JULY 12, 2015, Vol 65, No 14

VATICAN CITY – In an effort to make the Vatican more effective in today’s digital world, Pope Francis established a new Secretariat for Communications, whose aim is to coordinate and streamline the Holy See’s multiple communications outlets.
The development of digital media, with its converging technologies and interactive capabilities, “requires a rethinking of the information system of the Holy See”, the pope wrote.

This “reorganisation”, he wrote, “must proceed decisively toward integration and a unified management” so that “the communication system of the Holy See will respond in an ever more efficacious manner to the needs of the mission of the Church.”

Pope Francis established the new secretariat with an apostolic letter given motu proprio (on his own initiative), dated June 27.

Nine Vatican media operations will be gradually integrated over the next four years while protecting people’s jobs, the Vatican has said.

According to the motu proprio, the nine offices to be “incorporated” are the Pontifical Council for Social Communications; the Vatican press office; the Vatican Internet office; Vatican Radio; the Vatican television production studio, CTV; the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano; the Vatican printing press; the Vatican photograph service, and the Vatican publishing house, Libreria Editrice Vaticana.
Singaporean Sr Marie Of the Lamb,  Discalced Nuns of the Order of the  Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt Carmel (OCD)Singaporean Sr Marie Of the Lamb, Discalced Nuns of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt Carmel (OCD)
When was the last time you had fun?
When I had to don the garb and act the role of an old, “drunken” woman for a community play. On certain occasions, such as our Prioress’ feast day on our jubilees, we amuse ourselves with homely fun.

Name an occasion you felt embarrassed.
I was in a Carmelite community in Uganda from 1986-2006. Once, out for a dental appointment, I struck up a friendship with a Ugandan mother carrying her toddler. Children there have close cropped hair. When I asked, “Mama, what’s the name of your son?” The amused answer shot back, “She is my daughter”.

What do you like best about being a Religious/consecrated person?
Pope Francis once said, “Prayer is never in vain.” Daily, people come to request prayers for their needs. Either marvelling at their faith or rejoicing with them for prayers answered, I thank God for my vocation.
An overview of the role of the Archdiocesan Land & Properties Singapore

ALPS Council and staff (left to right): Mr Elijah Tan, Mr Winston Hauw, Mr Gerard Tan, Ms Pauline Goh, Deacon Clement Chen, Ms Helen Seah, Archbishop William Goh, Ms Martha Soh, Msgr Philip Heng, Mr Willie Cheng, Mr Augustine Tan and Mr Martin Tay. Not in photo: Ms Gertrude Chan and Ms Joyce Koh.ALPS Council and staff (left to right): Mr Elijah Tan, Mr Winston Hauw, Mr Gerard Tan, Ms Pauline Goh, Deacon Clement Chen, Ms Helen Seah, Archbishop William Goh, Ms Martha Soh, Msgr Philip Heng, Mr Willie Cheng, Mr Augustine Tan and Mr Martin Tay. Not in photo: Ms Gertrude Chan and Ms Joyce Koh.

When efforts to renew the lease of 55 Waterloo Street (the current Catholic Centre) were being undertaken, the team managing the lease renewal confronted a range of real estate issues. It dawned on them that it would benefit the archdiocese if it had a deeper real estate knowledge and expertise at hand to tap on.

A recommendation was made to Archbishop Nicholas Chia then to establish an organisation for land and properties. The Archdiocesan Land & Properties Singapore (ALPS) was subsequently formed in December 2009.

The role of ALPS in its early years was largely advisory. It mainly provided advice and support to the archbishop on land and property matters.

The first thing that was done was the compilation and consolidation of an inventory of property assets. This was essential to provide an overview of the land and properties of the archdiocese. It allowed ALPS to look into the best use of and enhancement of the potential of these assets.
A deforested rainforest in Ecuador, South America. The pope’s encyclical  has relevance  greater  than just the loss of plant and animal diversity, says Friar John Wong.A deforested rainforest in Ecuador, South America. The pope’s encyclical has relevance greater than just the loss of plant and animal diversity, says Friar John Wong.By addressing Laudato Si’ to a universal audience, Pope Francis continues the tradition of Pacem in Terris (1963), which was the first papal encyclical addressed not only to Catholics, but to “all people of goodwill”, and which was applauded as a universal voice of conscience.

In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis addresses many elements of our modern reality, which are often considered to be disparate. He masterfully weaves together these varied components and shows how all are in fact indivisible parts of an interconnected union. He reminds us that as stewards of Creation, we are called to have dominion over the earth, as opposed to misguidedly seeking absolute domination over all creatures.

Some of the unexpected areas that this document brings together into a broad-ranging yet extraordinarily coherent discussion on our environment, include modern political realities and business practices, the rights of the poor, social media and travel, consumerism and technology, genetic modification, and trafficking of human and endangered species. The encyclical views these areas and more, through the lenses of philosophy, theology, spirituality and moral reason.
Sr Genevieve Ng passed away on June 19.Sr Genevieve Ng passed away on June 19.
Sr Genevieve Ng, from the Missionary Sisters of Service, was called to the Lord on June 19. She was 77.

Inspired by her Zen-Buddhist father’s call to always seek the truth, she came upon the Novena Church at the age of 14. Under the guidance of Fr Thomas Creede, she embraced the Catholic faith at 18.

She left Singapore at the age of 20 to join the Missionary Sisters of Service in Tasmania, Australia, and took her perpetual vows in 1967.

In Australia, she worked tirelessly for over three decades in cities, towns, rural and outback communities, reaching out to people who were geographically or socially isolated.

She focused particularly on those most vulnerable, especially refugees and children, where she brought her training as a teacher to bear in catechesis, Children’s Liturgy and youth leadership.

She returned to Singapore in 1992 to continue her work, forming laypeople in the areas of Children’s Liturgy and catechesis.