NOVEMBER 11, 2018, Vol 68, No 23

This paradigm shift came when Christianity moved out of Europe to other parts of the world, having to interface with other rich religions, like Buddhism, Islam and Hinduism The Church sees all men and women as brothers and sisters of the same Heavenly Father, writes Archbishop William Goh.


Scripture Readings: Ephesians 2:12-22; Luke 12:35-38

All of us desire world peace, beginning with our own nation, our community and our family. Without peace, there can be no unity among the peoples of the world. Division in the world is caused by fear, selfishness and injustices. This is further reinforced by the exclusive approach of most religions. Such exclusive claims of religions make believers of other faiths feel alienated and rejected. This causes religious tension, fanaticism and rivalry. That is why we need to promote a more inclusive approach in dealing with other religions.
Father Terence Kesavan, studying Catechetics in the US, says young people need mentors that inspire them to grow and live out their Christian life.

Terence Kesavan talk-cropped

If you were to ask me about one of the most important yet lacking aspect of the way our faith is lived out, I would say it is community. A faith has to be lived and grown in a community.

During my time as a seminarian in the Church of Christ the King, it was something I pushed for among the youth groups, because I felt they were too focused on the function of the ministry. So, it is quite ironic, and yet so telling of the problem, that a number of youth spoke about their youth community not being a place to grow in their faith.

Ten years ago, you wouldn’t have heard many people using the word “community”, but now everyone calls it a youth community instead of ministry or group. But do they really know what it means to be community? Or is it just a change of terminology.
FOR P 10 -by OYP - Treasure retreat reflection

Our young people are constantly bombarded by messages contradictory to Christian beliefs and they face challenges everywhere: social media, music, school, friends, family and even within the Church itself.

With all these distractions, some find their faith to be “irrelevant”. Others, who Catholic News spoke to, shared some reasons on why they left their youth communities.

“I lost all sense of community and faith when I saw how my youth community was focusing more on social status than their faith life,” said Nathanel (all names in this story have been changed).
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Fr Ignatius Yeo

It has become quite common practice for Catholics to display flowers or candles to remember their loved ones who have passed on. This gesture is done almost instinctively to honour their memory and perhaps even as a way of offering a prayer for them.

It is expected for all to want to find a fitting way to remember those who have left us. Unfortunately, some have come to question why we pray for the dead.

In the Catholic Church, there has been a long-standing tradition to pray for the souls of the deceased.
Catholic News features the Church of St Ignatius in this series on parish communities.

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The Church of St Ignatius serves about 6,500 parishioners every weekend.

Jared Ng

Helping to create a sustainable earth deserves the attention of everyone. Reasons for going green include protecting wildlife to curbing the effects of global warming.

So important is this subject that even Pope Francis in his encyclical, Laudato Si’, on care for our common home, said that “we need a conversation that includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all”.

The Church of St Ignatius, at King’s Road, has taken up this call to go green by reducing the use of plastic and prioritising programmes that raise awareness on creating a sustainable environment.

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Dear Hindu Friends,

Happy and blessed Deepavali! We share your joy at this time of festival – may the light of the Diyas illuminate your hearts and homes, and those of your families, friends and communities in the year ahead!

On 15 May 2018, an interfaith conference was held in Rome which brought Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Sikh religious leaders, academics and believers together. It was entitled “Dharma and Logos: Dialogue and Cooperation in a Complex Age”; and concluded with a Joint Declaration by the delegates which included these statements:

“We emphasise the importance and need to increase our commitment to common dialogue and mutual collaboration, in the spirit of love and truth, while remaining deeply rooted in our respective religious traditions to be able to effectively meet the challenges of our time and build a culture of encounter and dialogue.”

When Pope Francis granted a special audience for the conference delegates on 16 May 2018, he said:

“I am most appreciative of the efforts of those who made possible this initiative... Dialogue and cooperation are essential at a time like our own, when complex and unprecedented factors have led to increased tensions and conflicts, accompanied by violence, on both a small and a large scale. It is a cause for thanksgiving to God when religious leaders actively foster a culture of encounter by offering an example of fruitful dialogue and by working together effectively in the service of life, human dignity and the care of creation.”

We thank God for your leaders who have worked tirelessly with us and those of other faiths to build bridges of trust and the ongoing renewal of our friendship here in Singapore. Indeed, such cohesion and cooperation are integral in these challenging times when remaining “deeply rooted in our respective religious traditions” is increasingly becoming more difficult for faith believers.

The times we live in today are permeated, both in the real and virtual world, with fake news that seek to amplify stereotypes and prejudices, erode the dignity of the human person, disregard care for creation and the sanctity of human life and corrode the family entity as the foundation of society.

There is an urgent need for us to embrace our unity in religious diversity, “in the spirit of love and truth”, and to collaborate with each other more than ever, in guiding and forming consciences that will courageously and faithfully uphold the moral values we believe in. We must continue to renew our belief in each other, knowing that ultimately, Love and Truth will prevail, and that the Transcendent Light will dispel the shadow of these dark times.

