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Jesus falls for the second time. Detail from a Stations of the Cross image by US artist Virgil Cantini. CNS photo
SUNDAY APRIL 20, 2014
Sunday April 20, 2014 Â„ CatholicNews
/HWXVWKHQEHÂżOOHGZLWKWKHSUHVHQFH of the living Christ through the celebration of the Liturgy of the Word and the Eucharist so that we may go forth and boldly proclaim the good news with great joy and zeal! May our hearts burn like the disciples while on the road to Emmaus, always conscious that joy cannot be contained and that goodness always spreads. Every authentic experience of truth and goodness seeks by its nature to grow within us. Let us heed the words of Jesus Himself and reach out to others to seek their good (EG, 9) and be missionaries bearing the Good News with joy, kindness, patience and love. May the Good News burn within our hearts as we seek to spread the goodness of the gospel to all whom we encounter!
My beloved Brothers & Sisters in Christ,
Alleluia! Christ, our Lord is risen! In our celebration of Easter, we are reminded once again that through the Paschal mystery, His death and resurrection has given us a certain hope of new life. The reality of the Resurrection reminds us of Godâ€™s supreme reign over creation. Despair is overcome by hope; hatred is overcome by love; injustice by forgiveness and death by eternal life. Indeed, the true meaning of Easter is revealed in light of the Paschal mystery of the death and resurrection of Christ (CCC 1682). It is the death of our Lord Jesus Christ that has redeemed for us eternal life and salvation. Christâ€™s resurrection is the basis of Christian hope and salvation (1 Cor 15:14). This Easter, I would like to offer three SRLQWVIRUUHĂ€HFWLRQ 1. New Life in Christ By virtue of our baptism and our life of faith in Christ, we are initiated into life in Christ. Death no longer has a hold over us. Let us consider the words of St Paul, â€œIf anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has comeâ€? (2 Cor 5:17). Through the resurrection of Christ, we are offered new life in Christ through the Holy Spirit. Godâ€™s triumph at the cross erases sin and death once and for all (1 Cor 15:25) and gives us a new and living hope. As children of hope, let us rid ourselves RIDQJHUUDJHPDOLFHVODQGHUDQGÂżOWK\ODQguage, and live as a new creation in Christ, and put on the new self which, in the likeness of God, has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth (Eph 4:24). St Paul exhorts us, â€œSince, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in gloryâ€? (Col 3:1-4). 2. Personal Encounter with the Risen Lord Easter beckons us to a personal encounter with the risen Lord. To see the Risen Lord requires faith that leads to a personal encounter with Him. Mary Magdalene and the disciplesâ€™ encounter at the Tomb points us to ponder on our personal encounter with Him. Only when we have experienced the Lord in person, can we know the Fatherâ€™s love. â€œNo one has ever seen God; it is
The Resurrection of Christ by Italian Renaissance painter Mariotto di Cristofano. CNS photo
only the Son, who is nearest to the Fatherâ€™s heart, who has made him knownâ€? (Jn 1:18). So the condition of seeing God is that we must see the Father through Jesus. This is why Christian faith and Christian prayer must be Christocentric. This encounter must take the form of a personal experience that touches the heart and the mind. Without a personal encounter and a relationship with the Lord that involves the heart, mind and body, this God, who has incarnated Himself in Christ, would remain a distant God. From this encounter with &KULVWWKH5LVHQ/RUGZHÂżQGVWUHQJWKWR go through the trials and challenges of life. I encourage every Catholic not to be contented with merely an intellectual grasp of the faith, but to seek a personal encounter with Christ through a deeper prayer life and meditation on the Word of God. Catholics should avail themselves to do a personal retreat every year for a few days, either individually or join a corporate retreat. A personal encounter with the
Lord gives us the conviction to join the Church in mission of the New Evangelisation as personal witnesses to the gospel. 3. Go forth with Joy Our Gospel is one of Joy. The Gospel must be proclaimed with joy and with passion. It must be presented as something so beautiful that every human person is attracted to it. This something is someone, whom we call Jesus the Risen Lord, who comes to give us life abundantly, a joy the world cannot give, and the truth that sets us free. For this reason, no evangelisation is possible unless we have been evangelised DQGVHWRQÂżUHE\WKHORYHRIWKH/RUGDQG the truth He has come to reveal to us. Until we have fallen in love with Jesus and the gospel, are so inspired by the Good News proclaimed by the Lord, and ÂżQGKRSHPHDQLQJDQGSXUSRVHWKHJRVpel cannot be proclaimed with joy and H[FLWHPHQW DV GLG WKH ÂżUVW GLVFLSOHV ZKR encountered the Risen Lord.
