JANUARY 25, 2015, Vol 65, No 02

A volunteer presents a gift to a Chinese migrant worker during a Christmas party at the  Church of St Vincent de Paul. A volunteer presents a gift to a Chinese migrant worker during a Christmas party at the Church of St Vincent de Paul.
Better coordination and more commitment from local Catholics are needed to better serve Chinese migrant workers attending activities in parishes.

This was a comment made by parish coordinators serving some of the 200 or so blue-collar workers – both Catholic and non-Catholic – who attend activities in at least six parishes.

These are the parishes of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Sts Peter and Paul, St Mary of the Angels, St Vincent de Paul, Holy Trinity and Risen Christ.

As part of its ongoing series featuring foreign Catholic communities in Singapore, CatholicNews spoke to some of these parish coordinators to find out more about these activities.
Chinese Fr Joseph Zhang Liyong, Congregation of the Disciples of the Lord (CDD)Chinese Fr Joseph Zhang Liyong, Congregation of the Disciples of the Lord (CDD)
When was the last time you had fun? Name the occasion.
The last time I had fun was when I went for an outing with Chinese migrants. We played a game called “four-legged race”. Before the race, my team agreed to walk faster. In the end, our group ended up last. Nevertheless, I enjoyed myself.
 
Name an occasion you felt embarrassed or humbled.
One day, I went to give the last rites to a bedridden person. He wanted to make a confession. He said to me, “Father, I want to make a good confession, I will confess all the sins that I have committed since I was young.” I was touched by his humility. At the same time, I felt humbled. An elderly man confessed his sins to a priest who was less than half his age.
Jesse  Manibusan performing at  the Church of Divine Mercy.  Photo: GERARD GOHJesse Manibusan performing at the Church of Divine Mercy. Photo: GERARD GOH
Jesse Manibusan’s dulcet tones filled the Church of Divine Mercy on a tranquil Jan 10 evening.

The American musician and songwriter, whose forebears were from Guam, spreads the Word through music and song. When not touring, he serves as a youth and music minister in various parishes in the US.

During the recent concert here, the father of three displayed his prowess on the guitar. However, it was his affable personality belying a quick wit and a wry sense of humour which enabled him to connect with the audience.

The crowd was encouraged to sing along to the refrains of most of his songs.

He also demonstrated his ability to reach out when he called on the young people in the crowd to demonstrate the actions to numbers like Come Fish with Me; Yes, Lord; and Bless the Lord. He also covered some of his most popular songs such as With all the Saints, Open my Eyes and the exuberant Malo! Malo! Thanks be to God!
The new Don Bosco High School in Teuk Thla looms impressively with a statue of her patron standing watch at the entrance.The new Don Bosco High School in Teuk Thla looms impressively with a statue of her patron standing watch at the entrance.While 350 ACTS (A Call to Share) participants were on their annual mission trip to Phnom Penh from Dec 14-20, some got the chance to witness the inauguration of the Don Bosco High School in Tuek Thla, Cambodia, on Dec 15.

The high school was constructed as ACTS wanted to help the Salesian Sisters build a safe and enriching environment for students, as well as to expand it and create a kindergarten, a primary and secondary school, and the latest addition, a high school.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by guest-of-honour, His Excellency Pa Socheatvong, Governor of Phnom Penh and Battambang. Representatives from the major donors, several bishops of Phnom Penh and Battambang, priests, Religious and  officials from various ministries also attended the inauguration.
Kindergarten kids playing with ACTS volunteers in Nikum during a lesson on colours.Kindergarten kids playing with ACTS volunteers in Nikum during a lesson on colours.
It was the first time that a large group of 118 ACTS volunteers, led by spiritual director Fr Jovita Cyprian Ho, travelled to Battambang Prefecture in northwestern Cambodia from Dec 6-13 last year to do mission work.

Previously, about 30 ACTS volunteers went there annually.

The volunteers, who also included non-Catholics, formed various teams, and set out to parishes in five different places – Battambang and nearby villages in Nikum, Crab Viel, Tahen and Chomnaom.

In all five places, ACTS kindergarten teams did arts and crafts and other activities with the children, while the various ACTS work teams assisted in painting work.