www.catholicnews.sg SUNDAY DECEMBER 15, 2013
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Why new evangelisation is vital for Church renewal
INSIDE HOME Bidding farewell to Marymount Hope and heartbreak at special Mass
Church representatives discuss the way ahead for the archdiocese at a recent forum. Clara Lai reports. ! " " #
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Â„ Page 4
ASIA Corruption in Philippines
Â„ Page 12
WORLD Showcasing Christian catacombs team up in joint project The crowd at the Spirit Filled Church for New Evangelisation forum held on Nov 23.
Â„ Page 15
Our Church is â€˜haemorrhaging.
Whatâ€™s happening with our families, our young couples, youth and children?
â€“ Fr Erbin Fernandez Speakers at the forum: Fr Thomas Curran (left) and Fr Erbin Fernandez
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Pontiff was once a bouncer Shares this info with Rome parishioners Â„ Page 16
FAITH ALIVE! The holidays are comingâ€Ś Â„ Page 22
Penitential services & Christmas Mass schedule Â„ Page 23
Sunday December 15, 2013 Â„ CatholicNews
Archdiocese prays for Philippine calamity victims By Darren Boon Singaporean Catholics showed their solidarity with the victims of Typhoon Haiyan and the preceding Bohol earthquake in the Philippines at an archdiocese-wide Mass on Nov 26. The local Catholics made up most of the 500-strong crowd, which included Philippine ambassador Minda Calaguian-Cruz and other Philippine nationals. â€œWe all have to be united in the Lord because they are still our brothers and sisters wherever they are,â€? said Singaporean Ann Ong, who attended the special evening Mass held at the Church of Sts Peter and Paul. â€œWe are one in the Lord so we pray for one another and we pray for the strength for those who have survived that they
We are one in the â€˜Lord so we pray for one another and we pray for the strength for those who have survived that they would be able to rebuild their lives.
â€“ Ms Ann Ong, who attended the special Mass
would be able to rebuild their lives,â€? she told CatholicNews. Madam Stella Tan, who has a Filipino domestic worker, said she was driven by compassion to attend the Mass to show her support for the Filipinos. She said she will be going on a mission trip to the Philippines in December with the Church group, A Call to Share (ACTS). In his homily, Archbishop William Goh said that in the light of the tragedies, it is important to ask questions such as what is one doing with oneâ€™s life and how is one living oneâ€™s life? Riches, talents, resources, % " ] meant to be shared â€œfor the service of humanityâ€? and for the growth of Godâ€™s kingdom of peace and love, said Archbishop Goh, who celebrated the Mass with 10 priests. â€œThose of us who have been blessed with all these gifts and we donâ€™t use them for the service of others, we have done great injustice â€Ś to our fellow man,â€? he said. Archbishop Goh also touched on the topic of suffering.
Philippine ambassador Minda Calaguian-Cruz (second from right) and Mr Willie Cheng (extreme right), chairman of CHARIS (Caritas Humanitarian Aid & Relief Initiatives, Singapore) were among those who attended the archdiocese-wide Mass to pray for Philippine disaster victims.
Although â€œsuffering is a mystery, yet we know that a lot of goodness can come out ofâ€? it, he said. Through suffering, one learns compassion and to depend on God as man has no complete control over his life, he said. Through the sufferings of others, one is challenged to be more generous and loving, Archbishop Goh said. During the intercessory prayers, the congregation prayed for the Church to remain a â€œsteadfast homeâ€? to the surviving vic-
tims of the tragedies, for relief workers and for those who perished in the disasters. One Filipino who attended the eveningâ€™s Mass, and who wanted to be only known as Cabrera, said her family members were affected by the typhoon. Speaking to CatholicNews with tears in her eyes, Cabrera said one of her relatives died, and her home was destroyed. Nevertheless, her family members are coping well and drawing strength from their faith, she said.
She added that while she and her family had experienced natural disasters before, none was as severe as Typhoon Haiyan. Cabrera, who is a nurse, added that she had wanted to return home after hearing the news of the earthquake but her mother advised her to remain in Singapore. She added that prayer and support from the Church community here have helped her during this $Â„ email@example.com
Sunday December 15, 2013 CatholicNews
Sunday December 15, 2013 Â„ CatholicNews
Good Shepherd Sisters bid farewell to Marymount
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By Darren Boon Archbishop William Goh said that the work of the Good Shepherd Sisters have opened people to see and receive the grace of God. The archbishop was speaking at a thanksgiving Mass on Nov 22 organised by the Good Shepherd Sisters to mark the closure of their convent in Marymount. About 800 people including the Sistersâ€™ lay collaborators, alumni of Marymount Convent
" chapel that evening. Highlighting the various ministries of the Sisters throughout the years, Archbishop Goh said + '! " %$ He said that the Sisters have shown â€œthat people can believe that even in their so called disadvantaged situations, even though '$ Archbishop Goh also noted in his homily that while there is + ' Marymount, â€œlife must move on because the Lord has opened up "
'$ + the Lord is pushing us out of our comfort zone to another area where the Lord has a plan for each ' $ The Mass also saw the 25 Good Shepherd Sisters and three auxiliary Sisters renew their vows
in the presence of Archbishop Goh. They also sang the Aspirations of St Mary Euphrasia, the founder of the congregation. Lay partners share their thoughts In a message of appreciation just before the end of the Mass, lay mission partner Cecilia Ee said the land acquisition was saddening, â€œbut with prayers, support and faith, we began planning and
Archbishop Goh in his homily said that while there is â€˜attachmentâ€™ to the grounds of Marymount, â€˜life must move on because the Lord has opened up new opportunitiesâ€™. working towards new beginnings
" '$ The convent is familiar ground to Madam Jane Marie Ng who has spent her schooling years from kindergarten all the way to Secondary Four and who later was active in the Sistersâ€™ mission. â€œOf course I feel sad to give up this lovely placeâ€Śbut the move is a hope because we are able to build something from the ground according to the needs of the pre-
sent and the future. So in a way, I guess we look for a silver lining in the cloud, and we just trust that God is moving us in new and bet ' $
History of the Good Shepherd Sisters in Sâ€™pore 1835: The Good Shepherd Sisters were founded by St Mary Euphrasia Pelletier in France. 1939: Mother Mary Ligouri Bourke and Sr Mary of St Alphonsus Mooney arrived in Singapore on Dec 12 and were later joined by Sr Mary of St Dympna Brady and Sr M Columba Canon. 1940-1942: Established a convent in a bungalow in Punggol when it was bombed during World War II. 1940: Opened the Good Shepherd Home for teenagers. 1942-1945: Resettled in the jungle settlement camp of Bahau in Negri Sembilan, Malaya. 1945-1950: Established convent in Kampong Java. 1946: Good Shepherd Kindergarten at Kampong Java established now known as Marymount Kindergarten. 1950-present: Good Shepherd Convent in Marymount opened. 1959: Marymount Convent School established.
1965: Built Rose Villa in Marymount to take care of unwed mothers. 1982: Centre established to provide before and after school care opened, now known as Good Shepherd Student Care. 1986: Established a crisis shelter, later named Good Shepherd Centre, for women and children needing protection and safety from domestic abuse. 1990: Marymount Charismatic Healing Ministry established. 1995: Developing All Women in the New Era (DAWN) skills training programme for Filipino domestic workers established. 1998: Good Shepherd Oasis, a silent retreat centre, is set up. 1999: Marymount Convent School ceases secondary schooling, offers only primary schooling. 2001: Opened Ahuva Good Shepherd to provide residential care for girls aged four to 16. 2005: Roman Catholic Prison Ministry Intercessory Prayer Group established. Â„
French-speaking community to move to St Josephâ€™s Church The French-speaking community will be at St Josephâ€™s Church (Victoria Street) from Jan 12, and Masses will be held at noon every Sunday. Mrs Isabelle Morin told CatholicNews that it is â€œbreaking ' able grounds where the community had spent a lot of time in, but at the same time happy to have found another home where the community could gather. Fr Ivan Ponsonnet, the communityâ€™s spiritual director, told CatholicNews that the community has been based in the convent grounds for more than 15 years. â€œWe are very sad that we have to $'
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Good Shepherd Place in Toa Payoh The Good Shepherd Sisters hope to move to their new home at Lorong 8 Toa Payoh in March 2014. 5 & " house the Sisters with the facilities conducive for prayer and user-friendly for the sick and elderly Sisters. Another three-storey block would be used for the Ahuva Good Shepherd ministry which provides residential care, education support, and structured counselling. Marymount Kindergarten, as well as other ministries such as the skills development training course for the foreign domestic workers Developing All Women in the New Era (DAWN) and the Marymount Charismatic Healing Ministry will also operate from the new premises. Â„ firstname.lastname@example.org
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Sunday December 15, 2013 Â„ CatholicNews
Bringing on the new evangelisation
Archbishop William Goh delivering the homily.
Panellists (from left): Fr Eugene Vaz, Sr Theresa Seow, Ms Jane Lau, Mr Gerard Francisco (SACCRE), Fr John Joseph Fenelon, Ms Ann Yeong and youth coordinator Mr Edwyn deSouza. Â„ From Page 1
the inside. Whatâ€™s happening with our families, our young couples, youth and children? â€œWeâ€™re not supported by communities that lead a certain way of Christian life,â€? he said. In his keynote speech, Carmelite Fr Thomas Curran stressed, â€œItâ€™s clear that the parishes need to do more if we want the baptism of the Holy Spirit to affect our lives.â€? Fr Curran, who is SACCREâ€™s spiritual director, cited the examples of Church scandals that have
made international headlines and which have caused thousands to leave the Church. He also said some reasons why cradle Catholics may not experience the power of the Holy Spirit is because parents have not passed on the faith, and the distractions of the social environment such as the Internet and pornography. â€œWe need to bring on the new evangelisation before things get too late,â€? he said. Archbishop William Goh, celebrating Mass towards the end of the event, said he wants â€œevery
Catholic to have a personal encounter with the Lord. This is the foundation of faith, to have zeal to spread the faith to others.â€? â€œHow many of our Catholics in their daily lives have shared with
Itâ€™s clear that the â€˜ parishes need to do more if we want the baptism of the Holy Spirit to affect our lives.
