JANUARY 06, 2002, Vol 52, No 1

If you are married or planning to marry and have yet to make a commitment, I hope that you will adopt Natural Family Planning (NFP) in your marriage.

The following testimonies speak a lot about NFP:

"After 25 years of marriage we are still in love. NFP has enriched our marriage and made our love grow." – ES

"Although abstinence is sometimes a pain, my wife makes all the waiting worthwhile. Every month is a honeymoon." – BN

“When my husband waits for me, I feel cherished and loved. The tenderness and the intimacy continue beyond individual contacts." – EL
‘It is within families that you produce goodpersons. If you strengthen the fabric of society, you can look forward to a healthy society and Church in Singapore. ’ - Jesuit Father Charles Sim who was ordained on Dec 29‘It is within families that you produce goodpersons. If you strengthen the fabric of society, you can look forward to a healthy society and Church in Singapore. ’ - Jesuit Father Charles Sim who was ordained on Dec 29NEWLY-ordained Jesuit Father Charles Sim believes that strong families are the backbone of a strong Church and healthy society. That is why he will be actively involved in family and individual counselling and therapy in the course of his priestly life. He spent the year 2000 studying for his Masters Of Science in family therapy at the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College, London. 

Fr Sim, 37, will go back to London soon for further clinical training. The Jesuit, ordained on Dec 29 at the Church Of The Blessed Sacrament, said: “I see families as the fabric of society, unless you strengthen them, you will not be able to raise good Christians and good citizens. “It is within families that you produce good persons. If you strengthen the fabric of society, you can look forward to a healthy society and Church in Singapore.”

It is within families that parents promote vocations, he notes. “Small examples of love within the home go a long way in bringing up children with faith.”

He observes that family life work encompasses many areas. However, he would like to focus on helping families cope with their problems by teaching them coping skills.

“I’ve learned that families are unique and have their own resources to cope with difficulties,” he said. Fr Sim joined the Jesuits on March 19, 1989, after realising his call a year earlier.
The Christian a cape I la group Akatones performs at the Shine Jesus Shine rally on Nov 29. The Christian a cape I la group Akatones performs at the Shine Jesus Shine rally on Nov 29.

ALL of us, Christians and non-Christians alike, experience turning points in our lives. You may have heard of the term metanoia, turning away from sin and turning back to God and His love.

This may seem incredible but numerous people, youths and adults, have experienced this turning point in their lives and responded to the altar call during Shine Jesus Shine (SJS) rallies.

What happens to them? A group of Catholics called The Befrienders, trained by the New Evangelization Team, then gets to know them better and leads them to the parishes near their homes where they may want to attend the Rite Of Christian Initiation Of Adults and get to learn about our faith.

Those who have problems attending regular classes but are keen to know more about Catholicism are introduced to facilities like the correspondence course in catechism.
Is your New Year resolution to strike a better balance between work, family and various other commitments? If so, a good starting point is to be clearer about your key roles. Each of us has multiple roles - for example at different times, I am husband, father, son, brother, relative, friend, employee, worker, supervisor, volunteer. A role tells us our place in each community that we belong to - it indicates the type of relationships we have, our responsibilities and areas of contribution. A clear set of roles helps us to organise our lives. When a person feels that his life is not balanced, it is often because he senses that he may be succeeding in one role at the expense of another, which is also important to him. For instance, he may be doing well in his career in his role of entrepreneur or professional, but feeling guilty because he has been neglecting his wife and children in his roles as spouse and parent.

To live a balanced life is to align the things we do to the important roles. We can do this by planning on a weekly basis and identifying specific goals for each of these key roles, for when these goals have been identified the activities or events to follow are often clear. Many people already plan and set job-related goals for themselves each week. Applying this idea further, have you ever asked yourself, what is your goal as a spouse this week? As a parent? The goals need not be ambitious. For instance, one goal could be to take your spouse out on a date, for dinner or a movie. As a parent, the goal could be to take a child to buy a pair of shoes or to see the dentist, or to attend a school function.
The Harvesters carolling outside CK Tang on Dec 7. The group carolled to raise funds and evangelize.The Harvesters carolling outside CK Tang on Dec 7. The group carolled to raise funds and evangelize.

SINGING CAROLS at commercial establishments has enabled The Harvesters to raise funds for a missionary group and evangelise the general public about Christmas.

“We started carolling for fundraising purposes last year as an extension of our evangelistic ministry,” said Ms Jane Lau, who coordinated the carolling.

The group, whose mission is to evangelise, raised some $2,000 last year for the Catholic Welfare Services and the Missionary Community Of St Paul The Apostle.

This year, between Dec 7-23, the group carolled at three commercial establishments, CK Tang, Serangoon Garden Country Club and Strawberry And Spice Restaurant, and in the homes of some group members.

Ms Lau added: “We hoped not only to raise funds but also to spread the Good News during the Christmas season.” She added that the group agreed to sing at CK Tang because it is a very popular public place.