JULY 10, 2016, Vol 66, No 14

Bangladeshi worker Mohd Mukul Hossine shares his poetry at Cana

Mr Mohd Mukul Hossine reading his poems at Cana the Catholic Centre while Singapore poet Anne Lee read them in English. Mr Timothy Wong (extreme left) facilitated the session.Mr Mohd Mukul Hossine reading his poems at Cana the Catholic Centre while Singapore poet Anne Lee read them in English. Mr Timothy Wong (extreme left) facilitated the session.

Migrant worker Mohd Mukul Hossine, who writes poetry as a means of dealing with the challenges he faces in Singapore, shared his literary gift and experiences at Cana the Catholic Centre recently.

Mr Mukul, a 25-year-old Bangladeshi construction worker, has been featured in the local press. He is the first foreign worker to have a poetry collection brought out by local publisher Ethos Books, according to media reports.

During the June 24 session, part of Cana’s Talk of the Town series, the 60-strong crowd waited to break the Ramadan fast with him.

Mr Mukul expressed gratitude to God for his gift of poetry and also for being able to share it with others. He read four poems in Bengali – Loneliness, I Stand at the Red Light, Eid Abroad and Me Migrant – while Singapore poet Anne Lee read them in English.

Many in the audience were clearly moved by the haunting melodic recitation of the poems in Bengali, which were resonant with his loneliness and his missing of his home and family, especially his mother.
Two World Youth Day participants tidy up a grave at Lim Chu Kang cemetery. Fifty-eight of them attended a retreat from June 24-25 as part of their spiritual formation for the international celebration in July.Two World Youth Day participants tidy up a grave at Lim Chu Kang cemetery. Fifty-eight of them attended a retreat from June 24-25 as part of their spiritual formation for the international celebration in July.

Fifty-eight people attended a 24-hour retreat as part of their spiritual formation for World Youth Day (WYD) in Poland in July.

They were introduced to the Magis – Latin for “more” or “better” programme – which they would be participating in Poland before the official start of WYD.

The June 24-25 retreat, organised by the MAGiS WYD 2016 Organising Committee from the Church of St Ignatius, incorporated elements of Ignatian spirituality. These included morning prayer, “experiment” activity, the “examen” and the Magis circle, a sharing group for people to reflect on their day and learn to appreciate and value its richness.

The highlight of the retreat was the “experiment” activity in which participants chose from six ways of practising spiritual and corporal works of mercy. Some of these were feeding the hungry, visiting the sick, comforting the afflicted, and praying for the living and the dead.
Some S’pore Catholic educators went on a study trip to see how Catholic schools infuse spirituality into their institutions

A discussion between Singaporean team members and staff of St Benedict’s Centacare Kindergarten in Brisbane.A discussion between Singaporean team members and staff of St Benedict’s Centacare Kindergarten in Brisbane.

Some Catholic educators were in Brisbane recently to study how the Catholic school system there delivers Catholic education within the context of its relationship with Church leadership, parishes and other Church organisations.

During the June 5-10 trip, the 11 Catholic educators, together with a staff member from the Archdiocesan Commission for Catholic Schools (ACCS), visited preschools, primary schools and secondary colleges. These ranged from parish-run schools to those run by Religious orders.

The principals and senior staff shared with the visitors their school programme, Catholic ethos and vision for religious education as set out by Brisbane archdiocese.

The Singapore participants, most of whom came from preschools, primary and secondary schools, said they witnessed inspiring practices that created an atmosphere of reverence. For example, in one parish-based primary school, a daily five-minute school-wide silence was carried out during which sacred music was played to give the children and staff time for personal reflection.
CHARIS volunteers and Sri Lankans working together to dry washed gravel (left) and build houses. Photos: BRYAN CHENCHARIS volunteers and Sri Lankans working together to dry washed gravel (left) and build houses. Photos: BRYAN CHEN

Ten volunteers from CHARIS recently embarked on a journey to teach and build bio-sand water filtration systems and assist in house building efforts in Sri Lanka.

During the June 12-18 trip, they also spent time forging friendships with the locals, many whom had received financial assistance from CHARIS (Caritas Humanitarian Aid & Relief Initiatives, Singapore) to improve their lives.

CHARIS has been working with the Diocesan Centre for Social, Economic and Development Education in the Diocese of Galle, Sri Lanka (SED Galle), led by Fr Michael Rajendram.

Fr Michael and his team were hoping that the project in Deniyaya and Hambantota districts, about three hours’ drive from Galle, would improve the communities’ access to safe drinking water and sanitary facilities

In the district of Hambantota, the volunteers helped teach two villages to build bio-sand filtration tanks, in the hope that they could replicate this system in other villages.
Dear Muslim Brothers and Sisters,

With great affection and solidarity in our desire for peace, I wish you God’s continued blessings as you conclude the month of Ramadan, a special time of spiritual renewal. May His bounteous favour be upon you, your families and all Muslim communities as you emerge reinvigorated in your faith through your month-long practice of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

These spiritual exercises, besides helping us to deepen our relationship with God and neighbour, are certainly critical in helping us to be more sensitive and compassionate towards those who are in need. Indeed, the love of God and of neighbour and towards oneself is intrinsically linked. “‘…you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:31f; cf Dt 6:5, Lev 19:18)

They are like a tripod in which love is founded and strengthened. Faith without good works is dead. Indeed St John reminds us, “How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help? Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.”(1 Jn 3:17f)