DECEMBER 27, 2009, VOL 59, NO 27

My dear people of God,

Christmas is celebrated pracically throughout the world, but unfortunately for many the celebrations are focused on the externals – decorations, gifts, parties, dinners, etc and the real meaning of Christmas is absent. Christ must be the centre of our celebrations for there is no Christmas without Christ!

For us therefore it is a celebration of FAITH. We believe that Christ, the Son of God was made flesh and was born of the Virgin Mary. It is a celebration of HOPE. The problems in the world – wars, injustices, persecutions, corruption, immorality, etc and also the difficulties we may experience can make us feel insecure and afraid.

Gloria in Excelsis Deo et in Terra Pax Hominibus Bonae Voluntatis!

Christmas brings a true message of love to the world! “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth” (Jn 1:14). Grace and truth are shared at Christmas time. The angels sing: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace for those he favours.” (Lk 2:14).

After hearing the good news from the Angels, the Shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and “found Mary and Joseph, and the Infant Jesus lying in the manger” (Lk 2:16).

Parishioners and interested Catholics receive Communion at the new church’s inaugural Mass.

SINGAPORE – Church of Divine Mercy (CDM) welcomed its first Mass-goers on Dec 12 at the 5.30pm Sunset Mass.

Alicia Seva from Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour made her way to CDM to be part of the historical moment as well as to see the new church in Pasir Ris. She said the church ministries, especially the wardens, were “well-organised and well-coordinated”.

Aloysius and Eunice Ng from Church of St. Ignatius found the new church “very lovely, beautiful and well-structured”.

There were a total of about 600 people at CDM’s inaugural Mass. A show of hands at the end of Mass indicated that many were from other parishes in the east district, with others travelling from Yishun and Serangoon.

By Darren Boon
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SINGAPORE – On Nov 30, the Catholic Prayer Society (CPS) celebrated the 10th year of organising lunchtime Masses in the Outram area.

In 1998, a group of nurses from the Catholic Nurses Guild working in Singapore General Hospital (SGH) initially met with fellow SGH employees during lunch breaks to share God’s word.

It wasn’t long before a desire for a regular Mass grew amongst the members.

With the encouragement of CPS’ then-president Dennis Tang, CPS Outram was formed and lunchtime Masses started on Nov 3, 1999.
SINGAPORE – Instead of reflecting on the Stations of the Cross, Catholics recently turned their attention to “Earth Stations” to “reconcile themselves with Mother Earth” and to show their gratitude to nature.

In a vigil organised on Dec 12 in solidarity with UN’s Climate Change Conference 2009 in Copenhagen from Dec 7-18, over 100 participants in Singapore spent an evening reflecting on their wasteful behaviour including the times they used the air-conditioning excessively, drove even when public transport was a viable option, failed to conserve electricity, water and gas, as well as over-eating.

The session at the FMM House of Prayer and Formation along Holland Road was led by Sister Mary Soh of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (FMM).

There was also thanksgiving to nature for the plants and trees for absorbing carbon dioxide, the light that gives sight, and water that cleanses, refreshes and quenches one’s thirst.