SEPTEMBER 26, 2010, Vol 60, No19

Delegates from 14 countries with Archbishop Nicholas Chia and Minister George Yeo. Photo by Erick Lirios

Minister for Foreign Affairs George Yeo acknowledged the difficulty of the nursing profession, and its importance by relating two instances of how nurses helped his family

SINGAPORE – Singapore Minister for Foreign Affairs George Yeo, a Catholic, narrated how nurses were instrumental in bringing about care and healing to his family when he addressed more than 300 nurses from 14 countries during the opening ceremony of the 10th Regional Conference of Ciciams (Comité International Catholique des Infirmières et Assistantes Médico-Sociales or The International Catholic Committee of Nurses and Medico-Social Assistants).

Participants from Asian countries at Worldwide Marriage Encounter Asian Conference. Father Luke Fong, seated fourth from right. Photo by Andrew Teoh

Father Luke Fong participated in the recent Worldwide Marriage Encounter Asian Conference 2010 in Penang. This is his account of the conference.

SINGAPORE – I have been a Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME) presenting priest for about five years, and was asked by Father Paul Goh, the Singapore WWME Spiritual Director, to attend this conference on his behalf. This was a first for me, and it was a good learning experience.

A new Asian Ecclesial Team (comprising a priest and a couple working in partnership) was elected during the conference. I have never experienced a voting process taking place in such a spiritual and prayerful atmosphere. The teams were truly leaning heavily on the Holy Spirit for guidance in their voting. This resulted in a Singapore couple, Daniel and Shelley Ee, and a priest from the Philippines, Father Nathaniel Gomez, forming the Asian Ecclesial Team for the next three years.

Stella Crasta, on the left of His Grace Archbishop Nicholas Chia together with her colleagues. Photo by Don Gurugay

SINGAPORE – “All of us are called to personal holiness and to apostolic mission but as a teacher, you have chosen to make the integral formation of human persons your life work,” said Archbishop Nicholas Chia to more than 300 educators during a Teachers’ Day celebration.

The archbishop continued: “As a Catholic educator, your work as a teacher is more than a profession; it is a supernatural Christian vocation. You are called by God to contribute your gifts, competence, and enthusiastic labour to work for the sanctification of the world from within, in the manner of salt.”
YOU MAY HAVE read the section titled “The Rise of Christ in China” in the Life Section of The Straits Times of Saturday Sep 4, 2010.

The section was obviously about Christian Churches in China. On page 7, there was a section “Other Faiths in China”. In it was listed several Faiths like Buddhism, Taoism, and Roman Catholicism. I was startled why Roman Catholicism was listed as “Other Faiths” when it is actually another denomination of Christianity. In fact Roman Catholicism is Christianity.
I HAVE ATTENDED Masses at different Catholic churches in Singapore and have noticed that in many instances the cantor or even the priest celebrant would erroneously refer to the Mass as a service in their welcome address to the congregation prior to the commencement of the Mass.