SEPTEMBER 09, 2012, Vol 62, No 18

“Charlotte” suffered an abortion when she had an unexpected pregnancy two years ago, and still remembers the trauma and sadness she felt.

When I found out that I was pregnant at a tender age of 21, studying in Australia with no family around me, I did not get the same fears that many other unmarried young women faced. Although I had admittedly made a mistake of engaging in sexual intercourse with a man I was not married to, I was thrilled to find out I was pregnant.

Due to medical complications I had to live with, I had thought for several years that I was infertile. For me, the feeling of guilt was drowned out by a pure joy that I too could be a mother, that I too could have a baby grow inside my womb. Unfortunately, my boyfriend of five years did not accept the reality of my pregnancy. He was adamant that I should abort our child.

Aiding Syrian rebels a big mistake, nun warns
Insurgents destroying delicate religious and ethnic balance in Syria, says Syria-based nun

  ‘I ask this of you because as disciples of Jesus Christ, we all are called to holiness.’  – Newly ordained Bishop Sebastian Francis (above) urging the congregation to pray for him in his new role. Main consecrator Archbishop Murphy Pakiam is on the left. ‘I ask this of you because as disciples of Jesus Christ, we all are called to holiness.’ – Newly ordained Bishop Sebastian Francis (above) urging the congregation to pray for him in his new role. Main consecrator Archbishop Murphy Pakiam is on the left.

BUKIT MERTAJAM, PENANG – Penang diocese welcomed its fifth bishop on Aug 20. Bishop Sebastian Francis replaces Bishop Antony Selvanayagam, who had led the diocese since 1983.

More than 6,000 people from Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, including seven bishops and about 100 priests, witnessed the episcopal ordination and installation ceremony at St Anne’s Church in Bukit Mertajam.

Archbishop Murphy Pakiam of Kuala Lumpur was the principal consecrator while Bishops Paul Tan of Melaka-Johor and Antony Selvanayagam of Penang were the co-consecrators.

In his inaugural address to the congregation, Bishop Francis urged the people to pray for him in his new role.

“I ask this of you because as disciples of Jesus Christ, we all are called to holiness and have received an equal privilege of faith through the justice of God,” he said.

The 60-year-old bishop also reached out to the hearing impaired in the crowd by using sign language and acknowledged the presence of people from other faiths as well.

Speaking during the ceremony, Archbishop Pakiam said, “As a father and a brother, love all those whom God places in your care. Love the priests and deacons who share with you the ministry of Christ.
Fr Joseph Tan was called to the Lord on Aug 27 after a battle with cancer.Fr Joseph Tan was called to the Lord on Aug 27 after a battle with cancer.An approachable priest who cared for his flock – that is how former parishioners and those who knew the late Fr Joseph Tan remember him.

Fr Tan returned to the Lord on Aug 27 after a battle with cancer, a few weeks shy of his 65th birthday. His funeral was scheduled for Aug 30.

Fr Tan was ordained in 1973 and served as assistant priest and parish priest at Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour (1973-1981).

He was subsequently parish priest of Church of St Bernadette (1983-1996), Church of the Holy Spirit (1996-2005), and Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary from 2005 until the time he stepped down due to ill health.
Archbishop Chia and priests bless the hands of nurses during the Catholic Nurses’ Day Mass.Archbishop Chia and priests bless the hands of nurses during the Catholic Nurses’ Day Mass.“It is the loving God who has called you to this important service to the sick and the infirm,” Archbishop Nicholas Chia told more than 200 nurses gathered for the annual Catholic Nurses’ Day Mass.

Therefore, the Catholic nurse “cannot follow Christ on her own terms,” choosing to do what she likes, he said in his homily.

The Mass for Catholic nurses and other healthcare professionals from polyclinics and private and government hospitals was held at the Church of the Risen Christ on Aug 19.

The event was organised by the Catholic Nurses Guild of Singapore.