Page 1 SUNDAY DECEMBER 16, 2012


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Pope creates 6 new cardinals, 3 from Asia

NO. 25

INSIDE HOME Reaching out to region’s needy CHIJ students, teachers aid Southeast Asia’s poor

By Alessandro Speciale VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict

XVI created six new cardinals on Nov 24. Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, Syro-Malankara Archbishop Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal of India, and Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Rai of Lebanon received the red hat in a ceremony in St Peter’s Basilica. Archbishop James Michael Harvey from the US, Nigerian Archbishop John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan and Colombian Archbishop Ruben Salazar Gomez were also installed. The pope’s second batch of     

did not include anyone from Europe and just one person from the ranks of the Roman Curia. The pontiff’s previous consistory, in February, had been criticised for leaning heavily to Italian and other European churchmen in a future conclave, even as the Church continues to shrink in the old world and grows rapidly in Asia and Africa. With the latest appointments, 120 out of a total of 211 living cardinals could be called upon to elect Pope Benedict’s successor. Only cardinals under the age of 80 are eligible to vote in a conclave to elect a new pope. Of the 120 cardinal-electors, 62 – or slightly more than half – now come from Europe, 35 are from the Americas and 11 respectively from Asia and Africa. Just one comes from Oceania, Australia’s Cardinal George Pell. The new consistory raises the percentage of Asian electors from seven to nine percent. Catholics in Asia account for just over 10 percent of the worldwide Catholic population. At the same time, the percentage of European electors dropped

VOL 62

„ Page 5

Year of Faith bloggers St Francis Xavier’s young adults share faith online „ Page 6

ASIA Indian lay  

Praised for holding onto faith despite persecution „ Page 12

Cardinal Luis Tagle of Manila (left) is greeted by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state. The Filipino Church leader was made a cardinal by the pope at the Vatican on Nov 24. CNS photo

slightly to just over 51 percent. But the continent remains statistically over represented, since the Vatican reports that fewer than 24 percent of the world’s Catholics live in Europe. In his homily before bestowing the red hat, the pope seemed to address such concerns by stressing repeatedly the “universality� of the Catholic Church. The word “catholic� comes from the Greek term for “universal�. “In this consistory,� he said, “I want to highlight in particu-

lar the fact that the Church is the Church of all peoples, and so she speaks in the various cultures of the different continents. She is the Church of Pentecost: amid the polyphony of the various voices, she raises a single harmonious song to the living God.� The College of Cardinals is particularly representative of the Church’s “unity and universality: It presents a variety of faces, because it expresses the face of the universal Church�, the pope said. He recalled that Jesus gave

The new cardinals raise the percentage of Asian papal electors from seven to nine percent. Catholics in Asia account for just over 10 percent of the world’s Catholics.

the apostles the mission to bear witness “all over the world, transcending the cultural and religious       tality, “so as to open themselves to the universal Kingdom of God�. In this sense, even when they spread throughout the world and founded different local Churches, they always thought of their Church not as a “community of their own� but as part of the “unique, universal and all-inclusive identity of the Catholica that is realised in every local Church�. After the pope’s homily, the      

him and to the Church before receiving the red hat and a ring marking their new rank. Some of them, including Cardinal Tagle, were visibly moved and shed tears. „ UCANEWS.COM, CNS

WORLD Strengthening Catholic charities’ identity Pope issues new rules „ Page 13

FAITH ALIVE! Advent – a promise of vindication „ Page 16



Sunday December 16, 2012 „ CatholicNews


Covenant between man and environment Responding to God’s command to till and to keep the land that he has entrusted to humanity (Genesis 2:15) “Only through an encounter with God are we able to see in the other something more than just another creature, to recognise the divine image in the other, thus truly coming to discover him or her and to mature in a love that ‘becomes concern and care for the other’.� (Pope Benedict XVI in the new encyclical, Caritas in Veritate)

Caring for God’s creation God made us stewards of His creation – giving man supremacy and guardianship of His creation. “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, and let them  +      

the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’� (Genesis 1:26.) With such control and dominance comes responsibility for the care and protection for the well being of our planet earth. Eco-friendliness has been a trend in recent times. Many organisations and companies have caught on to this and lobbied for a cleaner and greener environment – one that discourages wastage and advocates conservation and protection. This trend has not been lost on the Church, and it is one organisation that has also made efforts to do its part. As recently as 4-5 years ago, the Church has been at


climate change and advocating eco-friendliness. In 2011, the Vatican issued the statement: “We are committed to ensuring that all inhabitants of this planet receive their daily bread, fresh air to breathe and clean water to drink, as we are aware that, if we want justice and peace, we must protect the habitat that sustains us. The believers among us ask God to grant us this wish.� In our local churches, church canteens have recyling bins to cut down on wastage and parishioners are urged to do their part in keeping the church clean. In context of the Mass – song sheets have replaced song books, or projection on the screen to cut down on the wasteful printing of hymnals. The green movement is now part and parcel of the Church’s way of life. However as noted in recent times, some lapses have occurred in Singapore in general. Incidents of littering have risen and standards of cleanliness have fallen. This is naturally a cause for much concern.

‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness’ Although not actually a biblical quote, there are many references to “cleanliness� in the Bible. Recently there has been much dis-



"  # $ %   


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cussion in the media about clean 9 ' ; 

the returning of trays in hawker centres and food courts. God desires his people to be clean. He instructs us to clean the inside so that the outside may be clean as well. Inward cleanliness should manifest itself in outward cleanliness. When we are clean inwardly it can be unbearable

Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts� (Mark 3:5). Such was Jesus’ zeal for His Father’s House and for it to be kept clean.

Church canteens have recyling bins to cut down on wastage and parishioners are urged to do their part in keeping their church clean.

to live in unclean surroundings. In Matthew 23:26, Jesus says, <=  > ?     

that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.â&#x20AC;?

Keeping the Temple of the Lord clean From the early beginnings of the Bible we see how â&#x20AC;&#x153;on reaching

Do to others as you would have them do to you (Luke 6:31) Cleanliness is a social grace â&#x20AC;&#x201C; part and parcel of communal living and a civilised society. As a country striving to be more gracious, such social values and civic responsibility are necessary. A soci  '


does not foster harmony nor is

it conducive towards generating goodwill and peace amongst its people.

Serve one another (1 Peter 4:10) Cleanliness displays important character traits such as responsibility, discipline or simply just common courtesy to the person after us. It reflects our mindset â&#x20AC;&#x201C; either that we are considerate and thoughtful towards others or think and care for only ourselves and our own convenience. The Servant King has demonstrated through example â&#x20AC;&#x201C; washing the feet of His disciples during the Last Supper. Similarly, returning of trays in food courts is not just an act of cleanliness, but also one of service, humility and love for our neighbour. Just as our Lord Jesus Christ was humble enough to wash the feet of His disciples, we are called to imitate His humility and love in doing menial tasks with joy, and to â&#x20AC;&#x153;serve one another humbly in loveâ&#x20AC;?. (Galatians 5:13). Through our actions in spreading the message of cleanliness, we are invited to â&#x20AC;&#x153;do to others as you would have them do to youâ&#x20AC;? (Luke 6:31). In becoming the least of our brethren, we aspire to greatness and everlasting happiness in the heavenly kingdom. Â&#x201E;

Archbishop Nicholas Chia

Sunday December 16, 2012 „ CatholicNews




Sunday December 16, 2012 Â&#x201E; CatholicNews

CatholicNews launches new Facebook page CatholicNews launched its new Facebook page (www.facebook. com/catholicnews) on Dec 1. The archdiocesan newspaperâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s existing Facebook account (www. thecatholicnews) will be discon  

 Z   'tion of news feeds for some subscribers. The new Facebook Page will allow all viewers to receive regular updates when they subscribe to it. To do this, click â&#x20AC;&#x153;Likeâ&#x20AC;? at    <[ \ -

Kids learn about faith the fun way at Bible camp

tionsâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Show in News feedsâ&#x20AC;?. The new Facebook page aims to promote faith sharing and information exchange within the Catholic community. It complements the current CatholicNews website ( Messages to the CatholicNews Facebook team can also be sent through Facebook. Â&#x201E;

Blessed Sacrament parishioners go on cruise Parishioners on the cruise which went to the Southern Islands. Photo: DR PETER WANG

Parishioners from the Church of the Blessed Sacrament celebrated the feast of Christ the King with an evening cruise around the Southern Islands. The novel activity, on Nov 25, was the brainchild of parish priest Fr Anthony Hutjes. He had wanted to provide a casual atmosphere for parishioners to get to know one another better and grow in Christian charity. The 200 participants enjoyed a buffet dinner on-board and also +   @  '  tosaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Palawan Beach. During the cruise, Fr Hutjes

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Wilderness adventureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; teaches children about sacraments

briefed participants on the parishâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s programmes leading up to the parishâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s golden jubilee celebration next year, as well as those for the Year of Faith. The upcoming programmes include an Advent Parish Carnival, Youth Lenten Campaign for the Poor, Formation Programme for Evangelisation and a Parish Social Night. Mr Benjamin Raja, a parish youth councillor, said the threeand-a-half hour cruise helped him â&#x20AC;&#x153;grow closerâ&#x20AC;? to fellow parishioners in an atmosphere in which all the â&#x20AC;&#x153;demands of parochial ministryâ&#x20AC;? were â&#x20AC;&#x153;forgottenâ&#x20AC;?. Â&#x201E;

The Catholic Archdiocesan Education Centre on Highland Road resounded with childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s voices and laughter as 120 kids descended on the premises for a â&#x20AC;&#x153;wilderness adventureâ&#x20AC;?. =   + 


were attending the second annual Kidâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bible Camp organised by the Singapore Pastoral Institute. They came from 15 parishes. The Nov 19-23 camp, which had the theme A Wilderness Adventure Through The Sacraments,  '' + 


groups â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Beavers, Bears, Wolves, Eagles and Raccoons. Their Bible camp â&#x20AC;&#x153;adven  

^'  + 

stations â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Faith, Games, Music, Snacks and Craft. At the Craft station, the kids learned about the healing sacraments such as Anointing of the Sick. Here they made their â&#x20AC;&#x153;Wilderness First Aid Kitâ&#x20AC;?, which included plasters to remind them that Jesus heals the wounds of the heart. The Faith station was a place    

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Catechetical director Fr Erbin Fernandez led them in Eucharistic adoration and also shared with them his call to the priesthood. The Music station was a popular stop as the kids sang and danced to upbeat, inspirational songs. By the end of the camp, many were singing the tunes they had learnt, especially the camp theme song, Hike of My Life. Even the Games and Snacks stations were opportunities to learn: A game of tug of war reminded the young participants that though it is a daily struggle to keep away from sin, God strengthens them through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. And when the children made â&#x20AC;&#x153;baptismal cupcakesâ&#x20AC;? at the Snacks station, they decorated

A young participant of the Wilderness Adventure Through The Sacraments camp with a message for his father.

them with white icing, candles,      >  

mind themselves of the new life that all share in Jesus at baptism. A small army of 60 volunteers comprising catechists, parents and young people helped guide the children during the camp. They kept the camp running smoothly and took care of details such as the making of materials and packing of snacks. Participants of last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s camp, now in secondary school, also returned as facilitators. There was even assistance from four catechists from the Church of

Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Ipoh, who were learning how to run a similar camp for their parish. At the end of the camp, in thanksgiving for all they had received, the children and their families donated food items, toys and books to disadvantaged children and needy families in Singapore. Seven-year-old Nicole Long, from St Francis Xavier parish, echoed the sentiments of many of the young participants. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was fun and I learned a lot about Jesus... and I want to come back again next year!â&#x20AC;? she said. Â&#x201E;

Children learning about the sacraments as they snack.