â€“ Carmelite Fr Thomas Curran
others about Jesus?â€? he asked. He
+ " ing a movie, you will SMS [your friends to tell them about it]â€?, but not for faith matters. â€œOur greatest enemy today is secularism,â€? he stressed. Participants told CatholicNews they learnt a lot from the discussions. Mr Brennan Tay, 26, from the Church of the Holy Spirit, said the event helped him to â€œunderstand more about what new evangelisation isâ€?. Mr Prem Augustine, 34, a fulltime youth worker at Nove-
na Church, said, â€œIn church, we get caught up in structures, programmes and KPIs [Key Performance Indicators] and are very activity-centric. Many people burn out because of that, and there is no battery source to recharge.â€? He added, â€œI felt that there was courage from the leaders who spoke today, and everyone gave different dimensions on the same topic. We have to look at what matters, and itâ€™s OK if we are less activity-centred but more Jesus and relationship-centred.â€? Â„ email@example.com
Sunday December 15, 2013 Â„ CatholicNews
Two deacons ordained for Sâ€™pore Church By Darren Boon
Deacons Jude David (left) and Terence Kesavan at their diaconal ordination on Nov 28. Photo: DOMINIC WONG
Deacons Jude David and Terence Kesavan will be ordained to the priesthood on Jan 1. This announcement was made after their ordination to the diaconate by Archbishop William Goh on Nov 28 at the Church of the Holy Spirit. Both deacons are parishioners of the Church of St Francis Xavier. Deacon David, 34, studied mechanical engineering at the National University of Singapore. He worked as a relief teacher and also at the Defence Science & Technology Agency (DSTA) until he left to join the seminary. He was one of the founding members of the Mustard Seed Community in his parish for youth and young adults. He was also an altar server and president of the altar servers. +: " = : ceive the gift of ordination to the diaconate and I am grateful to the Lord who has guided and sustained me thus far,â€? he told CatholicNews. â€œI know it is the beginning of
a new chapter in my life and I am excited to be in the service of the Lord and His People.â€? Despite the short diaconate period in preparation for the priesthood, Deacon David said he sees it â€œas an important time of learning and discerning by listening to both the Lord and His peopleâ€?.
in the seminary and pastoral experience have formed me as much as possible but I am sure that there will be many surprises in store that no textbook can prepare me for,â€? he said. â€œI hope to use the gifts God has given to me to see what more can be done for the youth, the new evangelisation, as well as the use
it is â€˜theI know beginning
sure there will â€˜beI am many surprises in
of a new chapter in my life.
store that no textbook can prepare me for.
â€“ Deacon Jude David
Deacon Kesavan, 35, had : " % for three years before entering the seminary. He had also served as an altar server in his parish. On his diaconal ordination, he likened himself to a soccer player who is now entering an of hard and participated in practice matches. â€œMy eight years of formation
â€“ Deacon Terence Kesavan
of IT and media in the Church,â€? said Deacon Kesavan, who has been posted to the Church of Divine Mercy. Meanwhile, Deacon David has already taken up residence at the Church of the Holy Spirit and assumed the following appointments: assistant spiritual director of Catholic Spirituality Centre, assistant chaplain of young peo ( ; ple, and chaplain to James Cook University. He will assume the position of chairperson of the Archdiocesan Catholic Council for Ecumenical Dialogue after his priestly ordination. Apart from Deacons David and Kesavan, Fr Samuel Lim, who was ordained in 2012, was also a parishioner of the Church of St Francis Xavier. The priestly ordination of Deacons David and Kesavan will be held at Church of St Francis Xavier on Jan 1 at 4 pm. The celebration begins with rosary at 2.30 pm followed by praise and worship at 3 pm. Â„ firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday December 15, 2013 CatholicNews
Sunday December 15, 2013 Â„ CatholicNews
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Sunday December 15, 2013 Â„ CatholicNews
Overcoming the odds for the PSLE One suffers from ADHD, another from dyslexia. But their determination, aided by Church, school and family, helped them through the PSLE. Darren Boon reports. For 12-year-old Isaac Ephraim Fernando who suffers from Attention B 7 B
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Prayers and support from fellow Catholics, teachers
Owen Chua, who suffers from dyslexia, said ing disabilities. Photo: GLADS CHUA
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â€“ Owen Chua
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Sunday December 15, 2013 Â„ CatholicNews
Dan Schutte and priests to present concert, workshop Popular American Christian composer and singer Dan Schutte will be teaming up with a few other musically-gifted priests to present a concert and liturgical music workshop. Poems, Prayers and the Promise â€“ the Concert, will be held at the Church of St Mary of the Angels on Friday, Dec 13 at 8 pm. Schutte, known for the popular Christian songs Hear I am Lord, City of God, Table of Plenty and Only This I Want, will perform together with Jesuit Fr Manoling Francisco from the Jesuit Music Ministry in the Philippines, Jesuit Fr Mark Aloysius who is based in Singapore, and Franciscan
Christian composer Dan Schutte
Friar Fr Derrick Yap. They will present their compositions of familiar and new songs on praise and pain, joy and struggle.
Finding God in Music â€“ the Workshop will be held at the Church of Divine Mercy the next day, from 10 am-4 pm. Schutte, Fr Francisco and Fr Aloysius will give pointers on liturgical music and share how their own faith journeys have been linked to and nourished by their passion for music. The concert and workshop are a joint project of CANA â€“ the Catholic Centre and the > 0 ( $ Concert tickets ($20) and workshop tickets ($25) are available from CANA on the
Street. Tel 6336-4815/63384080 or email email@example.com Â„
Mr Hector Molina, a lay US Catholic apologist and international speaker, addressing participants at the Christ@Work Conference.
Catholics learn about witnessing in the marketplace By Joann Chia More than 300 participants attended the full-day Christ@Work Conference at Catholic Junior College on Nov 30. The conference, which had the theme, The Summons â€“ Rise of the Apostles, was organised by the Catholic Business Network and Praise@Work Charismatic group. It aimed to examine the roles Catholics play in being true faith witnesses in the marketplace. Keynote speaker Hector Molina, a lay US Catholic apologist and international speaker, spoke on how Christ has summoned people to be His modern day apostles. In addition, several successful corporate leaders and other speakers and panellists spent the day with participants, sharing
their experiences and exchanging knowledge. The speakers included money broker and bank trader Tony See, practising litigation partner in private legal practice and Member of Parliament Christopher De Souza, and visually handicapped trainer and motivational speaker Reena Rajasvari. Ms Celina Lin and Ms Roselie Chia, both professionally trained spiritual directors from the Kingsmead Centre for Ignatian Spirituality and Counselling, also led participants through a guided re] " innermost being and functioning better within a complex marketplace. Archbishop William Goh celebrated Mass at the end of the event. For information on the Catholic Business Network, visit www. cbn.sg Â„
Sunday December 15, 2013 Â„ CatholicNews
Archbishop gives words of hope to HIV/AIDS patients
Blue and white LED lights embellish the front porch of the church, together ? $ @
Church of St Anne marks 50 years with Christmas light-up Archbishop Goh incenses the altar during the World AIDS Day Mass held at the Church of the Holy Spirit.
By Clara Lai Dec 1 is World AIDS Day, and this year, the Catholic Church in Singapore marked the day with a special Mass at the Church of the Holy Spirit. The annual event was planned by Catholic AIDS Response Effort (CARE), an organisation that runs a shelter for people living with HIV and AIDS who are destitute and homeless, as well as other support programmes for non-residents. Archbishop William Goh was the main celebrant for the Mass, , 5:B# B since he assumed his current of $ +: Sunday of Advent, we are called to give hope ... and especially those who are suffering from HIV and AIDS,â€? he said. â€œWe need to identify with the plight of these victims of AIDS,â€? he said. The archbishop also suggested educating people so that they can â€œwork together to eradicate this disease from the worldâ€?. â€œWithout education, people are ignorant,â€? he added.
People looking at soaps and candles made by CARE residents and volunteers.
He ended with encouraging words to HIV/AIDS patients, saying that â€œwe need to entrust ourselves to the mercy of Godâ€?, and that â€œit is only God who can give us peaceâ€?. Ms Jacinta Rajoo, president of the CARE management committee, also spoke towards the end of the Mass. â€œIn past years, attendance for World AIDS Day Mass was always limited to our patients and volunteers,â€? she said. â€œIt is nice to have a full church worshipping and praying for our HIV and AIDS patients this year.â€?
She added, â€œI have a few prayer requests â€“ pray for the work that CARE does, pray for the wellbeing of our patients, and strength for our staff that care for the patients every day.â€? In addition to the Mass, handmade soaps and candles by CAREâ€™s residents and volunteers were also on sale outside the church. Mr George Lim, who is in his 50s and a parishioner of Church of the Holy Spirit, told CatholicNews about his late neighbour who had AIDS, and â€œcould not '$ â€œAt that time, there was no CARE,â€? he said. â€œNow that we do, it is important to have a desire for compassion.â€? Mr Abel Tan, 33, from the Church of St Michael said the local World AIDS Day Mass is â€œlimited to one parish every yearâ€?. â€œIt will take 10 to 20 years to spread [awareness of the condition] to everyone in the Catholic churches in Singapore,â€? he said. â€œMaybe we can start with the Catholic schools?â€? Â„ firstname.lastname@example.org
A Christmas light-up was held in the Church of St Anne on the evening of Nov 30, as part of the parishâ€™s 50th anniversary celebration. About 500 sets of white and blue LED lights were used to adorn the exterior of the church, including the front porch, Maryâ€™s grotto and St Anneâ€™s shrine. 7 ing the Nativity scene were also placed around the perimeter of the church. They were drawn from scratch onto plywood and traced " " with the LED lights. The total number of light
bulbs used? More than 75,000. Priests of the parish, Frs Fran/ *" # launched the light-up display, together with some 700 parishioners. The light-up was the last event in the calendar of activities for the churchâ€™s 50th anniversary celebration. Planning for the various activities began last year, and some of the previous events include an Elderly Night, a walkathon and the Golden Jubilee dinner. St Anneâ€™s Church was declared open on July 26, 1963, and has since grown to a population of 6,000 parishioners. Â„
The lights decorated many parts of the church grounds, including the trees in the carpark.
Sunday December 15, 2013 Â„ CatholicNews
Archbishop slams corrupt Catholics in Philippines MANILA â€“ The new head of the
Catholic bishopsâ€™ conference in the Philippines says Church leaders here have failed to evangelise the faithful despite there being large numbers of Filipino Catholics. â€œMany of our people do not even know the fundamentals of our faith,â€? Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan said in a pastoral letter on the Year of the Laity released on Dec 1. â€œIt is certainly shameful proof of our failure to evangelise our country that our churches are " festivities are fervent, our Catholic schools are many, but our country is mired in poverty and corruption,â€? he said. â€œMany, perhaps the majority of corrupt people in politics and in business, are graduates of our own Catholic schools and are â€˜practisingâ€™ Catholics,â€? he said, adding that most of those who cheat in elections and those who sell their votes are baptised Catholics. â€œThis is also true of the bribe % ! ers of our public coffers,â€? he said. Archbishop Villegas, who took over as head of the bishopsâ€™ conference on Nov 30, also said Catholics have become â€œvery vulnerable to the seductions of other " -1 nos] easy targetsâ€?. Recent political developments in the country have highlighted corruption that is connected with â€œblatant misuse of political patronageâ€?, he noted. â€œIt is now clear that our people
are poor because our leaders have kept them poor by their greed for money and power,â€? he said, pointing to several senators and congressmen implicated in a 10-billion peso (S$286 million) pork barrel fund scam. The pork barrel is a lump sum given through the national budget
nance priority development programmes and projects. Bishops have repeatedly argued that politics as it is practised in the Philippines is the single biggest obstacle to development of the country.
Our churches are â€˜
â€“ Philippine Archbishop Socrates Villegas
â€œWhat are you doing, our dear lay faithful to rid our country of graft and corruption? Do you perhaps participate in corrupt practices by selling your votes, by buying votes, by bribery and acceptance of kickbacks?â€? Archbishop Villegas asked. Church leaders in the Philippines are conducting a nine-year intensive evangelisation campaign in the run-up to the 500th anniversary celebrations in 2021 marking the arrival of Christianity in the country. Â„ UCANEWS.COM
The Korean Choir of Martyrs singing at the Church of St Mary of the Angels on Nov 29.
