JUNE 01, 2014, Vol 64, No 11

Participants of the School of Christian Leadership pose form a photo with Frs Samuel Lim and Jude David. On the ground are  clay works made by the participants during their time of reflection. Photos: BRANDON NG, CHRISTINA CHUA, KELVIN LIM and NICHOLAS TANParticipants of the School of Christian Leadership pose form a photo with Frs Samuel Lim and Jude David. On the ground are clay works made by the participants during their time of reflection. Photos: BRANDON NG, CHRISTINA CHUA, KELVIN LIM and NICHOLAS TANA School of Christian Leadership, a Night of Joy and a Kickstart event for freshmen are part of its efforts to reach out to young Catholics.

Pedestrians walking along the intersection of Lorong Low Koon and Upper Serangoon Road recently would have noticed a new signboard proudly proclaiming the presence of the Office for Young People (OYP) of the Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore.

This development coincided with a week of many firsts for OYP – its first School of Christian Leadership, its first Nox Gaudii (Night of Joy) and its first Kickstart event for university freshmen, all conducted on its very own premises.

Students from the various universities (JCU, NTU, NUS, Yale-NUS College, SIM, SIT, SMU, SUTD) spent a week at the School of Christian Leadership so as to begin “Leading With the Shepherd’s Heart”, as the programme was themed.

OYP co-chaplain Fr Jude David, in his opening address, noted that the May 11-17 programme began on Good Shepherd Sunday.
Priests and seminarians join laypeople in praying for vocations during Holy Hour. Priests and seminarians join laypeople in praying for vocations during Holy Hour.
The current number of Singaporean men joining the seminary is insufficient to replace priests who leave active service due to old age or sickness. Yet the need for priests in Singapore is great because it is through them that Christ comforts and guides His people through the Word and sacraments.

Vicar General Msgr Ambrose Vaz made this point during a Mass to mark the World Day of Prayer for Vocations on May 11.

Speaking to the crowd gathered at the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Msgr Vaz expressed conviction that the Lord continues to call young people from Singapore to work in his harvest, but many find it difficult to listen to and respond to the invitation.

Msgr Vaz, who is also rector of the St Francis Xavier Major Seminary, explained that Singaporean Catholics need to build a culture that encourages vocations.

He acknowledged that this could be difficult as the notion of asking God what He wants one to do with one’s life runs counter to the local materialistic and secular culture which encourages self-fulfilment.
Catholic visitors to the Ba’alwie Mosque pose for a photo with Imam Habib Hassan (second row, third from left) and prominent members of the mosque.Catholic visitors to the Ba’alwie Mosque pose for a photo with Imam Habib Hassan (second row, third from left) and prominent members of the mosque.
Imam Habib Hassan of Ba’alwie Mosque shares his faith with his guests.

It was a valuable interfaith experience for a group of Catholics when they visited the Ba’alwie Mosque to learn more about Islam.

The Archdiocesan Catholic Council for Interreligious Dialogue (ACCIRD) organised the May 10 visit to the mosque, located at 2 Lewis Road.

Days prior to the visit, the 14 participants attended a formation and orientation session on the Church’s teachings on interreligious dialogue.

Upon arrival at the mosque, the visitors removed their footwear while the women donned headscarves as a mark of
respect.

They were warmly welcomed by Syed Hassan Al-Attas, imam and head of the mosque; his son, Syed Ahmed Al-Attas; and several friends.
Fr Eugene Vaz speaking at the Church of the Holy Cross.Fr Eugene Vaz speaking at the Church of the Holy Cross.
“There is a need for a paradigm shift. At the heart of marriage and work is the human person.”

Fr Eugene Vaz made this point during the fourth in a series of talks called Bridging Your Life with Christ, held at the Church of the Holy Cross on May 10.

Speaking on the topic of work and marriage, Fr Vaz told the crowd that man and woman were told to be fruitful and multiply, and were given lordship over the entire creation, making them stewards of creation.

Thus through marriage and work, humans are called to form a community of love and service.

He noted that by one’s work, man partakes in partnering with God in the ongoing development and beautification of His creation. The very meaning of God’s calling to work must be seen within the nature and purpose of the human person who is made in the image and likeness of God.
Participants of a recent regional conference on migrants and itinerant people, held at Montfort Centre, pose for a photo. Participants of a recent regional conference on migrants and itinerant people, held at Montfort Centre, pose for a photo.
A recent regional meeting for Catholics serving migrants has been a useful learning experience, say participants.
The sixth annual conference of the Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral care of Migrants & Itinerant People (EMI) allowed “us to meet our counterparts in Malaysia (including Sabah and Sarawak) and Brunei”, said Mr Timothy Karl.

The executive director of Singapore’s Archdiocesan Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants & Itinerant People (ACMI) said “it is interesting to see how the various dioceses with different situations and profiles reach out to their migrant populations. In church work, we learn from one another.”

Twenty-one participants, including clergy and laypeople, attended the May 8-11 conference held at the Montfort Centre off Upper Bukit Timah Road.