as an assistant parish priest in the Church of the Holy Cross from 1991 to 1994, in the Church of St Francis Xavier from 1995 to 2003 and in the Church of Our Lady Queen of Peace from 2003 to 2009. In 2009, he was made Parish Priest of the Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He was also the spiritual director of the Archdiocesan Divine Mercy Apostolate.
Fr Ignatius Huan Internet
Fr Ignatius Huan (1941-2018)

Father Ignatius Huan Kin Kwang, a diocesan priest of the Diocese of Malacca-Johor passed away this morning, 3 December 2018, on the Feast of St Francis Xavier. He was 77.

Fr Ignatius had been instrumental in the formation of seminarians in Malaysia and Singapore as the Spiritual Director of College General, Penang, and St Francis Xavier Major Seminary (SFXMS) in Singapore. He served in Singapore until December 2010, after which he returned to serve in the Diocese of Malacca-Johor.
CROPPED-LATE Father Gerard Keane 2nd
Fr Gerard Keane, SJ (1926-2018)

Fr Gerard Keane, SJ, of the Society of Jesus passed away yesterday on 27 November 2018 at Assisi Hospice, Singapore. He was 92. Fr Keane was the last of the Irish Jesuits who served in the Region of Malaysia-Singapore.

He was born in Limerick, Ireland on 2 November 1926. Fr Keane once observed about his calling: “I thought that if what Christ is all about is true, then it [the priesthood] is the only thing worth doing.” He joined the Jesuits in Ireland at 17 years old, and took his first vows in 1946. In 1952, Fr Keane was sent to Hong Kong where he learned Cantonese and did his regency teaching in Wah Yan College, Kowloon. He returned to Ireland for his theological studies in 1955 and was ordained a priest on 31 July 1958.