JUNE 02, 2013, Vol 63, No 11


Archbishop Goh takes over as head of archdiocese.

Plans to spend first year visiting parishes, religious institutions and organisations
“I am still the same old Fr William Goh, with the same passion and love for Christ and His Church. The office does not change me but I hope I can change the office.”  - Archbishop William Goh“I am still the same old Fr William Goh, with the same passion and love for Christ and His Church. The office does not change me but I hope I can change the office.” - Archbishop William GohPlans to spend first year visiting parishes, religious institutions and organisations

“Assuming the Office of Archbishop is something I have never aspired to or even thought of in my pastoral vision,” says Archbishop William Goh, the new head of the Catholic Church in Singapore.

“However, I accept it in humility and in obedience to the will of God and I pray that His grace will be enough to see me through,” he told CatholicNews.

“I am still the same old Fr William Goh, with the same passion and love for Christ and His Church. The office does not change me but I hope I can change the office.”

Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Archbishop Nicholas Chia on May 18 at noon Rome time or 6 pm Singapore time. Archbishop Goh, who was episcopally ordained on Feb 22, took office the moment his predecessor’s resignation was accepted.

Archbishop Nicholas Chia at his office in the Archbishop’s House.Archbishop Nicholas Chia at his office in the Archbishop’s House.

... says Archbishop Emeritus Nicholas Chia as he reflects on his time as head of the Church here


Although the Vatican has accepted his resignation, Archbishop Emeritus Nicholas Chia says he still hopes to serve the Church in whatever ways he can.

He plans to “reach out, especially to poor people, to meet them and be in contact with them”, he told CatholicNews on May 19, the day after his resignation was accepted.

Reflecting on his 11-and-a-half-year tenure as archbishop, he said: “I never chose to be a bishop. It’s God’s will. So I just followed God’s will though it was a great responsibility. But we are not here for ourselves but what God wants through the authorities of the Church.”
Part of the 1,500-strong crowd at the Pentecost Rally held at the Church of St Vincent De Paul.Part of the 1,500-strong crowd at the Pentecost Rally held at the Church of St Vincent De Paul.The work of evangelisation has become more urgent today because of secularism and relativism. The most precious gift that Catholics can give to anyone is therefore Jesus.

This was the message Archbishop William Goh gave to some 1,500 people gathered at the Church of St Vincent De Paul on May 19 for the annual Pentecost Rally. The event, which also included Mass, was organised by SACCRE (Singapore Archdiocesan Catholic Charismatic Renewal) and the parish.

In his first public address after becoming head of the Singapore archdiocese, Archbishop Goh noted that “people are looking for love and truth but they cannot find an answer. They need Christ.
It was God’s call that led Ms Jacinta Cardoza to work with the Infant Jesus Sisters for more than 25 years.

After graduating from the National University of Singapore in 1986, the philosophy and political science major, together with her peers from the varsity’s Catholic Students’ Society, “searched for meaningful ways to put our faith into practice and contribute to society”, she said.

  Ms Jacinta Cardoza with children at the IJ Centre in Yangon. Ms Jacinta Cardoza with children at the IJ Centre in Yangon.The former Marymount Convent and Catholic Junior College student recalled being invited to the Galilee Centre in Jalan Kayu, run by the IJ Sisters.

The facility catered to the poor in the area and provided educational support for underprivileged children.

“That early encounter was powerful, because the reality of the lives of the children challenged me and challenged my faith,” Ms Cardoza, 50, told CatholicNews in an email interview.

Ms Cardoza, who is single, served as a volunteer at the centre for three years before working fulltime there, running programmes for children and young people as well as providing support to the children’s mothers.

During a retreat in 1998, she sensed that “the Lord was inviting me to something more”.