JANUARY 18, 2009, Vol 59, No 2

This article looks at the history of the Church’s social teachings and explains how the Church helps Catholics respond to relevant social issues of the day.

IN RECENT years, several Church leaders around the world, including Archbishop Nicholas Chia, have called the Catholic Social Teachings one of the best kept secrets of the Church. Why is this so? After all, our social teachings which tell how Catholics should relate to our fellow men, emanate from the Bible. Jesus had asked all of us “to love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12).

Well, the challenge is how do we realise and live this commandment of Jesus, especially in today’s society?

Some 850 Cambodian children are running around with "happy feet" because a group of young adults from Singapore provided them with footwear for Christmas.

WHEN CLOSE FRIENDS Deborah Chew and Grace Chia went to Siem Reap for a vacation in June 2007, they brought along some slippers to give to children at a village they visited. Seeing that the majority of the children went around without footwear, Ms Chew and Ms Chia were saddened that they didn’t bring enough slippers for all. It was then that they decided to do more.
RECENTLY I WAS able to verify once again that there are disasters far more devastating than the Wall Street type, and that there are also more important recoveries. There is, in fact, genuine hope out there and "change we can believe in" – especially the kind that happens one person, and one heart at a time.

"They are giving of themselves to bring about peace in our society and the world. They live the life of poverty and are detached, showing by way of example, not to be materialistic. Through their vow of chastity, they show that things of the world are not to be counted, and instead consecrate themselves to God and to others. Their vow of obedience shows that they are not egoistic, but do things for the Lord." – Archbishop Nicholas Chia, praising golden jubilarians Sisters Anna Ong, Mary Siluvainathan and Mary Tan, and silver jubilarian Sister Theresa Seow

As more than 130 countries celebrate the International Year of Astronomy, the Vatican also turned its gaze toward the heavens

VATICAN CITY – The International Year of Astronomy, which began Jan 1, was established by the United Nations to coincide with the 400th anniversary of Galileo Galilei’s first use of the telescope to observe the cosmos.
The Vatican also is celebrating the star-studded jubilee year, as the Vatican Museums, the Vatican Observatory and other Vatican offices participate in several special initiatives.