Korean Catholic choir sings in Singapore The Korean Choir of Martyrs gave a memorable SINGAPORE
â€“ You probably would have heard Korean pop songs played over the airwaves, but how about songs from a Korean Catholic choir? One such choir, the Korean Choir of Martyrs, performed at the Church of St Mary of the Angels on Nov 29. : " choir, whose members are selected from various church choirs in Seoul, was performing in Singapore. Every two years, the group travels to perform at a country or city outside of South Korea. The choir sang to a crowd of about 450 people in the two-hour long free concert, and also performed the following day at the Church of Our Lady Queen of Peace. The evening performance, titled Concert for Peace, saw the mixed choir singing 17 songs ranging from slow-tempo num-
bers to faster-paced ones. :
the choir sang Jazz Mass pieces, including â€œGloriaâ€? where the sopranos hit the high notes beautifully. In the second part, they sang more Latin pieces including two versions of the Ave Maria. A costume change followed, which saw the ladies wearing colourful traditional costumes and the men in white suits. The choir then sang songs by British choral music composer John Rutter such as For the Beauty of the Earth and The Lord Bless You and Keep You. : presented four Korean folk songs including the rhythmic Chonggak-Taryung. The resounding applause from the captivated audience led the choir to deliver three encores,
including singing in Chinese the famous tune â€“ Nan Er Dang Zi Qiang â€“ associated with folk mar , 1 &$ In his closing prayer, Franciscan Friar Derrick Yap said that the choirâ€™s â€œvoices brought us closer to Godâ€?. He then asked the audience to pray over the members so that they could continue to spread their music throughout the world. For some of the older Koreans living in Singapore, the concert was nostalgic. Mrs Lucia Choi, 42, said she felt â€œprivileged to see my Korean hereâ€?. â€œI miss my hometown,â€? said the parishioner of the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who has been in Singapore for the past six years. Â„ email@example.com
Sunday December 15, 2013 Â„ CatholicNews
Massive numbers of Popeâ€™s Twitter followers are Filipinos, says Vatican expert
Left: A screengrab of Pope Francisâ€™s Twitter page. Above: Msgr Paul Tighe, secretary of \ ] ^ 7
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Vatican, Google team up to showcase ancient Christian catacombs VATICAN CITY â€“ Early Christian
burial sites are now easier to see, both in person and via the Internet, thanks to 21st-century technology and collaboration between Google and the Vatican. â€œThis is perhaps the sign of the joining of two extremes, remote antiquity and modernity,â€? said Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi on Nov 19, at a news conference at the Catacombs of Priscilla in northeast Rome. The cardinal, president of ! mission for Sacred Archaeology, lauded recent restoration work by the archaeological commission inside the complex of early Christian tombs. Using advanced laser techniques, restorers have uncovered vivid late fourth-century frescoes depicting Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead and Sts Peter and Paul accompanying Christians into the afterlife. Jesusâ€™ face resembles portraits of the Emperor Constantine, who legalised Christian worship in 313. Cardinal Ravasi also heralded the Nov 19 debut of the catacombs on Googleâ€™s Street View feature, a project he said had grown out of a conversation he had with the Internet giantâ€™s executive chairman Eric Schmidt. Users of Google Maps can now click the â€œsee-insideâ€? option for the catacombs, which allows them to move virtually through the narrow corridors tunnelled out of soft tufa stone, and to see high-resolution images of the interiors from practically every
The Catacombe di Priscilla virtual tour on Google Maps.
angle. The brilliantly-lit views are in startling contrast to the shadowy reality of an in-person visit. Googleâ€™s Mr Giorgia Abeltino told reporters that almost the entire eight-mile complex of catacombs is now accessible online. However, there is no underground map to let users know exactly what they are seeing. Also on Nov 19, Google launched a Street View of the catacombs of the Ipogeo di via Dino Compagni, located in southeast Rome. The catacombs are privately owned and not open to the public, so the virtual mode is the only way to visit them. The news conference at the Catacombs of Priscilla was held above ground in the reconstructed fourth-century Basilica of St Sylvester, where a new museum displays hundred of fragments of ancient marble sarcophagi, also recently restored. A glass floor offers illuminated views of
the sites of ancient tombs below. Msgr Giovanni Carru, secretary of the Vaticanâ€™s archaeological commission, said the restorations had made the Catacombs of Priscilla a â€œprivileged courseâ€? for pilgrims to Rome, helping them to appreciate these â€œdark places that were lit up by the emblematic and paradigmatic stories of salvationâ€? painted on their walls. Â„ CNS
16 POPE FRANCIS
Pontiff on evangelisation and interfaith dialogue VATICAN CITY â€“ In societies in-
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Sunday December 15, 2013 Â„ CatholicNews
Christians must work to defend religious freedom: pope VATICAN CITY â€“ Pope Francis,
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Pope Francis embraces Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians, at the Vatican in late March. In a message to Patriarch Bartholomew, the pope called for increased cooperation among Christians. CNS photo
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POPE FRANCIS 17
Sunday December 15, 2013 Â„ CatholicNews
Pope says he goes to confession every two weeks VATICAN CITY â€“ Pope Francis said
he goes to confession every fortnightly, knowing that God never tires of forgiving those who repent, but also knowing that having a priest say â€œI absolve youâ€? reinforces belief in Godâ€™s mercy. Using the literal Italian translation of a Spanish saying, â€œItâ€™s better to turn red once than yellow a thousand times,â€? Pope Francis said he knows some people are embarrassed to confess their sins to a priest, but it is the best path to spiritual healing and health. At his weekly general audience in St Peterâ€™s Square on Nov 29 1 ] forgiveness of sins as one of the missions Jesus entrusted to His apostles and their successors. In a world often dominated by â€œindividualism and subjectivismâ€?, he said, many people â€“ including many Catholics â€“ say that God will forgive their sins and they have no need of the Sacrament of Confession and the ministry of a priest. â€œCertainly, God forgives every repentant sinner, but the Christian is bound to Christ and Christ is united to His church,â€? the pope said. â€œGod, in His sovereign mercy, forgives everyone, but He wanted those who belong to Christ and His Church to receive forgiveness through the communityâ€™s ministers.â€? â€œPriests, too, need confession, even bishops. We are all sinners. Even the pope goes to confession every two weeks because the
People queuing up for confession. â€˜Priests, too, need confession, even bishops,â€™ said the pope.
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pope, too, is a sinner,â€? he said. â€œMy confessor hears what I say, offers me advice and forgives me. We all need this.â€? Pope Francis said the ministry of the confessor is â€œvery delicateâ€?, which is why the priest must recognise that he, too, is a sinner forgiven by God, the pope said. He must not â€œmistreat the faithful, but be meek, benevolent and merciful, knowing how to sow hope in the penitentâ€™s heart
and, especially, recognise that the brother or sister approaching the Sacrament of Reconciliation is seeking forgiveness just like the many people who approached Jesus seeking healing.â€? â€œIf a priest canâ€™t be like this, it would be better if he did not administer the sacrament until he changes,â€? Pope Francis said. â€œThe their priests a servant of Godâ€™s forgiveness.â€? Â„ CNS
be places of adorationâ€™ VATICAN CITY â€“ Temples and
churches are places people gather for many reasons, but if a place of worship is not primarily a place where God is adored, then it canâ€™t really be called a temple or a church, Pope Francis said. â€œI think, and I say this with all humility, that we Christians have lost some of the sense of adoration,â€? the pope said on Nov 22 during morning Mass in the chapel of his residence. Gathering at church as brothers and sisters â€œis good, itâ€™s beautifulâ€?, he said, but the church â€œis where God is and we adore Godâ€?. â€œThe temple is the place where the community goes to pray, to praise the Lord, to give thanks, but most of all to adore the Lord,â€? he said, according to Vatican Radio. At a Mass or other liturgy, the pope asked, â€œWhat is most important? The songs, the rites, everything beautiful? Adoration is most
important: the entire community gathered, looking with adoration toward the altar where the sacri ! $' Pope Francis said St Paul also wrote about people being the temple of the Holy Spirit, which means, â€œI am a temple. The spirit of God is in me.â€? When a person is the temple, the kind of adoration required is that of â€œseeking the spirit of the Lord within and knowing that God is withinâ€?, he said. â€œYou listen to Him and follow Him.â€? to make a human being a real Â‘ + with prayer, penance, the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Eucharist.â€? Whether in church or in private prayer, he said, â€œour attitude must be one of piety that adores and listens, that prays and asks forgiveness and that praises the Lord.â€? Â„ CNS
St Ignatiusâ€™ companion expected to be canonised VATICAN CITY â€“ Pope Francis
is expected to issue a decree declaring one of his favourite Jesuits, Blessed Peter Faber (below), a saint. The decree is likely to take the form of what the Vatican terms an â€œequivalent canonisationâ€? in which the pope inserts the name of the new saint in the universal calendar of saints without verifying a miracle performed through his intercession and without holding
a formal canonisation ceremony. Jesuit Fr Marc Lindeijer, vice postulator or promoter of Jesuit sainthood causes, told Catholic News Service that â€œmore or less right after his electionâ€? in March, Pope Francis asked that the process be started for the canonisation of Blessed Faber, who with St Ignatius of Loyola and St Francis Xavier, was a founding member of the Society of Jesus. Â„ CNS
18 POPE FRANCIS
Sunday December 15, 2013 Â„ CatholicNews
Pope urges people to focus on Christ at Year of Faith closing VATICAN CITY â€“ Pope Francis
closed the Year of Faith by calling on people to keep Christ at the centre of their lives, especially in times of trouble. â€œWhen Jesus is at the centre, light shines even [in] the darkest moments of our lives; He gives us hope,â€? he said in his homily on Nov 24, the feast of Christ the King. The closing Mass in St Pe #Âž " time, the exposition for public veneration of bones believed to be those of St Peter. The apostle is believed to have been martyred on a hill overlooking St Peterâ€™s Square and buried a tomb now located two levels below the main altar of St Peterâ€™s Basilica. Eight bone fragments, each two to three centimeters long, were nestled in an open bronze reliquary displayed to the side of the altar. During the ceremony, the pope â€“ the 265th successor of Peter â€“ held the closed reliquary for several minutes in silent prayer while choirs sang the Nicene Creed in Latin. The bones, which were discovered during excavations of the necropolis under St Peterâ€™s Basilica in the 1940s, are kept in the popeâ€™s private chapel but had never been displayed in public. While no pope has ever declared the bones to be authentic, Pope Paul VI said in 1968 that the â€œrelicsâ€? of St Peter had been + " "" hold to be convincingâ€?. Pope Francis began his homily by thanking retired Pope Benedict XVI for establishing the Year of Faith, calling it a â€œprovidential initiativeâ€? that gave Christians â€œthe opportunity to rediscover the beauty of the journey of faith be-
ity of Jesus Christ in our thoughts, words and worksâ€?. â€œWhen this centre is lost, because it is replaced with something else, only harm can result for everything around us and for ourselves,â€? he said. ] reading of the good thief, who was > and asks Jesus to remember him in paradise, the pope said Jesus responds to the man with forgiveness, â€œnot condemnationâ€?. +, courage to ask for this forgiveness, the Lord does not let such a petition go unheard.â€?
The faithful are expected to recognise and accept â€˜the centrality of Jesus Christ in our thoughts, words and worksâ€™, the pope said.
