APRIL 25, 2010, Vol 60 No 08

WHAT DO WE mean when we say we believe in Jesus crucified, died, and raised? What are the implications for our lives? Here I will connect our experience of suffering and death with that of Jesus and the resurrection. I invite our readers to take a hard look at our assumptions on suffering in our lives in the light of our belief in Jesus.

We may have said it ourselves, but we often hear this being said of a person who has passed: “Thank God the person did not have to suffer. It was a good, peaceful, and dignified death.” Statements like these reflect our own real natural fears of these often dark, unpleasant, and seemingly undignified experiences. We fear losing our dignity and control in the process.
In 2004, Archbishop Nicholas Chia appointed Father William Goh to be the Spiritual Director for the Catholic Spirituality Centre (CSC), which serves as the archdiocese’s centre for the evangelisation of Catholics.

Father Goh is actively engaged in its various iconic programmes instituted to help re-ignite the people’s faith through a deep personal encounter with God which heals and empowers them to live out their Christian mission in the world.

This complements the work of parishes in helping the faithful live out their Christian mission.

As CSC celebrates its fifth anniversary, CatholicNews’ Joyce Gan catches up with Father Goh

CSC members gather for a meal with spiritual director Father William Goh (second from left). Photo provided by CSC.

SINGAPORE – When Alicia Cheong was pregnant with her fourth child, her baby had a rare condition – a tumour was growing at the tail end of her spine. This meant that the baby would either not survive the pregnancy or faced the potential of lifelong pain and disability.

It was the “biggest crisis” of her life, Alicia later shared. The only thing that got her through was the knowledge that “God loves me and He was in complete control”. Alicia received this assurance when she attended a Conversion Experience Retreat (CER) at the Catholic Spirituality Centre (CSC) in March 2008.

First Singapore youth in Order of Malta pioneer project returns

Marianne Tan (extreme right) is the only Asian in the pioneer group of the Caravan project. Photos provided by Marianne Tan

WOULD YOU LEAVE your job to live and work without pay with Muslims to care for mentally and physically disabled people in Lebanon? Marianne Tan had that opportunity, and she leapt for it.

The occasion presented itself through ‘Caravan’, a project launched in January 2009 by the Grand Hospitaller of the Sovereign Council of the Order of Malta in Rome.

The Grand Master Fra’ Prince Matthew Festing had called for the development of a 10-year programme aimed at strengthening the youth in the motto of the Order, in the defence of the Faith and assistance to the poor and suffering.

“WRITE A SHORT vocation story of yourself, can?” I was, in typical Singlish, asked by my spiritual director to relate the journey that culminates in my present way of life as a postulant with the Order of St. Clare in Waverley, New South Wales, Australia.

The idea immediately seized me as one that I should grasp and not let slip. I recalled the words of Jesus, that a lamp is lit not to be covered or hidden, but to be put on a lamp-stand so that those who enter the room may see the light. I am the ‘lamp’ and Jesus the ‘light’.