SEPTEMBER 11, 2011, Vol 61, No 18

Benedict Tang, who joined an Opus Dei group to WYD, shares his pilgrimage experiences

Singapore pilgrims pose with pilgrims from other countries.

DAY 1 (Aug 11):
We arrived in Barcelona at about 8am. Renting three vans, we drove to Xaloc School, and made a quick stop to dump our luggage before heading straight to Basilica de la Sagrada Familia.

I marvelled at the genius of Gaudi, where each detail is carefully constructed in Christian symbolism. We then sauntered down the famous street of La Rambla in the afternoon, where we saw many of the famous statue-performing artists.

Day 2 (Aug 12): We visited the Oratory of Our Lady of Bonaigua which contains the remains of Montserrat Grases, a teenager who died of bone cancer at the age of 18 in March 1959. Her gentle and heroic acceptance of her painful disease led to her cause for beautification, which started in 1962.

Seeing her photos reminded me of the many youths I saw here in Spain, and I wished that many would be touched by her story.

Our next destination was Santa Maria de Montserrat, a Benedictine abbey in Catalonia. The famous Virgin of Montserrat (the Black Virgin) is Catalonia’s favourite saint, and her statue is located in the sanctuary of the Mare de Deu de Montserrat.

Refugee shelters at the transit centre in Dollo Ado, where refugees are documented before entering camps.

Children vastly outnumber adults in some of the refugee camps in the Horn of Africa, where a prolonged drought is causing a severe food crisis.

In the camps in the Dollo Ado district in Ethiopia, there are almost 120,000 refugees, most of whom came from neighbouring Somalia in search of food and water.

Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) has provided information on the situation through reports and press releases.

Parishioners of the churches of St Ignatius (Singapore) and St Francis Xavier (Petaling Jaya) preparing to attend Mass within the ruins of St Paul’s Church in Malacca.

SINGAPORE – Parishioners from two Jesuit-founded churches in Malaysia and Singapore made a joint pilgrimage to Malacca recently to mark their churches’ 50th anniversary

Parishioners of the churches of St Ignatius (Singapore) and St Francis Xavier (Petaling Jaya, Malaysia), visited the Malaysian town on Aug 20-21 for a weekend of celebration, fellowship and prayer.

Their churches were founded by Irish Jesuit missionaries.

Young participants at the event held at the Church of the Divine Mercy. Below: Fr Lionel Thomas addressed issues affecting youths.

More than 650 youths gathered at the Church of the Divine Mercy to celebrate the East District Youth Day (EDYD), an event held every two years. This was the second EDYD held for the Confirmation 3 youths.

Participants, helpers and organisers came from all six parishes in the east: Church of the Divine Mercy, Holy Trinity, Holy Family, Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Queen of Peace and St Stephen.

The theme for the Aug 27 event, Rooted in Christ, was based on this year’s World Youth Day theme. It focused on knowing what it means to be a Disciple of Christ.

Above: About 300 teachers attended the archdiocesan Teachers’ Day celebration on Aug 27. Below: Holy Trinity Kindergarten children entertain with Rhythm of the Earth, a song, dance and percussion performance.

It is important for teachers to realise that they cannot continue to be good Catholic educators unless they have a “deep ... spiritual life”.

“If we don’t, we’re just going to be swallowed up by the world in which we live,” Vicar General Msgr Eugene Vaz told some 300 teachers gathered for a Teachers’ Day Mass recently.