Pope Francis holds a reliquary containing the relics of St Peter the Apostle during a Mass in St Peterâ€™s Square on Nov 24. The bone fragments, which were discovered in the 1940s, are kept in the popeâ€™s private chapel but had never been displayed in public. CNS photo
gun on the day of our baptismâ€?. The pope then greeted patriarchs and archbishops of the Eastern Catholic Churches, who were in Rome for a meeting, and extended those greetings to all Christians living in the Holy Land, Syria and the East, wishing â€œthem
the gift of peace and harmonyâ€?. He expressed his appreciation " comes â€œoften at a high priceâ€?. In his homily, the pope focused on â€œthe centrality of Christâ€? and how the faithful are expected to recognise and accept â€œthe central-
The pope said everyone should ask the Lord to remember them because â€œeach one of us has a historyâ€?, has made mistakes and sinned. â€œPeople need to say, â€˜Jesus, remember me because I want to be good, I have the desire to become good, but I donâ€™t have the strength. I canâ€™t, Iâ€™m a sinner,â€™â€? the pope said. In response, â€œthe Lord always grants more than what He has been askedâ€?. At the end of the Mass, the
apostolic exhortation to representatives of the Church community, including bishops, seminarians, catechists, Catholic journalists and
a visually-impaired woman, who $ The document, titled â€œEvangelii Gaudiumâ€? (â€œThe Joy of the Gospelâ€?), has been released to the public on Nov 26. In a Nov 25 meeting with volunteers who organised Year of Faith activities, Pope Francis said, â€œThe faith is the cornerstone of the Christian experience because it drives the choices and actions of our daily life.â€? â€œFaith in Christ is able to warm hearts, truly becoming the driving force of the new evangelisation,â€? he said. A faith â€œlived deeply and with convictionâ€? spreads the proclamation of the Gospel far and wide, but â€œapostolic courageâ€? also is needed to reach people where they are, es $ Before closing the Year of Faith, Pope Francis presided on Nov 23 over the Rite of Acceptance, where some 500 men and women from 47 countries formally became catechumens preparing for baptism. During a Liturgy of the Word in St Peterâ€™s Basilica, the pope told them that it is always God who initiates relationships with people and that He patiently and perseveringly waits for a response. â€œHe never draws away from us, but has the patience to wait for the favourable moment to meet each of us.â€? Believing â€œis walking with Jesus. Itâ€™s a journey that lasts a lifetime,â€? Pope Francis told the catechumens. â€œObviously, in this journey there will be moments when we feel tired and confused. However, faith gives us the certainty of the constant presence of Jesus in every situation, including the most painful
Pontiff meets Putin, ongoing Syria war discussed VATICAN CITY â€“ Peace in the Mid-
Pope Francis shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a private audience at the Vatican on Nov 25. CNS photo
dle East, particularly the ongoing war in Syria, topped the agenda on Nov 25 as Pope Francis welcomed Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Vatican. The Russian president â€œconveyed the greetings of [Russian Orthodox] Patriarch Kirill, but there was not a discussion of ecumenical relationsâ€?, said Jesuit Fr Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman. A formal statement issued after the meeting said â€œspecial attention was given to the pursuit of peace in the Middle East and to the serious situation in Syriaâ€?. The Vatican said Mr Putin thanked the pope for a letter the pope had written him in September when the Russian president was hosting a summit of the G-20 leaders of the worldâ€™s largest economies. The pope had asked them to â€œlay aside the futile pursuit of a military solutionâ€? to the Syria crisis and
promote dialogue and negotiation. Mr Putinâ€™s government supported Syrian President Bashar Assad and blocked UN Security Council resolutions to authorise using force to oust him. Pope Francis led a prayer vigil for peace in Syria in September and had asked other Christians around the world to observe a day of fasting and prayer for peace in the Middle Eastern country. The war has claimed more than ÂŒ99999 March 2011 and some nine million people have been displaced or forced to seek refuge in neighbouring countries. The Vatican statement said that during the popeâ€™s meeting with Mr Putin, â€œthe urgency of stopping the violence and bringing the necessary humanitarian assistance to the [Syrian] population was underlinedâ€?, as well as the need to promote negotiations and
â€œinvolve the various ethnic and religious components, recognising their essential role in societyâ€?. Fr Lombardi said the two also spoke about â€œthe life of the Catholic community in Russiaâ€? and its contributions to the life of society, the oppression of Christians in some parts of the world, the defence and promotion of human dignity and the safeguarding of human life and the family. Pope Francis gave Mr Putin a mosaic with a view of the Vatican gardens and Mr Putin gave Pope Francis an icon of Our Lady of Vladimir, one of the most venerated images in the Russian Orthodox Church. As the pope was moving away from the gift table, Mr Putin was overheard asking him, â€œDo you like the icon?â€? When the pope said yes, Mr Putin made the sign of the cross, bowed and kissed the icon and the pope did likewise. Â„ CNS
POPE FRANCIS 19
Sunday December 15, 2013 Â„ CatholicNews
POPEâ€™S APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION
A copy of the apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel) by Pope Francis is seen during a news conference at the Vatican on J'! extensive piece of writing as pope, Pope Francis lays out a vision of the Catholic Church dedicated to evangelisation, with a focus on societyâ€™s poorest and most vulnerable, including the aged and unborn.
VATICAN CITY â€“ Pope Francisâ€™ ap-
" VATICAN CITY â€“ : ÂŠ-
tensive piece of writing as pope, Pope Francis lays out a vision of the Catholic Church dedicated to evangelisation in a positive key, with a focus on societyâ€™s poorest and most vulnerable, including the aged and unborn. Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), released by the Vatican on Nov 26, is an apostolic exhortation, one of the most authoritative categories of papal $ 4 1 encyclical, Lumen Fidei, published in July, was mostly the work of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI.) The pope wrote the new document in response to the October 2012 Synod of Bishops on the new evangelisation, but declined to work from a draft provided by $ Pope Francisâ€™ voice is unmistakable in the 50,000-word documentâ€™s relatively relaxed style â€“ he writes that an â€œevangeliser must never look like someone who has just come back from a funeral!â€? â€“ and its emphasis on some of his signature themes, including the dangers of economic globalisation and â€œspiritual worldlinessâ€?. Inspired by Jesusâ€™ poverty and concern for the dispossessed during his earthly ministry, Pope Francis calls for a â€œChurch which is poor and for the poorâ€?. The poor â€œhave much to teach ' " $+, Christ in them, to lend our voices to their causes, but also to be their friends, to listen to them, to speak for them and to embrace the mysterious wisdom which God wishes to share with us through them.â€? Pope Francis also reiterates his earlier criticisms of â€œideologies that defend the absolute autonomy % speculationâ€?, which he blames for -
tributes to an â€œidolatry of moneyâ€?. He emphasises that the Churchâ€™s concern for the vulnerable extends to â€œunborn children, the most defenseless and innocent among usâ€?, whose defence is â€œclosely linked to the defence of each and every other human rightâ€?. â€œA human being is always sacred and inviolable, in any situation and at every stage of development,â€? the pope writes, in his strongest statement to date on the subject of abortion. â€œOnce this conviction disappears, so do solid and lasting foundations for the defence of human rights, which would al-
of aâ€Ś missionary â€˜I dream impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Churchâ€™s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channelled for the evangelisation of todayâ€™s world rather than for her self-preservation.
ways be subject to the passing whims of the powers that be.â€? Pope Francis characteristically directs some of his strongest criticism at his fellow clergy, among other reasons, for what he describes as largely inadequate preaching. The faithful and â€œtheir ordained ministers suffer because of homiliesâ€?, he writes: â€œthe laity from having to listen to them and the clergy from having to preach them!â€? The pope devotes several pages to suggestions for better homilies, based on careful study of the Scriptures and respect for the principle of brevity. 1
teaching that only men can be priests, but notes that their â€œsacramental powerâ€? must not be â€œtoo " " in generalâ€?, nor â€œunderstood as dominationâ€?; and he allows for the â€œpossible role of women in decision-making in different areas of the Churchâ€™s lifeâ€?. As he has done in a number of his homilies and public statements, the pope again stresses the importance of mercy, particularly with regard to the Churchâ€™s moral teaching. But despite his censures and warnings, the pope ends on a hopeful note true to his well-attested devotion to Mary, whom he invokes as the mother of evangelisation and â€œwellspring of happiness for Godâ€™s little onesâ€?. For the popeâ€™s apostolic exhortation, see http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/ apost_exhortations/documents/ papa-francesco_esortazioneap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium_en.html. Â„ CNS
In the document, Pope Francis ostolic exhortation on sharing the wrote, â€œSince I am called to put joy of the Gospel is a call to faith- into practice what I ask of others, - I too must think about a converlenges but knowing that Godâ€™s sion of the papacy. It is my duty, as love and lordship will prevail, the bishop of Rome, to be open to said Archbishop Rino Fisichella, suggestions which can help make introducing the text to the media. the exercise of my ministry more The archbishop, president of faithful to the meaning which Jesus - Christ wished to give it and to the ing New Evangelisation, told re- present needs of evangelisation.â€? porters on Nov 26 that Evangelii Pope Francis noted how in the Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel) 1995 encyclical Ut Unum Sint is â€œan invitation to recover a pro- (That All May be One), Blessed phetic and positive vision of real- John Paul II â€œasked for help in ity without ignoring the current " ÂŠ challengesâ€?. primacy which, When the pope while in no way writes about the renouncing what reform of Church is essential to its structures to be mission, is nonealways missiontheless open to a ary or the need to new situationâ€™. We improve homilies have made little or the obligation progress in this reto reach out to the gard,â€? Pope Fran cis said. his insistence that Both archbishthe Church al- Archbishop Rino Fisichella, ops noted how ways will defend # ^ Pope Francis in the life of the un- Council for Promoting New the apostolic exborn, Archbishop Evangelisation. hortation expressFisichella said, es a need for the â€œthe cement which binds all these Church to return to the Second themes together is concentrated in the merciful love of Godâ€?. ways to ensure the worldâ€™s bishArchbishop Lorenzo Baldis- ops, united with the pope, exercise seri, general secretary of the Synod collegiality or shared responsibilof Bishops, said Pope Francis took ity for the mission of the Church. the suggestions made by the 2012 Also, a need for the Church to Synod of Bishops on new evan- move â€œfrom a bureaucratic, static gelisation, â€œmade them his own, and administrative vision of pastore-elaborating them in a personal ral ministry to a perspective which wayâ€? and coming up with â€œa pro- is not only missionary, but is in a grammatic, exhortative documentâ€? permanent state of evangelisationâ€?. on mission in the fullest sense. Archbishop Fisichella said Archbishop Fisichella called people cannot read the docuthe document â€œa map and guideâ€? ment as if the pope were saying for pastoral work in the world. the Churchâ€™s pastoral work can Pope Francis does not simply go in one direction and its docprescribe changes for parishes and trinal teaching can go in another. dioceses, Archbishop Baldisseri ex- â€œDoctrine is how the Church unplained, he also recognises a need derstands the faith, which must to give â€œspecial attention to the ex- be lived out. Pastoral work helps ercise of primacyâ€? by the pope. Catholics to live it.â€? Â„ CNS
â€˜Evangelii Gaudiumâ€™ in a nutshell Â„ The language, unsurprisingly, is a mix of conversational and formal papal magisterial style. Â„ He calls for renewal and rethinking of the way each person and institution lives its faith. Â„ The pope recognises that the Church must be realistic about the challenges individuals and the world pose to belief today, but he also encourages looking for the people, places and trends where God is present. Â„ Pope Francis sees the Christian life as being based on experiencing Godâ€™s love, mercy and salvation offered to all through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Â„ He apologetically spends
a long section talking about the importance of homilies as the one opportunity each week most priests have to encourage Catholics to live the faith. Detailed suggestions on writing the homily and delivering it are included. Â„ The pope recognises that some Church teachings and positions on modern issues are confusing to many people, especially outside the Church. 7 that women cannot be priests since Jesus chose only men as His apostles, but he also says women must be involved more in Church decision-making. Â„ Pope Francis says that the heart of the Christian moral
