Catholic News Issue 26 2018

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A publication of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore


MCI (P) 076/06/2018

PPS 201/04/2013 (022940)

VOL 68

NO. 26



Dear Sisters and Brothers inChrist and all our valued readers, come and be part of the force that’ll shape the future of our Catholic News. Support us by taking part in our first ever online survey! Simply visit and give us your honest opinion. Our survey should take about six minutes of your time, but the fruits of your effort will definitely help us leap into the future. Additionally, we will appreciate your participation in a Focus Group discussion with us. This is so we can gain more insights to improve your Catholic News experience. The Focus Group discussion should take no more than two hours of your time. We are looking for about 30 participants from different age groups for this purpose. Date of Focus Group discussion: 12 Jan 2019 (Saturday) Time: 2.30pm to 4.30pm Venue: Cathedral Annex Building, Level 3 Hall Required participant groups: (6 persons per group) Silver Generation: aged 71 years and above Seniors: aged 60 to 70 years Working Adults: aged 36 to 59 years Young Adults: aged 23 to 35 years Youth: aged 16 to 22 years

Sunday December 23, 2018  CatholicNews

German Catholics, Protestants mark Silent Night’s 200th anniversary

The Catholic choir of St Elisabeth (above) and the German Gospel Choir (below) performing at the Church of St Teresa.

We encourage you to be part of this experience. Please email to your Name, Email and Phone Number. A confirmation email will be sent to confirmed participants on a first come first served basis. Thank you and we hope to hear from you soon. Have a blessed Christmas!


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From The Catholic News Team

Bernadette Lee A hush fell over the crowd as young and old listened to “Silent Night” sung in Singapore’s four official languages. The 120-strong crowd was listening to German-speaking Catholics and Protestants celebrating the popular carol’s 200th anniversary at the Church of St Teresa on Dec 2, the start of the Advent season. “Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht! – 200 years of a Christmas carol on world tour” was an initiative by the Austrian Embassy, and coorganised by both the Protestant and Catholic German-speaking congregations in Singapore and the German Embassy. It saw the Catholic choir of St Elisabeth and the German Gospel Choir taking turns to sing various German hymns such as “Christmas Praise”, and then singing “Silent Night” in its original German, followed by

English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil to an audience made up of locals and foreigners. Said Ms Karin Fichtinger-Grohe, the Austrian Ambassador to Singapore: “Given that the song celebrates its 200th birthday this year, we wanted to seize the opportunity and invite Singaporeans to make their start into the Advent season in German. What could be better than sharing tranquillity and peace through ‘Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!’” (The carol’s title in German). The event also saw Father Hans-Joachim Fogl, chaplain of the German Catholic community in Singapore, together with Reverend Daniel Happel, pastor of the German Protestant community, conducting prayers and reflections as well as joining in the singing with the choirs. Their reflections emphasised how amidst the hustle and bustle of the season, Christmas is a time to go back to the basic universal

wish of humankind, that of peace. The audience also learnt how “Silent Night” originated. It was composed by a 26-yearold assistant parish priest, Fr Josef Mohr, and his church organist, Franz Gruber. Fr Mohr had presented Gruber with the words of his poem on Dec 24, 1818, and Gruber had set them to melody within a day. The song was performed in their parish church of Oberndorf in Salzburg, Austria, at the end of Christmas Mass the next day. Many who attended the recent hour-and-a-half event found it inspiring. Mr Nicolai Goeke, a Protestant, felt that the thought-provoking reflections, prayers and the beautiful music “helped me to discover the meaning of Christmas”. The Apostolic Nuncio to Singapore and the Ambassadors of Austria, Germany and Switzerland also attended the event.

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May 27, 2018 CatholicNews Sunday December 23,2018  CatholicNews


christian love : giving in sacrifice In this extract of his homily at a recent Catholic Foundation Mission Mass, Msgr Philip Heng explains the need to take every opportunity we can to do good. He emphasises the importance of not just giving, but giving sacrificially. The account of Jesus healing on the Sabbath is one of seven stories found in all the four Gospels. Jesus was teaching in a synagogue, and there in the midst of them was a man with a withered hand. The Pharisees and the scribes were watching to see what Jesus would do to this man. They were hoping to find some evidence they could use against Jesus. Jesus, knowing their thoughts, challenged them with a very basic question: Was it against the Sabbath Law to do good or to do evil, to save life or destroy life? Jesus then healed the man. In doing so, Jesus was challenging the interpretation and application of the Sabbath Law by the Pharisees and the scribes.

always time to do good For Jesus, it was not considered “work” to heal a person. For Jesus, there is always time to do good, and there is no time where we can refuse to do good or to love someone. The Gospel that Jesus proclaimed was about a God of life, and we who are His disciples are called to be life-giving. But being narrow-minded and rigid in their interpretation, the Pharisees and the scribes were furious at Jesus. If we reflect on our daily life, we are constantly challenged from morning to night. It is an ongoing consciousness of whether we are doing good and loving others, or are selfcentred and selfish in our actions. We are called to be disciples of Jesus and to always do good and love as Jesus has shown us. However, at the same time, there is a certain resistance in our heart - a self-centred need for the basics like comfort, or wanting to be appreciated and affirmed. In many ways, this is very human.

transcending our needs Still, as Christians, we are not merely called to do good, but to also be more like Christ. We are challenged to transcend our own needs, to see the greater need of others and therefore become more like Christ, to be that selfless person who is willing to make that sacrificial act, as Jesus has done. It is so easy to justify and give ourselves excuses for not accepting His invitation to be more like Him. It is also very easy to tame the voices of our conscience, and to convince ourselves that it is okay not to love. “We are only human. We have our own needs. We need to provide for our future. We need to have time to rest. We need to have free time to exercise…” The list will never end. Jesus wants us to be human, but Jesus also wants us to be disciples who mirror the Christ-like selfless love that is ultimately shown in the powerful, divine symbol of Him hanging and dying on the cross. When we give, we are actually loving. But as disciples, when we give sacrificially, we are able to experience a deeper love. We die to ourselves for the greater good of others, and more importantly, for the deeper love of Jesus.

god’s gifts to be shared There is a wrong perception that when we give, we have less. The Christian view, however, is that we can only

Pray, Act, Give.

Msgr Philip Heng giving his homily to the faithful during the Catholic Foundation Mission Mass at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd. Photo: VITA Images experience “more” when we give. What we retain and keep for ourselves will be lost forever. The graces and abundant blessings that God has given us, in so many ways, are not solely for ourselves. They are meant to be shared. It is the secular society that has distorted the meaning of giving. The secular society says that when we give, we lose. The secular world questions, “What’s in it for me if I give?” Such selfcentred ways of “giving” are not really giving. That is just thinking about oneself. All the gifts that God has given us are meant to be shared with the community and for the needs of others. If they are not used for that foundational purpose, then we are not living the Gospel that Jesus proclaims.

giving sacrificially Unless we ourselves experience giving with sacrificial love, we will never

all the gifts that god has given us are meant to be shared with the community and for the needs of others.

experience how beautiful and profound God’s love is in our hearts. Such giving is not limited to the giving of resources, but of your time and service too. Giving with sacrificial love is about making an offering to God cheerfully and willingly, out of substance and not abundance. It is giving made as an expression of love for God and for others and in the acknowledgement by the giver that all blessings received by him or her have come from God. St Paul spoke about witnessing sacrificial giving in the churches of Macedonia: “Throughout continual ordeals of hardship, their unfailing joy and their intense poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. I can testify that it was of their own accord that they made their gift, which was not merely as far as their resources would allow, but well beyond their resources.” (2 Cor 8:2-3) In Christianity, giving is truly the experience of sacrifice brought out by love. It is profound, makes us more humane, and connects us more with God and the community and people in need. And at the centre of it, we see Jesus on the cross.

Our archdiocese envisions a more vibrant, evangelistic and missionary Church. As the fundraising arm of the Archdiocese of Singapore, the Catholic Foundation has launched the Giving in Faith & Thankfulness (GIFT) campaign to urge every Catholic to participate in making the vision of the archdiocese a reality.

Gift Now

a series contributed by



Sunday December 23, 2018 n CatholicNews



his year’s Orchard Road Christmas Light up has been heavily criticised by many Christians as being too commercialised and secularised to the extent that the spirit of Christmas is lost. The question is, are we celebrating Christmas or Disneyland? What is the primary focus of this event? The truth is that Christmas without Christ is not Christmas. It is just another festival.

This attempt to secularise or desacralise Christian festivals is the result of Western influence. It began with the Age of Enlightenment, when reason became the dominant philosophical approach to life. Faith was reduced to reason, like the rest of the sciences. As a result, the personal encounter with Christ was gradually forgotten, which was perceived as lacking objectivity. Since God was no longer felt and experienced personally, faith became a routine and an empty culture deprived of a personal relationship with Christ. This led to a repudiation of the roots of Christianity in Europe.

Yet, the truth is that we cannot separate culture from faith. Most of the Western culture is deeply intertwined with the Christian Faith. In their attempts to separate culture and traditions from the Christian Faith, they sought to retain the external celebrations without Christ. So instead of celebrating Christmas, they wish each other “Happy Holidays” or “Compliments of the season.” Have we ever asked why Christmas is a public holiday and why we wish each other only in this season? Why not other seasons, or other holidays? Simply because it is the birth of Christ and the Western world celebrates the coming of the Saviour.

Again, this attempt to remove Christ from history and reduce Him into a mythological figure is the way we renamed the Gregorian calendar. Whether we like it or not, the current calendar takes its departure from the birth of Christ. Originally, we would name the year “Anno Domini” (AD), that is, in the Year of our Lord, or BC, that is “Before Christ.” To disavow the Christian origin of this calendar, the world replaced it with CE (Christian Era) or BCE (Before Christian Era). Some have gone further by referring CE to Common Era and BCE to Before Common Era.

