AUGUST 29, 2010, Vol 60, No17

Catholic doctors and medical students together with Father David Garcia, OP (front row in black t-shirt) after a roundable discussion.
Photo by Darren Boon


SINGAPORE – Alexander John Tan, a fourth year medical student undergoing his attachment at the obstetrician-gynaecology clinic feels caught between the profession’s teachings and those of the Catholic Church. One tough issue, for instance – should a Catholic doctor advise that a pregnancy be terminated because of abnormalities detected in the foetus, or should he stick to the Church’s stance that abortion is murder and should not be allowed under any circumstances?

“I don’t know how to resolve it … on how to genuinely care for your patients as a Catholic doctor,” he said.

Concerns such as these were what prompted Mr Tan and some 70 others to attend the forum, “Heart issues, hard decisions”, organised by the Catholic Medical Guild.

The event, held on Aug 9 at Mount Alvernia Hospital Lecture Hall, was organised following the news of a U.S. Catholic hospital ethics committee’s decision to abort the baby of a patient suffering from pulmonary hypertension. Sister Margaret McBride, who was one of the committee members who voted for the decision, was subsequently ex-communicated. The incident has since sparked off an intense debate in the U.S.
Trinity Kindergarten Principal Shirley Tan in the midst of the activities.

SINGAPORE – The Church of the Holy Trinity Kindergarten celebrated Family Day and National Day with a Charity Drive.

Shirley Tan, the principal said, “This year’s National Day celebrations, besides bringing communities together, included a charity drive.”

The event was held Jul 31, 2010 at Changi Beach Park for the children to understand that Nature is not a faraway and exotic place but in their own neighbourhood.

Canossian Sister Janet Wang who was present, thanked the many who donated the love offering of $3,994. Sister Janet also took the opportunity to highlight the works of the Myanmar Mission.

English Language and Linguistic (ELL) scholarship recipients of the Ministry of Education’s English Language Elective Programme (ELEP) and the “Archbishop Scholarship” recipients with (front row from left) Mrs Christine Kong (Principal), Archbishop Nicholas Chia and Mrs Sng Mee Lian (Senior Teacher).
Photo provided by Catholic Junior College


SINGAPORE – His 2009 GCE ‘O’ Level Examination results could have taken him to one of the top junior colleges in Singapore. But Luke Ho, an old boy of St. Joseph’s Institution (SJI), wanted to remain in a Catholic environment where he felt his faith would be nurtured.

So, ignoring his parents’ advice to enrol in a top school, Luke chose to go to Catholic Junior College (CJC).

Seven months later, he is not only thriving at CJC, he is also one of a pioneer batch of seven students awarded the “Archbishop’s Scholarship”.

Inaugurated this year and fully funded by the college, the “Archbishop Scholarship” and “Flame Scholarship” recognise the students’ academic and sporting ability, and are valued at $1,500 and $750 per annum respectively.

(From top) Chapel interior; Archbishop Nicholas Chia incensing the altar of the chapel.
Photos provided by Catholic Junior College


SINGAPORE – Catholic Junior College has built a new chapel, to the delight of students such as Celine Ong.

“It allows us to seek repose with God and spiritual fulfilment,” said Celine.

The chapel, built at a cost of $1.4 million, was officially blessed by Archbishop Nicholas Chia on Jul 30. Construction began in August 2009 and was completed in January this year.

The initiator of the project was former principal Brother Paul Rogers, FSC, who has now taken up a posting in Melbourne.

He told CatholicNews that the school’s well-hidden prayer room was too small to meet the needs of the students. As a Catholic school, it is fitting to have a chapel which highlights the religious ethos and values of the school, he said.
Serangoon district altar boys after Mass. Photo by Henry Lim

SINGAPORE – Serangoon district’s first Altar Boys’ Mass with the Archbishop took place on Aug 9 with a long procession comprising more than 200 boys from the five parishes of St. Anne’s, St. Francis Xavier, St. Vincent de Paul, Immaculate Heart of Mary and Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The boys, dressed in their white albs and red capes, looked solemn and serious as they made their way towards the altar.

40 altar servers took up their positions in the sanctuary with banners, torches, the cross and thuribles.

Archbishop Nicholas Chia blessed all the young men and together with the congregation prayed for priestly vocations.

In total, the Archbishop presented 74 altar boys with certificates of appreciation for services ranging from five to 20 years.

Some parents said they were proud to receive a certificate personally signed by the Archbishop.

A parent from St. Anne’s said she found that the celebration showed “great support and appreciation for the individual’s service”.