JUNE 29, 2014, Vol 64, No 13
The reasons given by young people who have not been going to Mass regularly, as reported by Clara Lai (Young People Who Don’t Attend Church, CN, June 15), make for interesting reading.
They are not that insurmountable.
If the Catholic Church wants to lead those who have left back to the fold, she has to do a lot of soul searching and for this, hopefully, the Office for Young People can be up to the task.
Find out what is it in the Catholic Church that is driving the youths away to other religions or into the wilderness.
Is it, to quote:
• “Mass...can be a little dry”?
• “see it [Mass] as a ritual and not a need”? Such as same routine, e.g. Introductory Rites, Liturgy of the Eucharist etc.
• “the church was too indoctrinating and stifling”?
• “the homilies. A lot of them I couldn’t relate to”?
It was an example of the rosary’s power to unite people from different ethnic groups.
Close to 300 parishioners of the Church of Our Lady Star of the Sea prayed the rosary during an outdoor rosary and candlelight procession on June 13, with each decade being said in Tagalog, Tamil, Chinese, Malayalam and English.
A statue of Our Lady of Fatima, which was recently purchased from Fatima in Portugal and flown to the parish, was carried during the procession.
Parish priest Fr JJ Fenelon was in Fatima recently for a Marian pilgrimage and led in a decade of the Sorrowful Mysteries during the rosary devotion and procession there one night.
He said he was impressed with how each decade was led by people from different nationalities praying in their own language, and yet the thousands of pilgrims from all over the world responded in their own languages.
Inspiring films that leave one thinking and reflecting long after the viewing experience is over.
This just about sums up the reaction of some of the 60 people who attended the first CANA Film Festival held on June 7 and 8.
The event, held at the Catholic Centre on Waterloo St, aimed to introduce viewers to Catholic social teaching via film.
Fifteen documentaries, short and independent feature films were screened over the two afternoons, of which only two were explicitly religious.
Ms Corinne Chan, 36, said she learnt about “human dignity and compassion” from watching the documentary, Menstrual Man, about a man who aims to help poor Indian women gain access to basic feminine hygiene and livelihoods.
Another viewer, Ms Priscilla, 26, said she felt the “film taught us how average people can make changes”.
Seven girls and more than 100 boys and male teachers of St Joseph’s Institution International shaved their heads in a show of solidarity with children suffering from cancer.
The June 11 event was organised as part of Hair for Hope, a fundraiser of the Children’s Cancer Foundation.
In addition, 60 girls, along with one mother and one female teacher, had eight inches (20 cm) of their hair cut off as part of the Beautiful Lengths charity movement.
The locks of hair will be sent to the American Cancer Society to make pro-bono wigs for cancer patients.
The annual events raised over $100,000 and saw participation from about 20 percent of the school community, who came together to embody the Lasallian spirit of standing in solidarity with those who are suffering.
Among the participants were a Grade 7 student, his father, and grandfather, who had their heads shaved together.
Eight members of staff and a board member also had their heads shaved. They include the high school principal Bradley Roberts and Lasalle Br Arian Lopez, head of religious studies and faith formation.
Young Catholics from the Church of Saint Anthony celebrated the Easter season by taking a trip back in time to medieval Europe where the game of “handball” was traditionally played during this season.
Pallamano, which means “handball” in Italian, was a favourite Easter sport most commonly played in France and Germany.
“The ball represents the sun,” explained Bernice Wong, 19, one of the organisers of the event. “It was believed to take three leaps in rising on Easter morning. Tossing the ball upwards represents the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
About 40 young people took part in this sporting activity at Woodlands Waterfront on May 24. It allowed them to have fun, and at the same time, foster camaraderie among each other. Modifications to the games were added, such as shouting “Alleluia!” or any form of praise to God when passing the ball.