Archbishop Marek Zalewski and Fr Timothy Yeo together with members of the Italian Catholic community at their special celebration. 

This time of the year brings excitement and joy to many. Lights, ribbons and decorations are seen everywhere and cheerful songs fill the air. But is this really what Christmas is all about?

This was raised by Archbishop Marek Zalewski, Apostolic Nuncio to Singapore, during a special Christmas Mass for the Italian Catholic community on Sunday, Dec 9, at the Church of Our Lady Queen of Peace.

Speaking to more than 70 members of the community, Archbishop Zalewski focused on the importance of the Advent season in his homily, and stressed that the weeks before Christmas should be a time for reflection and prayer.
Advent (meaning “coming”) marks the beginning of the Church’s liturgical year and is the period of expectant waiting and preparation for the commemoration of the Nativity of Jesus, he said.

Advent also gives us the opportunity to reconsider our priorities in life, to release our burdens and material attachments and allow our hearts to welcome the true spirit of Christmas.

Love, compassion, forgiveness, generosity and gratitude are what we should fill our hearts with during this season, he added.

The celebration also saw children attending the community’s First Communion catechism class, together with other children, putting on a Nativity play to help those gathered to remember the greatest gift of all: the birth of the

An eight-year-old girl was baptised during the celebration, which was also attended by Italian Ambassador Raffaele Langella and his wife, Mrs Debora Langella.

The Italian Catholic Community in Singapore counts approximately 100 families and is under the pastoral guidance of Father Timothy Yeo, parish priest of Our Lady Queen of Peace Church.

For more information on the Italian Catholic community, email: [email protected]