Archbishop Nicholas Chia has extended the deadline for returning the reply form on columbaria use to March 31.
Notice to users of parish columbaria: As it is believed that some parishioners may not have received the Standard Letter which should have been sent out by ALL the Catholic Parish Columbaria, for the convenience of parishioners, CatholicNews has reproduced a copy of the said letter below.
Also, for the convenience of parishioners, the Archbishop has agreed to extend the deadline for returning the Reply Form to 31 March 2012.
The new Terms and Conditions Governing the Use of All Parish Columbaria in the Archdiocese of Singapore are available at http://www.catholic.org.sg/columbaria_terms.pdf or you may obtain a copy of the same from any parish that has a columbarium.
Copies of the Reply Form will be available from all Catholic churches from 19 February 2012.
If for any reasons you wish to terminate your use of the Columbarium, you should indicate this in the Reply Form and return the same to your Columbarium by 31 March 2012, failing which you shall be deemed to have agreed to the new Terms and Conditions and the contents of the Standard Letter.
If you have any queries, please call your Columbarium or the following Hotline, tel: 66562428 Mondays to Fridays: 9am to 1pm except public holidays. The Hotline will run until 23 March 2012.
The Archdiocese would like to thank all parish priests, administrators and you, the parishioners, for your kind understanding and assistance in this regard.
Letter sent to users of parish columbariaFrom : Catholic Parish Columbarium
To : Users of Catholic Parish Columbaria
1. Thank you for having entered into an agreement to inter the remains of your loved ones at our Columbarium. We are glad to be able to provide this service and will continue to do so, to the best of our abilities.
2. As all the land on which the Catholic Parish Columbaria are located actually belong to The Titular Roman Catholic Archbishop of Singapore (“TRCAS”), TRCAS has recently conducted a review of the rules governing the use of all the Catholic Parish Columbaria to determine how it can best serve the Catholic community in Singapore in respect of this need.
3. Following this review a number of concerns were raised, the more pressing ones being:
(a) the increased demand for Niches to be used by Catholics versus the scarcity of land in Singapore;
(b) the fact that most of the Columbaria are on freehold land, while some are on land with a shorter term lease;
(c) the need to have a consistent policy in respect of the contracts applicable to the various Columbaria in different Churches; and
(d) the eventual need and ability to upgrade, renovate, refurbish or even rebuild Columbaria that have become old.
4. To ensure best practices and consistencies amongst all the Catholic Parish Columbaria in Singapore, after consultation with the Senate of Priests and each of the Churches having a Columbarium, TRCAS has decided to adopt a set of Terms and Conditions Governing the Use of Columbarium, which Terms and Conditions will be applicable to all Catholic Parish Columbaria and be valid and take effect from 1 March 2012, including Niches which were signed up before 1 March 2012.
5. We would however emphasize that as you had applied for a Niche before 1 March 2012, save for what is stated in paragraphs 7 and 8 below (please see also clauses 28, 29 and 30 of the Terms and Conditions) the duration for which you are entitled to make use of our Columbarium, as provided in your original contract, remains the same.
6. A copy of the Terms and Conditions can be found at http://www.catholic.org.sg/columbaria_terms.pdf or can be obtained from any parish that has a Columbarium.
7. Please note that under the Terms and Conditions, the Church shall be entitled to terminate the use of the Columbarium if:
(a) the lease of the land upon which the Columbarium is built has expired and the Church is unable to renew the lease; or
(b) the land upon which the Columbarium is located is compulsorily acquired by the Government or is affected by any redevelopment.
We hope you will understand that the above are beyond the control of the Church.
8. TRCAS has also decided that from 1 March 2012, the Church shall have the ability to review its use of the land (for example, to renovate, or to rebuild the Columbarium to cater to additional demand). If the Church chooses to exercise this option, for Niches that have been used for less than 50 years, the Urn, which is presently housed in the Columbarium shall upon completion of the renovation or rebuilding of the new Columbarium be interred in the new Columbarium at no additional cost to you, or if you wish and have informed the Church, we would be happy to return the Urn back to you. For Niches that have already been used for more than 50 years, a written request to have the Urn interred in the new Columbarium must be received by the Church, failing which the remains of the deceased shall then be interred in a dignified and respectable common place.
9. If you do not agree to the Terms and Conditions which will take effect on 1 March 2012 or for any other reasons, you now no longer wish to make use of our Columbarium, please contact your respective Columbarium and inform them in writing of your decision by 31 March 2012, failing which, it shall be presumed that you are agreeable to this letter and you accept all the Terms and Conditions.
10. Should you decide to terminate the use of the Columbarium, even though the Church has no obligation and is not required to refund to you any donation which you had made when you first signed up for the Niche, purely as a matter of good-will, the Church shall pay to you the following amounts:
(a) if the Niche has not been utilised, the Church will refund to you 90% of the donation which you had made for the booking of the Niche, subject to a maximum of $5,000;
(b) if the Niche has been used for less than 10 years (ie the remains were interred on or after 1 January 2002), the Church will refund to you an amount equal to 75% of the donation which you had made for the use of the Columbarium, subject to a maximum of $4,000;
(c) if the Niche has been used for more than 10 and less than 20 years (ie the remains were interred before 1 January 2002 and on or after 1 January 1992), the Church will refund to you 50% of the donation you had made for the use of the Columbarium, subject to a maximum of $2,000;
(d) if the Niche has been used for more than 20 years (ie the remains were interred before 1 January 1992), the Church will refund to you 25% of the donation you had made for the use of the Columbarium, subject to a maximum of $1,000.
The Church will also pay for the removal of the Urn from the Niche.
11. TRCAS had decided that the good-will payment mentioned in paragraph 10 above will be the same and applicable to all Catholic parishes. We are grateful for your kind understanding in this regard.
12. We would also like to take this opportunity to update our records. As such, please complete the Reply Form and return the same to us as soon as possible.
13. We would strongly encourage you to continue using our Columbarium, and understand that the changes which TRCAS have decided upon are for the benefit of the Catholic Community at large and for practical purposes taking into account what may happen in the future, which may be beyond the control of the Church.
14. Should you wish to continue making use of our Columbarium which we hope you will, we would be grateful if you could please sign on the Reply Form and return the same to your Columbarium by 31 March 2012.
15. Copies of the Reply Form will be available in all Catholic Churches from 19 February 2012.
16. If you have any queries concerning the above please call your Columbarium or the following Hotline:
Tel: 66562428 Mondays to Fridays : 9am to 1pm except public holidays
The Hotline will run until 23 March 2012.
Terms and Conditions : http://www.catholic.org.sg/columbaria_terms.pdf