rohingya slide
Slides on the plight of the Rohingya refugees were shown at the end of the 10.30 am Mass at the cathedral on Dec 3.

By Christopher Khoo

Pope Francis’ visit to Myanmar and Bangladesh and his outreach to the marginalised was specially commemorated during a Sunday Mass at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd.

Rector Msgr Philip Heng, in his opening remarks, shared that the Mass was held “in solidarity” with the pope’s Nov 28-Dec 2 trip to these two countries.

“Pope Francis’ ways and perceptions of the crises of the people and the refugees of the Rakhine State of Myanmar radically challenge us to see the sufferings of the world from the eyes of Jesus,” said Msgr Heng in his homily during the 10.30 am Mass on Dec 3.

He noted that Pope Francis referred to the refugees as “my brothers and sisters of Rohingya”.

The sad stories of the Rohingya refugees the pope met in Bangladesh “clearly broke his heart”, said Msgr Heng.

After speaking to the religious leaders in Bangladesh, Msgr Heng recalled, the pope also said to them, “Let us not close our hearts, let us not look the other way. The presence of God today is also called Rohingya! Let us stay close to them so that their rights may be recognised.”

Msgr Heng urged the congregation to remember that “suffering people are also found in the faces of the people of our nation” – the homeless, the aged, the sick, the dying and the depressed “that can often be found in our homes”.

Video clips and slides of the plight of the Rohingya people were shown at the end of the Mass. The congregation also prayed a prayer for refugees.

social mission procession
Representatives of the Church’s social mission organisations walk in procession.

The Mass, which aimed to highlight the social mission of the Church, saw representatives from the various Church social mission organisations carry signs with the names of their organisations during the entrance procession.

A mini exhibition on the plight of the Rohingya people was also held outside the cathedral by Jesuit Refugee Service Singapore. 

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mini exhibition outside
A mini exhibition on the Rohingya people.

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