MARCH 1, 2009, Vol 59, No 5

Shyann Tan who suffers from CDG, relies on life-saving machines to get through her day.Shyann Tan who suffers from CDG, relies on life-saving machines to get through her day. VATICAN CITY – Human life is a gift to be treasured with patience and love even when it appears to be marked with senseless suffering, Pope Benedict XVI said.

“Human life is not a disposable good, but a precious treasure to be guarded and cared for with every possible attention from the moment of its beginning to its final and natural completion,” the pope said on Feb 11 as he marked World Day of the Sick.

Catholic singles gather for a pre-Valentine high tea at Raffles Town Club on Feb 8 for a day of “bonding, friendship and relationship” within the Catholic community. Photo by Mark Lee

Single Catholic men and women now have an organisation that facilitates friendship and relationship building

SINGAPORE – Some young Catholics in Singapore have got together since 2006 to foster “bonding, friendships and relationships within the Catholic singles community” through barbecues, workshops, sports and other get-togethers. They even meet monthly for Sunday Masses.

 (From left) Lester Choy, Annabelle Tham and Kathleen Gacad are some of Assumption English School’s students who epitomise both character development and academic excellence, a philosophy Principle Benedict Keh (right) is proud to instil in his students.

WHEN LESTER CHOY was in Primary Four, his mother was diagnosed with lung cancer. She died within 10 months. It affected the young boy so much so that he could no longer focus on his school work.

Pope Benedict has demonstrated praiseworthy willingness to seek unity as has occurred with his overtures toward the breakaway Society of St. Pius X. However, this particular project seems to lie in tatters. What went wrong, and what can be learned from the affair?

ECCLESIAL UNITY, A defining feature of the Catholic Church, is a passion of Pope Benedict XVI. Pope Benedict has demonstrated praiseworthy willingness to seek unity, even when the effort risks stirring controversy, as has occurred with the pope’s recent overtures toward the breakaway Society of St. Pius X. Two weeks later, however, the project seemed to lie in tatters. Catholics and non-Catholics alike have expressed confusion and outrage. What went wrong, and what can be learned from the affair?

Atheist Bus Campaign creator Ariane Sherine poses in front of a bus bearing an atheist message during the launch of the campaign in London. The atheist advertisements were to appear on 800 buses and 1,000 subway trains in Britain. CNS photo

Twenty-five years ago, Pope John Paul II began to speak of a new evangelisation – a preaching of the Gospel that was “new in expression, new in fervour and new in methods”. How has that proceeded?

THINGS DON’T CHANGE overnight in the Catholic Church – or in any 2,000-year-old organisation of a billion people. So it’s not surprising that the new evangelisation is still far from the centre of pastoral life.

But it is moving toward the centre and someday it will be there. Fewer and fewer adults in the Western world are Catholics because their parents had them baptised and then raised them in a Catholic culture. Either we adapt to a culture with a remarkable degree of individual autonomy or we perish.