MAY 29, 2016, Vol 66, No 11

Jared Ng looks at the unique characteristics of the Church of St Francis of Assisi in the first of a series on local parishes


The Church of St Francis of Assisi was established to meet the demands of an increasing Catholic population in the mid to late 1900s. Today, the church has grown significantly in terms of its seating capacity, physical structure, number of parishioners and a strong faith culture.

A large number of migrants, more than half of total parishioners, now call the parish “home”. The church also houses a relic of India’s first native woman saint.
Jeremiah Liauw, who suffers from spina bifida, served at his first Mass recently

Jeremiah Liauw, 10, being helped around in his wheelchair during his first Mass as an altar server.Jeremiah Liauw, 10, being helped around in his wheelchair during his first Mass as an altar server.

Jeremiah Liauw, who suffers from a spinal condition, served his first Mass in a wheelchair at the Church of Divine Mercy on May 14.

“Jerry” as he is often called, suffers from spina bifida, a condition that affects the spine. The backbone that protects the spinal cord does not form and close as it should. This often results in damage to the spinal cord and nerves.

During the Saturday evening Mass, the 10-year-old from St Joseph’s Institution Junior was helped around the altar by a fellow altar server.

A ramp, built by a parishioner for Jerry, was also used for him to have better access to the altar.
A participant speaking at the Social Mission Conference in 2014. The next conference will be in August and will have the theme, ‘Witness to Mercy. Bearer of Compassion’.A participant speaking at the Social Mission Conference in 2014. The next conference will be in August and will have the theme, ‘Witness to Mercy. Bearer of Compassion’.

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila will be the keynote speaker at the Social Mission Conference to be held on Aug 13.

Cardinal Tagle, president of Caritas Internationalis, will speak on the Church’s teachings on mercy and help participants better understand how to reach out to those in need, says Caritas Singapore, which organises the conference every two years.

The upcoming event, which will have the theme, “Witness to Mercy. Bearer of Compassion”, will be held at the Catholic Junior College Performing Arts Centre.

According to Caritas Singapore, the conferences, which started in 2008, aim to help participants better understand the Church’s teachings on social mission and inspire them to put their faith in action by journeying with the poor and vulnerable in society.
The Office for Young People (OYP) will host a Catholic Youth Day on its premises at 2 Lorong Low Koon from July 2-3.

It will be an overnight celebration open to all young people in Singapore.

The event aims to celebrate the Christian life of faith in Singapore and to signal what it means to be part of the one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church, said OYP.

The event will begin with Mass, celebrated by Archbishop William Goh at 5 pm. During the Mass, there will be a special blessing and commissioning of the Singapore contingent of pilgrims headed for World Youth Day in Poland in July. (see box below)

Following the Mass, are sessions such as praise and worship, testimonies from some of the young people and a talk by Fr Jude David, chaplain of OYP. An overnight vigil will then be held.

Throughout the night, the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Eucharistic adoration will be available. Prayer teams will also pray with the young people.

The vigil will conclude at 7am the next day.
Pilgrims taking part in praise and worship during the May 7 special preparation for World Youth Day.Pilgrims taking part in praise and worship during the May 7 special preparation for World Youth Day.

Young pilgrims from all over Singapore came together at the Office for Young People for a time of spiritual preparation for World Youth Day (WYD) on May 7.

The event was the second such session organised for those travelling to Poland for WYD.

Archbishop William Goh will be one of the pilgrims.

During the May 7 event, sharings were conducted within groups which would be journeying together at WYD. Representatives of the Polish Embassy and Consulate also came to share about Poland and its culture.

Participants learnt about the Catholic history of Poland, its saints and the impact of the Divine Mercy devotion, which spread all over Poland and became a source of strength and inspiration for many people.

This was followed by a time of adoration where pilgrims prayed the Divine Mercy chaplet, and also reflected on the history of Poland.