Sunday December 16, 2012 Â&#x201E; CatholicNews

CHIJ students, teachers reach out to needy in region Mission trips to Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia the latest in CHIJ Toa Payohâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s special programme

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Sunday December 16, 2012 „ CatholicNews

4 to be ordained deacons By Darren Boon Four seminarians will be ordained deacons at St Joseph Church (Bukit Timah) on Jan 25 at 7.30pm. They are Brs Jovita Cyprian Ho, Alphonsus Dominic, Edward Seah and Benedict Chng. They are all Singaporeans. Br Ho, 37, was a non-uniformed regular in the Singapore Armed Forces and a paramedic by vocation before joining the seminary. He was an altar server, catechist, cantor, and served in the liturgical committee when he was a parishioner of the Church of Lady of Perpetual Succour. He is currently a parishioner of the Church of Christ the King. Br Dominic, 37, had his own '  +   


joining the seminary. The parishioner of Church of the Holy Spirit was active in the art ministry and children and adult choirs.

He was also an altar server. Br Chng, 49, was a general manager in company that distributed and marketed sound reinforcement products and radio broadcast equipment prior to joining the seminary. The parishioner of the Church of the Holy Family was also involved in the RCIA and Liturgy of the Word for Children. Br Seah, 53, was formerly a De La Salle Brother. The parishioner of the Church of the Risen Christ was a catechist and also served in the Legion of Mary and youth ministry. Meanwhile, two Malaysian seminarians who had studied at the St Francis Xavier Major Seminary, Brs Peter Anthoney and Gregory Chan, were scheduled to be ordained deacons in Kuala Lumpur on Dec 8. Their priestly ordination date is set for Jan 24. „

From left: Seminarians Alphonsus Dominic, Benedict Chng, Edward Seah and Jovita Cyprian Ho are to be ordained deacons in January.

Asian Taoist delegates St Francis Xavier young adults visit St Teresa Church launch blog on Year of Faith By Darren Boon

Guests of Zhen Ren Gong Temple at Redhill Close entering the Church of St Teresa for their interreligious visit.

By Martin See About 100 Taoist delegates from around Asia learnt a little about the Catholic Church when they visited the Church of St Teresa on Nov 27. The delegates were guests of Zhen Ren Gong Temple at Redhill Close, which celebrated its 100th anniversary on Nov 25. The delegates came from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia. Fr Stephen Yim spoke in Mandarin as he welcomed the Mandarin-speaking guests. He explained that the title “Father”, used before his name, meant that he is a member of the Catholic clergy who has embraced a special vocation of serving God. Fr Yim also gave a brief history of St Teresa Church and said it is the only Catholic church in Singapore which has a canopy structure located within the building. It is also the only Catholic

church here with a Roman-Byzantine architectural design, he added. Besides visiting the Catholic church, the delegates also visited a Sikh temple, a mosque and a Protestant church. “We decided to invite the delegates to visit various places of worship in Singapore because we believe that some of them have never seen the inside of a church, mosque or Sikh temple,” said Ms Mary Wang, a temple committee member. “We also wanted to expose these delegates to the interreligious harmony that we have in Singapore,” she added. <ƒ  +  +  

ganisations an eye-opener and the people are welcoming,” Mr Wu Qing Liang, 50, a Philippine delegate told CatholicNews. “In my country, different faith groups don’t mix with one another, whereas in Singapore it’s harmonious.” „

A group of young adults from the Church of St Francis Xavier has banded to blog about the Year of Faith. Mr Timothy Soo, 23, who started the initiative told CatholicNews the blog is about translating “head knowledge to heart knowledge” through the sharing of the bloggers’ faith experiences. The aim is to make the faith relevant to others and connect with readers, he said. The blog, launched in October, is called The Door of Faith, but its website address has a rather unusual name: Ms Yvonne Chen, 23, another blogger, said it refers to a quote attributed to English writer G K Chesterton, who supposedly said: “Every man who knocks on the door of a brothel is looking for God.” ? ' @  



she said. There are four themes the group focuses on in its blog: faith and the Creed; life of Christ; the liturgy, sacraments and rites; and Christian morality and prayer. The bloggers also refer to the Catechism of the Catholic Church and Vatican documents in their posts, said Ms Chen. So far, the team have written about their faith life, how they came to embrace the faith and their spiritual struggles. The bloggers told CatholicNews their inspirations come from Church events, conversa-

Five of the nine-member team responsible for the The Door of Faith blog: (front, from left) Mr Timothy Soo and Ms Yvonne Chen, (back, from left) Mr Leon Tan, Mr James Yap and Mr Marcus Foo.

tions they had with others including non-Christians, and through sharings with other Catholics. “We want [readers] to see that the Church’s teachings are not something imposed on them but something that speaks the truth and the truth guides them towards God,” said Mr James Yap, 22, another team member. The blogging exercise is about using language to give colour to the faith, said another blogger, Mr Marcus Foo, 26. He said he joined the initiative as he was won over by the idea of promoting the faith through technology and social media. According to Mr Soo, he got the idea for the blog after hearing a priest speak about the Year of

Faith during Mass, and during his personal prayer time. He then sent an email to the St Francis Xavier youth and young adults’ community asking who might be interested in the initiative. The group presently comprises nine bloggers including one parishioner based overseas. The team updates the blog once or twice a week. They also hope to invite guest contributors. Mr Soo said that through readers’ comments, he learnt that behind every theological question lies a personal question. Some people are seeking answers and the best way to win them over is to “speak with love”, he said. „


Sunday December 16, 2012 Â&#x201E; CatholicNews

Scheut Missions marks its 150th anniversary By Martin See The Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (CICM), popularly known as Scheut Missions, celebrated their 150th anniversary with a Mass at the Church of the Holy Spirit, which they helped build. â&#x20AC;&#x153;What we celebrate is our faith in the Lord and proclaiming the Good News,â&#x20AC;? CICM priest Fr Anthony Lim told the 300-strong crowd on Nov 28 during his homily. Fr Lim shared about his pilgrimage to Inner Mongolia, China, earlier this year, in which he was spiritual director for 25 other    Â&#x192;     

visiting the region and seeing the works that other CICM members had done. The group visited Tiger Valley, where CICM founder Fr Theophile Verbist died in February 1868 after working for three years in Inner Mongolia. Fr Verbist had a dream of preaching the Gospel in China. Fr Lim and his fellow pilgrims saw the room Fr Verbist died in as well as photos of the late CICM members who had served in that parish. Later, they visited the cemetery where the bodies of nine missionaries were laid to rest. Fr Lim shared that many of them died in their 20s and 30s either of diseases or were tortured to death during the Boxer Rebellion (1898-1901) in China. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The tombs of these missionaries are signs of their strong faith and their close relationship with Jesus,â&#x20AC;? said Fr Lim, â&#x20AC;&#x153;each one committing himself to proclaim the Gospel to the whole creation, just like the apostles.â&#x20AC;? Archbishop Nicholas Chia was the main celebrant at the Mass and he congratulated the CICM missionaries on the work they had done in Singapore.

History of Scheut Missions (CICM) Scheut Missions began as the dream of a young priest from the Archdiocese of Mechelen in Belgium in the 1860s. When Fr ThĂŠophile Verbist (1823-1868) learnt that missionaries might be allowed to work in China, he became convinced of his calling to preach the Gospel there even though he was a diocesan priest. A few more diocesan priests from Belgium and Holland joined him, and on Nov 28, 1862, the statutes of the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary were approved.

Archbishop Nicholas Chia (third from left) poses for a photo with Scheut Missions (CICM) priests during the Nov 28 celebration. The priests are (from left): Frs Paul Staes, Kamelus Kamus, Anthony Lim, Robertus Sarwiseso and Angel Luciano.

Ministries in Singapore

CICM Bishop Carlo van Melck       in the 1950s.

They set up their headquarters, or motherhouse, at Scheut, a suburb of Brussels â&#x20AC;&#x201C; hence the name Scheut Missions. Three years later, Fr Verbist left Belgium for mission work in Inner Mongolia, accompanied by four others. Their main task was to obtain  ''   

and send new members to China 

      ' Â&#x192; ly 1868, Fr Verbist succumbed to typhoid fever and died. However, from then on, the number of CICM members and their mission territories kept growing. From 1865 until the expulsion of missionaries from China in the early 1950s, no fewer than 679 CICM members were active there. In 1888, CICM accepted a new mission territory at the request of the Vatican and the king

Fr Staes seen here with children in Mongolia.

of Belgium: the vast area of newly discovered Congo. In 1907, CICM concentrated its efforts in the Philippines when there was a need to replace the Spanish missionaries there.

CICM in Singapore CICM was set up in Singapore in 1931 to support the mission in China and the Philippines. In 1953, Belgium-born CICM Bishop Carlo van Melckebeke was appointed by the Holy See as Apostolic Visitor of the Overseas Chinese. The former Bishop of Ningxia, who was forced to leave China in )   '   ' 

He established the Singapore Catholic Central Bureau (todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Carlo Society) for the diffusion of Catholic literature in Southeast Asia, and initiated several Manda-

rin language publications including Hai Sing Pao, the archdiocesan Mandarin newspaper. He died in 1980 and his remains are at the Church of the Holy Spirit. The CICM also sent Dutch members to the Toraja area of Sulawesi, Indonesia, in 1937. After World War II, and after China closed its doors to foreign missionaries, the CICM started accepting requests from bishops in Asia, such as in Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan, to set up the congregation in these places.

The CICM participates regularly in Inter-Religious Organisation (IRO) activities and has held talks to foster better understanding of other faiths. One of its members, Fr Angel Luciano, provides pastoral care to migrant workers, especially those from the Philippines. Since 2004, he has been the spiritual director of the Archdiocesan Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People. Another priest, Fr Romeo Yu Chang, is the Regional Coordinator of the Apostleship of the Sea for East and Southeast Asia. He speaks English, Tagalog, Bicolano (a language of the Philippines), Cantonese and Mandarin. The CICM is a co-founder of the Archdiocesan Commission for Missionary Activity (ACMA) and also promotes evangelisation through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). Two CICM members have also published books â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Steps on My Missionary Journey by Fr Peter Koh and Dwelling in Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Love by Fr Frans De Ridder. Missionhurst magazine, published by CICM in the US, is also sent bi-monthly to over 1,000 friends and supporters of the Scheut Missions in Singapore. Â&#x201E;


Sunday December 16, 2012 Â&#x201E; CatholicNews

Going beyond the P In the wake of the PSLE results, several schools responded to CatholicNewsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; can be regarded as role models in various ways. Martin See speaks to these

Leukaemia no obstacle to her getting good grades A cheerful Deborah Choo was all smiles when she talked about her school, CHIJ Our Lady of the Nativity. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was a fun experience since Primary One!â&#x20AC;? said the leukaemia survivor. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d ask God to help me make good friends and help me in my studies, and He answered my prayers.â&#x20AC;? Deborah, who was diagnosed with cancer at the age of four and a half, scored an A for English, a B for Maths and a C for Science and Chinese. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even expect her to pass and thought she needed to stay back another year but she surprised us and did well,â&#x20AC;? said her mother, Mrs Felicia Choo. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m so proud of her.â&#x20AC;? Mrs Choo said that leukaemia sufferers tend not to do well in school, so when her daughter passed her PSLE she was thankful to God and the teachers. <>      cant improvement in Maths which was her weakest subject,â&#x20AC;? said Deborahâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s form teacher, Mrs Serena Lee. â&#x20AC;&#x153;She was scoring in the 30-40 percent range and achieved a B in the PSLE which is in the 60 percent range.â&#x20AC;?

