A participant speaking at the Social Mission Conference in 2014. The next conference will be in August and will have the theme, ‘Witness to Mercy. Bearer of Compassion’.A participant speaking at the Social Mission Conference in 2014. The next conference will be in August and will have the theme, ‘Witness to Mercy. Bearer of Compassion’.

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila will be the keynote speaker at the Social Mission Conference to be held on Aug 13.

Cardinal Tagle, president of Caritas Internationalis, will speak on the Church’s teachings on mercy and help participants better understand how to reach out to those in need, says Caritas Singapore, which organises the conference every two years.

The upcoming event, which will have the theme, “Witness to Mercy. Bearer of Compassion”, will be held at the Catholic Junior College Performing Arts Centre.

According to Caritas Singapore, the conferences, which started in 2008, aim to help participants better understand the Church’s teachings on social mission and inspire them to put their faith in action by journeying with the poor and vulnerable in society. Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila is keynote speaker. Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila is keynote speaker.

Other speakers at the upcoming conference include NTUC assistant secretary-general Zainal Bin Sapari; Assoc Prof Teo You Yenn, Division of Sociology, Nanyang Technological University; Mr Jonathan Chang, director of Lien Centre for Social Innovation, Singapore Management University; and Dr Christopher Cheok, board member of Clarity Singapore and vice chairman, Medical Board Institute of Mental Health, Singapore.

They will share with participants the needs and challenges faced by the poor and vulnerable in Singapore during the morning segment.

In the afternoon, participants can choose to attend any of six groups, or breakout tracks, discussing the topics of care-givers, single-parent families, the elderly, the physically disabled, low-wage workers and people with mental health issues.

Caritas Singapore is also for the first time launching a series of 22 exposure programmes in a runup to the conference.

These include a meeting with patients at Assisi Hospice, and workshops on child abuse and AIDS.

In addition to the conference, Cardinal Tagle will also meet up with young adults, between the ages of 18 to 35, for the Young Adults Mission of Mercy Event to be held the next day, Aug 14.

During this half day of reflection and discernment event, he will help participants probe more deeply into God’s mercy in their lives and be more responsive to those in need in society.

For more information on the conference, including costs, and to register, visit www.caritas-singapore.org

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