Easter beckons us to a personal encounter with the risen Lord.
To our newly baptised Brothers and Sisters in Christ, your saying â€œYesâ€? to Jesus this Easter is indicative of God having touched your lives. I welcome you to the family of God with great love and joy. As you share in the sonship of Christ in baptism and become the adopted sons and daughters of God, and as you are incorporated into the body of Christ in the sacraPHQW RI WKH (XFKDULVW PD\ \RX EH ÂżOOHG with His graces so that you can be true witnesses of Christâ€™s love in the world, giving hope and life to all of humanity. 7RGRWKLV\RXPXVWÂżQGVWUHQJWKDQG support from the community of faith. We cannot be evangelising missionaries unless we remain as disciples of Christ in a loving Christian community. The mission of Christ cannot be accomplished unless we are in communion with fellow Catholics. So it is important that every Catholic must belong to a faith support group, whether in a Catholic cell group or Neighbourhood group. Otherwise, left alone, your faith will not stand in times of temptation, trial and suffering. God continually beckons us to new life in Him, through Christ our Lord. And ZHFDQEHFRQÂżGHQWWKDWZHZKRUHVSRQG in faith to the Risen Lord and testify to the power of His Resurrection, will share in His glory. May the blessed Virgin guide us towards Him, individually and collectively as Church. Go forth to spread the gospel of Joy! Christ is risen, He has risen indeed! Â„ Yours in Christ,
Archbishop William Goh
Sunday April 20, 2014 Â„ CatholicNews
Educators attend workshops on inculcating values in students By Stefania Hartley How can preschool educators turn positive social behaviour into a habit for their pupils? How can primary and secondary teachers support the character development of their students? This was the focus of a series of workshops for educators of Catholic schools and preschools, conducted by Dr Margaret Carter and organised by the Archdiocesan Commission for Catholic Schools (ACCS). Dr Carter is a senior lecturer in Education at James Cook University, Australia, and a behaviourchange specialist currently based in Queensland. 7KH ÂżUVW ZRUNVKRS ZKLFK
be on guard lest they themselves be caught using unkind language towards the children. In the second half of the workshops, participants were encouraged to examine their own preschoolâ€™s routines through role plays and, once a problem was LGHQWLÂżHGFDPHXSZLWKVROXWLRQV by pooling together ideas and wisdom with their peers. Ms Margaret Spruyt, a teacher from Good Shepherd Convent Kindergarten said she learnt that â€œit is very important to use the right language [or words] to speak to young children as it may help to enhance the childâ€™s self-esteem RUGHVWUR\WKHFKLOGÂśVFRQÂżGHQFHÂ´ )RU WKH ÂżUVW WLPH$&&6 DOVR invited primary and secondary
Participants in a role play activity during the workshop on March 20.