After being diagnosed with cancer, Deborah spent the next couple of years undergoing treatment that had side effects such as hair loss and vomiting. â&#x20AC;&#x153;She didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t attend preschool due to her poor health,â&#x20AC;? said Mrs Choo. Yet amidst her battle with cancer, she took part in community service such as visiting children with cancer in hospitals. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I sometimes see that kids who are healthy donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t empathise, take life for granted and can be spoilt. For me, I appreciate life to the fullest and every day I have is a blessing from God,â&#x20AC;? she said. In November, she passed the +|    '   

now considered cancer free. Deborah was part of the school choir, which participated in the 2010 and 2012 Singapore Youth Festival. The choir bagged silver awards both times.        <laxingâ&#x20AC;?. Furthermore, the breathing techniques help keep her â&#x20AC;&#x153;calm and improves information retentionâ&#x20AC;?. Deborah and her family attend St Anneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Church. She has picked CHIJ St Josephâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Convent for her secondary education. Â&#x201E;

A* student Laura Low is one student who excels both in the classroom and in sport. The CHIJ Kellock Primary scored four A* and a merit grade for Higher Mother Tongue in PSLE. She was also captain of her schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s netball team who came in     Â&#x2021;   Â&#x2122;  Â&#x192;| Primary Schools Netball Championships and were second in this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s National Primary Schools Netball Championships. She says she has had a passion for the sport since early primary school days, and has decided to pick the Singapore Sports School for her secondary education. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Netball helps me to relax and forget the stress from my studies,â&#x20AC;? she said. Laura said that representing her school in netball and at the National Mathematical Olympiad of Singapore 2011 was a bit stressful. However, that â&#x20AC;&#x153;pressure drove me to do my bestâ&#x20AC;?. She added that such competitions taught her perseverance and hard work. Through leadership training from her school, Laura said that she    


Deborah Choo (CHIJ Our Lady of the Nativity) took part in community service such as visiting children with cancer in hospitals.

Juggling studies, family duties and sport

Ruby Heramis (St Anthonyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Canossian Primary School) seen here with her awards.

Ruby Heramis received the Bakhita award from her school, St Anthonyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Canossian Primary, for being an all rounded student and rising against the challenges of life to achieve excellence. She comes from a family of six children and, being second in the family, has the responsibility of helping her mother look after her two younger brothers aged three  + â&#x20AC;&#x153;When Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m at home I have to feed my baby brothers and also make sure that they take naps in the afternoons,â&#x20AC;? said Ruby. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When my siblings are asleep ... I study and do my homework.â&#x20AC;? Nevertheless, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m very happy to help out at home and be a role model to my younger siblings,â&#x20AC;? she said. Ruby, who was selected to be captain of the school netball team this year, scored an A for English, B for Maths and Science, and a

Grade 4 for Chinese. She does not have tuition. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Being the captain of the team means that I have to be responsible for the younger ones and other team mates,â&#x20AC;? she said. Her Co-Curricular Activity (CCA) commitment saw her juggling twice-a-week practices with studies and home commitments. Ruby recalled that during the PSLE exams, her older brother Ryan helped cover her duties at home. She said he inspires her as he also did well in his PSLE two years ago and received awards. She said her school has taught her to be â&#x20AC;&#x153;charitable, humble and forgivingâ&#x20AC;?, qualities she attributes to a Catholic education. Ruby says she has chosen St Anthonyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Canossian Secondary School for her secondary education. Â&#x201E;

Dance, choir, for this all-rou She took part in taekwondo, Chinese dance and choir in her school, and has guitar, piano and ballet lessons outside of school. She even found time to act in the musical Annie this year. And when the PSLE results were released, all-rounder Erika Goh scored A* for Maths and Science and A for English and Chinese. The St Anthonyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Canossian Primary School student said she does her best to manage her time well, making use of every spare moment to either focus on her studies or get some rest in between activities. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get stressed out with the PSLE,â&#x20AC;? said the Catholic girl, adding that students should â&#x20AC;&#x153;take it as a positive thing. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like any examâ&#x20AC;?. She said she would sleep at >  '     

homework. However, she slept earlier during the exams upon the advice of her parents, â&#x20AC;&#x153;so that I wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get a mental blockâ&#x20AC;?. Her teachers also helped her and her schoolmates â&#x20AC;&#x153;by giving extra lessons after school and by telling motivational stories


Sunday December 16, 2012 „ CatholicNews

SLE exams request to interview students who students.

with a passion for netball The Korean Catholic community outside Nativity Church after Sunday Mass.

Singapore Korean Catholic community gets new home in Nativity Church By Darren Boon

Laura Low (CHIJ Kellock Primary School, centre) is choosing the Singapore Sports School for her secondary education.

She attributes her good PSLE results to her dedicated teachers who would “offer to help me even without me going to them for help”. <!        

she said. “I would complete my homework when I get home and only play after completing” it, she said.

She is grateful to her school because “besides making sure that I learn in class, the school has programmes that taught me values and how I can apply them in life”. Laura’s form teacher, Ms Tay Sze Leng, notes that her student “is conscientious in both her stud-

ies and her CCA…she makes it a point to think through the concepts taught and would raise questions to deepen her understanding”. She also has “initiative and is able to anticipate the needs of others”. „

taekwando under and offering support”, she said. Erika’s schedule of activities would certainly tire out many students her age. The student, who was appointed prefect in Primary Five, is a member of the Singapore Symphony Children’s Choir and practises with them for four hours every Saturday. She and her schoolmates participated in the 2012 Singapore Youth Festival in Chinese dance and Choir. “The Chinese dance rehearsals were very rigorous” right before the competition, she said. In June, she went for the auditions for the musical Annie and was accepted. “From July onwards there were lots of rehearsals for the performance in August,” she said, adding that “it was a great experience to meet new friends and I had fun”. Erika received her school’s Magdalenian award for her academic achievement and for being an all-rounded student. She attends novena devotions at Novena Church. She and her family are parishioners of the Church of the Holy Trinity. „

The Korean Catholic community in Singapore has settled down in their new home at Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. They relocated from the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd to its current location at the end of October due to upcoming renovation works at the cathedral. =  ‡   $ 

at Nativity Church began on Nov 4. The move is permanent, according to Mr Daniel Kim, the community’s president. The Korean Catholic community needed a big enough space for its activities and following consultations with various parishes, Nativity Church gave the community permission to use its premises. The community also makes use of classrooms for its meetings, catechism classes and Masses. Speaking to CatholicNews through Mr Kim, Korean chaplain Fr Louis Kim said that there are slightly more than 1,000 registered Korean Catholics in Singapore, though the actual number could be higher. The average age of the community is about 40. The community comprises mostly families and is very active, Mr Kim told CatholicNews. About 350 to 400 people attend the group’s Sunday Masses while 50 to 70 people attend the weekday Masses.

The community also has a Legion of Mary curia. It also organises catechism classes for the children and youth as well as bible classes. Mr Kim said that the community also takes part in mission outreach activities such as fundraising to help the needy in Vietnam and Myanmar, an annual mission trip within South East Asia, and supporting charities and old folks’ homes in Singapore. Meanwhile, Mr Kim said that they are looking forward to integrating more with the local Catholic community, starting with the community in Nativity Church, with “open heart…open arms”. And one way is through Korean language classes which the community is thinking of offering, Mr Kim added. Korean Catholics CatholicNews spoke to said that they are trying to adjust to the move and the minor inconveniences. $ ˆ ˆ     

with the move though he prefers the more centralised location of the cathedral in town. Madam Lydia Kim told said she is also adjusting to the move and the location, and believes that things will get better with time. She hopes to be able to know the local Catholics better. Meanwhile, Mr Kim said that if the need arises, they would look at organising shuttle services for community members. „

Korean Masses at Nativity Church

Erika Goh (St Anthony’s Canossian Primary School) had A* scores and even acted in the musical Annie.

Fr Louis Kim, the Korean chaplain in Singapore.

Sunday: 12.45pm (main church). Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday (Block C3-4): 10am. Thursday: 7.30pm (Block C3-4). Saturday: 2.30pm (Children’s Mass at St John Auditorium), 5pm (Youth Mass at Block C3-4). The community is contactable through email at or through their webpage (in Korean) kccsg


Applications open for Carlo bursaries

Sunday December 16, 2012 Â&#x201E; CatholicNews

Stigmatisation discussed at World AIDS Day forum

By Darren Boon

By Martin See

Carlo Catholic Society is accepting applications for its 2013 bursary scheme from Dec 15 for needy students in primary, secondary, centralised institutes and junior colleges. Applications must be submitted by Feb 1, 2013. Each bursary for primary school students is at $350 per year, $500 for secondary school students and $750 for students in centralised institutes and junior colleges. The applicant must be a Catholic student, must possess good conduct and satisfactory academic results, and must not be a recipient of any other scholarships or bursaries. The applicantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s total household monthly income must not exceed $2,000, or the â&#x20AC;&#x201C; per capita (average) household i.e. total monthly household income divided by total number of household members â&#x20AC;&#x201C; must not exceed $450 per month. More information is available on the application form, which can be obtained from Carlo Catholic Society at 225-B Queen St, or through YoIA27 Applications for ITE, polytechnic and university students are expected to start next May. Carlo Catholic Society has awarded a total value of $24,200 worth of scholarships in 2012 comprising 12 primary, 12 secondary/ITE, six polytechnic and four university bursaries. The bursaries are to provide      nancial assistance to motivate them to further their education. Â&#x201E;

The stigmatisation that HIV/ AIDS sufferers face. This was the highlight of a forum organised by the Catholic AIDS Response Effort (CARE) to mark World AIDS Day. The Dec 1 forum was held at the Church of Sts Peter and Paul on Dec 1 and saw three panellists discussing the issues that HIV/ AIDS patients face in Singapore. Fr Paul Staes, chairman of the archdiocesan Senate of Priests, shared that â&#x20AC;&#x153;what the Church has to say is that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re dealing with a sickness. And Jesus said that â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;when I was sick, you came to see me.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? He added, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The best thing you can do is to offer careâ&#x20AC;Śand the last thing you should do is to condemn the sick.â&#x20AC;? Assoc Prof Albert Teo, a volunteer at Tan Tock Seng Hospitalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Communicable Disease       

started his volunteer work, he was at a loss as to how help the patients because of his shyness. The CARE management committee member said he then tried to give them massages with the approval of the staff there.

Panellists at the World AIDS Day forum: (from left) Fr Paul Staes, Dr Lee Cheng Chuan, Assoc Prof Albert Teo, and moderator Gabriel Ong.

