Jason Evert ‘LIVE’:
Change of venue for two of the talks

Organisers of the Jason Evert ‘Live’ in Singapore event have moved the venue from Catholic Junior College to The MAX Pavilion at Singapore Expo to accommodate a bigger crowd. This involves two of the three events lined up during Jason’s one-day visit to Singapore.

The renowned American author and speaker on sexuality and chastity is due here on January 14 and will be giving separate talks to parents, young adults and the youth on pressing issues of the subject faced by all these groups of Catholics today.

The move to The MAX Pavilion refers to sessions on ‘Finding Love That Lasts’ and ‘Love Matters’, both aimed at the young. “Since the registration portal opened a month ago, individual and bulk bookings have been coming in fast,” said

Mr David Fong, executive director of Archdiocesan Commission for the Family that is organising the event.

The venue for the third event – ‘A Good Sex Talk for Parents’ – remains the same: at Church of Divine Mercy. However, the organisers have decided to increase the capacity by having an additional session.

They expect seats for both sessions to be snapped up due to the topical and relevant content of the talks and the dynamic appeal of Jason Evert. He will talk about how parents can influence and safeguard the innocence of their children, and effectively communicate the benefits and beauty of chastity.

It involves effective formation, which, according to Archbishop William Goh in a recent discussion with parents, is about helping the young understand and make the right choices without being judgmental. Short video clips of the informal chat is currently making its rounds in the social media and mostly feature the Archbishop’s views on issues facing parents and the youth in the area of sexuality.

The Archbishop in one of the clips said, “The young are very interested in life, they are looking for meaning and purpose, especially authenticity in the world.” Hence, he stressed the need for adults, especially family members, to bear witness to the authenticity of love.

His comments square with what Jason will be speaking on at the two talks for the young: the driving force of love behind chastity. Jason will also touch on dating and other issues that the young struggle with, including sexual pressure, pornography, modesty, making mistakes and starting over.

Jason has spoken on the virtue of chastity to more than a million people all over the world, and is known for his uncanny way of connecting with the young without talking down to them.

While ‘Finding Love That Lasts’ generally appeals to young adults and ‘Love Matters’ is more relevant for the youth, both sessions may still resonate with either target group. Both these sessions at The MAX Pavilion will also feature Catholic singer-songwriter Corrinne May.

Tickets, including bulk purchases, for all four talks are available at catholicfamily.org.sg/jasonevert on a first-come-first-served basis. Admission to all these sessions is strictly by tickets purchased for the respective sessions only.

Why Grandparents Matter

In conjunction with Singapore’s celebration of Grandparents’ Day in November, let us remember the blessings which grandparents can bring into our children’s lives.

In agricultural, third-world cultures throughout history, extended families are the norm. Secondary attachments in such families enrich the lives of children. As the famous proverb reminds us, “It takes a community to raise a child.”

While it’s true that children thrive when nurtured by their primary caretakers, attachments to grandparents enhance the process. By offering a helping hand in caring for the children, grandparents provide their adult children with much needed support.

Unfortunately, secular society seems to believe that nuclear families should raise their children independently, even when both parents work full-time and have afterschool activities to manage. Conditioned in this way, families in need of help may hesitate to ask for it from anyone.

But grandparents have a wonderful way of establishing consistency in the lives of their grandchildren. They provide a sense of security, particularly for children whose parents are separated, live in poverty, have mental health issues, or struggle with addictions. Although articles on attachment parenting seem to address ideal families, I have witnessed families striving to maintain an image of perfection, eventually falling apart behind closed doors under the pressures of modern-day stress. It was grandparents who saw behind the masks.

Grandparents Connect Kids to Their Family History
Grandparents can be great role models, encouraging healthy development simply because they have the time and patience to spend playing, reading, and sharing family stories with their grandchildren. More importantly, they offer a sense of cultural heritage and family history, giving their grandchildren a sense of belonging to something bigger than their nuclear family. Of course, grandparents usually share similar values with their adult kids, so they can provide great parenting tips. They are natural babysitters who do not simply take care of their grandchildren’s physical needs, but lavish love on them.

Encourage a Relationship with Grandparents
Even though modern families are often separated by distance and busy schedules, parents can encourage kids to develop relationships with their grandparents through the telephone, email, Skype, letters and pictures. However, an attachment with grandparents is deeper than mere physical relationships because children are connected to their grandparents through strong inherited bonds.

As parents who understand the value of attachment parenting, let us honour our own parents and invite them to connect with our kids’ lives – even if it’s through technology. Grandparents are our kids’ link to the past, just as our kids are their grandparents’ hope for the future. The generations above and below us are irrevocably linked through blood lines, but more importantly, through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Adapted from the article ‘Catholic Grandparents’ by Melanie Jean Juneau on January 14, 2016 in catholicmom.com.

The Vatican issued Pope Francis’ latest Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia (“The Joy of Love”) in April, following the Synods on the Family held in 2014 and 2015. Amoris Laetitia essentially discusses the various aspects of family life, inclu

ding the joys and challenges. We reproduce an excerpt from the document, which reinforces the role of the family as the first Church.

The elderly help us to appreciate “the continuity of the generations”, by their “charism of bridging the gap” … Their words, their affection or simply their presence help children to realise that history did not begin with them, that they are now part of an age-old pilgrimage and that they need to respect all that came before them. Those who would break all ties with the past will surely find it difficult to build stable relationships and to realise that reality is bigger than they are. “Attention to the elderly makes the difference in a society. Does a society show concern for the elderly? Does it make room for the elderly? Such a society will move forward if it respects the wisdom of the elderly”. – Pope Francis (Amoris Laetitia, 193)

To read the full document, visit catholicfamily.org.sg/amoris.

In this monthly column, we feature Catholic personalities and their favourite memories of being ‘family’.
In this issue, Fr Erbin Fernandez shares why his family is special to him …

My Family – A Sacred Space

Fr Erbin and his family

From the time I was a babe in my mother’s arms I was aware of the familiar rhythmic cadence of family prayers in the evening. As I grew older I took my place in the family rosary, the litany of saints, the novena to the Sacred Heart and other devotions. There was a sense of warmth and security as we came to the close of the day and we gathered together as a family and recited our prayers.

The family rosary has been a tradition that has been passed down through the generations from my mother’s side. It has been the common denominator that has seen my family through different seasons of our lives.

The five of us, as children, gathered readily with our parents but as adolescents that was another story! We wanted our own ways and dragged our feet to prayer. There were times when the names of Jesus and Mary were prayed through gritted teeth and clenched fists.

Through all these years of joy and crisis, up to the present, we have matured, and come to appreciate this daily sacred space within the family. Every day wherever we are in the world or whatever psycho-spiritual state we are in, there is a knowing that we are spiritually connected to one another.

I have placed my priesthood under the protection of the Blessed Mother and to this day I am often drawn back home to join my parents and sister, in prayers before the altar of the Sacred Heart. I am deeply moved by the new depths these simple prayers grace us in our inner spirit. Looking back, I thank God for the simple and steadfast faith of my parents that continues to see all of us through these uncertain and exciting times that we live in today.