took place on March 20 in the Catholic Archdiocesan Education Centre, was conducted for 53 educators and staff of Marymount Kindergarten and Good Shepherd Convent Kindergarten. The second workshop was open to all the educators of Catholic preschools. With 51 participants, it followed the same structure as the one on the previous day. During both workshops, Dr Carter stressed that when teaching values to preschool children, being a role model and having consistency is paramount and adults must
school educators to Dr Carterâ€™s workshops in two sessions held on March 24 and 25. Twenty-two primary and 13 secondary school teachers attended these workshops. Br Dominic Chong, chaplain and brother in residence of SJI Junior, shared that he learnt from the workshop that â€œwe, as teachers, can RQO\LQĂ€XHQFHRXUSXSLOVRQYDOXH education to the extent that we are already practising those values; we should periodically check ourselves on how we see our pupilsâ€Ś as gifts entrusted by God or just as PHUHGLJLWVLQWKHFODVVURRPÂ´Â„
A group photo after the session on March 21, conducted by Dr Margaret Carter (centre, in blue).
Sunday April 20, 2014 Â„ CatholicNews
Poly students bond in combined camp By Ariel Campbell and Raphael Ong Let the light of Christ shine through you. That is the message that participants of the annual Combined Catholic Polytechnics Camp took home with them. This year, its theme, Shine, is all about Christ igniting participants with His love, and allowing Him to work through them in their actions. It also called participants to be beacons of the light of Christ for others. Conducted at CHOICE Retreat House, the residential camp was held from March 28 to 30 and organised by the current students in various Catholic groups in the polytechnics. Participants were Catholic youths who are entering into their respective Polytechnics this April. Many of them had come from mission schools â€“ where prayer was routine and Christ embedded into their school culture â€“ and transiting into the mostly secular environments of the polytechnics. By allowing them to discover and form a community, a network of brothers and sisters in Christ in
Participants of the annual Combined Catholic Polytechnics Camp held on March 28 to 30.
their respective polytechnics, the camp aimed to make this transition smoother for the participants, too. Other than games and small group sharings that allowed the participants to bond, sessions were carried out by Fr Jude David, FMM Sr Sylvia, and Fr Terence Kesavan. They ruminated on the participantsâ€™ faith and the
CHANCERY NOTICE April 4, 2014
APPOINTMENTS 1. The following persons have been appointed as members of the Human Resource Advisory Council of the Chancery for a term of two (2) years with effect from 1st April 2014: a. b. c. d.
Fr Paul Staes, CICM Ms Patsy Tan Ms Frances Cheang Mr Thomas Chia
2. Mr Andrew Kong has been appointed as a Defender of the Bond for a 5-year term with competence for marriage cases in the Ecclesiastical Tribunal of the Archdiocese of Singapore, with effect from 27th February 2014. 3. Mr John Ooi has been appointed as Chairman of the Board of Family Life Society for a term of two (2) years with effect from 5th April 2014.
richness of Godâ€™s plans for them to shine in His love. Mr Don Marcus, an educator and regular speaker at Amplify sessions, also shared his faith experiences, and how he managed to keep the love of Christ burning in him. The participants also had the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which aimed to help them open their hearts to Christ not only in time for Lent, but to begin their new school year with pure hearts too. Fr Alex Chua, chaplain to SinJDSRUHÂśV ÂżYH SRO\WHFKQLFV DOVR celebrated Mass on March 29. Â„
Campers bonding through team games. Photos: RAPHAEL ONG
OTHER MATTERS The senate has designated St Josephâ€™s Church, Victoria Street to provide for daily confessions for the faithful. For the moment, these are the times when the Sacrament of Reconciliation would be available: Mondays and Wednesdays - 11.30am-1.30pm, Fridays - 9-11am. The World Day of Prayer for WKH 6DQFWLÂżFDWLRQ RI SULHVWV will be held at the Church of St Ignatius on 27th June 2014, Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, at 8.00pm. The Chancery has sent out an advisory to all parish priests and all church entities regarding the applicable laws in the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) which will come into effect on 1st July 2014. Those needing more information may call the Chancery for further advice.