Again, this is true when it comes to the celebration of Halloween. In

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truth, it is a Catholic celebration in honour of the Saints. That is why it is always celebrated on the eve of All Saints. Halloween therefore means the eve of All Saints Day. It is a day to rejoice that our loved ones are in heaven. But today it has been desacralised into a costume day, where people wear all kinds of costumes, the ghastlier the better, to scare others all in the name of fun. It is the world’s attempt to desacralise our Catholic feast and make a mockery of our belief in the existence of spirits and the soul. To deny the reality of spirits and reduce it to child’s play is to subtly tell people

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Sunday December 23, 2018 n CatholicNews


Good over Evil, light over darkness. To celebrate Vesak Day, we need to know that this is the Day of Enlightenment, when Buddha was enlightened and that we too can attain enlightenment. Can we celebrate Chinese New Year without the Animal Zodiac? By appreciating their cultures, which are rooted in their beliefs, we too can rejoice with them and integrate some of their positive values in our own culture as well. While we might not share the same Faith, yet we share in their values. This is how we celebrate with others who have different faiths and cultures. The faith and culture of others are not a threat to our Christian faith and culture.

Catholics therefore must not fall into this secular agenda of desacralising our Christian religious festival, especially Christmas, Easter and Halloween. Christmas tells us that our Yet, the truth is that religion can contribute to the culture of the people. Culture and faith are interwoven in

that we are just made of matter; that spirits do not exist and therefore God does not exist.

Hence, it is important for us to understand the real meaning of secularisation. A healthy secularisation is to be neutral to all religions, including those without religion. This is the way to promote harmony among all believers and non-believers alike. To exclude religions from public life altogether is not secularisation but desacralisation. It unwittingly discriminates those with religious beliefs in favour of those without. To expunge religions from public life is to do injustice to those who take their faith seriously.

many ways. Faith and its values are expressed in culture. One’s values are determined very much by his or her religion. Once we remove the religious origin of that culture, the values are also lost because they lack foundation. So to celebrate the values of the culture, we must understand the origin of that culture, which in most places are influenced by their religious beliefs.

Indeed, how do we celebrate Deepavali or Hari Raya or Chinese New Year or Vesak Day? Do we remove their religious significance and dress the celebration with symbols unrelated to the religious or cultural festival? Do we seek to strip the religious motivation from their celebrations? We do not, and we should not! It will impoverish everyone. To celebrate Deepavali meaningfully, we must understand that it is the celebration of

faith is a personal faith in God who comes to us in Christ at the incarnation so that we can relate to Him in a personal way. By looking at the baby Jesus, we see the peace and love of God in Him. In God’s gift of Jesus to us, we too are called to give up our lives to Him by living a life of love and peace. Unless we recover Christ at Christmas, this event will be another commercial and social celebration that brings emptiness, frustration, false hope and meaninglessness. When we “X-mas”, that is, take Christ out of the Mass, all we are left with is a mess. Let us put Christ back into the celebration of Christmas, for the giving of gifts and our parties and joyous celebrations are on account of the fact that God has come to give Himself to us in Christ for our salvation. He has come to teach us and lead us all to true peace, joy, meaning and purpose in life. Let us greet each other, “Holy and Merry Christmas.”

Devotedly yours Archbishop William Goh




Sunday December 23, 2018 n CatholicNews

Upcoming WYD an opportunity to share faith, culture Jared Ng As World Youth Day (WYD) Panama approaches in January, many young people are eagerly waiting to discover for themselves the characteristic values of youth and the richness of the Catholic faith. Furthermore, what is unique to this worldwide gathering of young people every three years is the exchange of cultures. This is what one Singaporean will be hoping to experience when she travels to Panama. “I want to experience the universality of the Church,” said Sharon Leong. “I have no expectations ... I will leave it to Him to surprise me,” she said. Sharon, along with 12 other people from Novena Church, will be travelling as a contingent from Jan 19-29 led by Redemptorist Father Francis Vijayan. The official WYD events are scheduled to take place from Jan 22-27. The planning for the trip started in June, said Fr Francis. “In an effort to help our young people feel a sense of belonging to the wider Church, we started to talk about the possibility of sending our youth leaders from the Redemptorist Youth Ministry and the Altar Server Ministry,” he said. As to how the contingent is preparing spiritually for WYD, Fr Francis said “a basic understanding of a pilgrimage is im-

portant. This will help them differentiate between a holiday or an excursion, and even between a mission and an exposure.” There are also materials that have been provided by the WYD organising team for formation sessions. “Many of these are directed toward self-awareness, awareness of the environment and vocation,” he said. Arriving in Panama will be a new experience for most of the contingent members. Fr Francis said that he hopes the youth will be able to experience the cultural performances there “because these have much to convey about how a singular faith can be expressed with much diversity. Better still if they can ... experience for themselves how these forms of devotion can ignite faith in them.” One of the days in Panama will be set aside to meet Redemptorist youth from all over the world at the Redemptorist parish of St Gerard Majella. In meeting so many youth from around the world, Fr Francis said he hopes seeing so “many young people excited about their faith” will rub off on the Novena Church contingent as well. “Of course, the presence of the Pope is a big deal and [the hope is] that they will be touched by his genuineness,” he added.

A call to help those living with HIV/AIDS to experience God’s love Assist them to regain their dignity, live meaningful lives Pray for the grace to those who are tested positive for HIV/AIDS and help them regain their dignity and give them hope to continue to live fulfilling lives. This call was made by Father Kenson Koh, Spiritual Director of the Catholic AIDS Response Effort (CARE). Show them love instead of discrimination so that they may truly experience the love of God. He spoke about the many who have tested positive for HIV/AIDS and are afraid to reveal their identities for fear of condemnation and ostracism by the community. Fr Kenson was addressing the faithful who attended the annual World AIDS Day Mass on Dec 2 at the Novena Church. It was attended by some 1,500 people including staff, volunteers and residents from the CARE shelter. In his homily, Fr Kenson told the story of a man and his daughter who were trapped under rubble after an explosion on Remembrance Day. Remembrance Day, also known as Armistice Day, marks the day World War One ended in 1918. The father and daughter held hands to encourage each other to stay alive. Each time the father asked the daughter whether she was alright, she would answer that she was okay. Before she died, she said, “Dad, I love you very much.” Later on, when the father was interviewed, he said he bore no grudge and was able to forgive those responsible for his daugh-

Fr Kenson Koh urged the faithful to pray for the grace to help those living with HIV/AIDS to regain their dignity.

ter’s death. This was because his daughter’s remarks and reassurance before she died showed him that love conquers all. How could he expect to receive God’s forgiveness if he responded in anger and did not forgive those who hurt him? Often humans react in anger and retaliation. That is because we understand justice differently from God. God’s justice is His righteousness and takes the form of mercy, compassion and forgiveness, said Fr Kenson. In the same light, when confronted with someone who is HIV-positive, whether a family member, a friend or colleague, how do we respond? Instead of discriminating against the per-

son, Jesus taught us to uphold him in dignity. In other words, hold them in Christian friendship and in brotherly love, Fr Kenson said. After Mass, there was a sale of items made by CARE residents. They were moved to see many of the faithful showing their support by buying rosaries, crucifixes and candles. This annual event is organised by Catholic AIDS Response Effort (CARE), a Catholic charity operating under the umbrella of Caritas Singapore. It provides support to people living with HIV/ AIDS (PLWHA) in Singapore and runs a shelter for men with HIV/ AIDS who are rejected by their families and are homeless.





Sunday December 23, 2018 n CatholicNews

This year, CHARIS worked to Make Hope Happen through our words and acts. Over the last year, CHARIS received $2.279m in donations from the Catholic



community. This has enabled us to respond to various disasters and humanitarian situations in the region through our affiliates and Caritas


partners. In total, we have supported about S$1.282 million in grant and humanitarian aid. Here we share some of the highlights this year. We thank God for his blessings and guidance, and the Catholic community for their generous support in allowing us to carry out our mission to transform lives.

Disaster Relief

Humanitarian Response

Refugees in Bangladesh

CHARIS responded to disasters such as floods in India, Mongolia and Cambodia, as well as the tsunamis and typhoons in Philippines and Indonesia.

CHARIS collaborates with our affiliates, partners and local Caritas organisations to provide humanitarian aid to improve the lives of those in need.

CHARIS, in collaboration with Caritas Bangladesh, is providing support through food aid, clean water, shelters, proper sanitation, and child friendly spaces.


Overseas Missions

CHARIS affiliates conducted education, medical and livelihood projects to serve and support communities in Asia and beyond.

CHARIS and its affiliates organised mission trips to Myanmar, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and many other countries to support humanitarian causes in the region.

Annual Report

Further details of our activities and financials are found in our Annual Report 2018. Download from our website or get a hardcopy from your nearest parish or the CHARIS office.

Charitable Activities 2018 (Total: S$1,281,771) Breakdown by Causes (S$)

Breakdown by Geography (S$)

Capacity Building S$461,923 (36%) Mission Expenses S$23,704 (2%)

Humanitarian Others (Non-disaster) S$97,392 (8%) Humanitarian Others (Disaster) S$145,039 (11%)

South East Asia S$1,008,957 (79%)

Disaster Relief S$311,663 (24%)

South Asia S$209,761 (16%)

Reconstruction & Rehabilitation S$242,049 (19%)

Middle East S$32,519 (3%) East Asia S$30,534 (2%)

Note: Donation and charitable expenditure figures cited in this report cover the period 1 October 2017 – 31 December 2017 under CHARIS-TRCAS, and 1 January 2018 – 30 September 2018 under CHARIS CLG. For more information, please refer to the Finance Section of the Annual Report.



