APRIL 08, 2012, Vol 62, No 07

Read about the new initiative from the Singapore archdiocese: Priests and laypeople learn how to foster a 'safe environment' for children, page 2.

In our news section, we carry a report on the Society of St Vincent de Paul becoming a member of a UN body, page 16.

A brief report on 70 youths who took part in an overnight Lenten vigil at East Coast Park, page 8.

Popular author Fr Ronald Rolheiser reflects on Lenten observances in his regular column: Fast first, then feast, page 18

It's the last week of Lent and we carry a faith formation article, From Death to Life - discovering the journey of Jesus from crucifixion to resurrection, pages 20-21.

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Bishop Paul Tan of Melaka-Johor diocese (centre) at the Chrism Mass. With him were permanent deacons Leslie Petrus (extreme left) and Anthony Chua (extreme right). The others are altar servers. Photo: FRANCIS GOPALBishop Paul Tan of Melaka-Johor diocese (centre) at the Chrism Mass. With him were permanent deacons Leslie Petrus (extreme left) and Anthony Chua (extreme right). The others are altar servers. Photo: FRANCIS GOPAL

JOHOR BAHRU – Bishop Paul Tan of Melaka-Johor diocese compared the Chrism Mass to Jesus’s prayer before suffering His passion.

Jesus had prayed that his disciples may be one just as the Father and He are one, so that the world may believe, said Bishop Tan at the Mass held at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Johor Bahru on March 20.

“The first duty of the bishop, priests and permanent deacons is to unite all the people of God through their ministries.” said Bishop Tan.

“At this Mass my permanent deacons and priests renew their ordination promises to be obedient to their bishop and work with him in unity as a family to look after the people of God,” said Bishop Tan.
A woman prepares a simple, meatless meal for Lent.A woman prepares a simple, meatless meal for Lent.ON ASH WEDNESDAY, I joined my fellow Catholics in giving public witness to my faith, becoming, literally, a marked man. Ashes on the forehead cause a change in outlook and disposition, in the way I walk out and face the world.

When they see the black smudge, some people stare and wonder, others show a spark of recognition or look as though they recall something from days long past. Most don’t notice or studiously ignore the man with the black mark.

We wear ashes not to show off and say how holy and superior we are as Catholics. We wear ashes to remind us and others: From dust we are made, and to dust we shall return. The ash should not proclaim to the world, “Better than you!” but rather, “Sinner like me!”
VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI has established a commission to investigate a series of leaks of letters exchanged among Vatican officials and between the officials and the pope himself.

Archbishop Angelo Becciu, Vatican substitute secretary of state, said on March 16 that the papal commission would try “to shed light on the whole affair”.

A Vatican tribunal would look into taking legal action against those who gave the documents to reporters, and the Vatican Secretariat of State would carry out an administrative review of every Vatican office.

Singer Corrinne May performing at her March 23 concert. Photo: CANDICE CHANSinger Corrinne May performing at her March 23 concert. Photo: CANDICE CHANCatholics and non-Catholics alike flocked to the Church of St Mary of the Angels on March 23 for Corrinne May’s It’s a Beautiful Life concert.

May is a Singapore-born and bred Catholic singer-songwriter who is currently based in Los Angeles.

Of the 13 songs presented that night, 10 were from May’s latest album, Crooked Lines.

During the concert, she shared her inspirations for her songs. She also spoke briefly on Lent, and how it is about prioritising and spending quality time with family and friends, before performing 24 Hours, my personal favourite from her new album.

The line that stands out the most in this song poses a reflective question to me: “If I had only 24 hours to live, what would I do?”

Indeed, if it were your last 24 hours, what would you want to do? This song struck a chord in my heart when I first heard it on her recorded version, and hearing it live was indeed a whole new experience altogether.

The song that followed was Sight of Love, which had the phrase, “We were made in love, and back to love we will return, someday”. It was another song that touched my heart.

Halfway through the concert, May introduced her band, which included her husband and keyboardist Kavin Hoo.