Apparently the patients ben      '

he said; it helped them feel less discriminated against because someone was willing to come into physical contact with them. = ' 


him about the stigmatisation they face. Some said they were estranged from their family and ostracised by society because of their condition. â&#x20AC;&#x153;People say cruel things like

the patients deserve to die because they did immoral things,â&#x20AC;? shared Assoc Prof Teo. Dr Lee Cheng Chuan, senior consultant at the Communicable Disease Centre, said that for those at risk of contracting HIV, family intervention is necessary to help them change their behaviour. In response to a question from the audience on HIV testing, Dr Lee replied that â&#x20AC;&#x153;when HIV

screening is done it should be to offer early medical treatmentâ&#x20AC;? should the person test positive. Members of the audience said they welcome such a forum. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The forum is useful for people to talk about [HIV/ AIDS],â&#x20AC;? said Ms Leong Li Ting, 23, a human resource analyst. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important to educate the public about the transmission of AIDS so that they will not be unnecessarily worried when interacting with HIV-positive people.â&#x20AC;? A HIV-positive person staying at the CARE shelter said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m happy for such forums to take place because it gives the public a better understanding and creates more awareness of the truth behind being HIV-positive.â&#x20AC;? The previous day, CARE held a Mass to mark World AIDS Day, also at the Church of Sts Peter and Paul. The main celebrant was Fr Albert Ng. He encouraged the congregation to pray for people who are ill, especially HIV-positive sufferers, and for God to give them the courage to continue with their lives. Â&#x201E;

Teachers get fresh ideas at Australian-led course By Don Gurugay Catholic educators who took part in a training programme run by a team from Brisbane, Australia, said they gained much from it. The course â&#x20AC;&#x153;introduced to me the many strategies we can adapt, e.g. using colours, mind scaffolding, music, art and dance, and using all the wonderful things of Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s creation to aid us in our teaching

sessions,â&#x20AC;? said Mr Bernard Lim, a Catholic preschool board member. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We were exposed to new tools through technology which enhances traditional materials,â&#x20AC;? said Ms Irene Leong, principal of Nativity Church Kindergarten. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Every single activity that we experienced and enjoyed may be used with our students and, most importantly, was meaningful for ourselves.â&#x20AC;? Mr Lim and Ms Leong were among 52 teachers from Catholic preschools, primary and secondary schools who attended the Religious Education Training Programme held at Catholic Junior College from Nov 26-29. The Archdiocesan Commission for Catholic Schools (ACCS)

Mr Mark Elliott from the Brisbane Catholic Education

 speaking to Catholic teachers.

in Singapore conducted the programme in conjunction with the Brisbane Catholic Education of    ^|'   â&#x20AC;&#x153;More than anything, an RE [religious education] teacher

should know that who they are as an authentic human being is just as important as what they teach,â&#x20AC;? Mr Mark Elliott, Principal Educa  Â&#x201E;  {  Â&#x160;    * >


CatholicNews. â&#x20AC;&#x153;RE teachers need to have a deep understanding of scripture and be prepared to challenge students to recognise the person of Jesus not just in scriptural texts but in everyday life.â&#x20AC;? According to Ms Merilyn Dasson, director of early childhood education at ACCS, the aim of the programme is for â&#x20AC;&#x153;religious educators to be able to infuse a genuine spirituality into the school and especially in RE classesâ&#x20AC;?. Some Catholic preschool teachers are also expected to go for a weekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s attachment at a Catholic kindergarten in Brisbane next year. Â&#x201E;

Sunday December 16, 2012 „ CatholicNews




Sunday December 16, 2012 Â&#x201E; CatholicNews

Indian martyr praised for holding onto faith BANGALORE, INDIA â&#x20AC;&#x201C; The

Malaysian Catholics display banners outside the Kuantan High Court on Nov 16.

Mâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;sian Church given leave        KUANTAN, MALAYSIA â&#x20AC;&#x201C; A judge     $  

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â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Little changeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; under new Chinese govt BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, USA â&#x20AC;&#x201C;

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from China says he doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t expect

much to change in Church-state       


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in China. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not one of the im '   

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Sunday December 16, 2012 Â&#x201E; CatholicNews

New rules to strengthen charitiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Catholic identity VATICAN CITY â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Warning that

Catholic charitable activity must not become â&#x20AC;&#x153;just another form of organised social assistanceâ&#x20AC;?, Pope * Â&#x17E;`Â&#x192;     

strengthen the religious identity of Catholic charities and ensure that their activities conform to Church teaching. The popeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s apostolic letter on the â&#x20AC;&#x153;service of charityâ&#x20AC;?, issued â&#x20AC;&#x153;motu proprioâ&#x20AC;? (on his own initiative), directs bishops in overseeing charitable works in their dioceses. =    \ +  

  >  `

   Charities approved by the Church or supported by Church funds â&#x20AC;&#x153;are required to follow Catholic principles in their activity and they may not accept commitments which could in any way affect the observance of those principlesâ&#x20AC;?, the pope wrote. The staff members of such charities must therefore â&#x20AC;&#x153;share, or at least respect, the Catholic identityâ&#x20AC;? of their agencies, and exemplify <      *  '

are to provide these employees with â&#x20AC;&#x153;theological and pastoral formationâ&#x20AC;? through special courses and â&#x20AC;&#x153;suitable aids to the spiritual lifeâ&#x20AC;?. Catholic charities are forbidden 

<+  ''   

groups or institutions that pursue ends contrary to the Churchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s teachingâ&#x20AC;?, or to â&#x20AC;&#x153;accept contributions for initiatives whose ends, or the means

Charities approved by the Church or supported by Church funds â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;are required to follow Catholic principles in their activity and they may not accept commitments which could in any way affect the observance of those principlesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Pope Benedict XVI

used to pursue them, are not in conformity with the Churchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s teachingâ&#x20AC;?. To ensure that the Churchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s >  Z < tian simplicity of lifeâ&#x20AC;?, each bishop is to set their salaries and expenses at levels â&#x20AC;&#x153;in due proportion to analogous expenses of his diocesan curiaâ&#x20AC;?. When â&#x20AC;&#x153;the activity of a particular charitable agency is no longer being carried out in conformity with the Churchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s teachingâ&#x20AC;?, Pope *     '  >

>  '      Z @ 

â&#x20AC;&#x153;prohibit that agency from using the name â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Catholicâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;?. The document is the Vaticanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s latest measure aimed at reinforcing the religious identity of Cath      Â&#x192; $   

Vatican issued rules strengthening its control over Caritas Interna        &}

Catholic relief, development and social service agencies around the world, including Catholic Relief Services in the United States. ? ' *   

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Council Cor Unum, the Vatican


and promoting charitable giving, would be primarily responsible for â&#x20AC;&#x153;promoting the application of this legislation and ensuring that it is applied at all levelsâ&#x20AC;?. Â&#x201E; CNS The full letter is at: http://www.vatican. va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/motu_ proprio/documents/hf_ben-xvi_motuproprio_20121111_caritas_en.html

Vatican praises new UN status for Palestine VATICAN CITY â&#x20AC;&#x201C; The Vatican

praised a United Nations vote making Palestine a non-member observer state but called for full recognition of Palestinian sovereignty as necessary for peace in the region. One hundred and thirty-eight >  +   \ + 

to boost Palestineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s status from â&#x20AC;&#x153;entityâ&#x20AC;? to â&#x20AC;&#x153;non-member stateâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the same status held by the Holy See â&#x20AC;&#x201C; in an implicit recognition of Palestinian sovereignty. Israel, the United States and Canada were among the nine states that voted against the motion. Forty-one countries abstained. = +  Z  < ment of the majority of the international communityâ&#x20AC;? in favour of  <   '  

Palestinians within the United Nationsâ&#x20AC;?, the Vatican said in a writ 

 \ +  * ? Â&#x2021;  tus at the UN â&#x20AC;&#x153;does not constitute, '       

existing problems in the regionâ&#x20AC;?, the Vatican said. Such a solution would require â&#x20AC;&#x153;effective commitment to building peace and stability, in justice and in the respect for

Palestinians take part in a rally while the speech of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is projected on a screen in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Nov 29. CNS photo

legitimate aspirations, both of the Israelis and of the Palestiniansâ&#x20AC;?, it said. Israeli and Palestinian leaders need to restart peace â&#x20AC;&#x153;negotiations in good faith and to avoid actions, or the placing of conditions, which would contradict the declarations of good will and the sincere search for solutions which could become secure foundations

for a lasting peaceâ&#x20AC;?, it said. In its statement, the Vatican       

Palestinian Authority supporting â&#x20AC;&#x153;the recognition of an internationally guaranteed special statute for the city of Jerusalemâ&#x20AC;?. The agreement aims to safeguard â&#x20AC;&#x153;the freedom of religion and of conscience, the identity and sacred character of Jerusalem as a holy city, [and] respect for and freedom of access to its holy placesâ&#x20AC;?, the Vatican said. Palestineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s enhanced status gives it the right to speak at UN meetings and sponsor and sign resolutions, but not to vote on UN resolutions. Non-member observers may petition to join the body as full members. Â    ' 'Â&#x2021; 

speech in Tel Aviv, Israel, the Vatican said that peace can result only from a situation of justice for all parties: the recognition of Israelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s right to exist â&#x20AC;&#x153;and to enjoy peace and security within internationally agreed bordersâ&#x20AC;?, as well as the Palestiniansâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; right â&#x20AC;&#x153;to a sovereign independent homeland, to live with dignity and to travel freelyâ&#x20AC;?. Â&#x201E; CNS

Papal events, video feeds available with â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Pope Appâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; VATICAN CITY â&#x20AC;&#x201C; The Vatican is offering a new app that provides live streaming of papal events and video feeds from the Vaticanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s six webcams. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Pope Appâ&#x20AC;? also will send out alerts and links to top stories coming out of the Vaticanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s news outlets, said Mr Gustavo Entrala, founder and CEO of the Spanish     + ' 

free app. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll have almost everything that the pope does or saysâ&#x20AC;? delivered to a mobile device and app users â&#x20AC;&#x153;will be able to watch the pope live every time he speaksâ&#x20AC;?, he told reporters during a Dec 3 news conference at the Vatican. The app should be available

    ?   ?

while an Android version is due out in January, he said. Archbishop Claudio Celli, '   ?   cil for Social Communications, said the Vatican has also sent out requests to every bishopsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; conference in the world asking them to


photos, videos and even music tied to â&#x20AC;&#x153;local events celebrating the Year of Faithâ&#x20AC;?. Â&#x201E;    ? ' * 

start tweeting from his @Pontifex account. He will answer questions on faith submitted via Twitter through the hashtag #askpontifex. He will mostly tweet about the con   ' 

homilies. Details have also emerged about the Vaticanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own YouTube channel in Chinese, launched with very little fanfare in October. The channel ( already ' 

+ & +


Vatican events with commentary in Mandarin. According to Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi, the channel is mostly directed to the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Chinese diasporaâ&#x20AC;?, since YouTube is not available in mainland China. Nevertheless, he added, it is â&#x20AC;&#x153;the sign of a presenceâ&#x20AC;? for Chinese Catholics. Â&#x201E; CNS, UCANEWS.COM

Vatican promotes religious liberty in Saudi-backed centre VATICAN CITY â&#x20AC;&#x201C; A new Saudi-

backed interfaith centre will provide an opportunity for the Church to promote religious freedom for Christians and others around the world, said the head of  `Â&#x2021;   gious dialogue. = Â&#x2039; "> * ">dulaziz International Centre will offer â&#x20AC;&#x153;another opportunity for open dialogue on many issues, including those related to fundamental human rights, in particular religious freedom in all its aspects, for everybody, for every community, everywhereâ&#x20AC;?, said Cardinal JeanLouis Tauran during the opening


 \ + & â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Holy See is particularly attentive to the fate of Christian communities in countries where such a freedom is not adequately guaranteedâ&#x20AC;?, said the cardinal, ' 


for Interreligious Dialogue. The centre is named for and  >  @

 "bia. The Vatican is assisting the project as a â&#x20AC;&#x153;founding observerâ&#x20AC;?.