Sunday December 23, 2018 n CatholicNews


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E CITY ST JOSEPH’S CHURCH Under renovation/restoration CATHEDRAL OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD Dec 24 : 6pm & 11.30pm Dec 25 : 8.30am, 10.30am & 5.30pm CHURCH OF STS PETER & PAUL Dec 24 : 9pm (M) & Midnight Mass Dec 25 : 8.30am (M) & 11am CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES Dec 24 : 9pm & 11.30pm (T) Dec 25 : 7.30am, 9.15am (T), 11.30am & 1pm CHURCH OF THE SACRED HEART Dec 24 : Midnight Mass Dec 25 : 9am, 10.30am, noon & 5.30pm CHURCH OF ST TERESA Dec 24 : 8pm & Midnight Mass Dec 25 : 8.30am, 10.30am & 12.30pm CHURCH OF ST ALPHONSUS (NOVENA CHURCH) Dec 24 : 9pm Dec 25 : 8am, 10am, noon & 5.30pm CHURCH OF ST BERNADETTE Dec 24 : 9.30pm & Midnight Mass Dec 25 : 8am (M), 9.30am, 11.15am & 3.30pm (Indonesian) CHURCH OF ST MICHAEL Dec 24 : Midnight Mass Dec 25 : 8am (M), 10am & 5.30pm EAST CHURCH OF THE HOLY FAMILY Dec 24 : 9pm & Midnight Mass Dec 25 : 9.15am, 11.30am & 6pm (M) CHURCH OF OUR LADY QUEEN OF PEACE Dec 24 : 9pm (M) & Midnight Mass Dec 25 : 8am (M), 10am & 5.30pm

CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL SUCCOUR Dec 24 : 6pm (Children’s Mass), 9pm & Midnight Mass Dec 25 : 7.15am (M), 8.45am, 10.30am, 12.30pm & 6pm CHURCH OF ST STEPHEN Dec 24 : Midnight Mass Dec 25 : 11am & 6pm CHURCH OF THE HOLY TRINITY Dec 24 : 8pm & Midnight Mass Dec 25 : 8am (M), 9.45am, 11.30am & 5.30pm CHURCH OF DIVINE MERCY Dec 24 : 6.30pm (Children’s Mass), 9pm & Midnight Mass Dec 25 : 7am, 9am, 11.30am & 5.30pm NORTH ST JOSEPH’S CHURCH (BT) Dec 24 : 9pm (M) & Midnight Mass Dec 25 : 9am, 11am & 5.30pm CHURCH OF ST ANTHONY Dec 24 : 7.30pm (M) 9.30pm & Midnight Mass Dec 25 : 9.15am (T) & 11am CHURCH OF OUR LADY STAR OF THE SEA Dec 24 : 6pm (T), 9pm, 8pm (Children’s Mass) & 11pm Dec 25 : 7.15am (M), 8.30am, 10.15am, noon & 5pm CHURCH OF THE HOLY SPIRIT Dec 24 : 7.30pm & Midnight Mass Dec 25 : 7am, 9.30am & 11.30am CHURCH OF THE RISEN CHRIST Dec 24 : 8pm & 11pm Dec 25 : 7am, 8.15am, 9.45am, 11.30am & 6pm CHURCH OF CHRIST THE KING Dec 24 : 8pm & 11pm Dec 25 : 7am, 8.15am (M), 9.45am, 11.30am & 5.30pm

SERANGOON CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY Dec 24 : Midnight Mass Dec 25 : 7.30am, 9.15am (M) & 11am CHURCH OF THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY Dec 24 : 9pm & Midnight Mass Dec 25 : 8am, 10.30am & 5.45pm CHURCH OF ST FRANCIS XAVIER Dec 24 : 5.30pm, 9pm & Midnight Mass Dec 25 : 9am, 11am & 5.30pm ST ANNE’S CHURCH Dec 24 : 8pm & Midnight Mass Dec 25 : 8am, 10am & 6pm CHURCH OF ST VINCENT DE PAUL Dec 24 : 6.30pm & Midnight Mass Dec 25 : 9am, 11am & 6pm CHURCH OF THE TRANSFIGURATION Dec 24 : Midnight Mass Dec 25 : 9am & 11am WEST

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CHURCH OF ST MARY OF THE ANGELS Dec 24 : 6pm, 9pm & Midnight Mass Dec 25 : 7.30am (M), 9am, 11am & 1pm CHURCH OF ST FRANCIS OF ASSISI Dec 24 : 6.30pm (T), 9pm (M) & Midnight Mass Dec 25 : 9am & 11am CHURCH OF THE HOLY CROSS Dec 24 : 6.30pm, 9pm (M) & 11.30pm Dec 25 : 7.30am, 9.15am & 11am Note: M: Mandarin; T: Tamil Dates/times accurate at time of printing

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Sunday December 23, 2018 n CatholicNews


IJ student overcomes illness to do well in PSLE Efforts of teachers, classmates live up to motto to help others in need Christopher Khoo Her cheerful demeanour and shy smiles belie the painful physical challenges she has had to endure over the past few years. Thirteen-year-old Joanna Chong was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour when she was in Primary 3. She underwent an operation to remove the tumour in Singapore, went to South Korea for a special form of radiotherapy, and returned to Singapore for chemotherapy. Often the treatments left her weak and unsteady in gait. Yet through it all, she was determined to continue her studies at CHIJ Our Lady Queen of Peace with the help of her teachers and classmates. School principal, Mrs Tan-Lim Kim Gek, told Catholic News, “The support and love that Joanna has received from her classmates and teachers come from our mission as an IJ School… The school’s culture is one that believes in the virtues of truth, justice, freedom and love.” The school is “very happy and humbled to have been part of Joanna’s journey”, she said, adding that Joanna personifies the values of an IJ Girl. Joanna’s determination to keep up with her studies certainly paid off. When the PSLE results were released on Nov 22, she scored an aggregate of 186, and qualifies to enter the Normal Academic stream in a secondary school. She has Bs for English, Chinese Language and Science, and a D for Mathematics. “She was very resilient. She refused to give up,” recalled Ms Melina Chua, Joanna’s Pri 4 form teacher. Even when Ms Chua suggested to Joanna that she might want to skip certain classroom exercises such as dictation as these might be too taxing, she refused, Ms Chua recalled. “She made sure she memorised the whole passage.” Joanna’s medical challenges emerged in October 2014 when she was in Pri 3. She vomited in the mornings while waiting for the bus to go to school and fainted twice, once in school and another while in student care, said her father, Mr Chong Hui Kwee. Her parents brought her to a hospital for blood and urine tests, but these did not reveal anything amiss. When her problems continued, they brought her to another hospital where more tests

Joanna Chong with her parents and form teachers Ms Regina Julian and Ms Melina Chua (far right).

revealed a 5-cm malignant tumour in her brain. “We felt really lost. It was quite critical … and it was growing,” said Mr Chong. Joanna underwent an operation the next day to remove the tumour. However, it had severe side effects. “From a normal kid, everything was down to zero,” said Mr Chong. “She couldn’t move her hand, she couldn’t even speak … just like a newborn baby.” Her parents had to feed her and assist her in going to the toilet. The next step was to start radiotherapy. Her parents decided to bring Joanna to South Korea’s National Cancer Centre for proton therapy, which is a more targeted type of radiation therapy that uses high-energy beams to treat tumours. This treatment will only be available in Singapore in the next few years. “It was there that she started picking up her strength, able to move and able to speak slowly,” said Mr Chong. They returned to Singapore after two months. Mr Chong decided to quit his job in research and development to look after his daughter while his wife continued working as a learning and training expert. Joanna underwent four months of chemotherapy in Singapore in 2015 and returned to

“Never give up and keep trying, because without trying you’ll never know if you can do this thing or not.” – Joanna Chong’s advice to students struggling with medical conditions

principals and all the teachers… have been really very supportive … It felt more like a family than a school,” said Mr Chong. He recalled that often, Joanna was unable to finish her work in class due to tiredness. “But she was very determined. Grateful Joanna baked cupcakes for her teachers.

school for the last term of Pri 4. “Our idea was not for her to come back to school to study but to familiarise herself with school life again … Her classmates hadn’t seen her for almost a year,” said Mr Chong. The school made special arrangements for Mr Chong to sit outside Joanna’s classroom so he could assist her should she need to go to the toilet or walk from class to class. “The principal, the vice-

She wanted to finish her work before the next day, so she often ended up doing her homework till 11 pm,” he said. And this was despite the fact that her teacher had told her that she need not hand in her work the next day if she was unable to complete it. Joanna repeated Pri 4 the next year in 2016 and went on to Pri 5 and 6. To assist Joanna, the school arranged for her to be given more time during exams. Ms Regina Julian, her form teacher for the last two years, noted that one of Joanna’s biggest achievements was participating in the Pri 5 Adventure Camp at Changi, where she took part in the High Elements course. This required her to balance herself on ropes several metres above the ground while moving from one point to another. She also took part in the school’s sports day for both years. Ms Julian noted that her schoolmates accepted her as part of a running team despite knowing that she would be slower than the rest. “And we cheered for her when she completed the race!” said Ms Julian. “She’s like a role model to a lot of the children.” And what would she like to be when she grows up? “I want to be someone who can help other people… like when they are in need,” she said with a shy smile. What advice would she give to other students who may be experiencing similar health challenges and who still want to study? “Never give up and keep trying, because without trying you’ll never know if you can do this thing or not,” said Joanna, who has two brothers aged 16 and 18. Her family is Buddhist.



Sunday December 23, 2018 n CatholicNews



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What CHRISTMAS means to me Christmas to me means of course Jesus’ coming! The excitement and anticipation of our Lord’s arrival. But aside from that, it’s appreciating God’s greatest gift to me, my family. Every Christmas eve, my family and I gather at my house and play games like our lives depended on it. We spend time together and it’s the best

feeling. The feeling of spending time with my entire family makes me feel all warm and happy inside. And that is what Christmas means to me. Feeling happy and warm, while being surrounded by the people you love is truly what the season is all about. That sense of being filled with love is unbelievable. There is nothing more joyful than seeing a room full of happy people that you truly love and care for. Oh, and of course, the presents and the glorious food. Stuffing my face with home cooked food is the eighth wonder of the world. God, family and food all have one thing in common: Love.

To me, Christmas means not only the coming of Jesus Christ but also the spirit of love that is being shared all around. The time of the year when presents are presented and received, a small superficial token of appreciation and with it a deeper meaning, a sign of our love and care for each other that is sometimes overlooked during our busy year spent working or studying. Christmas is truly spending time with the people you love and cherish. Feasting on the glorious home cooked food is undeniably one of the best feelings in the world! These are just some of the best things that make Christmas my favourite time of the year.