message is love for one another, which must motivate Christians to share the Gospel, help the poor and work for social justice. Â„ He warns of â€œspiritual worldlinessâ€? which leads good Catholics to be concerned almost exclusively with power or appearances or judging others rather than recognising their own sin and reaching out to others with the same mercy God offers them. Â„ Lastly, the pope highlights Mary not only as a model of ! woman and mother who shared many of the joys and sorrows facing people today and, therefore, understands the challenges they face. Â„ CNS
Sunday December 15, 2013 Â„ CatholicNews
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The whole trouble with resentment MANY of us, I suspect, know about the work of the renowned anthropologist Rene Girard and the dissemination of his insights through the work of his student, Gil Bailie. With gratitude to them, I pass along one of their insights, an invaluable look at how we try to handle resentment in our lives. When astronauts journey into space, their capsules are equipped with a machine that gets rid of the carbon dioxide they produce as they breathe. If that machine breaks down, theyâ€™re in trouble, as was shown in the movie Apollo 13. Travelling inside a space capsule is possible only if thereâ€™s a machine constantly getting rid of the carbon monoxide being produced. Thatâ€™s also true for our human journey. All groups constantly produce the suffocating gas of resentment and jealousy. Resentment is present inside of virtually every human community and family because, as Girard puts it, weâ€™re â€œmimeticâ€?, which means, among other things, that we always want what others have. This inevitably creates = ]$: " the Ten Commandments have to do with jealousy. Whatâ€™s the machine inside human life that tries to rid us of the carbon monoxide of jealousy and resentment? Anthropologists tell us that we try to rid ourselves of tension by scapegoating. How does scapegoating work and how does it get rid of tension? Consider this example: Imagine going out for lunch with a number of your colleagues or co-workers. There will be, as is always the case, ] $Â†" & $7 "@Â† % ! certain people who arenâ€™t there, whom we all dislike, whom we all " " = ! or eccentric presence. 5 " % ! Â‘ " ! ! " particular colleague is, how eccentric one of our co-workers is. In doing that, in highlighting how different or negative to us someone else is, we make our own tensions with each other disappear for that moment. Thatâ€™s the essence of scapegoating. We create community with each other by projecting our tension onto someone else. By exiling that person from our community, we create community with each other; but our unity is then based upon what we are against rather than upon what we are for. All groups, until they reach a certain level of maturity, do this. And we do the same thing to cope with tension in our private lives. It works this way: We get up some mornings and, for a myriad of reasons, feel " "! ÂŠ &]
ÂŠ $ # " " @ , ! $ Invariably we will soon pick someone (in our family, at our place of " % 6 " $# " " wrong, or morally corrupt, or religiously bad will soon bear the weight of our tension and resentment. Moreover, not only will we project our tension onto someone, we will invariably â€œsacraliseâ€? the indignation we feel, that is, we will project our tension and anger onto that other not just because he or she is ! " ignorant, or lazy, but especially because we feel ourselves as morally superior to him or her: weâ€™re right and heâ€™s wrong; weâ€™re good and sheâ€™s bad. Thus our resentment towards that person is a holy resentment, necessary for the cause of God, and truth and goodness. Such are
ÂŠ ÂŠ $ Thatâ€™s the normal human machine to rid ourselves of resentment $> " cisely because a community did this to Him, and did it to Him for holy reasons. But, the ultimate victim of scapegoating, Jesus, invites us to something higher, and He models that for us in the way He died. Jesus took away tension by transforming it rather than by transmitting it. What >
! " " & $5" &
% " ÂŠ $: impurities inside of itself and gives back only pure water. Jesus, as / ! % " 7! by some divine magic but, precisely, by absorbing and transforming $/% " & 7 % it and gave back love; He took in jealousy, held it, transformed it and ! % ÂŚ7 % and gave back compassion; and ultimately, He took in murder, held it, transformed it, and gave back forgiveness. Thatâ€™s the Christian design for taking tension and resentment out of our lives. And, as Danish philospher Soren Kierkegaard suggests, we shouldnâ€™t just admire what Jesus did here, we should imitate it. Â„
Sunday December 15, 2013 Â„ CatholicNews
A papal document calling for sweeping Church reform John L Allen Jr analyses the implications of Pope Francisâ€™ apostolic exhortation
HEREâ€™S no mistaking the fact that Pope Francisâ€™ new apostolic exhortation, Joy of the Gospel, amounts to a call for fairly sweeping change on multiple fronts. At the big-picture level, he says he wants a more missionary and more merciful Church, one less afraid of change than of â€œremaining shut up with structures which give us a false sense of securityâ€?, â€œrules which make us harsh judgesâ€? and â€œhabits which make us feel safeâ€?. At the level of detail, Pope Francis hints at reform in numerous arenas, including a blunt call for a â€œconversion of the papacyâ€? toward a â€œsound decentralisationâ€?. That includes at least one seemingly clear reversal of previous policy: assigning teaching authority to bishopsâ€™ conferences, as opposed to a 1998 ruling under John Paul II denying them precisely that role. Yet thereâ€™s a deeper sense in which The Joy of the Gospel stands in clear continuity with Pope Francisâ€™ immediate predecessor, Benedict XVI, and in particular his 2009 social encyclical Caritas in Veritate.
The deepest ambition of Joy of the Gospel lies in Pope Francisâ€™ dream of a Church that â€˜breathes with both lungsâ€™ regarding mission and justice, uniting its concern for poverty of both the spiritual and the **
Challenging divisions In effect, both documents amount to full-frontal assaults not on Catholic doctrine or discipline, but on contemporary Catholic sociology. Pope Benedict meant to attack the de facto split between the Churchâ€™s pro-life and its peaceand-justice wings while Pope Francis is now challenging another frequent division, between those Catholics most committed to the new evangelisation and those invested in the social Gospel. To be clear, neither of those fractures have anything to do with " actually rejects both. They have everything to do with real life on the ground, however. As happened with Caritas in Veritate, experts will pore over > " & tooth comb, seeking to unpack what Pope Francisâ€™ language might imply on all sorts of questions. Thereâ€™s a risk, however, just like four years ago, that the microscopic examination could miss the forest for the trees. In both cases, the real novelty is that the documents are acts of synthesis, weaving together strains of Catholic thought usually kept separate. Pope Benedict insisted on the organic link between what he called â€œhuman ecologyâ€?, meaning the Churchâ€™s teaching on matters such as abortion and
marriage, and â€œnatural ecologyâ€?, including the environment. As Pope Francis repeats in Joy of the Gospel, Pope Benedict argued that defending the unborn child and defending the poor are two sides of the same coin. Pope Francis is once again trying to do the same thing, uniting " ! ] ergy usually associated with very different constituencies. In his case, theyâ€™re â€œNew Evangelisationâ€?, meaning the effort launched under Pope John Paul II to relight the Churchâ€™s missionary +# ' ring to Catholicismâ€™s engagement on behalf of the poor, immigrants and the environment, as well as its opposition to war, the arms trade, the death penalty and so on. Social dimension Pope Francis devotes an entire section of his text to what he calls â€œthe social dimension of evangelisationâ€?. â€œIf this dimension is not properly brought out,â€? he writes, â€œthere is a constant risk of distorting the authentic and integral meaning of the mission of evangelisationâ€? because â€œboth Christian preaching and life are meant
to have an impact on societyâ€?. He goes on at some length, quoting Bible passages about concern for the poor, and pointedly concludes: â€œThis message is so clear and direct, so simple and eloquent, that no ecclesial interpretation has the right to relativise it.â€? Pope Francis ticks off several issues that ought to be of special Christian concern, including rising income inequality, spreading unemployment and the plight of migrants and refugees. He wields some of his sharpest language in deriding a â€œcrude and naĂŻve trustâ€? in the â€œsacralised workings of the present economic systemâ€? and leaves no doubt that missionary Christians must be change agents vis-Ă -vis a â€œthrow-away cultureâ€?. Making the poor feel welcome, he says, represents â€œthe greatest and most effective presentation of the good news of the kingdomâ€?. At the same time, and despite urging a greater commitment to ecumenical and interfaith dialogue, Pope Francis is also utterly explicit that evangelisation also means bringing people to faith in Jesus Christ. â€œWhat kind of love,â€? the pope asks, â€œwould not feel the need to speak of the beloved, to point Him out, to make Him known?â€?
On the ground Hereâ€™s the thing. That combination between proclaiming the faith and living it out may seem natural and compelling, but itâ€™s often not how things really work at the Catholic grassroots. From personal experience, I can say that one can spend a lot of time at conferences and symposia on the new evangelisation without hearing much about, say, the war in Syria, the human costs of the Eurozone crisis, or the impact of global warming. Similarly, one can attend a truckload of â€œsocial ministryâ€? gatherings without getting much on the sacraments, the life of prayer, Marian devotions or growth in personal holiness. Thatâ€™s an over-generalisation, but anybody whoâ€™s been around the block in the Catholic Church will recognise the scent of truth. Protagonists in both the contemporary Catholic renaissance in apologetics and evangelisation and in the Churchâ€™s social activism sometimes regard what the other party is up to as a distraction. Evangelisers sometimes say that a non-governmental organisation or a political party can ! the Church can preach Christ.
Social activists reply by insisting that rhetoric about a loving God means little to people whose lives are broken by misery and injustice. From the point of view of Catholic teaching, both are absolutely right, which leads one to wonder what they might be able to accomplish by working together. Promoting that spirit of common cause, one could argue, is the beating heart of Joy of the Gospel. Pope John Paul II used to invoke the image of a Church that â€œbreathes with both lungsâ€?, which he used to talk about unity between Eastern and Western Christianity. Pope Benedict tried to apply it to the relationship between pro-life and social justice work with, it has to be said, mixed results. The deepest ambition of Joy of the Gospel lies in Pope Francisâ€™ dream of a Church that breathes with both lungs regarding mission and justice, uniting its concern for poverty of both the spiritual and ] & &! $ ma of his papacy, in a sense, lies in how well he may be able to pull it off. Â„ NCR The writer is senior correspondent for the +*7
22 FAITH ALIVE!
Sunday December 15, 2013 Â„ CatholicNews
By David Gibson You can count on TV advertisers every year to display during the holiday season, images of perfect family harmony before your very eyes. The thinly-veiled suggestion in these commercials is that your householdâ€™s harmony will escalate dramatically if you give whatever they are selling to someone near and dear to you on Christmas. These commercials also hope to connect with the common wish for a period of closeness and love at home. Christmas, after all, is a day people not only look forward to, but hope to remember happily months later. But all indications are that perfectly harmonious homes are relatively few. In many cases, the preceding months also have known their share of angry words, failed efforts to communicate and cold shoulders. Occasions when family members were impatient with each other or took little interest in each otherâ€™s concerns may lurk in the holiday seasonâ€™s background. Often enough, therefore, Christmas arrives bearing an invitation of forgiveness at home. Christmas encourages the revitalisation of marriage bonds and bonds with children, relatives, friends and others. If people have hurt each other in the course of the year, that could make Christmas a day of forgiveness. Precisely because He became one of
By Louise McNulty It is said that holding a grudge adversely affects the person hanging on to the hurt much more than it affects the person who is the source of the injury. The latter may be someone who is generally insensitive to the feelings of others or who meant no harm but is confused by the injured personâ€™s coldness. That injurer may even have moved on with his or her life. Yet the injured party who persists in holding a grudge often becomes consumed by bitterness, which may turn into festering hatred. The idea of forgiveness as a
FORGIVENESS us, because He is an incarnate Lord, Christ at Christmas boldly asserts the dignity and the worth of all who are human â€“ sometimes very, very human. Christmas, then, offers a unique invitation to remember all that is good in others we love but perhaps do not like at this moment quite as much as we might.