Fr John-Paul Tan, OFM, JCL, Chancellor, Chancery of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore #07-01 Catholic Centre, 55 Waterloo Street, Singapore 187954 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Working adults gather for retreat â€œThis retreat offers many practical reminders that we should adopt in our daily working lives. It especially reminds us of the critical importance of prayer life in our Catholic faith to be a full-time Christianâ€?, shared Mr Joseph Santoso, CEO of AV Capital. Mr Santoso made this comment after the Catholic Business Network (CBN)â€™s annual Lenten retreat, that brought together Catholic professionals and business owners for a day of talks, praise and worship and small group sharings. A total of 50 participants attended the retreat, themed Come, Listen, Live â€“ A Time To Listen, Enjoy And Project Your Life With God at the FMM House on March 29. During the retreat, there were JXLGHGUHĂ€HFWLRQVE\9HUEXP'HL Srs Sandra Seow and Maria Jose M Egido. Sr Sandra commented, â€œIt is so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that we forget to set time and space to listen to God. This retreat is a good time to come closer to God, listen attentively to Him and bring our Christian faith alive in
Participants listening to Verbum Dei Sr Sandra Seow (right) at the retreat.
the workplaces and family life.â€? In addition, several business owners and professionals shared their experiences and exchanged perspectives on their faith experiences. Mr Wilson Tan shared his challenges in his journey with Christ to become a faithful witness at work. He attended the retreat to share his different life experiences throughout the years to help others in the workplace. The day concluded with mass celebrated by Jesuit Fr Colin Tan. â€œI am so glad that I attended. The Catholic working adults
certainly [need] such a retreatâ€?, shared participant Dorothy Pang, who works as a graphic designer. The Catholic Business Network aims to help individuals lead more Christ-centred work lives and become shepherds of Christ in the marketplace. For more information on CBN, visit www.cbn.sg. Â„
Sunday April 20, 2014 CatholicNews
Sunday April 20, 2014 CatholicNews
Canossians mark 120 years with Foundress Day As part of the 120 years celebration of the Canossian Sisters in Singapore, the Canossian schools in Singapore celebrated Foundress Day on Feb 28. The theme celebrated by the schools this year was Carità: a life built on love, dedicated to their foundress, St Magdalene of Canossa. The schools had Mass and student leader investitures in their respective schools. Thereafter, they each carried out acts of service for the less fortunate, as charity is the cornerstone of the Canossian vocation. At the Canossian Eduplex, the three different sectors of Canossa Convent Primary School (CCPS), the Canossian School (for the education of chil-
dren with hearing impairment) and Magdalene Kindergarten came together for their act of charity. After a short skit by the Sis-
The theme celebrated by the schools this year was Carità: a life built on love, dedicated to their Foundress, St Magdalene of Canossa. ters which highlighted the mission of St Magdalene, Primary 6 students volunteered at the Willing Hearts Soup Kitchen to prepare meals for residents at
Circuit Road. While other staff and students served the lunch, the choir from the Canossian School and CCPS contemporary dancers put on some performances. The elderly residents also received goodie bags prepared by the younger children, including the kindergarten children from Magdalene’s Kindergarten. Member of Parliament Tin Pei Ling, provincial leader Sr Theresa Seow and Canossian Sisters were also present at the event to mingle with the residents. The St Anthony’s Canossian primary and secondary schools were involved in acts of charity through the donation and packing of hampers with food and daily necessities. The hampers were then distributed to residents in Kampong Chai Chee and Bedok. Migrant workers at the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes also received goodie bags packed by the older girls from the secondary section. In all, nearly 360 hampers and 180 goodie bags were packed and distributed by the two schools.
Students from St Anthony’s Canossian Primary School packing donated items to be distributed.
Canossian Sisters, staff and students of Canossa Convent Primary serving lunch to residents at Circuit Road.
