DECEMBER 11, 2016, Vol 66, No 25


No Penitential Service

Under reconstruction

No Penitential Service


As Christmas and its tradition of gift-giving draws near, Msgr Philip Heng SJ encourages Catholics to reflect on the spirituality that inspires every act of giving.

It has become a cultural phenomenon of our century that on Christmas each year, people of all races and religions around the world will take part in the practice of sharing gifts.

While it is indeed a beautiful thing that Christmas celebration and joy are shared even amongst non-Christians, secular rhetoric that focuses on the buying and exchange of material goods often also distracts Christians from the deep spirituality that exists behind every act of giving.

As Christians, the act of giving is central in our lives, and is not confined within just this advent season alone. As we prepare for the coming of our Lord, let us once again reflect on what it truly means to give, and why we are called upon to give.

Activities to mark Caritas’ 10th anniversary and Agape Village’s first included visitors participating in an activity by Alzheimer’s Disease Association.

Caritas Singapore, the social mission arm of the Singapore archdiocese, marked its 10th year with a Mass and open house at Agape Village.

The celebration, held on Nov 19, also marked the first anniversary of Agape Village, a Caritas Singapore initiative located in Toa Payoh, that provides multiple, integrated social services under one roof.

The venue was a hive of activity that day as about 1,500 visitors gathered to enjoy the food, drinks, performances, workshops and talks, and also to visit booths manned by Caritas’ member organisations. These include groups supporting persons with disabilities, children, persons with HIV/AIDS and foreign workers.

Couples and their children at the Couple Empowerment Programme’s 10th anniversary celebration.

Love was in the air as families came together to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Couple Empowerment Programme (CEP) on Nov 27.

Children came decked in animal and angel outfits to participate in a Christmas-themed best dress competition. Adults, dressed in blue and silver, mingled with old friends and took part in a quiz to win some attractive prizes.

The celebration, held at the Agape Village, had the theme, Living the Promise, Experiencing the Joy. It began with a Thanksgiving Mass celebrated by Franciscan Friar John-Paul Tan; CEP’s spiritual director, Dominican Fr David Garcia; and Jesuit Fr Charles Sim.

The Risen Christ Youth Symphony performing a concert in aid of Assisi Hospice. Photos: BENEDICT LAU

A concert in aid of Assisi Hospice has raised more than $19,000 to help it meet operational expenses when its new expanded facilities open in January.

Musicae Misericordiae Vultus (“music celebrating the face of the mercy of God”) was organised by the Risen Christ Youth Symphony (RCYS) in collaboration with the Christus Laudatur Voce Choir (CLVC), from the Risen Christ parish.

The Nov 25 event, held at the Church of St Mary of the Angels, also saw RCYS conductor Dr Aloysius Leong curating pieces across sacred, classical and contemporary genres to commemorate the closing of the Jubilee Year of Mercy.