On August 1st this year, the Government of Singapore published a document which is of highest importance to the Colony as a whole and to each of us as individuals, for it describes the exact measures to be taken by Government to protect our children and young people from both physical and moral dangers. No Catholic who thinks at all can fail to realise how much need we have of such legalisation; and no Catholic can afford to be ignorant of its main points for they are directly connected with God's law of moral responsibility for others, the first of the laws that He revealed to man. In the first chapter of the first book of the Old Testament, when Cain the murderer, was asked by God, "Where is thy brother?" he replied, '"Am I my brother's keeper'?" That is an answer no Catholic can make to God. We are, each one of us, responsible to God for any cruelty or injustice that we have either ignored or not bothered to try to alleviate. And there is much cruelty and injustice to the defenceless. Government rightly tries to alleviate this by making good laws; but the success of those laws depends entirely on the informed co-operation of
Co-operation Depends On Knowledge
Nobody can co-operate in anything without knowledge, so our first duty as catholic citizens is to know and understand the laws which concern us as members of society. And this new law is one of them. It refers to an earlier law, passed in 1949, and called "The Children and Young Persons Ordinance". Briefly summarised that Ordinance provides for the protection of children (those under 12 years) and young persons (those under• 16 years) from cruelty, neglect, abandonment, destitution, and from exploitation by adults either as hired beggars, or as workers if they are employed below the permitted ages or in conditions that violate the terms of the law or do not satisfy the Government Officers (called Protectors) who are charged with seeing that the provisions of the law are carried out.
EVERYBODY has a vocation, and all vocations are essentially one to know, to love and to serve God and this knowledge, love and service is first and foremost the duty of each individual, so that none can put the entire blame of his failure in these matters on another.
But God did not make us to live our whole lives as solitary individual s; from Him also come the institution of the family and the State. Consequently in our family life and in our public life we must also know God's will, we must seek to please and serve Him.
Everybody's vocation then, is the loving service of God; but to carry out our vocation in its fullest measure of perfection, we must seek light from God, and have the right motives for embracing it. In the ordinary course of life, vocation, according to God's will, is the married state. That is necessary for the propagation of mankind as well as for the continuance of the Church. It can be, has been, and is a vocation of Sanctity. The number of married living Saints to-day exceeds that of any other calling. The names of Canonised Saints who had received the sacrament of Matrimony are found in the Canon of the Mass, and in the Lives of the Saints for every month of the year.
"Every person is a unique creation with a different and special personality. However, they can all share a value system common among them," said Mrs Margaret Joseph, chairperson of the Catholic Schools' Council.
The two-day parenting course conducted by Mrs Joseph at the CWS Building, S'pore. Oct 25-26, focussed on two areas of child development — freedom and acquiring right values.
"Perceptions are different," she said, "So there is a great deal of differences between members of the same family — hence differences exist between parents and children because each of them is a unique personality. Responsible parenthood is nurturing a value system within the context of each person's uniqueness."
"This Congress condemns all attempts, open or veiled, and from whatever source proceeding, which tend (a) to lessen the bonds of marriage or destroy its sanctity, (b) to impair parental authority and responsibility and, (c) to demoralise and disintegrate Catholic home life.
He has not yet uttered a name that his intelligence has suggested to him.
Two characteristics are peculiar to this stage of the child's life: a vivid curiosity accompanied by a singularly shrewd mind and a power of imitation developed to the highest degree.