SEPTEMBER 12, 2010, Vol 60, No18

President Nathan receives a token of appreciation from Sister Mary Treslin, Superior of the Gift of Love Home.
Photo provided by Missionaries of Charity

SINGAPORE – President S R Nathan joined 800 faithful at a Mass on Aug 26, in celebration of Mother Teresa’s birth centenary.

He was joined at Church of the Holy Spirit by Mrs S R Nathan and Mr Vasanth Kumar, the First Secretary of the Indian High Commission to Singapore.

It was a show of appreciation for the Missionaries of Charity Sisters’ work for the poor in Singapore. The order was founded by Mother Teresa in India.

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu on Aug 26, 1910 in what is modern day Macedonia. She died on Sep 5, 1997, and was beatified on Oct 19, 2003.
CARITAS SINGAPORE HAS identified several groups where more outreach is needed, such as migrant workers, the physically challenged, the mentally challenged, families and the elderly.

To that end, the organisation will work with existing charity groups to enhance and introduce new programmes, create new groups for outreach, and to promote public education and social response.

This was revealed by Caritas Singapore’s Executive Director, Ms Joyce Koh, during “Social Mission Conference 2010”, where she gave an update on CSCC’s plans and initiatives.

She added that the organisation was in the process of conducting research into Singapore’s poverty landscape. It is a joint study with Catholic Welfare Services and Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

Baha’i follower Susie Wong shares her faith with visiting Catholics.
Photo by Jeremy Lim

SINGAPORE – Abraham, Jesus, Mohammed and Buddha are all messengers of the same God, according to the belief of 2,000 Baha’i faithful in Singapore. Thus, people of all faiths should work towards the unity of the world, said Baha’i follower Mr Kuek Yi Hsing.

He was speaking at a special visit to the Baha’i faith centre at Cantonment Road on Aug 20, organised by the Singapore Archdiocesan Council for Inter-Religious and Ecumenical Dialogue. About 30 Catholics from different parishes turned up, many of them curious to find out more about one of the world’s youngest religions.

The Baha’i faith began in Persia in 1844, when Siyyid Alí-Muhammad of Shiraz declared himself the ‘Bab’ or ‘Gate’ in Arabic. He predicted the coming of a divine messenger, just as John the Baptist predicted the coming of the Messiah.

The core team with the Redemptorists.
Photo by Peter Heng

SINGAPORE – The Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary conducted its parish mission Jul 4-Aug 17. Led by Father Peter Wee, CsSR and his fellow Redemptorists, its purpose was to reach out to all parishioners, to encourage their faith and to strengthen their sense of belonging to the Church. The last parish mission was conducted about 15 years ago.

Father Henry Siew, the parish priest spearheaded the tireless efforts along with a core team who stepped forward in collecting census, recruiting volunteers and planning the schedules weeks ahead to bring all the missioners to the very doorsteps of the parishioners. Many came forward to assist as drivers, guides, stewards for food and hospitality and liturgical servers.

Despite the planning and organising, there were hiccups. There were moments of frustration and agitation, due to physical fatigue, incomplete data, and miscommunication. However, despite the pitfalls, the core team was satisfied with its contribution. Parishioners felt wonderful about the personal visits of the missioners to their homes. It was a great opportunity for them to share their faith, their relationship with the church and for others, their personal problems.

Regional Catholic Charismatic Renewal leaders gather in prayer.
Photo by Richard Koh

SINGAPORE – “Duc in altum – Put out into the deep” – Lk 5:4

This challenge from the late Holy Father, Pope John Paul II in his Apostolic Letter “Novo Millennio Ineunte” was the theme as regional Catholic Charismatic Renewal leaders from South East Asia gathered in prayer and conference at Dewan St. Anne, Bukit Mertajam, Penang from the Aug 12-15.

Four bishops, 22 priests and over 800 lay leaders from five countries, including 76 persons from Singapore, experienced an intimate time with the Lord in worship, adoration and celebration of the sacraments. It was amazing to witness people of different nations and tongues worship the Lord in a spirit of unity, moved and challenged by the word of God through the talks, worship and ministering sessions.

In the celebration of the Eucharist themed You did not choose me but I chose you (Jn. 15:16), Bishop Antony Selvanayagam, the Episcopal advisor of the CCR in Malaysia, in his homily called on them to be faithful to God to fulfill what is expected of them through their intimacy with God which has to be “twenty four seven” to “remain” with Jesus. This friendship has to influence their words and deeds in such a manner that God the Father will be glorified and miracles will happen.