Cardinal Tauran said there were high expectations that the new initiative would be marked by â&#x20AC;&#x153;honesty, vision and credibilityâ&#x20AC;?. The centre will act as a clearinghouse to gather information, new ideas and initiatives as well as be a kind of watchdog, to verify and act on human rightsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x153;failuresâ&#x20AC;?, the cardinal said, so that no one might be â&#x20AC;&#x153;deprived of the light and the resources that religion offers for the happiness of every human beingâ&#x20AC;?. Explaining the Vaticanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s role in the new initiative, Jesuit Fr Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said the centreâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s purpose of furthering interreligious and intercultural dialogue was a â&#x20AC;&#x153;basic and an urgent need for the humanity of today and tomorrowâ&#x20AC;?. The Vatican will use its role in the centre to call for the â&#x20AC;&#x153;effective respect of the fundamental rights of Christians who live in countries with a Muslim majority, in order to promote authentic and integral religious libertyâ&#x20AC;?, the spokesman said   

 \ + ( Â&#x201E; CNS


Sunday December 16, 2012 „ CatholicNews

Fortnightly newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore

2 Highland Road, #01-03 Singapore 549102. Telephone: 6858 3055. Fax: 6858 2055. Website: Facebook: MANAGING EDITOR: Father Johnson Fernandez:


ASSISTANT EDITOR: Christopher Khoo:


STAFF CORRESPONDENTS: Darren Boon: Martin See:

WEBMASTER: Medona Walter:


Please include your full name, address and phone no. for all letters to the editor. Published submissions will be edited.

DESIGN / LAYOUT: Christopher Wong: Elaine Ong:


How to promote reverence in church? During Mass, I have encountered an adult couple who chatted audibly to each other throughout the service, people who text, check email or play games on their handphones, and parents who let their children (not babies) snack as though they were in a cinema. However, attending a recent service in church certainly took the cake. A few rows in front of me sat three children who were colouring pictures as though they were in a playschool. Behind me, a mother was giving her child a spelling lesson. To her right were two kids from another family who were playing and talking quite loudly. Unable to concentrate on what the priest was saying, I moved to the back of the church, hoping it would be less distracting.

A mother was giving her child a spelling lesson during Mass while a father and his two teenage children joked and laughed with each other throughout the service. Before long, I realised that standing behind me were a father and his two teenage children who joked and laughed with each other throughout the service. After a while, a child started

screaming and crying for a full +  


looked on helplessly. ƒ    


on the Mass with so many distractions. It seemed as though I was in a community club and not the house of God. When I look at videos of services in churches like New Creation or City Harvest, I note that the congregation actually concentrates on and participates in the service. Some people even take notes when the pastor is preaching. There seems to be a strong sense of worship. How can we promote a spirit of prayerfulness and reverence in our churches? „ Audrey Thng Singapore 557884

Vatican II ‘didn’t break with tradition’ VATICAN CITY – Traditionalist

and progressive camps that see the Second Vatican Council as breaking with the truth espouse  < ' 

council and its aims, said the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. What Pope Benedict XVI has  <       

  <  ' > 'tion according to the principles of      ">  '

Gerhard Muller said in remarks published on Nov 29. <„      ^

interpretation unfortunately exists a heretical interpretation, that is, a hermeneutic of rupture, [found] both on the progressive front and


archbishop said. What the two camps have in common, he said, is their rejection

  # < '  +

in their wanting to leave it behind, as if it were a season to abandon in order to get to another Church,

Pope Paul VI greets the faithful at the close of the Second Vatican Council.

and the traditionalists in their not  


      < " <  ' 

+ > 

successor of Peter as head of the vis>    <  ^' -


>   '

<  >      '

and 2,000 years of tradition. =    ‡ @

were published in the Vatican  '' €‡„ +  { no, to present the seventh volume of The Complete Works of Joseph Ratzinger. The volume collects both published and unpublished notes, speeches, interviews and texts written or given by the future pope in the period shortly before, during and just after Vatican II. ">  ' $ '

 > <   ' '

  <'   ' ence with the origin, not an adaption of whatever has been, which 

      The term aggiornamento or updating – one of the watchwords

   % <     

secularisation of the faith, which    


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of Jesus Christ, he said. „ CNS

Busyness – not always a virtue THERE are dangers in overwork, no matter how good the work and no matter how noble the motivation for doing it. Spiritual guides, beginning with Jesus, have always warned of the dangers of becoming too caught up in our work. Many are the spouses in a marriage, many are the children in a family, many are the friends, and many are the churches who wish that someone they love and need more attention from was less busy. But it is hard not to be over busy and consumed by work, particularly during our generative years when the duties of raising children, paying mortgages, and running our churches and civic organisations falls more squarely on our shoulders. If you are a sensitive person you will wrestle constantly with the pressure to not surrender yourself to too many demands. As the late spiritual writer, Fr Henri Nouwen, once described it – our lives often seem like over-packed suitcases with too much in them. There is always one more task to do, one more phone call to make, one more person to see, one more bill to pay, one more thing to check on the Internet, one more leaky faucet to tend to, one more demand from some church or social agency, and one more item that needs to be picked up from the store. The demands never end and we are always conscious of some task that we still need to do. Our days are too short for all that needs to be done. And so we give ourselves over to our work. It begins in good will and innocence but it invariably transmutes into something else. Initially, we give ourselves over to all these demands because this is what is asked of us, but as more and more time goes by, that commitment becomes less and less altruistic and more self-serving. First off, though we are generally blind to this, our work soon becomes an escape. We remain busy and preoccupied enough that we have an inbuilt excuse and rationalisation so as not to have to deal with relationships – be that within our own families, our churches, or with God. Being weighed-down constantly with work and duty is a burden, >   

  '   ‚ 



but we do not have to deal either with the deeper things that lurk under the surface of our lives. We can avoid the unresolved issues in our relationships and our psyches. We have the perfect excuse! We are too busy. Generally too our society supports us in this escapism. With virtually every other addiction, we are eventually sent off to a clinic, but if we are addicted to our work, we are generally admired for our disease  '  

 Z  # ƒ ƒ @ 


or become dependent on a drug, I am frowned upon and pitied; but if I overwork to the point of neglecting huge and important imperatives in      

# <ƒ ‡    ¡ ‡


Workaholism is the one addiction for which we get praised. Beyond providing us with an unhealthy escape from some important issues with which we need to be dealing, overwork brings with it a   ~  # =   



the danger of taking too much of our meaning from our work rather than from our relationships. As we become more and more immersed in our work, to the detriment of our relationships, we will naturally begin too to draw more and more of our meaning and value from our work. And, as numerous spiritual writers have pointed out, the dangers in this are many, not             +   





Old habits are hard to break. If we spend years drawing our identity from working hard and being loved for being anything from a professional athlete to a dedicated mum, it will not be easy to simply shift gears and draw our meaning from something else. Classical spiritual writers are unanimous in warning about the danger of overwork and of becoming over-preoccupied with our work. This is in fact what Jesus warns Martha about in the famous passage in scripture where she, consumed with the very necessary work of preparing a meal, complains to Jesus that her sister, Mary, is not carrying her share of the load. In a rather surprising response, Jesus, instead of chastising Mary for her idleness and praising Martha for her dedication, tells Martha that Mary has chosen the better part, that, at this moment and in this   $‡  ' $‡ >  

Why? Because sometimes there are more important things in life than work, even the noble and necessary work of tending to hospitality and preparing a meal for others. ƒ   >  +‡  @  ' > >     ways a virtue. „


Sunday December 16, 2012 Â&#x201E; CatholicNews

Start giving maids a weekly day off Jeremy Khoo, from the archdiocesan commission for migrants, highlights the useful activities that some domestic workers engage in on their days off

Appeal to employers

Ms Endang Susanti: studying for accounting degree.

Ms Maria Luisa Tayco: helps children of Filipino workers.

Studying for a degree Ms Endang Susanti is an Indonesian domestic worker who attends an accounting degree course at the Singapore Indonesian School. She came to Singapore to work in 2006 and, while taking some basic computer classes, found out about the degree course and promptly signed up to further her education.

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;MARIANâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; IMAGE IN MALAYSIA: People pray in front of a glass panel with an image said to resemble Mary at the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes in Klang, Malaysia, on Nov 20. The panel was removed from a window at a hospital and sent to the church. Pictures of the image went viral on the Internet and drew crowds to pray outside the hospital. CNS photo

The degree is held in partnership with the Indonesian Open University and is believed to be     @    

It is taught in Bahasa Indonesia by Indonesian professionals working  Â&#x192; 


the Indonesian civil service as well as many private companies in Indonesia. Ms Susanti attends her classes every Sunday for three hours and

Ms Ma Swe Swe: lends listening ear to Myanmar nationals.

          pleting three years of study. She hopes to graduate next year. She pays $500 per term with her own savings and after graduation hopes to return to Palembang to look for work as an accountant. Assisting Myanmar workers Ms Ma Swe Swe is a Myanmar domestic worker who has been

On the weekend of Dec 1516, Catholics   Z

(right) in their parishes inviting them to celebrate International Migrants Day by giving their foreign domestic workers a weekly day off. The special day is celebrated on Dec 18 by the United Nations to recognise the contributions made by millions of migrants to their host and home countries, and to promote respect for their basic human rights. In Singapore, the law granting a weekly day off to foreign domestic workers will come into effect for contracts signed or renewed from Jan 1. To celebrate International Migrants Day, the Archdiocesan Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People (ACMI) and

Caritas Singapore are encouraging all Catholic employers to give their domestic workers a weekly day off, and not wait until contracts are renewed. The weekly day off allows the worker to rest and recharge. Many also spend the time attending services at their places of worship, running errands, relaxing with friends or taking up skills courses at training centres like ACMI. And some do far more than that (see main story). Â&#x201E;

helping her countrymen since she came here to work 17 years ago. She does this by giving them advice such as how to adapt to life in Singapore and where to look for help if in trouble. She also encourages them to persevere when     '  

Besides lending a listening ear to fellow Myanmar nationals, she sometimes even lends them money during emergencies without charging any interest. Recently she lent $2,800 of her hard earned savings to one countryman to cover his medical expenses. Ms Swe Swe says she is able to help her friends because her employer is kind enough to give her time off on Sundays and during weekdays to answer such emergency calls. She currently volunteers at ACMI as one of the few Myanmar Befrienders who reach out to fellow migrants in need.

out to fellow Filipino workers in Singapore. The charity, called the Pinyokos Welfare Fund, grants scholarships, opens libraries and assists in school programmes so that the children of Filipino workers can receive a proper education. Ms Tayco started the charity because on her trips back to her hometown in Iloilo, she noticed that many children could not afford to go to school. So every Sunday she and her fellow domestic workers would meet to organise jumble sales or canvass for donations for the fund. They also collect old clothes, books and toys to ship back to the > >@    

