JANUARY 7, 2018, Vol 68, No 1

My Father: My Hero and Role Model

As we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family on 31 December, let us turn our focus to an important but often neglected person in the family – the father. Djamila Burgos shares her memories of her late father and how he tried his best to nurture her despite his challenges.


Djamila and Tatay on holiday.

A few hours before he passed on, Father whispered to me “Child, bless me. I will sleep soon.” My heart skipped a beat.
Blinking away the tears that were threatening to come, I asked, “Did you mean to pray for you, Father?” “Yes,” he replied. “I’m sleepy already.”

That was how my father passed away in 2015 at the age of 82 – full of peace, grace and strength in spite of the tough life he had had.

In my heart, Tatay (“father” in Tagalog) will always be my role model of faith and first love. He was the one who taught me to trust in God despite the circumstances and showed me what it means to be singlehearted in love.
Archbishop William Goh discusses five spiritual reasons why the act of giving is an important aspect of the faith, in this adapted extract of his speech given at a Catholic Foundation Dinner held on 18 October 2017.

5 spiritual reasons for giving

Many of us do not understand why we give. Very often when we give, we think we are doing God a favour, doing the Church a favour, or doing someone else a favour. Actually when you give, you do yourself the greatest favour, more than anything else.

In giving, we recognise that God is the source of all the blessings we receive. We are where we are today not only because we have worked hard, but because of God’s divine providence. He has sent the right people to us and given us the opportunities. Therefore, if we have the ability to give, it is only because God is the source of all blessings. Without Him, we would be nowhere.
Building the shelves for the Library in the Zo and Sacheng Learning Centres
Members of a group from the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour helping Myanmar refugee kids build shelves for their library.

By Mabel Lee

Eight missionaries from the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour spent a week reaching out to Myanmar refugees in Kuala Lumpur.

From Dec 11-17, they visited the Zutong Refugee Catholic Learning Centre (ZRCLC), which was set up by Catholics to house Myanmar refugees seeking shelter from violence in their homeland.

The trip saw the Singapore visitors and the children from ZRCLC equipping two other Myanmar learning centres, the Zo and Sancheng learning centres, with libraries.
Missioners were interacting with the disables teens at the Fr Rays Disabled centre
Catholics from Singapore interacting with teenagers with disabilities in Pattaya during their mission trip.

Some 50 Catholics, mostly from the Church of Christ the King, travelled to Pattaya, Thailand, and visited various Catholic charity institutions there in early December.

Redemptorist Fr Simon Pereira and parish priest Fr John Sim led the group, which included
parents and their teenage children.

They visited the Father Ray Children’s Village, the Father Ray Children’s Home, the Father Ray Center for Children with Special Needs, the Camillian Social Center Rayong, Father Ray Day Care Center, the Pattaya School for the Blind and the Redemptorist Vocational School for People with Disabilities.