SEPTEMBER 06, 2015, Vol 65, No 18

Retreatants listening to Fr John Bosco Pereira at the vocation discernment retreat.Retreatants listening to Fr John Bosco Pereira at the vocation discernment retreat.

More than 50 young men – students, NSmen and young working adults – spent the National Day weekend discerning their vocation in life, particularly the priesthood.

Apart from contemplating their relationship with God, they also took stock of how far Singapore has come as a nation during the Diocesan Vocation Discernment Retreat, held at the St Francis Xavier Major Seminary from Aug 7-9.

The retreat had the theme, A Life or Alive?

To assist the retreatants, Fr Benedict Chng, Fr John Bosco Pereira, Fr Jovita Ho, archdiocesan vocation director Fr Alex Chua and Fr Valerian Cheong from the seminary shared their experiences as priests as well as the joy of the priesthood.
Fr Johnson Fernandez (left) and Msgr Ambrose Vaz blessing the hands of nurses and healthcare professionals  during the Nurses’ Day Mass at Divine Mercy Church.Fr Johnson Fernandez (left) and Msgr Ambrose Vaz blessing the hands of nurses and healthcare professionals during the Nurses’ Day Mass at Divine Mercy Church.

Singapore – More than 250 Catholic nurses and healthcare professionals gathered at Divine Mercy Church on Aug 23 for their annual Mass to celebrate Nurses’ Day, and also to mark SG50.

Msgr Ambrose Vaz, who was the main celebrant for the Mass, commended the nurses for their commitment and the important role they play in Singapore as they form the backbone of healthcare.

During the celebration, the nurses pledged to perform their duties in accordance with Christian values, and to have an enlightened conscience about the ethical problems posed by medical and social developments.

During the Mass, the nurses had their hands blessed as they have the task of protecting life, caring for the sick and assisting the dying.

The Mass was organised by the Catholic Nurses Guild (CNG).
Mr Satish s/o Appoo, chairperson of the Sri Vairavimada Kaliamman temple (extreme left) explaining Hinduism to Catholics.Mr Satish s/o Appoo, chairperson of the Sri Vairavimada Kaliamman temple (extreme left) explaining Hinduism to Catholics.
Catholics who visited a Hindu temple as part of an interreligious dialogue activity said that the visit gave them a very comprehensive understanding of Hinduism.

“The experience was very educational... it has cleared many of the confusions and assumptions that I have of Hinduism,” said Ms Marlinda Grace Darmali, 42, a parishioner of the Church of St Teresa.

She was one of 15 participants who visited the Sri Vairavimada Kaliamman Temple at Toa Payoh on Aug 22.

The visit was organised by the Archdiocesan Catholic Council for Interreligious Dialogue (ACCIRD) for Catholics to learn more about other religions in Singapore.

Mr Satish s/o Appoo, chairperson of the temple, explained various topics such as Hinduism’s origins, forms of worship, and its inter-faith perspectives.
Mary (far right) seen here with her mother, Marly, and parish priest Fr Manoj at Changi Airport before returning to Cambodia.Mary (far right) seen here with her mother, Marly, and parish priest Fr Manoj at Changi Airport before returning to Cambodia.A Cambodian teenager has had her congenital heart condition treated, thanks to a Catholic mission team from Singapore.

Mary, 18, was born with a persistent hole in her heart which caused her breathlessness and heart palpitations. The tips of her fingers and toes were also swollen (“clubbed”) due to this condition.

In 2013, the Salesian Sisters at Don Bosco Girls’ School in Battambang highlighted her plight to Mission Srolanh (srolanh means “love” in Khmer), a non-profit project organised by Catholic medical students from the National University of Singapore together with doctors from the Catholic Medical Guild.

Part of their work includes an annual mission trip to conduct health screenings and education and community involvement projects to rural villages in Cambodia’s Battambang province.

Mary was initially scheduled for surgery in Phnom Penh at an estimated cost of US$5,000 (S$7,000), a sum that the nuns found difficult to raise.
Local artist’s reproduction of Sassoferrato’s Madonna in Prayer.Local artist’s reproduction of Sassoferrato’s Madonna in Prayer.A local artist’s reproduction of a 17th-century painting of Mary is being auctioned in aid of the Catholic Theological Institute of Singapore (CTIS).

The gold-framed canvas acrylic painting, measuring approximately 4 feet by 3 feet (1.2 m by 0.9 m), is a reproduction of Sassoferrato’s Madonna in Prayer, which dates around 1640. The original painting is currently displayed at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia.

The local artist who made the reproduction is a convert to Catholicism and has a special devotion to Our Lady. The artist prefers to remain anonymous.