Philippines. Â&#x192;   

     | Singaporean to receive the Rotary Club of Singaporeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Good Samaritanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Award for her work. Â&#x201E;

Helping Filipinos back home

The writer is executive director of the Archdiocesan Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants & Itinerant People (tel: 6280-5424, website:

Ms Maria Luisa Tayco is a Filipina domestic worker who started her own charity in 1999 to reach


Sunday December 16, 2012 Â&#x201E; CatholicNews

Advent presents a promise of vindication 

By Nancy de Flon HERE we are at that time of year again. It would do us well to catch our breath a little and slow down, but instead a whirlwind of holidayrelated activities encroaches on our time: shopping, writing cards, planning meals and so forth. We experience considerable tension between the external demands of the holiday season and the need to slow down. Yet, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s precisely now that we thirst for a spiritual oasis. We normally associate an oasis with the desert â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a place of refreshment and rest within a landscape of emptiness and dryness. And yet itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in this December rush that we need to carve out a spiritual oasis for ourselves: to slow down and introduce an element of Z  

 +  Â&#x192;Â&#x2021;   

option. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s essential to our survival. Advent couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t come at a better time. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the start of a new liturgical year and, more than Jan 1, the ideal time for â&#x20AC;&#x153;new yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;sâ&#x20AC;? resolutions. The readings at Mass during Advent set us up spiritually for the year. They ring with the promise of the long-awaited Saviour, the Redeemer who comes to free us from whatever is holding us captive in our lives. But they also energise us, shining bright lights into our darkest corners. For me, one word sums up

The Advent readings herald an end to suffering, a putting aside of the past with its pain, its faults and mistakes, because God promises us to â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;make all things newâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;.


   !       "

the Advent readings: vindication. They herald an end to suffering, a putting aside of the past with its pain, its faults and mistakes, because God promises us to â&#x20AC;&#x153;make all things newâ&#x20AC;?. In the readings for the second Sunday of Advent, the prophet Baruch exhorts Jerusalem to â&#x20AC;&#x153;stand upon the heightsâ&#x20AC;? for â&#x20AC;&#x153;God will show all the earth your splendourâ&#x20AC;?. Jerusalem, which has been overrun, emptied of its people, oc-

cupied by foreign powers, will be restored to its former glory. In the Gospel, John the Baptist preaches repentance: throw off the old, not because this is a time of self-judgment, but because wonderful things are coming. Luke quotes Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s promise    Â&#x192;  <" Z 

shall see the salvation of God.â&#x20AC;? In the Liturgy of the Hours, the stunningly beautiful responsory for morning prayer foretells

that Jerusalemâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s light will come: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Lord will dawn on you in radiant beauty.â&#x20AC;? Substitute your name for Jerusalem: thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s promise to   Â&#x192;  '      ^rating as I do. What can be more compelling motivation to wade into our spiritual oasis than to be energised by the promise of vindication? Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s slow down; letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s enjoy and take a lesson from the natural world.

Perhaps you can walk in a park and regard the trees with gratitude. If you enjoy taking pictures, take your camera. No time to get outdoors? Slow down by spending time with a beautiful image in a book, or buy a calendar with scenic photography or other art that appeals to you and keep it handy for enjoyment during your oasis. Music? Treat yourself to an early Christmas present. Buy a CD of relaxing classical music and choose pieces that particularly speak to you. Psalm 46 enjoins us, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Be still and know that I am God.â&#x20AC;? Now, Advent, is the time to do this; in St Paulâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s words, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Now is the time of salvation.â&#x20AC;? Â&#x201E; CNS De Flon is an editor at Paulist Press in the US and the author of The Joy of Praying the Psalms.


Identifying our desires Â&#x192;  "+ Z  "can Jesuit Fr James Martin wrote about this special time prior to Christmas as a time of desire. In the fast-paced swirl simply described as â&#x20AC;&#x153;the holidaysâ&#x20AC;?, this desire could come to the secular world as a longing for material things. Some canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t wait for Christmas

Day, not because theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll head to a spiritual encounter, but to see whether Santa brought what was desired, such as an iPad, a new cell phone, much sought-after toys or jewellery. Christians, Fr Martin says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;desire the coming of Christ into their lives in a new wayâ&#x20AC;?. These desires may coincide with what God wants for us, mainly peace. Fr Martin says itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important to identify our desires, to name them and to have a discussion with God about them. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Desire is a key way that God can communicate with us,â&#x20AC;? he writes. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not about asking for a new car but about looking at the deepest needs for ourselves and our families. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our deepest desires,â&#x20AC;? Fr Martin says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;are the ones that shape our lives: desires that help us know who we are to become and what we are to do.â&#x20AC;? Â&#x201E; CNS


Sunday December 16, 2012 „ CatholicNews


Penitential Services CITY Church of Our Lady of Lourdes Dec 11: 8.00pm Dec 16: 8.30am & 5.00pm (Tamil) Church of St Bernadette Dec 10: 8.00pm Church of St Teresa Dec 12: 8.00pm Church of St Michael Dec 13: 8.00pm Church of Sts Peter and Paul Dec 14: 8.00pm Dec 15: 1.30pm (Mandarin) Church of St Alphonsus (Novena) Dec 17: 8.00pm EAST Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Dec 13: 10.30am, 8.00pm Church of Divine Mercy Dec 14: 8.00pm Church of the Holy Family Dec 18: 10.30am, 8.00pm Church of Our Lady Queen of Peace Dec 19: 8.00pm Church of the Holy Trinity Dec 20: 10.30am, 8.00pm Church of St Stephen Dec 21: 8.00pm NORTH Church of the Holy Spirit Dec 14: 10.30am, 8:00pm

Church of Christ the King Dec 17: 10.30am, 8.00pm St Joseph Church (BT) Dec 18: 8.00pm Church of St Anthony Dec 19: 8.00pm Church of the Risen Christ Dec 20: 10.30am, 8.00pm Church of Our Lady Star of the Sea Dec 21: 8.00pm SERANGOON Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Dec 13: 8.00pm Church of St Vincent de Paul Dec 14: 8.00pm St Anne’s Church Dec 17: 8.00pm Church of St Francis Xavier Dec 18: 8.00pm Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Dec 19: 8.00pm WEST Church of St Ignatius Dec 17: 8.00pm Church of the Holy Cross Dec 18: 8.00pm Blessed Sacrament Church Dec 19: 8.00pm Church of St Mary of the Angels Dec 20: 8.00pm Church of St Francis of Assisi Dec 21: 8.00pm


Dec 24: 9.30pm, M’nite Mass Dec 25: 10.00am, 6.00pm CHURCH OF ST ALPHONSUS (NOVENA CHURCH)

Dec 24: Carolling & Pageant 9.30pm, Mass 10.30pm Dec 25: 9.00am, 11.00am (Tagalog), 5.30pm CHURCH OF THE SACRED HEART

Dec 24: 9.00pm (M*), M’nite Mass Dec 25: 9.00am, 10.30am, 12.00pm CHURCH OF ST TERESA

Dec 24: 8.00pm, M’nite Mass Dec 25: 8.30am, 10.30am, 12.30pm CHURCH OF ST MICHAEL

Dec 24: Pageant & carolling 7.10pm, Mass 8.00pm, Pageant & carolling 11.10pm, M’nite Mass Dec 25: 8.00am (M*), 9.30am CHURCH OF ST BERNADETTE

Dec 24: 9.30pm, M’nite Mass Dec 25: 8.00am (M*), 9.30am, 11.00am, 3.30pm (Indonesian) ST JOSEPH’S CHURCH

Dec 24: Carolling 8.30pm, Mass 9.00pm Dec 25: 9.00am CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES

Dec 24: Carolling 8.30pm, Mass 9.00pm, Carolling 11.00pm (T*), Mass 11.30pm (T*) Dec 25: 9.00am (T*), 10.30am, 6.30pm (T*) CHURCH OF STS PETER AND PAUL

Simbang Gabi sa 2012 Theme: The Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Dec 24: 9.00pm (M*), Carolling 11.00pm, M’nite Mass Dec 25: 8.30am (M*), 11.00am EAST

Organised by Fr Angel C. Luciano, CICM and Filipino Parish organisations in Singapore CHURCH OF ST STEPHEN Dec 15, Saturday, 8pm HOLY MARY CHURCH OF ST ANTHONY

Francis Cepe (94761255) / Tony Odiada (91472542) ST ANNE’S CHURCH

Geraldine Quiambao (91516794) CHURCH OF DIVINE MERCY

Zap Sapiera (84848065) / Marie Sapiera (94783985) Dec 16, Sunday, 8pm HOLY MOTHER OF GOD CHURCH OF ST BERNADETTE

Edilberto Endeno (96583526) / Renelen Villabesa (93255106) / Dodeth Vergara (84440213) CHURCH OF ST IGNATIUS

Rilyn Binas (97918677) / Melinda Dumalogdog (83327821) / Melinda ay (91447850) CHURCH OF ST STEPHEN

Arnold Cordova (96478721) / Rey De Luna (97453947) / Manulet Bulaong (91258086) CHURCH OF THE HOLY CROSS

Lalang Castro (91769340) / Bong Erana (82015842) / Bong Nungay (90401529) Dec 17, Monday, 8pm HOLY VIRGIN OF VIRGINS CHURCH OF ST MARY OF THE ANGELS

Arman Ardiente (81057725) / Joanne Marquina (82003496) CHURCH OF OUR LADY STAR OF THE SEA

Elmer Del Rosario (93826874) / Gerard Arceo (94880407) Dec 18, Tuesday, 8pm MOTHER OF OUR SAVIOUR CHURCH OF ST TERESA

Eric Arroyo (85713310) / Gilbert Naguit (93572781) CHURCH OF ST VINCENT DE PAUL

Third Gutlay (96340743) / Luz Gutlay (91376938) CHURCH OF OUR LADY QUEEN OF PEACE

Mel Diamse-Lee (91995621) / Judee Bendiola (90530721) Dec 19, Wednesday, 8pm VIRGIN MOST PRUDENT CHURCH OF THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY

Ma. Victoria Balan (84926086) / Lyn Antolos (91914392) / Nelly Callanta (98318044) CHURCH OF THE RISEN CHRIST

Tosing Kew (96246061) / Veronica Oreste (97467143) CHURCH OF THE HOLY FAMILY Contact: Asuncion Mendiola (98496229) / Vikki De Jesus (81805294)


Jenny Arancon (93425839)

Dec 24: Carolling 11.30pm, M’nite Mass Dec 25: 8.00am (M*), 10.00am, 6.00pm


Agnes Paculdar (81235158) / Ma. Joselle Sumayo (98971854) / Daisy Ducusin (93636408) CHURCH OF ST FRANCIS XAVIER

Damian Low (81239673) / Annaliza Tan (81180179) / Dominic Tan (93827463)



Maleen Ngan (97867143) / Violet Liew (91542797) CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Malou Tay (97669971) CHURCH OF CHRIST THE KING

Marvin Arrabaca (93639480) / Allan Sato (96548467) / Robert Mendoza (90408946)



