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So far A.V. S has created 47 blog entries.

The gift of the rosary

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?

Being Gay and Catholic

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.

Engaging Catholics to further deepen the faith

About one third of Catholics attend Mass every weekend. Photo: VITA Images

Audrey Lee

In the United States, for every person joining the Catholic Church, six persons are actually leaving.

This is the startling reality of the state of the Catholic faith in the US and it was revealed at a recent annual spring meeting in June involving the Bishops there.

This and other sobering statistics were shared by Bishop Robert Barron, Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles and Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

Vatican: The Seal of Confession is inviolable

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.

All Papal General Audiences in July cancelled

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 Household, the Holy Father's General Audience in August will also be cancelled.For more updates, visit http://www.vatican.va/various/prefettura/en/udienze_en.html

Calling all young people: unite in prayer, worship

Catholic Youth Day celebrates the gift and centrality of Jesus Christ in the faith. Photo: OYP

Jared Ng

This year, Catholic Youth Day (CYD) 2019 will be held on July 20-21, and for Gabriel Teh it holds a special meaning.

He is looking forward to being part of this celebration as one united body of Christ again.

He had in 2016 witnessed over 2,000 young people praying together during praise and worship at CYD which led him to desire a “deep passion for the Lord”.

Archbishop: Be more discerning when reading what ex-nun says

Archbishop William Goh has asked the faithful to be very discerning when forming opinions after reading the views expressed by Ms Karen Armstrong, who is an ex-nun, who was here as a speaker at a recently held first International Conference on Cohesive Societies.

Asked to comment on her views on a range of issues from celibacy and sexual abuse in the priesthood to her life with the Religious Order, he said: “Objectively, one must check that the facts quoted in the article are accurate, and whether the writer is qualified to write about the subject matter. Subjectively, one must seek to understand the writer’s personal experiences of life, because this will have a large impact on the lenses through which he or she sees the world.”

Ms Armstrong joined the religious at 17 and was sent to Oxford University, where she studied literature. In an interview with the Straits Times, she said the nuns were not allowed to have friendships and most times had to be in silence. She reportedly said she was also bothered about what she felt was a preoccupation with “getting to heaven.”

Corpus Christi – bringing back an old tradition

Parishioners in reverence as the Blessed Sacrament makes its way around the church.Corpus Christi is traditionally celebrated with a grand procession. This year on June 23, the Church of Saint Vincent de Paul decided to conduct the procession for the first time around the church compound as there was a desire between the priests to bring [...]

How is God calling me to journey through life?

Spiritual direction can be the answer to this and other questions. Father Matthew Linn shares

Jesuit Father Matthew Linn says it is all the more imperative for people to seek spiritual direction in a world that moves so fast.

Jared Ng

As we are about to begin the interview, Father Matthew Linn quickly realises he forgot his hearing aid. “Can’t hear a word without them,” he quips.

At the ripe old age of 76, the spirited Jesuit still retains a sense of wittiness to go along with the wisdom accumulated over the many years. This combination of wit and wisdom is perhaps the reason why people all over the world look forward to his inputs on spiritual direction at symposiums and retreats.

For 30 years, Fr Matthew has been travelling across the globe to conduct talks and sessions on what spiritual direction is and its significance. He also teaches and trains spiritual directors.