– Rebecca Tan, 14

– Sherine Josal, 14

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Sunday December 23, 2018 n CatholicNews


Capturing the beauty of God’s creations on canvas Jared Ng True beauty cannot be possible without some form of imperfection. Too often today, many people get caught up in their physical appearances that they forget how beautiful they really are, made in the image of God. No amount of perceived flaws can take away that beauty. For Nancy Loh, a former journalist turned freelance painter-writer, in life – as in painting – the idea of imperfection can mean different things to different people. “To me, in many senses, imperfection is perfectly okay. It can even be intensely moving and beautiful,” she said. Nancy took up oil-painting seriously in her 50s as she was drawn to the beauty she saw around her. “I’m passionate about translating such scenes onto canvas.”

Now 65, the mother of two grown-up children, continues to gain insights and inspiration from artists whose work she admires when she attends their classes in Singapore and overseas. As a way to practise keen observation and “loose” brushwork, Nancy, whose paintings are mostly oil-based, regularly joins her art friends outdoors where they paint objects and scenes of interest. “The idea is to capture and simplify our subjects within three hours or so; then we head off to share a meal,” she said. One particular subject of interest for her is painting construction works-in-progress due to her concern about the plight of migrant workers. “I feel it’s a small way to bring awareness and give tribute to their hard work in a foreign land,” she said. Nancy added that she would like her

work-in-progress pieces to one day benefit migrant workers in some tangible way. Besides the final product of her work, Nancy shared the often overlooked preparation that is needed even before one starts to paint. These include checking out paintable sites, taking photographs for reference and arranging still-life setups. The time she takes to complete a piece of oil painting varies according to its canvas size and the subject’s complexities, she said. When asked about the satisfaction she derives after completing a painting, Nancy, who previously helped to edit materials produced by the Catholic Spirituality Centre and sang in the choir at the Church of Divine Mercy, said that “besides the satisfaction of completion, I relish the process.” Looking back at her time as a journalist and now as an artist, which

role has given her more satisfaction? “It’s hard to say. The challenge of putting together words to make a cohesive whole offers immense pleasure and satisfaction, as those who work with words know ... I like to say that I’m inspired by the beauty around me in the passage of light, the colours of shapes, even in things deemed mundane. These I do know how to convey more effectively using paints, hopefully to arouse in people a sense of connection to moments in time and space. It’s highly challenging and satisfying too, in the same way and in different ways. Both can be rather contemplative pursuits.” Below are three paintings done by Nancy, two of which are of the approaching Christmas season.

Blue Fish Bauble: In this painting, a fish symbol can be seen in a bauble. Nancy said that the Bible has many significant references to fish. Jesus commissioned His 12 disciples saying, ‘I will make you fishers of men’. Inset: Nancy Loh. Photo JOSHUA SIOW

us all epur eryle me in at Christmas Saga: The overarching theme of God’s love and human longing is represented by heart-shaped saga seeds.

Pay Dirt: Lowly-paid migrants toil into the wee hours.



Sunday December 23, 2018 n CatholicNews

Called to the Lord

Father Gerard Keane, SJ Father Gerard Keane, SJ, of the Society of Jesus passed away on Nov 27 at Assisi Hospice, Singapore. He was 92. Fr Keane was the last of the Irish Jesuits who served in the Region of MalaysiaSingapore. He was born in Limerick, Ireland, on Nov 2, 1926. Fr Keane once observed about his calling: “I thought that if what Christ is all about is true, then it [the priesthood] is the only thing worth doing.” He joined the Jesuits in Ireland at 17 years old, and took his first vows in 1946. In 1952, Fr Keane was sent to Hong Kong where he learned Cantonese and did his regency teaching in Wah Yan College, Kowloon. He returned to Ireland for his theological studies in 1955 and was ordained a priest on July 31, 1958. When the Church of St Ignatius (Singapore) was established in 1961, Fr Keane was an assistant parish priest and the spiritual director for the parish’s first praesidium of the Legion of Mary. For many years, he

Fr Gerard Keane, SJ (1926-2018)

scripted the parish’s annual Christmas play and occasionally played the part of one of the Three Kings. He ran a small Bible group that met weekly. From 1969 to 1972, Fr Keane was editor of the Malaysian Catholic News. For more than 10 years from the late 1960s, he also did 45-minute broadcasts at 6 pm on Radio Singapore on the Catholic faith. From 1984 to 1992, he did chaplaincy work with Catholic Junior College (CJC)

and was director of CJC’s hostel. In the Jesuit community, Fr Keane was the local superior of the Kingsmead Hall Jesuit Community (1976-1983, 1994-2001), and on the parish team (1976-1983, 19942002). He was also a member of the Centre of Ignatian Spirituality and Counselling in Singapore and served as its Director from 1999 to 2002. In 2001, he lost his voice to cancer. Fr Keane retired from active service in the parish in 2002 but continued to write for the weekly parish bulletin up to a few months before his passing. The Church of St Ignatius celebrated Fr Keane’s Golden Jubilee of Priesthood in 2008. He was much loved and will be remembered for his wonderful gift of friendship. We invite you to pray for him in your Masses and prayers. Submitted by the Chancery of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore.

Father Ignatius Huan Father Ignatius Huan Kin Kwang, a diocesan priest of the Diocese of Malacca-Johor, passed on in the morning of Dec 3, 2018, on the Feast of St Francis Xavier. He was 77. He was instrumental in the formation of seminarians in Malaysia and Singapore as the Spiritual Director of College General, Penang, and St Francis Xavier Major Seminary (SFXMS) in Singapore. He served in Singapore until December 2010, after which he returned to serve in the Diocese of Malacca-Johor. Fr Ignatius was born on Nov 23, 1941. He converted to Catholicism as a young man. At 17, he had intended to join the Jesuits but faced resistance from his family. He became a secondary school science teacher in Segamat and Kulai, Johor. When he was 35, he answered the call to the priesthood. Seeing the shortage of diocesan priests, he joined the seminary to become one. During difficulties in his formation, an encounter with a terminally-ill Canossian Sister changed his mind from wanting to leave. When she asked him about life in the seminary, Fr Ignatius had complained to her. Her reply was: “Ignatius, don’t you worry, I will offer up my suffering for you that you may persevere in your vocation.” This not only greatly encouraged him but led to his interest in redemptive suffering,

Fr Ignatius Huan (1941-2018)

a theme he frequently explored in his preaching and retreats. Fr Ignatius was ordained a priest on March 28, 1985. He served in Sacred Heart Cathedral in Johor Bahru and St Theresa’s Church, Malacca, before becoming the Rector of Good Shepherd Seminary, Malacca. He went on to become the Spiritual Director for College General, Penang, and subsequently SFXMS, Singapore. In his later years, he was based in St John Vianney Retreat House in Johor. Apart from giving retreats in Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka, in April this year, Fr Ignatius also published a book on understanding the Mass. We invite you to pray for him in your Masses and prayers. Submitted by the Chancery of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore.

Father William Lim

Fr William Lim (1952-2018).

Father William Lim, a diocesan priest of the Archdiocese of Singapore, passed away on Dec 8. He was 66. Fr William was born on March 18, 1952. He was ordained a priest on May 20, 1990. He served as an assis-

tant parish priest in the Church of the Holy Cross from 1991 to 1994, in the Church of St Francis Xavier from 1995 to 2003 and in the Church of Our Lady Queen of Peace from 2003 to 2009. In 2009, he was made Parish Priest of the Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He was also the spiritual director of the Archdiocesan Divine Mercy Apostolate. On Jan 3, 2011, Fr William collapsed while doing his morning exercise around Serangoon Stadium. He was rushed to Tan Tock Seng Hospital where doctors determined that he needed a triple bypass operation. Fr William had been on long-term medical leave since then. We invite you to pray for him in your Masses and prayers. Submitted by the Chancery of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore.




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Sunday December 23, 2018 n CatholicNews


Priests field questions on the faith at public forum The Ask Me Anything series on interfaith discourse is supported by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth Christopher Khoo From divorce between married Catholic couples, to gays and if they could still go to heaven, to why we practise contraception and infant baptisms – these were a few of the burning questions put to a panel of Catholic priests in a special communityled forum on religion. Archdiocesan Chancellor Father John-Paul Tan, moral theologian Fr David Garcia and Fr Ignatius Yeo, Professor of Sacraments and Sacred Liturgy at the Catholic Theological Institute of Singapore, fielded questions on Catholicism at the Ask Me Anything series of discussions, held at The Arts House on Dec 8. Ask Me Anything is a community-led series on interfaith discourse in Singapore, supported by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth. The sessions aim to clarify common misconceptions about different religions, engage with sensitive faith issues, and deepen people’s appreciation of nuances in the various faiths. The Dec 8 session attracted a sell-out crowd of nearly 170 sign-ups and walk-ins and saw a lively exchange between the audience and priests. One participant asked how

A confession booth was one of the exhibits at the dialogue session.

flexible the Church is in permitting divorce. Fr John-Paul Tan shared that the Church would like to promote healthy family relationships but at the same time “we are realistic that marriages do fail”. If all the elements that are necessary for a marriage between two baptised persons were present at the time of marriage, then from the Church’s perspective, the marriage bond is “indissoluble”. “For many marriages that fail, there would be elements that were missing,” explained the Franciscan Friar. The marriage could then be declared annulled by the Church’s marriage tribunal. However, the Church is also conscious of the pain involved in failed marriages and provides pastoral care to the parties involved, said Fr John-Paul. One issue that attracted much discussion was the Church’s view on LGBT issues. One participant asked whether a gay person, who falls in love with another gay person and has a homosexual relationship, including having sex, can go to heaven. “Anybody who repents of their sins can go to heaven,” said Fr David. “The issue of going to heav-

From left: Fr John-Paul Tan, Fr David Garcia, Fr Ignatius Yeo and Mr Andre Ahchak at the dialogue session.

en is an issue of conscience,” he said. “The Church believes that even those who are not baptised could go to heaven, so long as they behave according to their true conscience.” He also warned against judging others, noting that “it is a sin to judge people. Jesus is very clear [on that],” the Dominican Friar added. Participants also broke into groups to share their faith experiences. Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth who attended the first segment of the dialogue, also had an informal chat with the priests and

moderator, Mr André Ahchak, Director of the Archbishop’s Communications Office. She commended the team for setting up a mini Catholic exhibition for participants to view. The artefacts included an old portable confession booth, a tabernacle with a chalice, paten and elements of Holy Communion, an original Greek texted Evangeliary, Church missals and priests’ vestments personally belonging to Fr Ignatius. Earlier in the session, Fr Ignatius provided a concise history of the Catholic Church from the death of Christ to present-

day, including the work of the early missionaries in Singapore. He also explained that the Sacraments, such as baptism, are channels of God’s grace “instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church”. Sacraments help Catholics live God’s divine life of love so that they can attain eternal life with Him, he told the crowd. The Ask Me Anything series has over the past year featured discussions on Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Buddhism.



