OCTOBER 25, 2009, Vol 59, No 22

VATICAN CITY – Calling them “shining examples” of Christian love, Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed five new saints, including Father Damien de Veuster, the 19th-century Belgian missionary who ministered to people with leprosy in Hawaii before dying of the disease.


At a Mass Oct 11 overflowing with pilgrims from around the world, the pope also canonised Sister Jeanne Jugan, a French nun whose Little Sisters of the Poor continue to assist the elderly in and more than 30 countries.
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama expressed his “deep admiration” for St. Damien de Veuster and offered his prayers for all those celebrating the priest’s “extraordinary life and witness”.

He issued the statement Oct 9, two days before the pope canonised the Belgian priest and four others at the Vatican.

The Roman Catholic Prison Ministry began in 1977 with only seven volunteers. It now has about 150 volunteers serving all the prisoners in Singapore.
Photo by Ian Carnegie


SINGAPORE – The annual Prison Week Mass organised by the Roman Catholic Prison Ministry (RCPM) was held at Blessed Sacrament Church this Sep 20, where Archbishop Nicholas Chia commissioned new members and witnessed the recommitment of existing ones.

In his homily, Archbishop Chia spoke about the ‘Five Finger Gospel’ – “You did it to me”. He said that while it is fulfilling to serve God, the manner in which we volunteer our service and the quality of service we render is also important.
“Flames”, a dance item performed by CHIJ Katong Primary. Photo by WIDEvision

SINGAPORE – Snazzy costumes, harmonious choruses, melodious notes, nifty footwork and a festive atmosphere filled The Republic Cultural Centre on Friday Sep 25 as pupils from the 11 Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (CHIJ) Schools and the IJ Homes and Children’s Centres celebrated 155 years of IJ presence in Singapore with a concert “One Voice, One People, One in God’s Love.”

About 1,000 people attended the evening’s concert where the students showcased their talents in the arts and aesthetics through drama, dance, gymnastics, traditional instruments and choral music.

(Above) Blessed Sacrament Church parishioners attended three talks at Damien Hall to learn more about their duty to the poor; one of the speakers is Father David Garcia, OP (below).
Photos by Ian Carnegie.


SINGAPORE – Blessed Sacrament Church organised three talks in September as part of the parish’s celebration of the canonisation of Father Damien de Veuster, SS.CC., who spent 16 years working with lepers, identifying himself with them and with Jesus Christ.

Parishioners had previously learned about leprosy and its effects on today’s society from Dr C. S. Seow’s talk on Sep 11. Subsequently, Dominican Father David Garcia, spoke about “Social Justice and the Poor” on Sep 18.

In his talk, Father Garcia defined poverty as the lack of necessary resources, rather than the lack of superfluous ones, saying, “no one should live in poverty”.