By Joyce Gan

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SINGAPORE - Chairman of the Archdiocesan Commission of the Tamil Speaking Apostolate (ACTS) Adolph Dorairaj, believes youths just need to be given opportunities to prove their mettle. And he was proven right with ACTS' first ever event - the Family/Youth Nite 2006 at Church of Our Lady of Lourdes on Feb 18. Youths from seven parishes organised the event.

Chairman of the Archdiocesan Commission of the Tamil Speaking Apostolate (ACTS) Adolph Dorairaj, believes youths just need to be given opportunities to prove their mettle. And he was proven right with ACTS' first ever event - the Family/Youth Nite 2006 at Church of Our Lady of Lourdes on Feb 18. Youths from seven parishes organised the event.

"Our main aim was to bring the youth and family together where they can participate not only spiritually but also socially and have a better understanding of one another," Mr Dorairaj explained.

The highlight was a drama performed by the youth from the Church of the Risen Christ which had as its theme the problems youth face - questions of obedience, peer pressure and societal influences. The performance drove home the importance of prayer, love and forgiveness.

ACTS' apprehension on how well Family/Youth Nite 2006 would go were laid to rest by the end of the night after the games and solo performances by youths from St. Anthony and Our Lady of Lourdes parishes. Participants (from children to senior citizens) danced the night to a close at 11.30pm.

ACTS was started when a general committee from the various parishes that celebrated Tamil Masses - Our Lady of Lourdes, Risen Christ, St. Francis of Assisi and Blessed Sacrament - came together in 1978. This first Tamil Committee evolved into the present ACTS with more new parishes (Christ the King, St. Anthony's and Our Lady Star of the Sea) celebrating Tamil masses.

The commission today is made of two to three members each from the seven parishes that celebrate Tamil Masses at least once a month, as well as two representatives from the migrant community. Their objective then and now is to serve the entire Tamil Catholic community in Singapore by organising retreats, rallies and spiritual talks by visiting priests.

"Our main aim is to provide for all the spiritual aspects of the Tamil community," Mr Dorairaj said. He said that ACTS will organise more spiritual and social events in the near future.

Above, youths from seven different parishes that celebrate Tamil masses gather together with Deacon Jivan Daniel, OFM, who has lent them much support for the Family/Youth Nite 2006.â–   

(Written with information from Adolph Dorairaj.)

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