Sunday December 23, 2018 n CatholicNews


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Participants of the 3rd Asian Deaf Catholic Conference in the Philippines.

S’pore to host deaf conference in 2020 Singapore will host the 3rd Asian Deaf Catholic Conference (ADCC) in May 2020. The Singapore community hopes to inspire many deaf Catholics in Asia to “grow their Catholic faith despite challenges”, said Mr Nathanael Thomas Oswald, President of the Singapore Catholic Deaf Community (SCDC). They expect some 1,000 deaf Catholics to attend from across Asia. In a press release, Mr Oswald also shared their experiences at the recent 2nd ADCC conference in the Philippines, whose purpose is to integrate deaf Catholics into the Church. This was held from Nov 27-Dec 1 in Tagaytay City. Eight members from SCDC – five deaf and three hearing persons – attended the event which attracted a total of 150 participants, with the rest coming from Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Sri Lanka and Thailand. During the conference, participants learnt from speakers the importance of integrating deaf Catholics into the Church. During a talk titled “Inclusive Liturgy for the Deaf”, participants

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Mr Nathanael Thomas Oswald (front) and members of the Singapore Catholic Deaf Community at the conference.

learnt that it is possible to have sign language during a regular Mass. Such Masses are already being celebrated, they learnt. Another talk, titled “Growing Experience of Faith as a Deaf Person”, highlighted the story of deaf Filipino speaker Renato Cruz who managed to learn his catechism and practise his Catholic faith thanks to the help of deaf communities. He even met Pope Francis when the pontiff visited the Philippines in 2015. A Korean priest, Father Min

Seo Park, also shared that he will be opening a church for the deaf in South Korea in 2019. During the conference, participants also shared with each other the challenges they face as deaf Catholics in their own countries. The first such conference was held in Thailand in 2015. SCDC has about 40 members. Their Facebook page is at singaporecatholicdeafcommunity/

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Sunday December 23, 2018 n CatholicNews


Helping the physically challenged to return to society Catholic News features ABLE in this series on Catholic social service organisations. Jared Ng Isaac Kalaiselvan was a happy family man. He worked in a shipping company and like everyone else he was looking forward to the future. Then came one day in November 2006, he was struck with multiple health issues. First, he suffered a heart attack then he had to go through a series of subsequents surgeries including a heart transplant and the amputation of his left leg due to an infection. Isaac also needed treatment for renal failure and memory loss. After more than four months of hospitalisation, Isaac had to stare at the harsh reality of what lay ahead. He could not return to his job as his company had closed down. With his health condition, finding another job was a challenge. How was he going to provide for his young children and family? He even thought of suicide many times. Thankfully, there was one person who was always there for him. Isaac gushed over the amazing support of his wife as he recalled how she took three months of unpaid leave to care for him. “She gave me encouragement and strength, never made any demands of me. She showed me the way with her steadfast faith in God’s grace. By God’s grace and my family’s strong support, I am back to life again,” he said. So, began Isaac’s hunt to secure a home-based job, and in 2013. With referral from the hospital medical social worker, he joined Abilities Beyond Limitations and Expectations Limited (ABLE) for the physically challenged. ABLE is a Catholic charity under Caritas Singapore, dedicated to serving the physically challenged. There, Isaac underwent the Return-to-Work programme. He excelled in the accounting courses and received the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry certification in book keeping. In July 2015, Isaac went on to work full time for ABLE Social Enterprise Accounting Services (ABLE SEAS), a social enterprise start-up funded by ABLE. “I feel very blessed – this job gives me a sense of independence and keeps my mind and time fruitfully occupied,” he said. While he endeavours to grow and progress in his job,

he continues with his physical conditioning. Isaac goes for his regular rehabilitation sessions at the ABLE Rehabilitation Centre, in Agape Village at 7A Lor 8 Toa Payoh. Looking back, he said he feels that God has had a plan for him throughout this journey. Isaac is just one of the many beneficiaries of ABLE’s programmes that seek to enable the physically challenged to live with dignity and to have a productive, meaningful and independent life. ABLE’s Return-to-Work (RTW) programme provides rehabilitation, training and employment assistance to the physically challenged to increase their employability and support their return to the workforce. This is an individualised programme created in consultation with the beneficiaries to address their therapeutic, psychosocial and employability needs. About half of the beneficiaries in the RTW programme return to work after completing their rehabilitation and training. “The duration of rehabilitation and training is different for each person and we also take into account the time spent on finding suitable employment for them,” said Mr Gene Lee, Executive Director of ABLE. ABLE also runs a Day Rehabilitation Programme that helps their beneficiaries to care for themselves as best as they can at home, and to move around the community safely. Some of the rehabilitation services include physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, and Pilates. These programmes and services are staffed by an experienced multidisciplinary team of healthcare, social service, training and employment support professionals. There is another programme, ABLE Respite, to support family caregivers of persons with physical challenges. In ABLE Respite, “caregivers experience respite through workshops, talks and sharing groups. Doing this helps to empower them on their caregiving journey,” said Mr Lee, adding that caregivers also form social networks and support groups when they interact with each other in the programmes.

Isaac Kalaiselvan during a rehabilitation session at the ABLE Rehabilitation Centre.

Trained healthcare workers conducting a group therapy session at ABLE.

Thrills and spills to raise awareness It was a sunny and beautiful Saturday when the young and old gathered at Sentosa to embark on a day of epic adventure in support of the physically challenged. In collaboration with ABLE, Mega Adventure, an adventure park operator, organised the charity fundraising event on Nov 24 for the physically challenged. The aim was to raise funds for the ABLE’s programmes and to promote awareness of the various services available. The theme park offers attractions such as the ever-

popular MegaZip, the heartpounding MegaJump, the fun MegaBounce and three levels of the exciting MegaClimb, a high ropes adventure course. Amidst the thrills and spills, adrenaline-filled screams and lots of laughter, there were also fringe activities like balloon sculpting and face painting, and ticket holders were given a goodie bag to commemorate the occasion. Among the Mega Adventure staff present that day was Amin. In 2017, Amin was involved in a traffic accident that left him with a traumatic brain

injury, extensive nerve damage in his left shoulder and facial fractures. His medical social worker at the National University Hospital referred him to ABLE for rehabilitation, which started his Return-toWork journey with ABLE. There, Amin’s rehabilitation therapists worked closely with Mega Adventure, making frequent visits to his worksite to gain a better understanding of his job scope and his work environment. Within a year, Amin was back to full-time work with a new work scope.


Sunday December 23, 2018 n CatholicNews

By Jennifer Ficcaglia One day, the Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus wanted to count the people who lived in the lands he ruled. All those living in those lands needed to return to their ancestral hometowns to be counted. A man named Joseph was living in the town of Nazareth in Galilee. A relative of King David, Joseph took his pregnant wife, Mary, and travelled to Bethlehem in Judea to take part in the census. When the couple reached Bethlehem, the time came for Mary to have her baby. She gave birth to a son, whom she wrapped in swaddling clothes. She laid Him in a manger, because there had been no room for Joseph and Mary to stay at an inn. During this time, there were shepherds who were living in the

fields around Bethlehem. They were keeping watch over their flocks at night when an angel from God appeared in their midst. The glory of God shone so brightly around the angel and the shepherds that the men became frightened. “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people,” the angel said. “For today in the city of David a saviour has been born for you who is Christ and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: You will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” Suddenly, the lone angel was joined by a multitude of other angels who were all praising God. “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom His favour rests,” they said.

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After the angels returned to heaven, the shepherds looked at each other excitedly. “Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us,” they said. The shepherds went into the city and found Joseph and Mary, and they saw the infant lying in the manger, just as the angel had told them.

When they saw this, the shepherds went out into the city to tell everyone about the angel’s message. Then they glorified and praised God. Read more about it: Luke 2

Q&A 1. Where did Joseph and Mary travel? 2. Who told the shepherds about the infant’s birth?



St Elizabeth Ann Seton





St Elizabeth Ann Seton was born in 1774 in colonial New York City and was raised an Episcopalian. She married a merchant named William Magee Seton and had five children. Her husband died in 1803 in Italy, where Elizabeth had learned about Catholicism. She joined the Catholic Church in 1805 in New York. The Seton family’s shipping business had gone bankrupt, leaving Elizabeth poor and friendless. A priest from Baltimore suggested that she open a school for girls in that city. So in 1809, Elizabeth founded the US Sisters of Charity, which opened many schools and orphanages. Elizabeth died in 1821, and she became the first nativeborn US saint in 1975. We remember her on Jan 4.