Bryan Romulo (94464840) / Christian Blas (98529873) BLESSED SACRAMENT CHURCH

Arman Laspona (92272160) CHURCH OF ST VINCENT DE PAUL

Third Gutlay (96340743) / Luz Gutlay (91376938) Dec 23, Sunday, 8pm VIRGIN MOST MERCIFUL CHURCH OF SAINT MICHAEL


Rey Tatoy (90122243) / Bobby Bermundo (97673053) CHURCH OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL

Jenny Arancon (93425839) Daily Masses to be held in the following Parishes: CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL SUCCOUR

Bryan Romulo (94464840) / Christian Blas (98529873) CHURCH OF DIVINE MERCY

Zap Sapiera (84848065) / Marie Sapiera (94783985) BLESSED SACRAMENT CHURCH

Arman Laspona (92272160)

Dec 24: Children’s Mass & Pageant 7.00pm, 9.30pm, M’nite Mass Dec 25: 9.00am, 11.30am, 5.30pm CHURCH OF OUR LADY QUEEN OF PEACE

Dec 24: 9.30pm (M*), M’nite Mass Dec 25: 9.00am (M*), 10.30am, 5.30pm

Dec 24: Pageant followed by Mass 8.30pm, 11.30pm Dec 25: 7.30am (M*), 8.45am, 10.30am, 12.15pm, 6.00pm CHURCH OF THE HOLY TRINITY

Dec 24: Children’s Mass 7.30pm, M’nite Mass Dec 25: 8.00am (M*), 9.30am, 11.15am, 6.00pm


Dec 24: 8.00pm, 11.00pm Dec 25: 7.00am, 8.15am (M*), 9.45am, 11.30am, 6.00pm ST JOSEPH CHURCH

Dec 24: 9.00pm (M*), M’nite Mass Dec 25: 8.00am, 10.00am CHURCH OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Dec 24: Children’s Mass 5.30pm, M’nite Mass Dec 25: 7.00am, 9.00am, 11.00am CHURCH OF ST ANTHONY

Dec 24: 7.30pm (M*), 9.30pm, M’nite Mass Dec 25: 11.15am, 6.00pm CHURCH OF OUR LADY STAR OF THE SEA

Mass 9.30pm (M*), Advent Service 11.20pm, M’nite Mass Dec 25: 7.30am, 9.15am, 11.00am CHURCH OF ST VINCENT DE PAUL

Dec 24: 9.00pm, M’nite Mass Dec 25: 7.00am, 9.00am, 11.00am, 6.00pm CHURCH OF ST FRANCIS XAVIER

Dec 24: Children’s Mass 6.00pm, 9.00pm, M’nite Mass Dec 25: 7.00am, 9.00am, 11.00am WEST BLESSED SACRAMENT CHURCH

Dec 24: 7.00pm (M*), 9.30pm, M’nite Mass (pageant 30mins before Mass) Dec 25: 7.30am, 9.00am (M*), 10.45am, 5.30pm

Dec 24: 5.00pm, 6.30pm (T*), M’nite Mass Dec 25: 7.15am (M*), 8.30am, 10.00am, 11.30am, 5.00pm




Dec 24: Children Pageant 5.30pm, Children Mass 6.00pm, 9.00pm, M’nite Mass (Cantata 30 mins before Mass) Dec 25: 8.15am (M*), 9.45am, 11.30am, 5.30pm SERANGOON ST ANNE’S CHURCH

Dec 24: 8.00pm, M’nite Mass Dec 25: 7.15am, 9.00am, 11.00am CHURCH OF THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY

Dec 24: 9.00pm, M’nite Mass Dec 25: 8.00am, 10.00am, 6.15pm

Dec 24: 6.00pm, 11.00pm Dec 25: 8.15am, 10.15am, 12.00pm, 6.00pm

Dec 24: Children’s Mass 9.00pm, M’nite Mass Dec 25: 7.30am (M*), 9.00am, 10.45am, 12.30pm. CHURCH OF THE HOLY CROSS

Dec 24: 7.30pm, 9.30pm (M*), M’nite Mass Dec 25: 7.30am, 9.30am, 11.15am CHURCH OF ST FRANCIS OF ASSISI

Dec 24: 6.00pm (T*), Carolling & Mass 8.30pm (M*), Pageant & Mass 11.30pm, Dec 25: 7.30am, 9.00am, 11.00am



Note. M*: Mandarin; T*: Tamil

Dec 24: 9.00pm, M’nite Mass Dec 25: 9.15am, 11.15am, 6.00pm (M*)

Dec 24: Pageant 7.00pm, Mass 7.30pm, Pageant (M*) 9.00pm,

Information correct at time of printing. Please check with parishes for updates.


Sunday December 16, 2012 „ CatholicNews

Irish bishops stress teaching on right to life of mum, child DUBLIN – Expressing anguish and

sorrow over the death of a pregnant woman in an Irish hospital, the country’s Catholic bishops said that pregnant women must receive all treatment to save their lives, even if it results in the unintended death of an unborn child. The statement on Nov 19 came three weeks after the deaths of Savita Halappanavar, 31, who died after a miscarriage, and her unborn child. Halappanavar died after hospital medical staff determined they could not end the child’s life because they could detect a fetal heart beat, even as the woman’s husband, Praveen, urged them to save his wife’s life. Halappanaver’s death on Oct 28 at University Hospital Galway has led to an outpouring of public anger. Thousands of people took to the streets calling for the country’s constitutional ban on abortion to be overturned. In its statement, the Standing Committee of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference described the case as “a devastating personal tragedy” for the Halappanavar family and acknowledged that the circumstances of her death had “stunned our country”. The bishops’ statement sought to clarify Church teaching on the need for medical intervention to save the life of a mother. The bishops said they believe Ireland’s medical guidelines contain adequate ethical provisions to allow medical staff to intervene as long as necessary steps have been taken to save both mother and unborn child. Meanwhile, medical professionals also pointed out that current Irish law allows for interven-

Savita Halappanavar is seen on her wedding day in this photo. Halappanavar miscarried and died on Oct 28 after medical staff at an Irish hospital determined they could not end her unborn child’s life, even as the woman’s husband urged them to save his wife’s life. CNS photo

Irish bishops, in a statement, said that the Catholic Church has never taught that the life of a child in the womb should be preferred to that of a mother. tion to save the life of a mother even if it results in the unavoidable and unintentional death of an unborn child. The bishops in their statement insisted that the Catholic Church has never taught that the life of a child in the womb should be preferred to that of a mother. “Whereas abortion is the direct and intentional destruction of an unborn baby and is gravely im-

moral in all circumstances, this is different from medical treatments which do not directly and intentionally seek to end the life of the unborn baby,” the bishops said in their statement. The bishops also reiterated a statement made by Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin to Catholic News Service on Nov 18 that Ireland is a safe place for expectant mothers. „ CNS

Sunday December 16, 2012 Â&#x201E; CatholicNews



Sunday December 16, 2012 Â&#x201E; CatholicNews

CHILDRENâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S STORY:

preached about. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I baptise with water; but there is one among you whom you do not recognise, the one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.â&#x20AC;? Then John proceeded to baptise those who came to him in the water of the Jordan River. The very next morning John saw Jesus coming. John pointed to Him and shouted for all to hear, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!â&#x20AC;? Then the Spirit of God came down upon Jesus in the form of a dove and sat on Jesus.

When two of Johnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s disciples came to meet with him, Jesus was there again. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Behold, the Lamb of God,â&#x20AC;? John said to them. One of them was named Andrew. After spending the day with Jesus, he went and told his brother he had found the Messiah. His brotherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s name was Peter. Â&#x201E; Read more about it: John 1

Q&A 1. Who did John say that he was? 2. How did John introduce Jesus?


Â&#x201E; WORLD Â&#x201E; WORD Â&#x201E; GRACE Â&#x201E; ELIJAH

Â&#x201E; LIGHT Â&#x201E; DWELL Â&#x201E; TRUTH Â&#x201E; PROPHET

PUZZLE: From the following list of words tick the seven sacraments:

Â&#x201E; Baptism Â&#x201E; Advent Â&#x201E;  Â&#x201E; Beatitudes Â&#x201E; Eucharist Â&#x201E; Reconciliation Â&#x201E; Cardinal Virtues Â&#x201E; Penance Â&#x201E; Marriage Â&#x201E; Holy Orders Â&#x201E; Anointing of the Sick Â&#x201E; Prayer

KIDSâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; CLUB: Share your thoughts on this weekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bible story with family and friends by writing an essay in response to this question: How can we be voices for God in our daily lives?

Answers to Puzzle:      Eucharist, Reconciliation, Marriage, Holy Orders, Anointing of the Sick

John was a man sent from God. He was charged with telling the people of the world that a light was going to shine on the earth. But John was not the light. John also spoke of the Word of God, which would become human and would dwell among us. When John prophesied, he said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;We saw his glory, the glory as of the Fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only Son, full of grace and truth.â&#x20AC;? John wandered throughout the country, telling everyone that a very special person would soon make His presence known. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me because he existed before me,â&#x20AC;? John declared. Priests and Levites came to John from Jerusalem to interrogate him. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Who are you?â&#x20AC;? they demanded to know. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am not the Messiah,â&#x20AC;? John

answered. â&#x20AC;&#x153;What are you, then?â&#x20AC;? they continued. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Are you Elijah?â&#x20AC;? John looked sternly at his questioners and said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am not.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Are you the Prophet?â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;No.â&#x20AC;? By now the priests were getting frustrated with John. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us? What do you have to say for yourself?â&#x20AC;? John did not give a simple reply: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Make straight the way of the Lord,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; as Isaiah the prophet said.â&#x20AC;? Some Pharisees had come with the priests and Levites. They asked John, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Why then do you baptise if you are not the Messiah or Elijah or the prophet?â&#x20AC;? Again John answered by professing the greatness of the man he

Answers to Crossword Puzzle

By Joe Sarnicola

WHATâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S ON 21

Sunday December 16, 2012 Â&#x201E; CatholicNews

Thursday Dec 13 to Sunday Dec 16 X4 YOUTH CAMP X4 Youth Camp (⽍ĺ&#x;´ć&#x201E;şáž&#x2030;) is for young people aged 12-21. By Commission for Apostolate of Mandarin-Speaking in Singapore. T: 9113 6598 (Nicholas); FB:

EVENT SUBMISSIONS We welcome information of events happening in our local Church. Please send your submission at least one month before the event. Online submissions can be made at www.

Friday Dec 14 to Tuesday Dec 18 LEGION OF MARY CAMP Fri (1pm)-Tue (1pm) 5D4N of camping fun and spirituality. Experience the Legion way. For young people 13-18 years old. By Mandarin-speaking Youth Legion of Mary. At Maris Stella High School. Register T: 9154 6584 (Simon).

Dec 9 OPEN HOUSE CHARITY SALE 10am-6pm: Open House Charity Sale to support the building of the IJ Village. Donors are entitled to tax exemption. At Joâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Private Creation Gallery. (78 Guan Chuan St #01-35).




and what it means to enter 2013 with Â&#x2C6;   Â&#x201A;   ' Z 

adoration and benediction. At Church of St Ignatius St Francis Xavier Chapel (Kingsmead Hall). E:

Mondays Dec 10 to December 24 ADVENT REFLECTION 12.30-1.30pm: By Catholic Prayer Society. At 206/208B Telok Ayer St. Register T: 9761 2504 (Michael); E: Dec 12 MASS IN HONOUR OF OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE 5pm: Rosary followed by Mass in honour of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the unborn. With blessing for expectant parents. By Pregnancy Life Crisis (FLS). At Church of Sts Peter and Paul.

