Christmas gift may be appealing, but it should not come into a conversation laced with words of rebuke such as, â€œI forgive you for all the nasty things youâ€™ve done to me in the past. Letâ€™s start over.â€? Forgiveness can come in the stillness of our hearts. The only thing the forgiven should notice is a healthy approach to renewed relationship. The holidays present the best opportunity to put away the ghost of hostility, since we are likely to bump into those who have injured us. At holiday gatherings, thereâ€™s the likelihood of a face-to-face encounter with them. Forgiveness can come as the initiation of a friendly conver-
This isnâ€™t always easy, of course. Pope Francis talked about the nuts and bolts of family life and marriage in a late October speech to participants in a Year of Faith pilgrimage of families to Rome. â€œPlease forgive meâ€? are words family members need to hear from each other, Pope Francis said. â€œThen,â€? he continued, â€œyou start over.â€?
Start over? Yes, one great thing about forgiveness is that it allows people to start over, in big and little ways to make a new beginning in a relationship. Forgiveness does not erase past hurts $) giveness a form of permission for others to harm us again or recklessly create prob $#" " " we determine that the past need not control our relationship now. In the closest of relationships people may gradually drift apart, becoming like strangers. For them, choosing to start again could mean reversing the habit of turning away from each other and instead turning toward each other. According to many experts, this requires listening to each other and respecting â€“ never simply dismissing â€“ each otherâ€™s points of view. It can mean realising, too, that â€œgetting evenâ€? or seeking revenge is a step backward, not forward, in a relationship. People â€œstart againâ€? in relationships by placing a weightier accent on what they appreciate and love in each other than on what $ Forgiveness allows people to start over and remove the walls that divide them. Â„ Gibson served on Catholic News Serviceâ€™s editorial staff for 37 years.
sation with the person who has â€œdone us wrongâ€?. If the offender is a family member with a record of hurting others, just say a quick, silent prayer before approaching the person. Try to remember that sometimes the person who hurts others often feels deeply hurt or inadequate. Sarcasm or caustic remarks are an attempt to even the odds. Matthew 6:14-15 recalls Christâ€™s words on this topic, â€œIf you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.â€? Â„ McNulty is a freelance writer in Akron, Ohio.
Christmas is a time for renewal, for seeking forgiveness and strengthening bonds with family, friends and neighbours.
PENITENTIAL/CHRISTMAS MASS SCHEDULE 23
Sunday December 15, 2013 CatholicNews
ARCHDIOCESE OF SINGAPORE
Penitential Services CITY Church of St Bernadette Dec 13: 8.00pm Church of St Teresa Dec 16: 8.00pm Church of St Michael Dec 17: 8.00pm Church of St Alphonsus (Novena) Dec 18: 8.00pm Church of Sts Peter and Paul Dec 19: 8.00pm Church of Our Lady of Lourdes Dec 20: 8.00pm Dec 22: 8.45am & 5.45pm (Tamil) EAST Church of Divine Mercy Dec 12: 8.00pm Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Dec 13: 10.30am, 8.00pm Church of the Holy Trinity Dec 16: 10.30am, 8.00pm Church of Our Lady Queen of Peace Dec 17: 8.00pm Church of St Stephen Dec 18: 8.00pm Church of the Holy Family Dec 19: 10.30am, 8.00pm NORTH Church of Christ the King Dec 13: 10.30am, 8.00pm Church of St Anthony Dec 16: 8.00pm
St Joseph Church (BT) Dec 17: 8.00pm Church of the Holy Spirit Dec 18: 10.30am, 8:00pm Church of the Risen Christ Dec 19: 10.30am, 8.00pm Church of Our Lady Star of the Sea Dec 20: 8.00pm SERANGOON Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Dec 16: 8.00pm St Anne’s Church Dec 17: 8.00pm Church of St Francis Xavier Dec 18: 8.00pm Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Dec 19: 8.00pm Church of St Vincent de Paul Dec 20: 8.00pm WEST Church of St Ignatius Dec 16: 8.00pm Church of the Holy Cross Dec 17: 8.00pm Blessed Sacrament Church Dec 18: 8.00pm Church of St Mary of the Angels Dec 19: 8.00pm Church of St Francis of Assisi Dec 20: 8.00pm
Theme: Closing The Year of Faith Organised by Fr Angel C. Luciano, CICM and Filipino Parish organisations in Singapore Dec 15, Sunday, 8pm GOD THE CREATOR
CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES
Jenny Arancon (9342-5839)
CHURCH OF ST ANTHONY
Francis Cepe (9476-1255) / Tony Odiada (9139-1180)
Dec 20, Friday, 8pm EVANGELIZATION
CHURCH OF THE HOLY CROSS
Lalang Castro (9176-9340) / Bong Nungay (9040-1529)
CHURCH OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Maleen Ngan (9786-7143) / Violet Liew (9154-2797)
CHURCH OF SAINT STEPHEN
Manulet Bulaong (9125-8086) / Rey De Luna (9745-3947)
CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
Nes Sanio (9366-9584) / Malou Tay (9766-9971)
Dec 16, Monday, 8pm JESUS CHRIST SAINT JOSEPH’S CHURCH (VICTORIA ST)
Jenny Arancon (9342-5839) CHURCH OF SAINT MARY OF THE ANGELS
Mark Perico (9648-8038) / Joanne Marquina (8200-3496) CHURCH OF OUR LADY STAR OF THE SEA
Gerard Arceo (9488-0407) /|Butch Sarmiento (9134-9109) CHURCH OF SAINT VINCENT DE PAUL
Third Gutlay (9634-0743) / Luz Gutlay (9137-6938) Dec 17, Tuesday, 8pm MARY CHURCH OF THE RISEN CHRIST
Tosing Kew (9624-6061) / Veronica Oreste (9746-7143) CHURCH OF SAINT VINCENT DE PAUL
Third Gutlay (9634-0743) / Luz Gutlay (9137-6938) Dec 18, Wednesday, 8pm THE HOLY SPIRIT SAINT ANNE’S CHURCH
Geraldine Quiambao (9235-9267) CHURCH OF SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI
Agnes Paculdar (8123-5158) / Daisy Ducusin (9363-6408) CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES
Jenny Arancon (9342-5839) CHURCH OF SAINT VINCENT DE PAUL
Third Gutlay (9634-0743) / Luz Gutlay (9137-6938) Dec 19, Thursday, 8pm THE BODY OF CHRIST CHURCH OF CHRIST THE KING
Betty Cervantes (9658-2456) / Robert Mendoza (9040-8946)
ST JOSEPH’S CHURCH (VICTORIA STREET)
Dec 24: 9.00pm, M’nite Mass Dec 25: 9.00am, 11.00am (Latin) CHURCH OF STS PETER & PAUL Dec 24: 9.00pm (M*), 11.30pm Pageant, M’nite Mass Dec 25: 8.30am (M*), 11.00am CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES Dec 24: 8.00pm (Carolling), 8.30pm (Mass), 10.00pm (Carolling & Pageant, T*), 10.30pm (Mass, T*) Dec 25: 9.00am, 10.30am (T*), 6.30pm (T*) CHURCH OF THE SACRED HEART Dec 24: 9.00pm (M*), M’nite Mass Dec 25: 9.00am, 10.30am, 12noon CHURCH OF ST TERESA Dec 24: 8.00pm, M’nite Mass Dec 25: 8.30am, 10.30am and 12.30pm CHURCH OF ST ALPHONSUS
Simbang Gabi sa 2013
CHURCH OF SAINT IGNATIUS Contact Persons: Rilyn Binas (9791-8677) / Melinda Dumalogdog (8332-7821)
Dec 21, Saturday, 8pm FAITH AND CHARITY CHURCH OF SAINT TERESA
Eric Arroyo (8571-9814) / Gilbert Naguit (9247-4555) Dec 22, Sunday, 8pm CATECHESIS CHURCH OF SAINT MICHAEL
Rev Fr Angel C Luciano, Cicm (6392-0592) CHURCH OF THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY
Ma Victoria Balan (8247-4582) CHURCH OF SAINT BERNADETTE
Edilberto Endeno (9658-3526) / Dodeth Vergara (8444-0213) Dec 23, Monday, 8pm ONE CHURCH BLESSED SACRAMENT CHURCH
Armand Laspona (9227-2160) / Chris Pacia (8264-8159) Dec 24, Tuesday, 6pm NEW LIFE IN CHRIST CHURCH OF SAINT ALPHONSUS (NOVENA)
Rey Tatoy (9012-2243) / Nanette Ong (9145-6058) CHURCH OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL
Jenny Arancon (9342-5839) Daily Masses to be held in the following Parishes: CHURCH OF DIVINE MERCY
Rizaldy Sapiera (8484-8065) BLESSED SACRAMENT CHURCH
Armand Laspona (9227-2160) / Chris Pacia (8264-8159) CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL SUCCOUR
Christian Blas (9852-9873) / Christina Malijan (9151-7925)
Dec 24: 9.30pm (Carolling), 10.00pm (Pageant), 10.30pm (Mass) Dec 25: 9.00am, 5.30pm CHURCH OF ST BERNADETTE Dec 24: 9.30pm, M’nite Mass Dec 25: 8.00am (M*), 9.30am, 11.00am, 3.00pm (Indonesian) CHURCH OF ST MICHAEL Dec 24: 7.00pm (Pageant & carolling) 8.00pm Mass, 10.45pm Pageant & carolling), M’nite Mass Dec 25: 8.00am (M*), 9.30am, 5.30pm WEST
CHURCH OF ST IGNATIUS Dec 24: 5.30pm, 11.00pm Dec 25: 8.15am, 10.15am, 12.00pm, 6.00pm BLESSED SACRAMENT CHURCH Dec 24: 7.00pm (M), 9.30pm, M’nite Mass Dec 25: 7.30am, 9.00am (M), 10.45am, 3.30pm (Bahasa Indonesia), 5.30pm CHURCH OF ST MARY OF THE ANGELS Dec 24: 8.30pm (Children’s Mass), M’nite Mass Dec 25: 7.30am (M*), 9.00am, 10.45am, 12.30pm CHURCH OF ST FRANCIS OF ASSISI Dec 24: 6.00pm (Tamil), 8.30pm (Malayalam), 8.30pm (carolling followed by Mass in Mandarin), M’nite Mass Dec 25: 7.30am, 9.00am,11.00am CHURCH OF THE HOLY CROSS Dec 24: 7.30pm (Family Mass), 9.30pm (M*), M’nite Mass Dec 25: 7.30am, 9.30am, 11.15am