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How old was Jesus when his parents named him? (Hint: Luke 2:21)

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1. T; 2. F; 3. F; 4. F; 5. T Answer to puzzle: Answer to Bible Trivia: 8 days

PUZZLE: Using the hints provided from Matthew 2, put a T next to the sentences that are true and an F next to the ones that are false regarding the Magi’s search for Jesus. 1. ___ The Magi gave Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. (verse 11)

2. ___ The Magi were from the west. (verse 1) 3. ___ King Herod asked the elders of the city where the Messiah would be born. (verse 4) 4. ___ The Magi followed the moon in order to find Jesus’ birthplace. (verse 2)

Answer to Wordsearch

5. ___ The Magi were warned in a dream not to return to King Herod. (verse 12)

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Bible Accent: The shepherds were not the only ones who received messages from angels after Jesus’ birth. In Matthew 2:13-15, we learn that after Joseph, Mary and the infant Jesus had been visited by the Magi, Joseph had a dream. In this dream, an angel warned him that King Herod of Judea planned to find Jesus and kill Him. “Rise, take the child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy Him,” the angel told Joseph. Joseph did what he was told and fled to Egypt with his family during the night. In the meantime, Herod ordered the massacre of all boys who were infants up to the age of two. After Herod died, an angel again appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Rise, take the child and His mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead,” the angel said. So Joseph, Mary and Jesus returned to Israel and lived in the town of Nazareth in Galilee.




Sunday December 23, 2018 n CatholicNews

To pray well, begin with humility, advises Pope Francis

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VATICAN CITY – Learning to pray well is a continual process, but it should always start from a place of humility, said Pope Francis. “Even if we have been praying for so many years, we must always learn!” Catholic News Agency reported the Pope as saying on Dec 5. And the first step is humility. “Go to the Father ... go to the Madonna, say: Look at me, I am a sinner, I am a debtor, I am disobedient… But begin with humility!” said Pope Francis. This is in contrast to the prayer of the Pharisee, as described by Jesus in the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector in the Gospel of Luke. The Pharisee prayed from a place of pride, thanking God that he was “not like the rest of humanity”, said the Pope. The tax collector, on the other hand, would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, O God, be merciful to me a sinner. According to Jesus, “only the latter, the tax collector, returns home from the temple justified,” Pope Francis noted. In his catechesis for his weekly general audience, the Pope spoke about prayer – and the fact that Jesus Himself was a man of prayer – as the first part in a new series on the “Our Father”. He noted that despite the urgency of Jesus’ earthly mission and the demands placed on Him by others, Jesus would still take the time to pray.

The Pope noted the description in the first chapter of Mark: “Rising very early before dawn, He left and went off to a deserted place, where He prayed.” This scene, the Pope explained, takes place when Jesus was in Capernaum, after He had been preaching and healing the sick, reported Catholic News Agency. “Here is the essential point,” the Pope said, “Jesus prayed. Jesus prayed intensely in public moments … but He also sought collected places, separate from the spin of the world, places that allowed Him to descend into the secret of His soul.” The way Jesus prayed “also contained a mystery,” he added, “something that certainly did not escape the eyes of His disciples, as we find in the Gospels that simple and immediate supplication: Lord, teach us to pray,” he said. Jesus, of course, teaches His disciples, and all His children, to pray. “He came precisely to introduce us into this relationship [with] the Father,” Pope Francis said, urging everyone to ask the Lord to teach them to pray. “Therefore, beginning this cycle of catechesis on the prayer of Jesus, the most beautiful and fair thing that we all have to do is to repeat the invocation of the disciples,” he said: “‘Teacher, teach us to pray!’ It would be nice in this time of Advent, to repeat it: Lord, teach me to pray!” CNA

Pope Francis in prayer. CNS photo


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Sunday December 23, 2018 n CatholicNews

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From homelessness to light, life and love Msgr Philip Heng, SJ What is it like to be “homeless”? Countless of people are “homeless” this Christmas. The Advent season of Peace, Hope, Joy and Love now explodes into the Light that offers the gift of “Salvation” to all peoples at Christmas. Yet, people continue to live in the darkness of their pain and suffering. The “homeless” are those who live in the streets. They are those who swallow their pride and dignity as the voiceless and faceless members of society who are so often shunned, disregarded and accused of lying whenever they seek some support. How many of us are guilty of consciously or unconsciously inflicting such pain on these “homeless”? Some questions we Christians, could reflect on, especially during the Christmas season might be: What if the tables were turned and we suddenly find ourselves destitute and homeless on the streets? How would this piercing rejection and ridicule feel like for us? The “homeless” are not limited to those who live on the streets. They include those who live in their well-sheltered and even luxurious houses but suffer great loneliness because their homes are deprived of the dignity, respect and warm love of family, friends and relatives. Spouses and children are cold, calculative and even cruel towards one another and their elderly. The “homeless” also include those who possess all the external pleasures, power and prestige of this secular world, but whose souls continue to thirst for the depth of the true meaning of life. Their relentless pursuit of power and fame are fantasies; they remain hollow and hearts feel restless, lonely and helpless.

How then and where do we move from such desperate darkness? Christmas is a celebration of “Life, Light and Love”. The Gospel of John (1: 4-5) tells us, “All that came to be had life in Him and that Life was the Light of men, a Light that shines in the dark, a Light that darkness could not overpower.” Every human person, regardless of how helpless or “homeless” we are, can choose to live in the True Hope that God, our Lord and Creator wants for each of us. Every person is loved by God; each one is God’s precious child, regardless of how we may choose to turn away from His Light of Truth and Salvation. Every heart has the con-

of “restlessness, helplessness and even hopelessness?” * Have I been too preoccupied with chasing the “external” achievements (e.g. secular success and social status) such that my basic relationships within my home and the respect and care for others have become secondary and unimportant? * Is our assertion of “autonomy” (i.e. of what I want to do with my life, regardless of how this can cause pain and suffering to others, especially our loved ones) ironically not a denial of the truth of my own “insecurities” and “empty living”? Proposed reflection on how to live in God’s Light, Life and Love:

The “homeless” are not limited to those who live on the streets. They include those who live in luxurious houses but suffer great loneliness. science and the “Light” within to choose to walk towards the Light of Christ that dispels the darkness and loneliness of hearts and the emptiness of our homes. The Light of Christ overcomes darkness and evil that promote division, fuel destruction and tempt the hearts of the vulnerable, lost and disillusioned of the secular world. However, those who choose to walk in humility towards this “Light” will experience the restoration of broken relationships in families and a renewal of hope. Some personal pointers for a reflection on the quality of our daily living might be appropriate: (these pointers are distinct, but inseparably linked). * Is our daily living one

* Search within our hearts for the Truth: Do I respect every person, the “homeless” – whom I may be prejudiced against, including those who have hurt and harmed us deeply? * Pray for God’s graces to have the wisdom to live in His Light, Life and Love, that Jesus has shown us, as He has proclaimed, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” * God’s Light will enlighten . . . His Life will transform . . . and His Love will permeate our hearts and warm our homes with the special graces of the Christmas season. Do we want this for this Christmas? Msgr Heng is the Rector of the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd.

Outside the city GOD, it seems, favours the powerless, the unnoticed, children, babies, outsiders and refugees with no resources or place to go. That’s why Jesus was born outside the city in a stable; unnoticed, outside all fanfare, away from all major media, and away from all the persons and events that were deemed important at the time. Humble and anonymous. God works like that. Why? Scripture answers by telling us that God’s ways are not our ways and our ways are not God’s ways. That’s true here. We tend to understand power by how it works in our world. Here it works through popularity, through mass media, through historical privilege, through financial clout, through higher education, through idiosyncratic genius, and, not infrequently, through raw aggression, greed, and insensitivity to the needs of others and of nature. But even a quick reading of Scripture tells us that’s not how God works. The God that Jesus incarnates doesn’t enter into this world with a huge splash, as a royal birth eagerly anticipated and then announced by the cover of every popular magazine, with universal predictions as to His future greatness and influence, and then with privileged access to the best educational institutions and circles of power and influence. Clearly, clearly, that’s not the story of Jesus’ birth, nor of how His life unfolded. God, as Scripture shows, works more through anonymity than through the headlines, more through the poor than the powerful, and more through those outside the circles of power than those inside them. When we examine how God works, we see it’s no accident that Jesus was born outside the city and that after He was crucified He was also buried outside the city. God’s work in our world generally does not make the headlines. God never breaks into our world or into our consciousness by showy displays of power. God works more discretely, in quiet, touching soul, touching conscience, and touching that previously touched part inside of us where we still unconsciously bear the memory of once, long before birth, being touched, caressed, and loved by God. That’s why Christ was born into this world as a baby and not as a superstar, as someone whose only power was the capacity to touch and soften the hearts of those around Him. Babies overpower no one, physically, intellectually, or athletically. They lie helpless and cry for love and care. That’s why, paradoxically, at the end of the day, they’re more powerful than anyone else. No physical, intellectual, or athletic power can ultimately touch the human conscience as can a baby – and similar sights of innocent helplessness; a wounded bird, an abandoned kitten, a young child alone and crying. What’s best in us enflames, healthily, in the presence of powerlessness and innocence. That’s how God enters into us, gently, unnoticed. No big splash. That’s also why God tends to bypass circles of power to favour the abandoned and vulnerable. For example, when the Gospel of Luke records how John the Baptist came to be specially blessed, it takes a scathing swipe at both the civic and religious powers of its time. It names all the major civil and religious leaders of the time (the Roman rulers, the kings in Palestine, and the religious high priests) and then tells us plainly that the word of God bypassed them all and came instead to John, a solitary, living in the wilderness. (Luke 3: 1-3) According to the Gospels, the wilderness is where we’re most likely to find and experience God’s presence because God tends to bypass the centres of power and influence to find a place instead in the hearts of those outside those circles. We tend to understand power as residing in financial influence, political clout, charismatic talent, media influence, physical strength, athletic prowess, grace, health, wit, and attractiveness. On the surface, that assessment is accurate enough, and indeed none of these is bad in itself. But, looked at more deeply, as we see in the birth of Christ, God’s word bypasses the centres of power and gestates instead in the hearts and consciences of those outside the city.


