Taoist.jpgSINGAPORE - Catholics visited the San Qing Gong Temple on Mar 12 for the Taoist Day of Fellowship as part of a three-day celebration for Taoist Day from Mar 11-13.

"Out of all the religions in Singapore, Taoism is the one that I am most unfamiliar with," said Juliana Tay, explaining why she had come for the day of fellowship.

Each religion that is represented in the Inter-Religious Organisation (IRO) is given a day of fellowship to share their religion with members of the other religions.

"I have a greater appreciation of their culture and traditions," commented Peter Thien, 44, who said that he found similar teachings between Taoism and Catholicism. Mr Thien said that his faith formation in the Diploma for Adult Faith Formation (DAFF) course conducted by theSingapore Pastoral Institute had taught him "a lot about God" in the Catholic faith, and now he is learning "to appreciate God in other faiths".

Jolene Toh, 30, had come to learn more about the Taoist religion in order to "understand and relate to friends better, and know how to respect their religion." "I hope that such fi eld trips can be organised for youth groups," she added.

Archbishop Nicholas Chia had, in a celebration of the 40th anniversary of "Nostra Aetate" (the church's declaration on the relationship of the church to non-Christian religions) last year, called for all Catholics to be more open to engaging in dialogue with members of other religions.

In response to the archbishop's encouragement, a network of resource persons to support and promote IRO activities is being developed.

Top, interested Catholic participants listen attentively to the explanation of Taoism's history by the master of the San Qing Gong Temple.

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