CHURCH OF THE HOLY FAMILY Dec 24: 9.00pm, M’nite Mass Dec 25: 9.15am & 11.15am, 6.00pm (M*) CHURCH OF OUR LADY QUEEN OF PEACE Dec 24: 9.30pm (M*), M’nite Mass Dec 25: 9.00am (M*), 10.45am & 5.30pm CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL SUCCOUR Dec 24: 6.00pm (Children’s Mass), 9.00pm & M’nite Mass Dec 25: 7.30am (M*), 8.45am; 10.30am; 12.15pm & 6.00pm CHURCH OF ST STEPHEN Dec 24: 11.30pm Carolling, M’nite Mass Dec 25: 8.00am (M*), 10.00am, 6.00pm CHURCH OF THE HOLY TRINITY Dec 24: 7.00pm (Children Mass), M’nite Mass Dec 25: 8.00am (M*), 9.30am, 11.15am, 6.00pm CHURCH OF DIVINE MERCY Dec 24: 7.00pm (Children’s Pageant followed by Mass), 9.00pm (Cantata), 9.30pm Mass, 11.00pm (Cantata), M’nite Mass Dec 25: 9.00am; 11.30am & 5.30pm NORTH
ST JOSEPH CHURCH (BUKIT TIMAH) Dec 24: 8.00pm Pageant (M*), 9.00pm Mass (M*), 11.00pm Carolling, M’nite Mass Dec 25: 8.00am, 10.00am CHURCH OF ST ANTHONY Dec 24: 7.30pm (M*), 9.30pm, M’nite Mass Dec 25: 11.00am, 6.00pm CHURCH OF OUR LADY STAR OF THE SEA Dec 24: 5.00pm, 6.30pm (T*), M’nite Mass
Dec 25: 8.00am (M*), 9.30am, 11.00am & 5.00pm CHURCH OF THE HOLY SPIRIT Dec 24: 5.30pm (Children’s Mass), M’nite Mass Dec 25: 7.00am, 9.00am. & 11.00am CHURCH OF THE RISEN CHRIST Dec 24: 8.00pm, 11.00pm Dec 25: 7.00am, 8.15am (M*), 9.45am, 11.30am, 6.00pm CHURCH OF CHRIST THE KING Dec 24: 6.00pm (Children’s Mass), 9.00pm, M’nite Mass (Cantata 30 mins before Mass) Dec 25: 8.15am (M*), 9.45am, 11.30am & 5.30pm SERANGOON CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY OF THE BVM Dec 24: 7.00pm (pageant), 7.30pm (Mass), 9.00pm (carolling, M*), 9.30pm (Mass, M*), 11.15pm (carolling), M’nite Mass Dec 25: 7.30am, 9.15am, 11.00am CHURCH OF THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY Dec 24: 9.00pm (Children’s Mass), M’nite Mass Dec 25: 8.00am, 10.00am, 6.15pm CHURCH OF ST FRANCIS XAVIER Dec 24: 6.00pm, 9.00pm, M’nite Mass Dec 25: 9.00am, 11.00am & 5.30pm ST ANNE’S CHURCH Dec 24: 8.00pm, M’nite Mass Dec 25: 7.15am, 9.00am, 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 Note. M*: Mandarin; T*: Tamil Information correct at time of printing. Please check with parishes for updates.
Sunday December 15, 2013 Â„ CatholicNews
By Joe Sarnicola
Even the tax collectors came to John, asking, â€œTeacher, what should A MAN named John, son of Zecha- " @' > " +# riah, received the word of God when collecting more than what is prehe was in the desert. After that he scribed.â€? travelled throughout Jordan proclaimWhen the soldiers came and ing the forgiveness of sins through asked, â€œAnd what is it that we should baptism. By doing this, John was â€œa @'> +B voice of one crying out in the desert, extortion, do not falsely accuse anyâ€˜Prepare the way of the Lord, make ! " " $' straight his paths,â€™â€? which had been John was so revered by the peoprophesied by Isaiah. ple that they thought he might be the When the crowds of people Messiah that had been promised. But came to John to be baptised, he said John said, â€œI am baptising you with to them, â€œYou brood of vipers! Who water, for repentance, but the one who " ] " @ is coming after me is mightier than I. Produce good fruit as evidence of I am not worthy to carry His sandals. your repentance.â€? He will baptise you with the Holy The people in return asked John, # $' +, " @' On a very special day Jesus Himâ€œWhoever has two tunics should self came to John to be baptised. Afshare with the person who has none. ter Jesus had been baptised and was And whoever has food should do like- praying, the heavens opened up and wise.â€? 7 # " >
B 4398&3Â&#x;Â˘6 " #
!" born in Rome. Although little is known about his ministry in the Church through much of his life, he was chosen to be the pope after the death of /! 3Â‹Â‹$ Unfortunately a small but violent minority favoured a man called Ursinus as pope. These people caused considerable tension and opposition for B ! fully defeated their lies and accusations in court. B "
# > rome, and he encouraged others to follow the saintâ€™s example of studying the Bible. He worked very hard to preserve religious relics and the gravesites of many martyrs. We honour B ÂŒÂŒ$ Â„
PUZZLE: Put an â€œXâ€? next to the people or items who were part of the story of the birth of Jesus. ___ 1. Shepherds
___ 5. Angels
___ 2. Ark of the Covenant
___ 6. Solomonâ€™s temple
___ 3. Moses
___ 7. Mary
___ 4. Manger
___ 8. Abraham
Read more about it: Mt 3 and 4, Lk 3
Q&A 1. Which prophet foretold about the voice in the desert? 2. What did John say the Messiah would baptise people with?
Wordsearch: Â„ RESISTED Â„ SPREAD Â„ SOLDIERS Â„ VIPERS Â„ FRUIT Â„ DESERT Â„ CROWDS Â„ SCANDALS Â„ POWER
Bible Accent: > Â†
our religious heritage. His story is told in all four Gospels. Luke 1 tells us how Zechariah prayed God would bless him with a child, and an angel declared his wife, Elizabeth, would have a son who would be named John. /% > " + " 7 # " !'$ portant role of John was as the person who let the world know the ministry of Jesus was about to begin, and that ministry began with the baptism of Jesus by John. Although John was the son of a priest, he was a very solitary man who dressed plainly and lived on a simple food diet. God chose this humble man to be the one to announce the arrival of His son, Jesus. Â„
Answer to Wordsearch
" " 7 # $7 gogues, and news of His teaching quickly spread throughout the area. Â„
Answers to Puzzle: Shepherds, Manger, Angels, Mary
SPOTLIGHT ON SAINTS:
in the form of a dove. A voice from heaven declared, â€œThis is my beloved # "" : " $' Now that He had been baptised, Jesus was able to begin His own min$Â† 7 # 7 into the desert, where He stayed for 40 days. Here He was tempted by the devil. Three times Jesus was tempted, and each time He resisted that temp !Âž # $ Jesus left the desert and went
WHATâ€™S ON 25
Sunday December 15, 2013 Â„ CatholicNews
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. catholic.sg/webevent_form.php NOW TILL DECEMBER 22 DAUGHTERS OF ST PAUL CHRISTMAS OUTREACH AT JURONG POINT 11am-9pm: Except Mondays. Annual Christmas outreach with push cart containing gift items to help one grow in faith. A reminder to all that Christ is the reason for Christmas. At Jurong Point Level 1 (opposite Bata). DECEMBER 9 FEAST OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION (TAMIL) 12-2pm: Rosary and prayers in Tamil followed by Mass celebrated by Fr Anthony Hutjes with rosary procession and benediction. At Blessed Sacrament Church. T: 6474 5249, 9678 3855 (Margaret) DECEMBER 9 FEAST OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 11.30am: The Feast of the Immaculate Conception will be celebrated on Dec 9 instead of Dec 8 as the latter is a Sunday. Prayers and rosary at 11.30am with confession available followed by Mass at 1pm. At Church of Sts Peter and Paul. DECEMBER 12 MASS IN HONOUR OF OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE 6-7.30pm: With pro-life rosary followed by Mass. Special blessings for pregnant mothers and their spouses. At Novena Church (300 Thomson Rd). T: 6488 0278 ext 277; E: email@example.com DECEMBER 13 MEDITATIVE PRAYER WITH TAIZE CHANTS 8-9.30pm: At Kingsmead Centre for Ignatian Spirituality â€“ Hall of the Pilgrim (8 Victoria Park Rd). T: 9837 7256 (Benny); E: firstname.lastname@example.org DECEMBER 18 RELAXATION EXERCISES IN CHINESE 10-11am: Therapeutic breathing and guided imagery exercises will be taught to release tension, boost energy and mood to help one stay calm and stable in midst of the stresses of life. By Clarity Singapore. At Block 854 #01-3511, Yishun Ring Road. Register: 6757 7990 (T); E: email@example.com DECEMBER 20 CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? 8-10pm: The award winning St. Francis Xavier Youth Choir will be holding a concert which features a musical written by Fr Francis Oâ€™Brien. The music explores Godâ€™s call to humanity and various responses illustrated through the lives of biblical characters and contemporary believers. Tickets at $30 and $50. At SJI International Chapel. Ticket sales T: 9670 9482 (Amanda). DECEMBER 22 CATHOLIC SINGLES MASS AND POTLUCK 10am-2pm: Join us for a Mass & potluck. Please bring some food to share with others. 2014 events to be discussed after lunch. At Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour. Register E: CatholicSingle@gmail.com (Gerard); W: https://www.facebook.com/ CatholicSinglesSingapore DECEMBER 24 CHRISTMAS PAGEANT 7pm &10.45pm: Written and directed by Sylvia Ang and Brian Bartholomew. At Christmas, a family is reminded of hope. At Church of St Michael. All welcome. E: firstname.lastname@example.org; W: www.saintmichael.sg MARRIAGE PREPARATION COURSE Q1 starts 23 Feb - 30 Mar 2014 Q2 starts 27 Apr - 01 Jun 2014 Q3 starts 20 Jul - 24 Aug 2014 Q4 starts 12 Oct - 16 Nov 2014 For couples intending to get married, please register early as the course runs for 6 weeks at one session per week. 5 & & & ! $ Â‘ application forms from your Parish
RCIA/RCIY A journey for those seeking to know more about the Catholic faith. Baptised Catholics are also invited to journey as sponsors.