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Sunday December 23, 2018  CatholicNews


Advent: Renewing our relationship with Jesus CNS file photo

Father Jovita Ho “Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen, and to stand with confidence before the Son of Man.” I am going back home to Singapore for Christmas, and though my departure date is approaching, my ticket was purchased in end-February and my luggage all packed and readied a few weeks ago. Why am I doing all these? Because I long to see the faces of my family, friends and loved ones, and I long to celebrate Jesus with them. Advent marks the beginning of a new liturgical year and it speaks of three main themes; watchful waiting, preparation, and justice. Advent speaks of justice, not merely in the sense of what we can and ought to do, but primarily of God’s promises to His people as we hear from Prophet Jeremiah, “I am going to fulfil the promise I made to the House of Israel and the House of Judah ... Judah shall be saved and Israel shall dwell in confidence”. Because of God’s justness, we are called to live in a responsive way; where because God loves us justly, we are called to love justly those whom He loves as well. When someone loves us deeply and uncondi-

An Advent wreath is depicted in a stained-glass window.

tionally, we respond to that love intuitively, not slavishly, but in complete freedom – Incarnate Love takes flesh in our lives. Advent speaks of preparation both internal and external. As a saying goes, “Our actions flow from our being.” This means that we live lives of certitude in Jesus who is our Lord and Saviour as we hear from Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, “We urge you and appeal to you in the Lord Jesus to make more and more progress in

Advent is not a season of making resolutions as we would for the beginning of a calendar year, but it is about watching and guarding our hearts for Jesus.

the kind of life you are meant to live.” God has never meant for us to live our lives in a mediocre manner but for greatness, and the greatness of this certitude is found in Jesus Christ. We do what we do because of who Jesus is in our lives – likewise if we are lacking, it may be because we have pushed out the reason for the season. Advent speaks of watchful waiting. Advent is not a season of making resolutions as we would for the beginning of

a calendar year, but it is about watching and guarding our hearts for Jesus. As He said in the Gospel, “Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened with debauchery and drunkenness and the cares of life.” We watch for Christmas offers and bargains and while that is not wrong, more importantly we need to watch our hearts lest it gets bargained away to the world. To “stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand” is only possible as long as we allow God’s plans to unfold in our lives. Liberation is freedom from the world and freedom for the Lord’s friendship. Advent is a grace-filled season in which the Church bids us to renew our relationship with Jesus who loves us ever-new. It is also a season for us to rediscover the potential saint in each one of us. And who and what is a saint? A saint is someone who knows that God loves him and he loves in return. May this Advent grace flow into our hearts which long for nothing more than a going home to the Father, and may this homecoming be beautiful for “we love because He first loved us”. Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus, come! Fr Jovita is studying Church history at the Gregorian Pontifical University in Rome.



Sunday December 23, 2018 n CatholicNews


Compile d by Jared Ng and Christo pher Wo ng

Jan 5, 2019 Mass followed by Prayers for Healing Time: 2pm-4pm. Venue: Church of Sts Peter and Paul. All are welcome and no registration is needed. You are invited to join us for praise and worship and Mass followed by prayers for healing. After Mass, prayer teams will be available to pray with you for healing. Please spread the word to your family and friends. Celebrant: Fr Tom Curran. Organised by Praise@Work. Please take note that the carpark at the Church of Sts Peter & Paul is closed for renovation. For more information, E:; T: 9747 2467.

an smen e cross-

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EVENT SUBMISSIONS WHAT’S ON submissions now require the completion of a form from the Archdiocese before the event can be publicised. For events with foreign speakers, please submit the necessary documentation for approval to the Chancery. For more information and to download the form, visit announcement-advertisement-request/. Once forms have been submitted online, kindly send us details of your event for publication at at least one month ahead of the publication date.

Jan 5, 2019 to Jan 6, 2019

Dec 29 Love in the City Time: 2pm-4pm. Venue: The Catholic Centre, 55 Waterloo Street. Why do we do what we do during Christmas? In a light-hearted talkshow, we will learn the reasons for the ways we celebrate Christmas. Invite your non-Catholic friends and family members to help them understand and experience Christmas with a difference. Organised by Office for the New Evangelisation. To register: W:; T: 6911 0420; E:; W:

Starting Jan 2, 2019 Change In Timings for the Devotion to St Anthony and Church Renovation Announcement Venue: Church of St Anthony. The Devotion to St Anthony will no longer be on Tuesdays and will be changed to Sundays with effect from January 2019. The first devotion in 2019 will be on Jan 6 at 4.45pm followed by evening Mass at 5.30pm. Due to renovation works from Jan 2 in the main church hall, weekend Masses will be held at Level 3 and 4 of the Fireplace. Weekday Masses will be held at St Lucy room of the Dwelling Place. Mass timings are as usual. The Mass on every first Friday of the month will be changed to 6.30pm. All evening Masses from Mon to Fri will be at 6.30pm with effect from Jan 2. For more enquiries, contact the parish office at 6368 3804.

Crossroads Retreat Jan 5 (9am)-Jan 6 (1pm). Venue: Choice Retreat House, 47 Jurong West St 42. A retreat for young people (20-35 years) to consider where they have been and where they would like to go, and to prayerfully discern the choices in their lives. By Cenacle Sisters. Contribution:$180. To register: W:

Starting Jan 19, 2019 Bridging Programme 2019 Catechetical programme for children/youth (aged 9-13) who are seeking baptism, or baptised but have missed formal catechesis, or dropped out of catechesis and now wish to rejoin. For more information, T: 6911 0400; E:; W: Closing date: Dec 20.

Jan 22, 2019 to Jan 24, 2019 Christian Meditation and Christian Life Time: 7.30pm-9.30pm. Three nightly talks by Fr Laurence Freeman, Director of the World Community for Christian Meditation. Jan 22: Church of the Holy Family. Topic: Christian meditation and discipleship. Jan 23: Church of the Holy Cross. Topic: Christian meditation and holiness. Jan 24: Church of the Risen Christ. Topic: Christian meditation and evangelisation. All are welcome and no registration is required. For more information, E:

C 1






Jan 22, 2019 to May 28, 2019


Book of Psalms by Carmelite Fr Ferdinand Purnomo Time: Every Tuesday from 9.30am-11.30am. Venue: 2 Highland Road, #03-17, CAEC Building, S549102. A total of 16 sessions (no class on Feb 5, March 19, April 23). Cost: $140 if paid by Dec 21; $150 if paid by Jan 21; $160 if paid from Jan 22. Organised by the Archdiocesan Biblical Apostolate. For the course description and registration: W:


Jan 6, 2019 to March 2, 2019 School of Witness Are you desiring more of Jesus? Do you believe that Jesus can bring new hope and new life in areas of your life that are wilting and feeling dry? If so, School of Witness 2019, conducted by the Office for Young People, is for you! This is an 8 week live-in discipleship school is for young people aged between 18-30 years. For more information, T: 6285 2571; W:

Jan 16, 2019 to April 3, 2019 Genesis: Reading the Biblical Creation Account Every Wednesday from 8pm-10pm. Venue: Church of St Bernadette, parish hall. A 14-week study by Fr Valerian Cheong. Read Genesis to: 1) Understand Creation. 2) Know God deeper and better. 3) Gain a deeper faith in God’s promises. 4) Set foundation to learn the rest of Bible. Organised by the Biblical Apostolate Team. No registration required. For more information, E:





AC 1 6 11 14 15 16 17 18 19



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SEVENTH ANNIVERSARY In loving memory of






Sunday December 23, 2018 n CatholicNews



DOWN 1 406 to Cato 2 Like much lore 3 Recline in a relaxed manner 4 Unimportant 5 Outcomes 6 Far from cordial 7 Physicist, Niels _____ 8 Holiday quaff 9 Recondite 10 Decreased 11 OT prophetic book 12 City in which Acts ends 13 Going well 21 The feast of St. Joseph the Worker is on the first of this month 23 Steal from 25 The Evil One 26 “…bone of my bones and _______…” (Gen 2:23) 27 Maple Leaf rival 28 John wore clothes made from this animal (Mt 3:4)

29 “I will ____ up a righteous branch for David “ (Jer 23:5) 30 Speak 31 Floor coverings 32 Heat units (abbr.) 33 Prescribed amounts 36 Declare a saint 37 Haman plotted to kill him (Esth 5:9-14) 39 Witty saying 40 Insane persons 42 Jackie’s “O” 43 NT book 45 Uncovers 46 Paul is the major character of this book 47 “…for a person will reap only what he ____” (Gal 6:7) 48 Mislead, slangily 49 Kind of mail (abbr.) 50 Gusto 51 Rock add-on 52 Forfeiture 55 Owing

BRUNO CHAN CHEE FAI Called home to the Lord on 26 December 2011 Time flies ... the heart is learning to heal; We still missed you loads. We cherished you; We loved you. We thank God for Loving and wonderful you. Loved always by wife Bridgette, children, grandkids and family. Mass will be celebrated at the Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary on December 26 at 6.15pm. In loving memory of Sixth Anniversary

Twentieth Anniversary

ACROSS 1 Liturgical season designator 6 Son of Ner 11 To do this is human, but to forgive is divine 14 Honeybee 15 In danger of falling off 16 Animal park 17 Dells 18 George Burns’ film 19 Printer’s measures 20 Surly mood

22 Paul’s hometown is found in this modern-day nation 24 Patron saint of Norway 25 Type of art 26 Number of days Jesus spent in the desert 28 Upper division of the brain 32 Utter joy 33 Greatest king of Israel 34 _____ loss for words 35 Cast leader?

