DECEMBER 14, 2014, Vol 64, No 25

Participants playing a game at the carnival.Participants playing a game at the carnival.Assumption English School (AES) held a carnival in conjunction with the annual school open house on Nov 22 in its temporary campus at 121 Queensway.

The event served as a platform for AES students to apply their classroom learning and promote entrepreneurship skills, as they designed, pitched sales and managed stalls by themselves.

All sales proceeds from the event went to the school’s upgrading project under the School Upgrading Programme or PRIME.

Pastry chef, Mr Jimmy Kea, was amongst a group of chef volunteers who offered to help in the event. Besides actively arranging for event partners, Mr Kea also offered his expertise in baking and cake decoration.
Fr Julian Nerius Roy Mariaratnam giving his sharing during the retreat.Fr Julian Nerius Roy Mariaratnam giving his sharing during the retreat.An overnight Advent retreat in Tamil, organised by the Commission for the Apostolate of Tamil Speaking and the St Joseph Tamil Prayer Group, was held on Nov 29-30 at Blessed Sacrament Church.

The retreat which began at 10pm, started with participants praying the rosary, followed by a short sharing by Fr Julian Nerius Roy Mariaratnam. He shared how to prepare for the coming of Christ this Advent.

Fr Julian also spoke about the unconditional love of God the Father, giving participants a deeper insight into the incarnation of Jesus.

By Sr Motcha, FMM
Bucking the national trend, many young Catholic couples are raising more children

Gregory and Elaine Ho: God’s gifts to us

Married in 2000, Gregory and Elaine Ho took a while to conceive their first child. They went for fertility treatments, including a surgical procedure, and had planned to adopt a child before they had their firstborn in 2005.

“We had so much difficulty trying for the first child and were so happy when he came along. Then came the second, the third and the fourth and we just accepted them,” said Gregory, 45.

The children are now aged 9, 7, 5 and 3 years respectively.

When news of the third and fourth children was received, well-meaning friends and relatives asked, “Are you sure you still want another child? A fourth child will be a burden financially!”

Fr Clifford Augustine at the Mass.Fr Clifford Augustine at the Mass.
“Do things out of the ordinary. Mingle with people you normally would not, such as the poor and marginalised,” said Fr Clifford Augustine at this year’s World AIDS Day Mass, which was held on Nov 30 at the Church of St Mary of the Angels.

The Mass, which is held annually, was organised by the Catholic AIDS Response Effort (CARE), a Catholic Charity which provides care and support for People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs).

Guests included friends and supporters, members and volunteers of CARE, and residents from the shelter home, run by the charity.

In his homily, Fr Augustine urged the congregation to pray during this Advent for a change in their lives,  to do what God wishes for them; to bring God’s light into their lives so that they too can share it with others.
Singaporean Sr Karen Eng,  Daughters of St Paul.  Currently residing in Italy in  preparation for perpetual vows.  Website: Sr Karen Eng, Daughters of St Paul. Currently residing in Italy in preparation for perpetual vows. Website:
When was the last time you had fun?
Just last week! I went on a treasure hunt with my classmates as part of our class assignment. In two hours, we had to find and photograph ourselves with the “treasures” we found in central Milan, which included a historic opera house, a library which houses the largest collection of Da Vinci’s works, a 15th century castle and more!

Name an occasion you felt humbled.
I’m currently learning Italian but I feel like a stammering preschooler every time I have to speak it. Once, the visiting provincial superior asked if I liked Italian food. I wanted to say “I love it” but ended up saying “I love you” instead. She gave me a funny look so I hastily modified my reply!

Name an occasion when you felt God was far away.
In my mid-20s, I doubted the Real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Being at Mass was painful; it was a weird, torturous experience of wanting God so badly yet being unable to believe. This went on for a year but the light at the end of the tunnel was the discovery of my vocation.