Glasgow archbishop tells of shock after seeing crash images
THURSDAYS DECEMBER 19 RCIA @ CHURCH OF ST MICHAEL 7.45pm: At Church of St Michael (17 St Michaelâ€™s Road). Register T: 9090 5308; E: email@example.com SUNDAYS JANUARY 5, 2014 RCIY @ CHURCH OF THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY 11am-1pm: For youth between the ages of 13 to 24. At Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (24 Highland Rd). Register T: 98751235 (Daniel) / 97108145 (Seishen); E: firstname.lastname@example.org. ( ÂŚ,Â‘ $ $ÂŤ $ T: 93673411 (Peter/Rita); E: email@example.com MONDAYS JANUARY 6 TO MARCH 17 2014 LANDINGS 8-10pm: Know someone whoâ€™s been away from Church and wish to come back? Reach out to the away Catholics you know and connect them to Landings, a ministry that welcomes those exploring a return to Church. At Church of the Holy Spirit. Register by Dec 31. T: 9688 0920 (Tony); E: firstname.lastname@example.org JANUARY 11 2014 FELIZ NAVIDAD 3&ÂŁ Â‘5& Âˆ) " Year celebration with exciting games, group activities, amazing music, skits, choreography, spiritual talks, carols, dinner etc. By Jesus Youth Singapore Campus Ministry. Calling all students of Uni/JC/Poly/ITE to participate. At Church of the Risen Christ Parish Hall (91 Toa Payoh Central). Register E: email@example.com; W: http://singapore.jesusyouth.org/news/ feliz-navidad JANUARY 11 2014 MEDITATIVE PRAYER WITH TAIZE CHANTS 8-9.30pm: At The Armenian Church of St Gregory the Illuminator (60 Hill Street). T: 9837 7256 (Benny); E: firstname.lastname@example.org SUNDAY JANURARY 12 TO SATURDAY JANUARY 18 2014 WEEK OF GUIDED PRAYER Learn to pray with Scriptures using Ignatian Contemplation and Lectio Divina. There will be one-on-one meetings with a prayer guide during the week. With taster afternoon on Jan 12 from 2-5pm. At Church of St Mary of the Angels. Contribution: $30. Register W: http://www.catholic.org.sg/sojourners; E: email@example.com WEDNESDAYS JANUARY 15 TO MARCH 26 2014 BIBLE STUDY OF EPISTLE TO HEBREWS 9.30-11.30am: The Letter to the Hebrews will help us to understand the Person of Christ as our High Priest: Please bring a Bible, CCC & a notebook. Cost: $10. By Bible Apostolate (A.M) of the Church of the Holy Spirit. At Church of the Holy Spirit (Room A2-01). Register T: 8228 8220 (Clare); E: HSBibleApostolate@gmail.com Equiries: E: pastoral@holyspirit. firstname.lastname@example.org JANUARY 15 2014 SJI OPEN HOUSE FOR 2014 JC 1 APPLICATION 10 am-3pm: International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) for boys and girls. IBDP information talks. Curriculum & CAS exhibitions. extended essays showcases. Applications open for scholarships and merit bursaries. At 21 Bishan St 14. Register W: www.sji.edu.sg; Enquiries E: email@example.com THURSDAYS JANUARY 16 TO MARCH 27 2014 THE PASSION AND RESURRECTION NARRATIVES OF JESUS CHRIST 9.30-11.30am: Msgr Ambrose Vaz lectures on The Passion & Resurrection Narratives of Jesus Christ. All welcome. Free. At Church of St Ignatius Annexe Hall Level 2. E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Well-wishers comfort each other on Dec 1 as they place a bouquet near the site where a police helicopter crashed into a pub in Glasgow, Scotland. GLASGOW, SCOTLAND â€“ Glas-
gow Archbishop Philip Tartaglia was winding down for the evening when a police helicopter plunged through the roof of a popular pub near his cathedral, killing at least nine people. â€œI was just about to turn in last night and â€“ you know the way the television is on and you are not quite listening â€“ and I just saw this ] I thought, â€˜Oh my God, itâ€™s Glasgow,â€™â€? he said during his homily
at a special Mass on Nov 30 at St Andrewâ€™s Cathedral. The tragedy struck late on Nov 29, on the eve of the feast of St Andrew, Scotlandâ€™s patron saint. Witnesses said the police helicopter â€œfell like a stoneâ€? through the roof of the pub, which held an estimated 120 people. Six were killed and more than 30 injured. Investigators were still trying to establish the cause of the crash on Dec 2. On Nov 30, Archbishop Tart-
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aglia asked priests from the cathedral to offer assistance to the injured and to grieving families. â€œMy heart goes out to all those who have been affected by this tragic accident,â€? he said in a statement, adding that prayers would be offered â€œfor everyone, especially for those who have died, for the injured, and for the bereavedâ€?. â€œMay the gentle presence of > cult time,â€? he said. Â„ CNS
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Sunday December 15, 2013 Â„ CatholicNews
Keeping the faith alive after Typhoon Haiyan, and asking God â€˜whyâ€™ PALO,
PHILIPPINES â€“ Seven priests of the Archdiocese of Palo were ordained amid the ruins of the typhoon-ravaged Cathedral of ( / on Nov 25. Although Super Typhoon Haiyan caused the roof of the 16thcentury cathedral to collapse and destroy much of the interior furnishings, Archbishop John Forrosuelo Du decided to ordain the priests in the church as a sign of hope for the Catholic community. â€œWe may have lost everything, but our faith is becoming stronger ever. No trial or storm or typhoon can destroy our resolve to have faith in Jesus. And it should be manifested in action,â€? Fr Amadeo Alvero, the archdioceseâ€™s spokesman, told the Asian Church news agency ucanews.com. He said the ordinations served as a â€œconcrete actionâ€? to show the peopleâ€™s faith in God despite the devastation brought about by Typhoon Haiyan, that claimed more than 5,200 lives and left millions of people homeless. Up to 95 percent of structures in Palo, including churches, were destroyed by the typhoon. The city of 62,000 people is located in the south of Tacloban, one of the provinces scoured by the storm. â€œWe are still not so sure where we will get the funds for the repairs considering that everybody here is a victim,â€? Fr Alvero said. In Rome, a Philippine community had gathered in St Peterâ€™s Basilica on Nov 21 to place a mosaic of St Pedro Calungsod in the
A man lights a candle on Nov 25 as he pays respects to a deceased relative at a mass grave near St Joaquin Church in the province of Leyte, Philippines.
churchâ€™s grotto. The ceremony, planned months ago, turned into a prayer service for the deceased and the survivors of the typhoon. Cardinal Luis Tagle of Manila led the prayers, speaking not only of the sorrow and suffering the mega-storm caused, but also of the faith, love and solidarity evident in its aftermath. Joining the pilgrims, Pope Francis thanked the cardinal for his â€œwords full of faith, full of pain, full of hopeâ€?. The pope added that the question of why there are natural disasters is something he also asks. â€œWhy do these things happen? It canâ€™t be explained. There are many things that we cannot understand.â€? But then, the pope said, he
Sri Lankan bishop: Casinos a threat to countryâ€™s â€˜dignityâ€™ COLOMBO â€“ The Catholic Church
in Sri Lanka is opposed to the building of a casino complex in the village of Katana (Western province). AsiaNews Church agency reported that the Sri Lankan government had decided to turn Katana into â€œSanwardhana Wattaâ€?, a luxury tourist hub, as the village is in close proximity to the international airport in Katunayake. This luxury tourist hub will be home to & $ The Sri Lankan Board of Investment announced in July 2012 that it signed an agreement with tourism developer Katana City Developments, to plan Sri Lan% & ? in Katana, near the Bandaranaike International Airport. : nal Malcolm Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo and president of the Episcopal Conference, expressed â€œthe of this move, [as it is made] to sell the cultural and spiritual dignity of
thinks of children who are just starting to understand that there are things they donâ€™t understand. They start asking their parents, â€œWhy? Why? Why?â€? ( + child does not wait for an answer
; 7 # #Â€ Lord on Nov 17. Seven priests of the Archdiocese of Palo were ordained amid the ruins of the cathedral on Nov 25. CNS photos
from his father or motherâ€?, but just adds more questions. In effect, the child is seeking attention from his mother or father more than answers, the pope said. â€œHe needs his parentsâ€™ eyes, their hearts, to be focused on him.â€?
In times of trouble, the pope told the Philippine community, â€œnever tire of asking â€˜whyâ€™ like a child. That way, you will turn the gaze of our Father to your people; you will attract the tenderness of our heavenly Father.â€? Â„ CNS
Archbishop of Yangon : Interreligious dialogue only way for Rohingya issue YANGON, MYANMAR â€“ â€œInterreli-
gious dialogue would be the best solution to solve the Rohingya issue. Serious dialogue among religious leaders will have more weight than any political decision,â€? said Yangon Archbishop Charles Bo. He was commenting on the major tensions in Myanmar. " ! " the Arakanese of Myanmar and the Rohingya Muslims, and the rape and murder of a young Buddhist woman last year. The latter event also sparked a spiral of terror which caused hundreds of deaths and destroyed homes with over 160,000 displaced people who had to seek refuge abroad. â€œThe situation of the Rohingya is very delicate and at the centre of a vast debate,â€? said Archbishop Bo, adding that â€œitâ€™s unlikely that
Yangon Archbishop Charles Bo
the United Nations can exert real pressure on Myanmarâ€?. But the prelate still believes â€œthe good will of allâ€? is needed. He said that citizens have a fear of Muslims and â€œthe international
Muslim community must strive to understand the situation. Having said that, I feel compassion for the Muslims of the country. They live in situations of constant concern and threat to their safety.â€? Therefore, Archbishop Bo said that the solution is to have inter-religious dialogue. â€œThe Buddhist, Muslim and Christian leadership should meet more often and show more understanding. Where there is dialogue, hate speech and misunderstandings give way to solidarity and empathy.â€? He also asks that schools teach religion so that pupils â€œcan learn about the positive aspects of other faithsâ€?. And even the Buddhist monks, he said, should learn about â€œhow much beauty there is in Christianity and Islamâ€?. According to the UN, there are at least 800,000 Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. Â„ ASIANEWS
Seoul priestâ€™s remarks spark anger SEOUL â€“ â€œWe Christians cannot
Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith. CNS photo
Sri Lanka for economic purposesâ€?. According to Cardinal Ranjith, â€œthis move will threaten the traditional spiritual values of our motherland. This land, which feeds most of the great religious traditions of the world, is not for sale. And I ask those who love our country to protect it and to oppose this project. Yes to development, but not at the cost of our dignity.â€? Â„ ASIANEWS
play the role of Pilate, washing our hands [...]. We must be involved in politics, [but] it is not the role of the pastors of the Church to intervene directly in the political structuring and organisation of social life,â€? said Archbishop Andrew Yeom Soo-jung of Seoul. This was said following a controversy sparked by a priestâ€™s comments about South Korean politics. It started when Fr Park Changshin was celebrating a Mass on
Nov 22, and made comments about alleged election fraud and interference by the countryâ€™s intelligence services in its social and political life. During his address, Fr Park talked about the â€œprocess of creating an enemyâ€?, and South Koreaâ€™s undemocratic climate. Towards the end, he noted that it was natural for North Korea to attack Yeonpyeong Island because the South and the US held military exercises near its sea border. These remarks outraged the
government and President Park Geun-hyeâ€™s ruling party, leading to an investigation of Fr Park. South Korean nationalists also launched a campaign against the Catholic Church. A bomb scare on Nov 25 forced the closure of Myeongdong Cathedral as a precau " inundated with protest calls. A group of veterans also tried to storm Myeongdong Cathedral, but were held back by police deployed around the building due to the bomb scare. Â„ ASIANEWS
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Published on Dec 10, 2013
Why new evangelisation is vital for Church renewal. Church representatives discuss the way ahead for the archdiocese at a recent forum.