FEBRUARY 26, 2012, Vol 62, No 04

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Simon and the other fishermen were unable to catch any fish, but when Simon placed his trust in Jesus, everything changed.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In embarking on our Lenten journey this year, let us recall the story of Simon and the Fishermen from the Gospel of St Luke.

Jesus had been preaching to a large crowd near a lake and saw two fishing boats. Jesus boarded Simon Peter’s boat and asked him to push the boat out a bit into the water so that He could distance himself from the pressing crowds.

When Jesus finished speaking, He asked Simon to take his boat out into deeper water and lower his nets. Simon replied, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command, I will lower the nets” (Luke 5:5). The result was a catch so big that the fishing nets began to tear.

To be truly open to the power of Christ in your life is to acknowledge your failures and admit your own inability to save yourself. Simon and the other fishermen were unable to catch any fish on their own, despite long and hard efforts, but when Simon placed his trust in Jesus, everything changed for him.

Mr Barack Obama making a statement on Feb 10 about the federal mandate on contraceptive coverage. Beside him is Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.

ROME – President Barack Obama’s revision to a controversial contraceptive mandate has done nothing to change bishops’ opposition to what they regard as an unconstitutional infringement on religious liberty, says a top US Church leader.

“What [Obama] offered was next to nothing. There’s no change, for instance, in these terribly restrictive mandates and this grossly restrictive definition of what constitutes a religious entity,” said Cardinal-designate Timothy M Dolan of New York, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops on Feb 13.

“The principle wasn’t touched at all.”

In a move that appeared unlikely to end controversy over a federal mandate that all health insurance plans include contraception and sterilisation free of charge, Mr Obama on Feb 10 outlined a plan that would allow religious employers not to offer such services to their employees but would compel insurance companies to do so.

“No woman’s health should depend on who she is, who she works for or how much money she makes,” Mr Obama said. He said the new policy remains faithful to the “core principle” of free preventive care, but also honours the principle of religious freedom, which “as a Christian, I cherish”.

Msgr Francis Lau

Fr Stephen Yim

Fr Adrian Yeo
As of Feb 1, Msgr Francis Lau has assumed all pastoral duties relating to the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd.

The cathedral restoration will continue to be overseen by Fr Adrian Anthony, who will take on this project fulltime while continuing to reside at the cathedral.

Fr Stephen Yim will assist Fr Michael Arro at the Church of St Teresa, while Fr Adrian Yeo will be parish priest of the Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary as of March 5.
Fruit and vegetables grown by parishioners are displayed at a farmer’s market at a Catholic church in Tennessee, USA. CNS photo

AFTER the feasting (from Christmas to Chinese New Year), we who have been so blessed must need now to give our bodies a rest! For the sake of our health, for the sake of our planet.

Everyone in Singapore knows that it is a national pastime, this obsession with eating well. And how we never seem to tire of talking about food.

Perhaps, it has something to do with the story of our desperate origins, when putting food on the table began as a matter of survival. Our grand- or great-grandparents’ generation took pride in being able to provide decent meals for their families from the sweat of their brow.