OCTOBER 2006

IT IS MOST disturbing that some priests have the habit of changing the words of some liturgical prayers.

For instance during Holy Communion, the text, "This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world." is changed to "My friends, this we believe is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world".

Why is there a need for them to say, "this we believe" when the congregation already know for a fact that after consecration, the Host is the real Body of Christ, the Lamb of God?

Here are some ways to give feedback to priests who are not following the prescribed liturgical norms:

  • Parishioners can inform the priests of the abuse. But this may cause some misunderstanding and bad blood between them.

     

  • Parishioners can write to CatholicNews about the abuse without mentioning names so that it can be published.

     

  • Priests living in the same manse can provide fraternal corrections if they know that their brother priests are not following the rules. This can be an effective way of combating liturgical abuses.

    Nelson Quah

    Singapore 650524

ON OCT 22, the Catholic church in Singapore celebrated Mission Sunday.

In some parishes two collections were taken up at the sunset and Sunday Masses while others had only one collection. The money collected from the Mission Sunday Masses is for missionary purposes in connection with the propagation of the Catholic Faith.

Are there rules governing the taking up of collections in our churches and if the answer is yes, could the local church authority advise whether there should be one or two collections taken up on Mission Sunday? Or, is this something left to the sole discretion of the parish priest?

    Nelson Quah

    Singapore 650524

I refer to the article written by Rose Loh in the October 29, 2006 issue of CN.

I most definitely agree that the Catholic Church needs more labourers in these crucial times. Indeed, temptations abound in our society today. But the urgent need for priests and religious is not only in terms of quantity, but also, of quality. By this I do not mean that opening the seminary to boys at an earlier stage of vocational discernment leads to 'lower quality' priests. But it certainly helps in the formation process of the future leaders of the Church that they fully understand the context in which our faith stands today. Certainly, faith does not grow in a vacuum, i.e., solely in the silent confines of the seminary. Precisely, Jesus calls us to be witnesses of His love and be engaged in the world. I see this as a motivation for the Church to allow discernment while being in the world.

We must remember that Jesus, Himself, was tempted by the devil ­ not once, but thrice. It is precisely in knowing the enemy that we are able to fully prepare and equip ourselves to overcome temptation and sin. The complexity of the world today, brought by materialism and secular ideas, all the more are an imperative for pastors and shepherds who can handle the equally complex needs of the Church and its members. How can priests serve as good counsels and examples without the exposure to the real world? God is in and with the world. As the Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians (5:8) instructs as to be Lux in Domino, or Light in the World, we must BE that light. As such, advising those who are hearing the call of religious life to continuously discern while being engaged in reality is not and must not be equated with the Church driving the laborers away. Rather, it is an open invitation to perseveringly choose God more and more as we live our daily lives, and consequently and freely reject evil in all its forms.

    Manuel Ricardo Sacramento

    Singapore 120330

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Redemptorist Brother Casimir Godebye (1922-2006), whose artistic talents contributed to the work of attracting many to the faith in Singapore, died on Aug 25, aged 84.

BROTHER CASIMIR GODEBYE died at Mount Alvernia Hospital on Aug 25, 2006. He arrived in Singapore in July 1956 together with Father Herbert Myers, from Australia. He studied art and music before joining the Redemptorists in 1940. 

In Singapore, Brother Casimir's artistic talents contributed to the work of attracting many to the faith. He first mooted the idea in 1959 to erect the floral wall for the annual procession in honour of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. The late Father Dobson remarked that it was Brother Casimir's artistic creativity which attracted many people to know and love our Blessed Mother.

In the 1960s Brother Casimir took over the choir and started a youth group called "The Primitives". They gathered each Saturday evening to clean the church after the last Novena session, and had fellowship and sing-along sessions. He also started a band called "The Glass Unions". He used to say that we need music to attract and hold the young people to religion.

Surprisingly, in the mid 1970s Brother Casimir left behind the world of bands, choir and pop music and went to live in an ashram (an Indian religious retreat) in India. There he lived as a hermit in complete silence and prayer and learnt Christian meditation under the auspices of Father Bede Griffith, OSB.

On his return to Singapore, Brother Casimir with the permission of Archbishop Emeritus Gregory Yong, established the "Trinity House of Prayer" at the former St. Francis Xavier Minor Seminary where he conducted classes on meditation. In the 1990s, Brother Casimir, health failing, returned to the Novena Church and eventually spent his last years at St. Theresa's Home.

Brother Casimir will always be remembered by his confreres and his many friends in Singapore as a colourful character who enjoyed life to the full.

(continued on page 2)


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Redemptorist Father Gerald Joyce (1915-2006), whose kindness and goodness endeared him to countless number of people in Singapore, died on Aug 31, aged 91.

FATHER GERALD JOYCE died of old age in a nursing home in Melbourne. He spent many years in Singapore but returned to Australia in 1987 and spent his last years in Kew, Melbourne. Father Joyce was born in Warnambol, Victoria, Australia in 1915. He took his vows as a Redemptorist in 1935 and was ordained a priest in 1940.

He came to Singapore, then a British colony in 1946. At that time, the Redemptorists were temporarily residing at what is now the Europa club. Three years later, the Redemptorists moved into their present residence at 300 Thomson Road.

During his years in Singapore, Father Joyce laboured tirelessly and zealously, conducting parish and school missions and the Novena devotions, besides being spiritual director of the Legion of Mary. From his base in Singapore, he moved around this region to conduct parish missions in Malaya, Burma, Sri Lanka and India.

He was rector of the Novena Church from 1951 to 1957. During his two terms as rector he extended the Novena Church and added the choir loft. In 1957, he returned to Australia and was appointed Rector of the Redemptorist Studentate House in Ballarat. In 1962, he was appointed Provincial of the Australian Province, a post he held for three consecutive terms.

He returned to Singapore in 1973 and resumed his pastoral care of the people here with characteristic zeal and love. In 1987, he returned to Australia and spent his last years in Kew, Melbourne.

(Articles contributed by Father Paul Pang C.Ss.R. and Brother Bernard Heaney C.Ss.R.)

I WOULD LIKE to impress on readers of CatholicNews to be early for Mass as latecomers will always face parking problems. If parking lots within church premises are taken up then we have no choice but to follow instructions to park somewhere else nearby and walk. Please understand that wardens have a difficult job trying to satisfy everyone. Give them your fullest cooperation and be understanding to them.

    Paul Tan

    Singapore 128048