20 23




34 38

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Dec 21 CHURCH OF ST FRANCIS XAVIER YOUTH CHOIR CONCERT 8pm: The Church of St Francis Xavier Youth Choir is celebrating the Year of Faith and its 25th anniversary with a choral concert. Cost: $15, $30, $50 tickets. At SJI International Chapel. Register T: 9046 4652; E:


Dec 27 CATHOLIC BUSINESS NETWORK CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION 7-11pm: Celebrate Christmas with fellow Catholic business people and professionals. By Catholic Business Network. At Furama Waterfront. Register T: 9686 2107 (Terry); E:; W:

40 43 46 48







Dec 16 CATHOLIC SINGLES POTLUCK 11.30am: For fellowship and friendship. Join in for a potluck lunch after the 10:30am Mass at the church canteen. Please bring some food to share with others. By Catholic Singles. At Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour. Register E:




47 52



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Dec 15 ADVENT TAIZE: EVENING CANDLELIGHT SERVICE 8pm: An evening of prayer in song and meditation with candlelight service that include Taize chants, listening to the Word of God, intercessory prayer with ample time for quiet prayer in an atmosphere of silence and peace. At Blessed Sacrament Church (1 Commonwealth Dr). T: 9105 7446; E:

Dec 16 NEW EVANGELISATION TALK 3-5.30pm: World renowned Catholic theologian Dr Tracey Rowland, Dean of John Paul II Institute of Marriage & Family, Melbourne, will speak on how the call of the New Evangelisation can help one renew, rediscover and revitalise oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s faith. By Apostolate for Catholic Truth. At The Loft CafĂŠ (268A South Bridge Rd). T: 9649 3893

Dec 14 ADVENT CONCERT: A BLESSED REUNION 8pm: Third instalment of an evening of

Crossword Puzzle 1073 1

sacred arias and warm Christmas tunes with tenor Matthew Chua and soprano Teng Xiang Ting accompanied by Dorothy Chia. At Church of St Mary of the Angels. Free. E:











IN MEMORIAM AND CLASSIFIED Fifth Anniversary In loving memory of

ACROSS 1 Sunday service 5 The Church Militant is here 10 Type of trombone mute 14 Wading bird 15 Assumed name 16 Mosque bigwig 17 Veinlike deposit 18 What the apostles did while Jesus prayed in the Garden  Â&#x160;^ Z

bird 20 Summer drink 21 A deacon wears this over his left shoulder 22 Card game 23 Monsterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s moniker 25 â&#x20AC;&#x153;â&#x20AC;Ś_____ to anger and abounding in steadfast love.â&#x20AC;? (Ps 103:8) 27 Pertaining to farming (abbr.) 28 Soissons seasons 29 Church assn. for kids 32 Wife of Abraham 35 Say the rosary 36 â&#x20AC;&#x153;_____ Great Thou Artâ&#x20AC;? 37 Thick slice 38 Ruses 40 Motorcycle 41 Muscle spasm 42 Computer speed 43 More pleasant 44 Farm enclosure 45 Patron saint of

lace makers 46 Invest with nickname 47 Hybrid 48 Take the lock off 52 Slender boat 55 Basilica of St. Paul Outside the ____ 58 Pasture 59 â&#x20AC;&#x153;___ Ben Adhemâ&#x20AC;? 60 John Paul IIâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s given name 61 He was made from clay 62 City in the Archdiocese of Cologne 63 Mountain ridge &}  ^   

65 Smoke deposit 66 Collect 67 Opener (abbr.) DOWN 1 Italian archdiocese with the Ambrosian rite 2 Home 3 Teams 4 Wind dir. 5 The day of the Resurrection 6 Hello, from Jacques 7 Cambodian cash 8 Hand woven pictorial design 9 Fair Deal monogram 10 Jesus praised her generosity (Mk 12:42)

11 12 13 21 22 24 26 28 29 30

31 32 33 34 38 39 40

A way to run Walk in water Cupid Let out oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s breath audibly Bouquet Car maker Meadows Lyric poem Stylish â&#x20AC;&#x153;For my _____ is easy, and my burden is lightâ&#x20AC;? (Mt 11:30) One in debt Former JFK arrivals Dismounted Suggestive Major character of Acts Tepid Lettuce

42 The _____ Army of Mary 43 Convent dwellers 46 A Washington airport is named after the father of this cardinal 47 ___ Carmel 49 Ancient 50 â&#x20AC;&#x153;â&#x20AC;Śas you did it to one of the ___ of these my brethren, you did it to me.â&#x20AC;? (Mt 25:40) 51 More docile 52 Metered rides 53 Peek-_____ 54 Taboo 56 Space 57 A great deal 60 Kipling python 61 MacGraw of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Goodbye, Columbusâ&#x20AC;?

AUGUSTINE GWEE BOH YAN Departed: Dec 12, 2007

Eternal rest grant unto him. O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen. Dearly missed by wife Ruth, daughters and spouses, Monica, Mica, Lorraine, Patrick, Chee Mun, Martyn and grandson Matthew.

OBITUARY Gone from our lives One so dear but in our Hearts forever near. Dearly missed by mother-Josephine, Jacinta, Gerard, Raymond, Wilfred BENJAMIN and their families. Mass will be celebrated on Thursday Dec 13, 2012 at 6pm. EDWARD Venue: Church of BENJAMIN Saint Vincent De Paul, Departed: Nov 13, 2012 301 Yio Chu Kang Rd. In loving memory of

Solution to Crossword Puzzle No. 1072 J U D A H






















Dear St Jude, Jesus and Our Lady, we thank you for hearing Dearest Lord Jesus, Mother Mary, St Joseph and answering our and St Jude thank you prayers. Please continue to intercede most heartily for all for us. Tang Family your blessings, love and care to my family. Thank you for all Special thanks to St your blessings. Please Jude for helping my grandson do well in his continue to guide and   ^ ? guard me. I promise to keep you as my to St Jude has never known to fail. Amen. Patron Saint. Sheila Thangavelu


Please turn to pages 22 and 23 for more in         

Mondays Jan 7 2013 to Apr 1 2013 NO GREATER LOVE 8-10pm: Enter into a deeper relationship with the Lord. Reference book: Jesus of Nazareth Vol 2. Facilitated by Fr Christopher Soh, SJ. Cost: $120. By Centre for Ignatian Spirituality & Counselling. At 8 Victoria Park Rd. Register by Dec 17. T: 6467 6072; E: Jan 12 MEDITATIVE PRAYER WITH TAIZE 8-9.30pm: At the Armenian Church of St Gregory the Illuminator (60 Hill Street) E:; T: 98377256 (Benny Cahyadi) Wednesdays Jan 9 2003 to June 2013 ACTS OF THE APOSTLES 8-10pm: DVD-based presentation by Jeff Cavins on the Acts of the Apostles, which provides a historic framework for understanding the rest of the New Testament. Cost: $40. At Church of the Holy Spirit (Room A2-01). Register 9479 3120 (Alex); E: Sunday Jan 13 2013 to Saturday Jan 19 2013 WEEK OF GUIDED PRAYER Pray with Scriptures using Ignatian Contemplation and Lectio Divina. One-on-one meeting with a prayer guide Mon-Fri. Cost: $30. By Sojournersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Companions. At Church of St Mary of the Angels. Register W: http: //

Thursdays Jan 17 2013 to March 21 THE LETTER OF ST PAUL TO ROMANS 8-10pm: A series of 9 lectures by Fr Ambrose Vaz. At Church of St Ignatius Annexe Hall Level 2. Free. E: Fridays Feb 15 to March 22 YEAR OF FAITH 12.30-1.30pm: 6 sessions to help Catholics rediscover their faith and >  ~ |   

 [ '

By ACPT. At Church of St Bernadette AVA Room. Register by Feb 8. SMS: 8467 6161, 8467 6363; E: Feb 24 2013 to Apr 7 2013 MARRIAGE PREPARATION COURSE For couples intending to get married. On       + >   Â 

course from Apr 28 2013 to Jun 2 2013. T: 9839 9840 (Ron/Grace); E:; Register in parishes or W: Friday March 8 2013 to Sunday March 10 2013 BEGINNING EXPERIENCE WEEKEND Fri (6pm)-Sun (4pm) For those divorced, separated, or who have experienced the death of oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s spouse. Work through oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s grief and put oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s past behind, to be      '    { 

T: 9647 9122 (Sue), 9828 5162 (Jean),9661 8089(Joseph); E:


Sunday December 16, 2012 „ CatholicNews

Memories and spiritual quest Life of Pi movie is a complex treatment of religious faith requiring mature interpretation By John Mulderig NEW YORK – Religious themes are central to director Lee Ang’s visually artful screen version of Yann Martel’s best-selling novel Life of Pi. Indeed, this exotic 3-D fable bills itself as a story calculated to make the agnostic reporter in the movie (Rafe Spall), to whom its unlikely events are recounted, “believe in God”. Regardless of whether it has that effect on audiences, Catholic moviegoers will certainly welcome its positive portrayal of their faith and the presence in the tale of a sympathetic priest. However, the protagonist’s earnest spiritual quest results in his simultaneous adherence to Hinduism, Christianity and Islam, which is problematic to say the least. The main character, played as an adult by Irrfan Khan but portrayed for most of the time as his 17-year-old persona (Suraj Sharma), is an Indian-born Canadian known formally as Piscine Militor Patel. He is called Pi for short. " Z >@    

Piscine Militor Patel (Suraj Sharma) and a Bengal tiger are among the protagonists in Lee Ang’s Life of Pi.

of memories being shared with the unnamed and unbelieving journalist reveal, Pi was bred in the picturesque former French enclave of Pondicherry. Growing up contentedly amid the natural beauty of the area, Pi was fascinated by the wondrous creatures that inhabited the zoo

his parents (Adil Hussain and Tabu) owned. Discovering God in varied manifestations during the initial stages of the quest, Pi also made a less exalted discovery by falling for a local girl. So when Mom and Dad announced, shortly afterwards, they

were moving the family to the Great White North, Pi was crushed. Upheaval turned to tragedy when the freighter carrying Pi’s family – as well as some of the animals from their former zoo – sank in a terrible squall. Pi was the only human survivor.

But his endurance was immediately put to a further test when he found himself forced to share a small lifeboat with a Bengal tiger. Not for the impressionable or the poorly catechised, this psychological parable, whose meaning cannot be explained without spoilers, also becomes somewhat taxing as the rigours of the lad’s unusual ordeal begin to rub off on viewers. Aesthetic judgments will likely hinge on the degree to which audiences summon the hardiness necessary to follow Pi’s adventures through to the end. Assessed from a religious perspective, his         ourable but ultimately somewhat misguided. =      '^

treatment of religious faith requiring mature interpretation, potentially upsetting scenes of life-threatening danger and animal aggression, and some mildly vulgar wordplay. „ The PG-rated movie is now showing in Singapore cinemas. Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service in Washington, USA.


DECEMBER 16, 2012, Vol 62, No 25  

Pope creates 6 new cardinals, 3 from Asia

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