Members of the Tamil-speaking community were among the various migrant communities present at the celebration on Sept 25.
Thankful and appreciated. This was how Ms Nguyen from the Vietnamese community felt after attending the Migrant
“The locals here and even the other communities are very warm and supportive. It makes me feel at home and I hope we can meet more often,” she said.
Archbishop William Goh urged those with domestic helpers to be more compassionate to their employees.
The celebration, held at the Church of St Mary of the Angels, was organised by the Archdiocesan Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People (ACMI) and aimed to honour migrants.
The communities represented during the annual celebration included the Chinese, Filipino, Indonesian, Malayalam, Sri Lankan, Japanese, Tamil and Vietnamese communities.
Archbishop William Goh told the 1,500 people gathered for Mass that “there is a need to address the indifference and insensitivity we [locals] have to migrants.”
Filipinas from the ACMI Song and Dance Group performing a cultural dance.
Referring to the Gospel parable of Lazarus and the rich man, Archbishop Goh said, “Like the rich man, we often neglect those at our doorstep.”
He urged those with domestic helpers to be more compassionate to their employees. “Don’t treat them like robots. Every human needs love and respect,” he said.
To all migrants living in Singapore, Archbishop Goh encouraged them to “respect the local culture and to look for ways to further integrate themselves into the Church.”
Some of the symbolic gifts presented by the migrant communities for the Mass included jasmine flowers and rice.
After Mass, those gathered were invited for lunch sponsored by the parish and special prayer cards for migrants were also handed out.
Mr Mark Goh, ACMI chairman, in his speech said more could be done to support the migrant workforce. “Corporate professionals can dedicate a portion of their time as trainers in skills development programmes … this will allow for more programmes offering vocational, educational and pastoral courses for domestic helpers, foreign spouses and dormitory
The various migrant communities later took turns performing cultural song and dance items.
Members of the Sri Lanka and Vietnamese communities performing dances.
By Jared Ng