NOVEMBER 30, 2014, Vol 64, No 24

Forming the IJ Link at CHIJMES with IJ Provincial, Sr Agnes Lee (fourth from left).Forming the IJ Link at CHIJMES with IJ Provincial, Sr Agnes Lee (fourth from left).More than 400 Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (CHIJ) students, staff, alumni and the Infant Jesus (IJ) Sisters, joined forces on Nov 9 to set a new Singapore record for the longest human chain.

It was part of CHIJ’s 160th anniversary celebrations which was organised by the CHIJ Alumni Association.

During the event called IJ Buzz-aar, participants were grouped according to their height before taking a walk around CHIJMES where the first CHIJ was set up.

According to Dr Claire Ang, president of the CHIJ Alumni Association, a total of 402 people gathered to create a record for forming a human chain.

A Singapore Book of Records official later presented certificates to CHIJ representatives.

Dr Ang also said that the previous Guinness World Record stood at 311, but “we need confirmation from Guinness, [which] will take some time”.
Archbishop John Ha of Kuching, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, seen here with Pope Francis during the October Extraordinary Synod. Archbishop John Ha of Kuching, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, seen here with Pope Francis during the October Extraordinary Synod.
Ideas were ‘frankly expressed’, says Archbishop John Ha of Kuching

The journeying together (which the word “Synod” means) of the Bishops as shepherds of their respective Catholic communities with Pope Francis was for me a profound experience of the universal Church as a pilgrim people. The Bishops were from all over the world. While some knew one another, a lot were meeting for the first time – new faces but not strangers. There was warmth because there was a deep sense of brotherhood that came from the Bishops’ common calling in baptism and ordination (priestly as well as episcopal).

What had we Bishops come to journey together for? To share our pastoral experiences and search together for a relevant and effective way of pasturing our respective flocks in today’s world.
A retreat for women by women spiritual directors. Participants of the Come Be-loved Daughters of God retreat, held on Nov 14-16, with some of the spiritual directors at Kingsmead Centre.A retreat for women by women spiritual directors. Participants of the Come Be-loved Daughters of God retreat, held on Nov 14-16, with some of the spiritual directors at Kingsmead Centre.
Busyness pulls women away from God. Juggling multiple roles, such as, being co-provider of the family, wife, mother, daughter caring for elderly parents, sister, grandmother and friend can make one feel harried, fatigued and drained of energy. Faced with this daily, the tendency is to limit or deny the need to spend time with the Lord.

But God’s gentle whisper can still rise above the noise and din of daily activities. And for the 15 women who heard the invitation to Come Be-Loved Daughters of God retreat, and responded with openness from Nov 14-16, the rewards were empowering and liberating.

Unique gifts

The hushed surroundings of Kingsmead Centre, well-tended gardens dotted with shady, quiet corners, provided the restful backdrop to coax the women to ponder their unique gifts and identity as God’s daughters.
The Sri Lankan community posing for a photo during this year’s Migrant Sunday celebration. With their chaplain, Friar Julian Nerius Roy Mariaratnam, (in brown habit). The Sri Lankan community posing for a photo during this year’s Migrant Sunday celebration. With their chaplain, Friar Julian Nerius Roy Mariaratnam, (in brown habit).

The Sri Lankan Catholic community started from humble beginnings. It was set up by Sr Mary Susila Thomas in 1995 together with Ms Clara Perera, 66, who has been living in Singapore for 24 years. They went to Tekka market in search
of fellow Sri Lankan Catholics.

Their efforts have reaped rewards as now, the Sri Lankan community is a close-knit group comprising about 150 members.

CatholicNews spoke to the community after Mass in Sinhala at the Greccio Friary in CHIJ Queen of Peace (CHIJ QOP) on Nov 9. What was apparent was how the community harnesses the power of social media and technology to spread the Good News.

It has created a mobile application “Supuwatha” or Good News, which gives daily Mass readings in text, audio and video – in Sinhala and Tamil.
CN, Nov 16CN, Nov 16
I would like to thank the CatholicNews editorial team for running the article, R U Texting in Church, Put the Phone Down! (CN, Nov 16).

I am in total agreement with the article, and I believe that publishing this article will give many people food for thought. While this article was written in the US, I think this is a concern that is also present in Singapore.

There are a lot of points that resonated with me, mainly, the conundrum of whether or not we should address parishioners who use their mobile devices during Mass.

I’m 28 years old and even I (not just my parents) have noticed this growing concern as people’s attachment to their mobile devices grew over the years.