36 Humorous 37 Baseball glove 38 Put to good _____ 39 Artist’s support 40 He was the most humble man on earth (Num 12:3) 41 Artillery fragments 43 Less common 44 Rivers in Spain 45 Curve 46 Allot 49 Catholic actor of “The Passion of the Christ”

Solution to Crossword Puzzle No 1224

53 Jailbird 54 “Sing to God, praise the divine name; exalt the _____ of the clouds.” (Ps 68:5) 56 Vinegar (comb.) 57 Number of each animal Noah took in the ark 58 Blue 59 Throws 60 Vane reading 61 Track and field events 62 Locations



















Third Anniversary In loving memory of

Twentieth Anniversary In loving memory of

I am sending a dove to heaven with a parcel on its wings, be careful when you open it. It’s full of beautiful things. Inside are a million kisses wrapped up with a million hugs and with a lot of prayers. To say how much we miss and love you. We hold you close within our hearts and there is where you will remain, to walk with us throughout our lives until we meet again. From: Benny, Marie De Silva and family

In everloving memory of Seventh Anniversary

DYLAN CHRISTOPHER JOSH GERALD PETER LOPEZ Departed: Dec 26, 2015 Departed: Dec 19, 1998 You left a In our hearts beautiful memory you will always live And a sorrow too Your love, your voice great to be told and your smile To those who loved are forever imprinted and lost you. in our minds. Mass will be offered Rest in peace, safe at the Church of the in the arms of Jesus. Sacred Heart on Forever cherished Dec 26 at 5.30 pm. by loved ones. Fondly remembered by Mom, Dad, Bryan Twenty-eighth and all loved ones. Anniversary In loving memory of Fourteenth Anniversary In loving memory of

MR MICHAEL RAYAPPAN JOSEPH TAN Born: Jan 12, 1947 MENG KIAT Departed: Dec 24, 1990 Called home to the Lord He longed On Dec 21, 2004 to be with Him Fourteen years on, Now God has him We remember still your in His keeping smile, your chuckles, We have him your hearty “Hello!” in our hearts Joe, Daddy, Grandpa, We will always Uncle Bah Tee, cherish you with love. Meng Kiat, will always Always remembered remain in our hearts. by wife, children, Love, sister, brother, Betty and family relatives and friends.

Thirty eighth Anniversary

CYNTHIA AUSTIN T. LAZAROO LAZAROO Departed: Dec 21, 2011 Dec 12, 1980

Always remembered and loved by family. In loving memory of

WILLIAM A. MURIEL (“ARTIE”) RODRIGUES RODRIGUES Departed: Dec 25, 2003 Dec 19, 2005

Those we love don’t go away, They walk beside us every day, Unseen, unheard, but always near, Still loved, still missed and very dear Dearly missed by Vicky, Jerry, Melanie, relatives, friends and all loved ones.



Sunday December 23, 2018 n CatholicNews

Second Anniversary In loving memory of

MAYMA FERNANDEZ Departed: Dec 24, 2016 You had a heart of gold One of the best to behold You were generous, loving and kind These are the memories you left behind. Missed by husband, children & spouses, grandchildren and loved ones. Mass will be offered at the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour on Monday, December 24, 2018.

Third Anniversary In loving memory of

Sixth Anniversary In loving memory of

CRUEZ FRANCIS Departed: December 30, 2012 His helping hand was always first To tender any aid he could His voice was always raised in praise, His words were wise and good. Dear Acha, since you went away, The ones you loved so true, Try hard to carry on the way We know you’d want us to. Deeply missed and fondly remembered by wife, children, grandchildren and loved ones. In loving memory of our beloved parents

SHUM SIEW HUNG JOHN PAUL Departed: Dec 22, 2015 Remembering you is easy We do it every day Missing you is the hardest part As it never goes away To hear your voice. To see your smile To sit with you and talk for awhile Would be our greatest wish Today, tomorrow, our whole life through We shall always love and remember you. Deeply missed by your loving wife, Marie and children.

FRANCIS MOK LISA NG BOON YEO KIOK HUA Departed: December 24, 2014 August 31, 2018

Grief is love’s shadow. The presence of absence. An unbearable weight of emptiness. Fondly remembered and greatly missed by children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Tenth Anniversary In loving memory of

In loving memory of


First Anniversary In loving memory of

Seventeenth Anniversary “We remember, We celebrate, We believe!”

One thing I ask of the Lord; This I seek: To dwell in the Lord’s house All the days of my life, To gaze on the Lord’s beauty, To visit his temple (Psalm 27:4)

From your beloved children and grandchildren. Twenty-first Anniversary In loving memory of

MARIA GIRLIE QUEK BONG MOI Born: Sept 9, 1931 Departed: December 22, 2017 Dearest Mummy, Even though you have left us, you will always be missed and never be forgotten. Your smiling face and pleasant face are a pleasure to recall. Our Lord Jesus knew what was best. He took you home for eternal rest. We wiped our tears and tried not to be sad and remember the precious times we had. Missing you dearly and loving you always, your loving children, grandchildren & great grand children: Margaret, Donald & Juliana, Wilson & Iris, Reggie & Cherie, Andre & Agnes, Justin & Ruth, Jamie, Colin, Aaron, Ryan, Asher and Ashton.

BOBBY YAP TEONG SAN Feb 5, 1923 to Dec 17, 2001 One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. Ps 27:4

Always loved and cherished by wife Rhonda and loved ones. In memoriam rates Minimum $80 for an insertion not exceeding an eight-centimetre column. Additional space: $8 per onecentimetre column.

Fifth Anniversary In loving memory of

JUNE LEE MR GORDON YUAN NGOR STEVEN Departed: Dec 30, 1997 Departed: Dec 29, 2013 In our hearts Time changes many you will always live things but not the Memory this day brings Your love, your voice and your smile Till now you are still in our minds and hearts. Are forever imprinted in our minds. Dearly missed by James Kheng wife Manjula, and all relatives daughters Caroline and friends. and Rachelyn.


ALBERT LIM LAM SAN Departed: Dec 21, 2008 Your presence is ever near us Your love remains with us yet You were the kind father Your loved ones will never forget. Deeply missed and fondly remembered by wife, children, daughter-in-law, grandchildren and loved ones. Twenty-third Anniversary In loving memory of

Twelfth Anniversary In loving memory of

GEORGE FREDERICK de SOUZA Departed: Dec 19, 1995 I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, even if he dies, shall live, and whoever lives and believes in me, shall never die. (John 11:25-26) Always remembered by loved ones.

MARGARET MARY MONTEIRO nee GROSSE Departed: Dec 21, 2006 In our hearts you will always live; your love, your voice and your smile are forever imprinted in our minds. Always remembered, forever cherished by family and all loved ones.

In ever loving memory

THEVASAGAYAM REGINA JOSEPH SAVARIDAS LOURDEMARY DAS JAYAKUMAR DAS Born: Dec 15,1919 Born: May 3,1929 Born: Jun 27, 1956 Called to eternal rest: Jun 6, 1996 Jul 15, 1970 Jan 10, 2007

A light from our homes has gone The voices we loved to hear are stilled Gone are your faces we so dearly loved Leaving a vacuum in our homes Never shall your memories fade Sweet thoughts of all of you shall always remain In loving memory of our beloved parents and brother

MARIA PETERSON HARRY ARTHUR NEE LOW PETERSON Departed: December 28, 2010 May 10, 1993


You had a heart of gold One of the best to behold You were generous, loving and kind These are the memories you left behind. Dearly and deeply missed by family and loved ones.


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In loving and sweet memory of



Born: Nov 4, 1898 Born: July 25, 1909 Departed: Jan 4, 1991 Departed: Nov 22, 1978

You’ll always be with us, dearest Mum & Dad, Grandma & Grandpa, Great-Grandma & Great-Grandpa, and we’ll always love you. SEVENTH ANNIVERSARY In loving memory of





Sunday December 23, 2018 n CatholicNews

“I will go to the altar of God; To God, my joy and my delight”

JIMMY LOW PENG LEONG Departed: December 27, 2011 God looked around His garden And found an empty place He then looked down upon this Earth And saw your tired face. He put His arms around you And lifted you to rest God’s garden must be beautiful He always takes the best Dearly missed and fondly remembered by your sons, daughters-in-law, grandchildren, relatives, godchildren and loved ones.

ANDREW F.M. EE Nov 17, 1911May 22, 1957

PETER PAUL PINTO April 30, 1916Dec 21, 1993

CONNIE PINTO nee DE ROZARIO July 20, 1916Jan 4, 2010

Dearly missed and will always be remembered by children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

(Psalm 43:4)

In loving memory of

TERESA TEO LEE HUA Departed: Jan 1, 2007 Take her in your arms, dear Lord, And ever let her be A messenger of love Between our hearts and thee. Mass will be celebrated at 10am on Tues. Jan 1, 2019 at the Church of Our Lady Queen of Peace, 4 Sandy Lane. 1 Thessalonians 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

CHRISTINA SYLVIA SUNDRAM NEE JOSEPH 24 Dec 1939 to 27 Dec 2009 Those we love can never be more than a thought away... for as long as there’s a memory, they live in our hearts everyday. Forever cherished by Stanley, children, grandchildren, relatives and friends.

JOHN TEO CLARA CHER ANDREW SIAK KEE POH SIOK TEO Departed: Dec 21, 84 Departed: Jan 10, 93 Departed: Jan 26, 91

Fondly remembered by your loved ones.




Sunday December 23, 2018  CatholicNews

A CATECHIST’S PRAYER Dear God, I pray for the children. May they learn of your mercy, kindness, protection and infinite love. As they grow in the knowledge of Christ, may they choose to live a life that is pleasing to you. Volunteering as a catechist is not always easy, but I know this is how you want me to serve. Use me as your instrument to touch the lives of your children. Help me to impart the values and beliefs of the faith, nurturing discipleship each step of the way. May they experience you as a gentle, loving Father. Teach me how to inspire them, so that their hearts will be open to your profound love. Lord, I pray for the Office for Catechesis. May it continue empowering catechists, just as it has empowered me and given me the tools I need to mould those under my care. Guide us to be gifts to the Church and to do our part in building the Church for tomorrow. Amen.

As catechists, we must pray to obtain divine grace for ourselves, but we too pray for those we catechise so that those receiving the Good News will also receive grace. ARCHBISHOP WILLIAM GOH

The Office for Catechesis (OFC) is one of the organisations funded by the GIFT campaign. It provides training and formation for catechists and those involved in catechetical ministries, including parish-based Children’s and Youth Catechesis, Special Needs Catechesis, RCIA and Liturgy of the Word with Children. It is also tasked with analysing the state of catechesis in the archdiocese, and with developing strategies to strengthen faith formation.

Help answer the call to build the Church today for tomorrow with a contribution. Details at


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