FEBRUARY 27, 2011, Vol 61, No 4

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”  (Matthew 5:5)

Many people will remember the face and voice that represented the Singapore Pastoral Institute (SPI) for more than thirty years. Lucy Kang worked at SPI since its inception in 1978. Initially assisting Fr Nicholas Chia in running the religious articles shop and doing secretarial work, Lucy became a full-time staff at SPI in 1981.

On Jan 29, Lucy returned to the Lord after a long struggle with cancer, which finally manifested as a brain tumour that left her mostly immobile. She dealt with her illness in typical Lucy fashion – with great patience and silent determination.

Those of us privileged to have worked with Lucy often stood humbled by her gentleness in the face of aggression. Her quiet loyalty to the Church and to her colleagues earned her the admiration of many.
I WRITE to thank Archbishop Nicholas Chia for his clear teaching on sexuality education.

The Church’s teaching and vision on sexuality, when presented in all its splendour is really good news for the world and I pray that Catholics and non-Catholics who come through our schools can have a taste of it and return joyful and healed.

In my opinion, of particular effectiveness is the Theology of the Body developed by the late Pope John Paul II.

Two programmes which are particularly suitable for teens would include Theology of the Body for Teens by Brian Butler and Jason Evert, and the programs developed by CHOICEZ Media, a non-profit organisation run by Jonathan and Karen Doyle, a Melbourne-based couple who graduated from the John Paul II Institute.

The programme has no explicit Catholic/religious content but its vision of the dignity of the human person is rooted in the vision of the Theology of the Body.
I would like to highlight the needs of the Mandarin-speaking Catholic community.

According to the website of the Commission for Apostolate of Mandarin-Speaking in Singapore, there are currently 21 parishes in Singapore that hold Chinese Masses regularly.

The issue at hand is: Are there enough Mandarin-speaking priests within these 21 parishes to not only celebrate Chinese Masses but also offer the much needed spiritual direction for the various Chinese ministries and groups in these parishes?

In addition, is there a good distribution of Mandarin-speaking priests across these parishes to ensure that our priests in these parishes are not overloaded with their duties to the Chinese-speaking community?

Given the limited number of Mandarin-speaking priests, it is understandable that the Chinese-speaking community is disappointed with the recent transfers of some Mandarin-speaking priests from parishes that have relatively large, vibrant and active Chinese groups.
CALCUTTA – Much to his chagrin, Hindu painter Venkataswami Logaguru never had the chance to see Blessed Teresa of Calcutta as she ministered to some of the city’s poorest residents.

These days, he’s painting his impressions of her as a way to honour the beloved woman.

“From childhood, I wanted to see the Mother, but I could not. Now, I am happy I could draw three paintings of her,” Logaguru told Catholic News Service Feb 11 at an exhibit featuring the work of two dozen artists after they participated in a four-day camp organised by the fledgling Christian Artists Association of India.

The camp, which ended Feb 10, celebrated the theme “Mother Teresa: Communicator of Compassion”.

The idea for the exhibition came from Sister Nirmala Joshi, retired superior general of the Missionaries of Charity, the order founded by Mother Teresa.

“We started the camp by visiting and praying at the tomb of the mother for inspiration for our work,” Logaguru said.
Thousands caught in fallout from deadly fighting over disputed Cambodian territory.

THAILAND – Churches and schools are prepared to provide any long-term assistance to people displaced by recent deadly border clashes between Thailand and Cambodia, a local bishop said.

“We have a policy that all Catholic organisations are ready to provide support to affected people immediately” as there was no way to know when fighting might resume, said Bishop Banchong Chaiyara of Ubon Ratchathani.

Local media report that after 3,000 affected people returned home, they could still hear firing so some of them turned back or stayed at a nearby temple.

Fr Anucha Chaopraeknoi, chaplain of the volunteer group of the Catholic Commission for Emergency Relief and Refugees (COERR), said “COERR is coordinating with Ubon Ratchathani diocese and churches in the area. If the situation worsens again, women’s groups in the churches nearby will immediately help them with cooking, while COERR will provide funds.”