JUNE 25, 2017, Vol 67, No 13


Families, become what you are


This month, the Archdiocesan Commission for the Family (ACF) sent Jeremy and Pearlyn, a newlywed couple of seven months to speak to Theodore and Ramona Olsen (married for 35 years) and Gerard and Wendy Lim (married for 28 years) to find out the secrets to a happy and fulfilling family life.


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Theodore and Ramona Olsen, their marriage turned for the better after discovering the CFC community. It took Ramona two years of persistent prayer before Theodore was convinced to look deeper in his vocation as a husband and a father, and assuming the role of priest, provider and protector of the family.

“I was not a good Catholic father, not a good Catholic husband,” Theodore would repeat throughout the interview. “In the past, I would go out with colleagues, drink, club, have fun. But the joy didn’t last because I did not have God in my life at that time.”

Looking at him and Ramona exchanging loving glances and holding hands throughout the interview, it was hard to believe that Theodore used to be a “married single” — a term used to describe those who were married but still living the single lifestyle.

“Now, all those things [that I used to enjoy] don’t matter anymore. And it is because I have found the Lord again. I forgot how to love. When I found the Lord… I learnt to love again.”

THE ADVOCATE IN OUR PRAYERS

The Gift of My Church (#TGOMC) is a series featuring how Catholics from different walks of life have been touched by God through their service or participation in the life of the Archdiocese of Singapore. In this issue, Leroy Rafael Goh, a member of an intercessory prayer ministry, shares with writer Darren Tan how he has witnessed the Holy Spirit empower individuals and the Church.

Leroy leading a session
Leroy leading a session during a retreat for the youths of St Joseph Church (Bukit Timah), held at Assumption English School in November 2016. Photo: Leroy Goh.

“Everyone struggles, or has once struggled, with the thought that maybe God does not care. But when we pray, take heart that change does takes place. Whatever situation we are in or challenge we hope to overcome might not necessarily be different. But it becomes new again, because we are made new,” said Leroy Rafael Goh.

For him, prayer is an act of bringing oneself back to “your relationship with God”. By doing so frequently, Leroy explains, “we are more familiar with how God talks to us and we tend to be able to move easier with Him.”
Dear Muslim brothers and sisters,

In solidarity with you all during this special time of prayer, fasting and good works, where you strive to deepen your relationship with God and neighbour, I wish you God’s abundant blessings. We are most fortunate in Singapore to be able to share in and express our solidarity with one another at various religious occasions and reiterate our mutual commitment to ongoing interreligious harmony and peace building.

Just over a month ago in April, His Holiness, Pope Francis visited Egypt as a messenger of peace. He spoke frankly in a video message about the state of the world today, “Our world is torn by blind violence, a violence that has also struck the heart of your beloved land. Our world needs peace, love and mercy. It needs peacemakers, people who are free and who set others free, men and women of courage who can learn from the past in order to build the future, free of every form of prejudice. Our world needs people who can build bridges of peace, dialogue, fraternity, justice and humanity.”
My wife told me that she had received multiple WhatsApp messages informing her that a certain priest had passed away. The message encouraged people to pray for his soul.

I made a few calls to check and the message turned out to be a rumour.

While I applaud the intentions of the originator of the WhatsApp message, I think it is important in these days of fast news, fake news and lightning-speed social media that we (especially as Christians) send out only information that is
true.
Young adults gain insights on the topic at a workshop

Fr David Garcia
Dominican Friar David Garcia speaking to participants at The Spirituality of Work event held on May 27.

By Pius Lee and Celeste Wee

How can Catholic Social Teaching (CST) be lived out in the workplace?

This is what more that 80 young adults between the ages of 21 and 35 sought to learn at a workshop titled The Spirituality of Work.

The workshop, held on May 27, was part of the annual Building The Kingdom series, which began in 2015 as a means for young adults to learn how they can apply CST to their daily lives.

It was organised by the Caritas Singapore Young Adults Committee.