Christian leaders at the ecumenical event at the Cathedral.Photo: Bernadette Lee
On a Thursday night, I stumbled upon an evening of prayer with the songs of Taize held at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd. Having experienced an especially trying day at work, I had some reservations as to whether any form of songs could put me into a meditative mood.
But as a hush fell over the Cathedral, those present were undoubtedly drawn into a reverent and contemplative silence, a testimony to the effect that the songs of Taize has. As I settled down and did the prayer chants, I found my inner frustrations released and my breathing slowed down to a relaxed pace. I found myself thinking of Monsignor Philip Heng’s words during his opening address at the ecumenical event, that we, as members of the different Christian denominations, were “gathered in the Lord’s name and in faith”.
Mini-series: What inspired a group of young adults to come up with an infographics book
Jeslynn Seah (third from right) sees God speaking to her in images when creating art.Photo: JESLYNN SEAH
Many of us want to know more about Church doctrine and the various teachings and inspirations that can be drawn from our Catholic faith.
However, thick books, littered with complicated words and terms, that aim to break down the various teachings of the Church can sometimes be hard to digest.
This train of thought was what inspired Jeslynn Seah to come up with an infographics book on the Mass. “I was trying to grow in my faith but found thick books and the Catechism of the Catholic Church a tedious and jargon-filled read.”
As we celebrate Singapore’s 54th National Day, we are called to give praise and thanks to God for guiding and protecting our nation all these years through her trials and challenges.However, we must not take our nation for granted, much less the peace, unity, harmony, security and prosperity we are enjoying.All these have been achieved through the sacrifices of our forefathers.Our Pioneer generation of leaders had laid the foundation for the growth of Singapore.The values are enshrined in our National Pledge, which is to commit ourselves as “One united people, regardless of race, language or religion, to build a democratic society based on justice and equality, so as to achieve happiness, prosperity and progress for our nation.”The Merdeka leaders have continued to build Singapore based on these values.As a result, Singapore today has earned a place in the international arena for our amazing achievements and success despite all the odds against us.
But today, we are facing new challenges that our Pioneer leaders did not face.The values of the world are changing rapidly, to the extent that those of us who belong to the Pioneer and Merdeka generation are bewildered at how much the values of society have evolved.From a world that placed religion at the centre of public life, it has become a world devoid of the presence of the Sacred.From a stable world where perennial values of truth, love, fidelity, hard work, honesty, integrity, traditional understanding of marriage and family, the sacredness of life are accepted norms and traditions; we have now replaced these with moral relativism, a confusion of values, leading to pragmatism, individualism, materialism, despair and a culture of death, without any concern for the future of humanity and creation. How can we respond as a community, as Catholic Singaporeans, to stand up for the eternal values of truth and justice, love and compassion so that we can collectively build a gracious society?
Saint Augustine once said that “to sing is to pray twice over”. So it is with our CatholicSG Radio. Since our debut, we have about 1,200 songs on our music playlist. Other than familiar hymns and contemporary praise songs, we have also added Gregorian chant as well as some instrumental pieces. There are also a small number of secular songs that are part of our playlist, with meaningful lyrics that could inspire people to God. Thus far, the response to the music has been positive from our listeners. We want to thank those who have written in with suggestions. Currently we have yet to define the music profiles for the various time slots, and this is something we’re looking at to improve so we can better address the needs of our listeners.
The new grotto of Our Lady and a kneeling St Bernadette. Photo: Holy Family Church
The Church of the Holy Family installed and blessed a new grotto to Our Lady on July 16. ily installed and blessed a new grotto to Our Lady on July 16.
Led by youth from the Legion of Mary, some 200 parishioners as well as the three priests of the parish – Fathers Eugene Vaz, Stanislaus Pang and Alphonsus Dominic – prayed the rosary at the foot of the grotto which features a restored statue of Our Lady of Lourdes and a kneeling Saint Bernadette.
The statue of Our Lady, which used to stand by a pond under the main church staircase, was accidentally set alight when a visitor placed a candle near it on Feb 3. Quick-thinking parishioners managed to extinguish the blaze, but the statue was badly charred.
Chiam Hui Ling (in blue jeans) with Executive Chef Aloysius Lim (in grey) and other members of Crossings Café.
Donned in her black uniform, Chiam Hui Ling warmly greets customers as they patronise Crossings Café, at Waterloo Street.
Hui Ling is one of nine special needs staff at the Catholic social enterprise. But undaunted she serves the customers and her approachable nature sets the tone for an enjoyable meal.
She joined Crossings in 2015 as part of the Bettr Barista internship programme, and the supportive environment at the café makes it feel like her second home. It gives her confidence and encouragement.
How much do we really know about this universal prayer? FATHER GERARD LOUIS SHARES MORE
The rosary helps us to meditate on the life of Jesus and the stories of the Gospels.Photo: VITA Images
Apart from the Mass, the rosary is perhaps the most well-known Catholic prayer. We pray the rosary while waiting for Mass to begin, when we are travelling, when we pray together as a family or neighbourhood group and when we gather at a funeral wake.
I think every Catholic owns a rosary, maybe several. I have been using the same one since I was 12.
The rosary is so much a part of Catholic culture that we almost take it for granted. So how much do we know about the origins and history of the rosary?
The following is an account of a Catholic with SSA who wishes to remain anonymous.
People have asked me, what it is like to be gay and Catholic, two groups of people that are so diametrically opposed to each other, and yet I embody both identities. Identity. Do I struggle with it? Yes.
Primarily, I struggle with identity and loneliness. But I’m very sure this isn’t an issue faced by the LGBTQ community only.
It is true I can find that listening ear amongst my gay friends and also within the Church community/ministry I have been in for many years. The difficulty is being able to just say it as it is without filters. I filter what I say among gay friends who aren’t exactly able to see the Church’s side, and I filter when I’m among Christian friends who try to understand and be there for me, but don’t know about the fear I have just talking about my sexuality.
Priests should defend the Seal of Confession even to the point of shedding blood.
The Apostolic Penitentiary has released a Note which upholds the absolute inviolability of the Seal of Confession, meaning that priests can never be forced to reveal what they learn in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Approved for publication by Pope Francis on 21 June, the “Note on the importance of the internal forum and the inviolability of the Sacramental Seal” was released on July 1.
Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, Major Penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary, who signed the Note with Msgr Krzysztof Nykiel, the Regent of the Penitentiary, released a statement to explain the Note’s content.
Pope Francis at St Peter's Square. Photo: CN sourcePope Francis' General Audience, held every Wednesday, has been cancelled for the month of July.According to the Vatican's Prefecture of the Papal [...]