FEBRUARY 8, 2015, Vol 65, No 03

Singapore residents take part in Pope Francis' Jan 13-19 visit to the Philippines and Sri Lanka

The group from Singapore including Ms Angela Perumal-Schooling (left foreground), waiting for Pope Francis after he arrived in Sri Lanka on Jan 17. The group from Singapore including Ms Angela Perumal-Schooling (left foreground), waiting for Pope Francis after he arrived in Sri Lanka on Jan 17.Among the thousands who stood for hours under the blazing sun to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis, who arrived in Sri Lanka on Jan 13, was a group of 15 Singaporeans, including pre-press foreman Angela Perumal-Schooling.

She said that upon seeing the pope, she was “ecstatic”.

Ms Perumal-Schooling, who is a parishioner at the Church of St Bernadette shared with CatholicNews that it was “a truly jubilant moment for the group”.

The group included Chinese, Indian and Eurasians from various parishes.

The group had a good view and “We all had a good snap of our dearest pope,” said Ms Perumal-Schooling.
Singporean Sr Thomasina Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood http://www.fmdmsgmy.orgSingporean Sr Thomasina Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood http://www.fmdmsgmy.org
When was the last time you had fun? Name the occasion.
At the 2014 year-end dinner and dance for Mt Alvernia Hospital staff. One of the items we had to do was something like Zumba! I found my hands and legs going in the opposite direction of everyone else’s.

Name an occasion you felt embarrassed/humiliated.
One of the Members of Parliament paid a visit to the hospital during Christmas. As we talked about babies delivered, I said we had 6,000+ babies last month. When I saw the reaction on his face, I knew I said something stupid. I meant for the year!

Name an occasion when you felt God was far away.
Many years ago when my father was sick for a short while and died. Because of the system in Religious life at that time, I wasn’t allowed to visit him. My belief that God will look after my family was shattered.
Fr Ricky Manalo performing one of his songs. Photo: Pujianto CemerlangFr Ricky Manalo performing one of his songs. Photo: Pujianto Cemerlang
It was a concert out of the ordinary as contemplative prayer took centre stage.

Fr Ricky Manalo’s opening hymn, the haunting Be Still and Know I’m Here, was a crowd favourite.

Performing at the Spirit and Grace Jan 23 evening concert at the Church of St Mary of the Angels, he was joined by a choir of about 30, and the parish’s instrumentalists.

But it wasn’t just any concert performance which showcased the American Paulist priest’s compositions. Instead, contemplative prayer took centre stage.

Despite bantering with a crowd of 700, many of whom had queued in true Singaporean fashion for an hour to reserve seats, Fr Ricky looked relaxed even while nursing a bad back.
Past and present instructors  (above) were honoured at the reunion; and Dr and Mrs Victor Wee (right) shared memorable experiences.Past and present instructors (above) were honoured at the reunion; and Dr and Mrs Victor Wee (right) shared memorable experiences.

Natural Family Planning Service Singapore (NFP) held a reunion with over 80 past and current instructors and their families on Jan 17 at Orchid Country Club.

Mass was concelebrated by Sacred Heart Fr Anthony Hutjes and Dominican Fr David Garcia.

Sharing their most memorable occasions and anecdotes to huge applause were Dr Victor and Mrs Vivienne Wee, together with Dr Ian Snodgrass.

NFP instructors have been promoting the method since the early 70s. Besides promoting self-awareness, NFP is also couple-oriented and promotes sharing and joint responsibility in planning a family.
Singapore residents take part in Pope Francis' Jan 13-19 visit to the Philippines and Sri Lanka

Left: The Singapore-based choir  members after  the papal Mass  on Jan 18. The author is on the extreme right, third row. Photo: MARKY CANIOSLeft: The Singapore-based choir members after the papal Mass on Jan 18. The author is on the extreme right, third row. Photo: MARKY CANIOSSurprises. We experienced our fair share of these on the road to and at the exhilarating and faith-enriching visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines.

We were invited last August to be part of the 1,000-member choir for the pope’s closing Mass on Jan 18.  This was after we sang as one of the choirs supporting Jesuit Fr Manoling Francisco in his prayer concert at the Church of Our Lady Queen of Peace.

As fellow chorister, Mr Ben Dominguez, said, “We were not expecting that something bigger than the Fr Manoling concert was going to happen. It was humbling and really exciting.”

Our group, St Francis Xavier Choir, comprises mostly parishioners of the Churches of St Ignatius and St Vincent de Paul, as well as Church of the Divine Mercy.