SEPTEMBER 13, 2009, VOl 59, NO 19

SINGAPORE – President of the Muslim Kidney Action Association (MKAC) and Honorary Secretary of the Inter-Religious Organisation (IRO) in Singapore Ameerali Abdeali has an interesting take on the word “iftar” (which means “breaking of fast”).  

To him, it also stands for “Inter-Faith Trust And Respect”. He shared this with an audience of about 100 persons of different faiths who were at the MKAC’s Telok Kurau premise for “iftar”. This is the third year that MKAC has hosted such a gathering.

A vegetarian dinner was provided by Venerable Gunaratana, adviser to the Mahakaruna Buddhist Society.
Monsignor Eugene Vaz says there is still much mission work to be done for the needy in Singapore. Photo by Daniel Tay

SINGAPORE – For the past eight years, Daryl Spykerman, 27, IT engineer, has been making mission trips with Acts29 to Payatas Estate, a dumpsite in Quezon City, Philippines, to serve the poorest of the poor. Acts29 is a youth organisation committed to evangelisation through mission and dialogue.

Before embarking on his first mission trip, Mr Spykerman, then 19 years old, led a “good and carefree life” but coming into contact with the poor at Payatas was an eye-opener for him and helped to deepen his experience with Jesus.
(From left) Friar Derrick Yap, Friar William Lee, Archbishop Nicholas Chia and Friar Justin Lim pose after the ordination ceremony. Photo by Darren Boon

SINGAPORE – It was a triple joy for the Franciscan community as Archbishop Nicholas Chia ordained William Lee, 45, Justin Lim, 37, and Derrick Yap, 36, to the diaconate on Sunday Aug 23 at Church of St Mary of the Angels (SMOTA). A 1,200 crowd of well-wishers, friends, family and parishioners attended the Mass.

Inspired by the order’s founder, St. Francis of Assisi, all three of them joined the order in 2002. For Deacon William, the seventh out of 10 children from a Teochew family, it was “the radical change of St. Francis” which inspired this Hougang boy to dedicate himself to the religious life after 12 years in the workforce.
Father Adrian Anthony stands beside a part of the cathedral that is being repaired. The original building was completed in 1847. The church was consecrated as a cathedral in 1897. The cathedral’s gallery organ is the oldest functioning organ in Singapore. It was installed in 1912. Photo by Angela Anthony

SINGAPORE – The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd is undergoing emergency repairs to prevent major damage. The building at Bras Basah Road which was completed in 1847, after four years of construction, was declared a Singapore national monument in 1973. Major restoration work was carried out in 1997.

The building structure has withstood the test of time well despite it being sited in a busy location. However, in recent years, the construction of buildings nearby and infrastructure projects like the MRT Circle Line and Singapore Management University, have caused serious physical stress. Large cracks are visible at the sanctuary area as well as behind it.
Shidion Tan (11) who plays the bully Bruce, Marcus Chong (10) as Ben Tan, and Nicholas Tan (10) as Ping’an. Photo by Darren Boon

SINGAPORE – Although Marcus Chong is only in Primary Four, he could be the Zac Efron (of Disney’s High School Musical franchise fame) of his age and school. Members of the mostly young audience were heard shouting out for Marcus as the cast gathered on stage at the end of the Catholic High Primary’s inaugural musical – The Best Days of our Lives – held at Victoria Concert Hall on Aug 20-21.

The hour-long musical focuses on themes relating to four primary school protagonists – such as “kiasu” parents who pressurise their child to do well academically, a mother who neglects her child, name-calling amongst peers and school-bullying.