So it is with heartfelt hope and happiness that we celebrate with you this festival of the triumph of Light over darkness, Good over evil, Knowledge over ignorance, Love over fear.

Wishing you a very Happy Deepavali, Saal Mubarak!

Most Rev William Goh
Archbishop of Singapore

Msgr Philip Heng, SJ
Vicar-General (Interreligious Relations)
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Ms Janet Sullivan Whitaker (foreground in white) wowed the crowd with her smooth and powerful vocals.

Many Catholics are familiar with the song In Every Age. But what is it like to hear it from the composer herself? Well that’s what a group of people got at two parishes recently. And, they were just overwhelmed.

Ms Janet Sullivan Whitaker, the song’s composer, was in Singapore and performed at a concert titled Light and Hope, held on two evenings – at the Church of Divine Mercy on Oct 19 and the Church of St Ignatius on Oct 20. Organised by CANA The Catholic Centre, the event was an opportunity for the audience to encounter the Gospel through beautiful and contemplative music.
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Activity station showcasing services of Abilities Beyond Limitations and Expectations (ABLE).

It was a carnival with a difference at Agape Village in Toa Payoh. While visitors could still enjoy the fun and games, there was an underlying objective at each activity booth.

Staff from various social groups were present to share with visitors about the variety of social service programmes and rehabilitation services offered by Caritas’ member and partner organisations.

The event, held on Oct 14 at Agape Village in Lorong 8 Toa Payoh, was organised by Caritas Singapore together with Potong Pasir Zone 1 RC and the Singapore Wellness Association (SWA).
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The First International Buddhist-Christian Dialogue for Nuns from various parts of the world.

Just why did 70 nuns from 15 countries, many travelling across the globe to congregate in Taiwan, meet in a Buddhist monastery?

It was a landmark conference indeed for all the nuns who were participating in the First International Buddhist-Christian Dialogue for Nuns, held from Oct 13-20, in the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Monstery in Kaohsiung. Of the 70 nuns, 30 were Buddhists from countries such as Australia, Thailand, Japan and Singapore.

The theme for the dialogue was Contemplative Action and Active Contemplation: Buddhist and Christian Nuns in Dialogue. Their aim was to foster mutual understanding between Buddhists and Catholics.
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A Mass was held concurrently for primary and secondary sections at Catholic High Founder’s Day celebration.

The unfurling of a banner by Fr Henry Siew set off a line up of activities to mark the 83rd Founder’s Day celebrations at Catholic High School in Bishan.

The celebrations, held from Oct 8-13, with the theme “ConneXions” set the students on the path to learn the milestones in the school’s 83 years of achievements.

For students in the primary school section, they were given quizzes to help them learn more about the late Fr
Edward Becheras, who established Catholic High School (CHS) in 1935.
Catholic youth still passionate about their faith

Father Jude David

Many eyes have been on Rome in recent months and I am glad that there has been a positive reason for this because many have been interested in the Synod of Bishops on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment that has been called forth by our Holy Father, Pope Francis.

This synod has captured not only the attention of Catholics from around the world but also non-Catholics who are eagerly waiting to see how the Church responds to young people and desires to accompany them in their journey of life.
Ms Irene Wong and her painting
Ms Irene Wong’s “Selah Moment” won her the top prize in the Open Category.

An artist’s powerful portrait of herself in prayer and a moving depiction of the biblical characters of Naomi and Ruth as they caught sight of Bethlehem, their destination.

These were the two winning entries in this year’s Angelico Art Award, which seeks to provide a platform for Christian artists to reflect upon and express their faith.

Describing the entries for the art competition this year, Mr Lee Suan Hiang, former CEO of the National Arts Council and one of the judges, remarked: “Every piece was a labour of love and so well executed.”
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Participants of the Catholic Welfare Services walkathon in the 2-km walk from the Singapore Flyer to the Merlion and back.

Jared Ng

It was a Sunday walk with a special significance. It was an event to bring the message to our needy, aged and underprivileged that the community do love and care for them.

The two-kilometre walk organised by Catholic Welfare Services (CWS) was held on Oct 28, and attracted some 500 people. Among them were volunteers, donors and residents from the three nursing homes under CWS – St Joseph’s Home, St Theresa’s Home and Villa Francis Home For The Aged – as well as St Vincent Home, a shelter home set up by CWS for people needing public assistance.
Due to redevelopment and repair works scheduled to take place, the Archbishop’s Office will be temporarily relocated to 199, Ponggol Seventeenth Ave, Singapore 829645.

From Oct 31, kindly direct your mail and packages to the address indicated.

All contact numbers to the Office remain the same.


1. Fr Johan Rita Wongso SSCC is appointed Parish Priest of the Church of Blessed Sacrament for a term of six [6] years in accordance with can. 158 with effect from 28 October 2018.

2. Fr James Yeo is reappointed Rector of the Catholic Theological Institute of Singapore (CTIS) for a term of five [5] years with effect from 18 October 2018.

3. Fr Peter Zhang CDD is reappointed Vice Rector of the Catholic Theological Institute of Singapore (CTIS) for a term of five [5] years with effect from 18 October 2018.