MAY 09, 2010, Vol 60, No 09

To celebrate Mother’s Day which falls on May 9 this year, CatholicNews tells the story of a mother with two daughters, an adopted son with Down’s Syndrome, and who is now going through her ‘second motherhood’ with 14 grandchildren. Joyce Gan speaks with Vivienne Wee, whose petite frame belies her big loving heart

TWELVE YEARS AGO, Vivienne and Victor Wee, then in their late 40s, were raising two teenage daughters, when Good Shepherd Sister Gabrielle approached them and asked, “Do you have any place in your hearts for a ‘Down-Syndrome’ child?”

This was one day before they left for a holiday, and when they returned, the Wees saw notices posted in parishes, appealing for adoptive parents for the boy.

“I felt terrible that someone had to advertise like this, as if they were selling meat,” Vivienne recounted, “and I asked Victor if he remembers our pledge.”

The couple who was deeply involved in Natural Family Planning, and who had been sent by Archbishop Emeritus Gregory Yong to undergo training in Melbourne, frequently gave pro-life talks and regularly distributed The Medjugorje Newsletter.
Monica Applewhite, a leading expert in the field of sexual abuse who has helped the Church on screening, prevention, policy development and other issues, recently gave a lengthy interview with the National Catholic Register. The interview is worth reading in full, but here are some highlights from the USCCB media blog

Calling sexual abuse “a society-wide problem most people would prefer not to address”, Applewhite lays out what she believes the Church has done right to combat it:

The Church in the U.S. is the first large-scale organisation to take two important steps toward healing and prevention of future incidents of abuse. We are the first to conduct a full prevalence study to determine how many incidents, how many victims and how many perpetrators of abuse there were from 1950 to 2002.

The John Jay College [of Criminal Justice] conducted this comprehensive research, and it is published on the USCCB website. Anyone who truly wants to know “the problem” we are facing should review the findings.
ONE CURRENT THORNY social issue stoking all kinds of emotions in many economically developed societies is the question of how to handle migrants, foreign workers, and refugees.

We live in an extraordinary time of global mass movement of people. Millions of people, particularly from less developed countries, uproot themselves at great personal sacrifice and costs to become migrants, foreign workers, and refugees in other lands. They do so because they seek a better future for themselves and their families. Some refugees have suffered persecution in their homelands and have fled for fear of their lives.
CatholicNews congratulates the following priests celebrating their jubilee anniversaries this year. We thank these shepherds for their tireless and dedicated service to the Church.

DIAMOND JUBILEE (60 YEARS)

FATHER LOUIS LOISEAU, MEP has been assistant parish priest at Church of the Risen Christ for about 20 years. He first arrived in Singapore in 1968 when he served for five months as assistant parish priest in Church of St. Bernadette before returning to France. He made Singapore his permanent residence from 1971 onwards and served in the parishes of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and Our Lady of Perpetual Succour.
Father John Wong, OFM, gave up a lucrative and enjoyable career as architect to become a builder of people and communities in the Church. Darren Boon reports

WHEN ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI heard God telling him to “repair my house... which... is falling completely to ruin”, the saint thought it to mean the chapel he was praying at. Only later did he realise that God was not referring to the physical church building.

Paralleling the journey taken by the founder of the Orders of Friar Minor (OFM), Franciscan Father John Wong has gone from building skyscrapers as an architect, to building God’s kingdom.

While growing up, John never once thought of becoming a priest or religious despite having attended a Lasallian school in Petaling Jaya, or being active in a Jesuit-run parish. He remembered saying “no way” when a La Salle Brother once came to his school to drum up vocations.