Sunday April 20, 2014 Â„ CatholicNews
Young people learn to build communities over weekend retreat in SFX parish By Anita Ali The third Building Youth Communities retreat, jointly orJDQLVHG E\ WKH 2IÂ¿FH IRU Young People (OYP) and WKH &KXUFK RI 6W )UDQFLV ;DYLHU 6); ZDV KHOG LQ WKH parish from April 4 to 6. 7ZHQW\QLQH SDUWLFLSDQWV DJHGWRWRRNSDUWLQDZHHNHQG RI WHDFKLQJV %LEOH VKDULQJ DQG FRPPXQLW\ PHHWLQJV DQG UHFHLYHGSUD\HUPLQLVWU\IRUHPSRZHUPHQWWREXLOGFRPPXQLWLHV ZLWK WKH /RUG EDFN LQ WKHLU SDUishes. 3DUWLFLSDQWV ZHUH EURNHQ XS into smaller groups to join the PHHWLQJV RI RQH RI WKH VL[ 6); \RXWKFRPPXQLWLHV,Q2QH6SLULW%URWKHUVDQG6LVWHUVLQ&KULVW Cornerstone, Youth Vineyard, /HDYHQRI*RGDQG0XVWDUG6HHG &RPPXQLW\ :LWKLQ HDFK FRPPXQLW\ SDUWLFLSDQWV HQJDJHG LQ VKDULQJVEDVHGRQWKH*RVSHODQG KRZLWUHODWHGWRWKHLUOLYHV 7KH VHFRQG GD\ RI WKH UHWUHDW addressed the fundamentals of &KULVWLDQ FRPPXQLWLHV QDPHO\ HQFRXQWHUVZLWK-HVXVFRPPXQLW\OLYLQJWHDFKLQJOLWXUJ\VHUYLFH DQGZLWQHVV 7KH LPSRUWDQFH RI WKLV UHDO
Participants of the Building Youth Communities retreat spent a weekend at the Church of St Francis Xavier from April 4 to 6.
HQFRXQWHU ZLWK -HVXV ZDV SHUWLnently expressed through a quesWLRQSRVHGWRSDUWLFLSDQWVÂ³&RPPXQLW\ DQG GLVFLSOHVKLS DUH ELJ EX]]ZRUGV DW WKH PRPHQW EXW KRZ PDQ\ RI XV DFWXDOO\ NQRZ ZKDWWKH\PHDQ"Â´ 7KH WHDFKLQJV ZHUH IXUWKHU HQULFKHGE\UHDOOLIHH[DPSOHVRI WKHUHDOLWLHVRIFRPPXQLW\OLYLQJ WKURXJKWHVWLPRQLHVRQKRZFRPPXQLW\ KDV KHOSHG SHRSOH JURZ LQWKHLUIDPLO\OLIHDQGFRSHZLWK loss. On the last day of the retreat,
SDUWLFLSDQWV MRLQHG WKH YDULRXV 6); \RXWK FRPPXQLWLHV LQ WKHLU VHVVLRQVZKLFKZHUHSODQQHGDQG H[HFXWHGE\WKHLUUHVSHFWLYHPHPbers. &KXUFK RI WKH +RO\ 6SLUit parishioner Diana Ong, 19, VDLG Â³,W JDYH PH GLUHFWLRQ DV WR KRZ D FRPPXQLW\ FDQ EH VHW XS DQG , IHHO D VHQVH RI KRSH WKDW WKLV FDQ KDSSHQ LQ P\ RZQ parish after seeing it amongst WKH FRPPXQLWLHV KHUH WKLV ZHHNHQGÂ´ 0U $OR\VLXV &KXD IURP
WKH &KXUFK RI WKH 1DWLYLW\ RI WKH %OHVVHG 9LUJLQ 0DU\ VDLG Â³,W ZDV YHU\ HGLI\LQJ WR VHH VR many people from different parLVKHVZKRKDYHWKHVDPHKHDUWIRU *RG GHVLULQJ WR EXLOG FRPPXQLWLHVÂ´ (FKRLQJ KLV VHQWLPHQW ZDV *UHJRU\ 'DYLG D IDFLOLWDWRU IURP6);Â¶V/HDYHQRI*RGFRPPXQLW\ ZKR VDLG Â³,WÂ¶V HQULFKLQJ WRVHHWKH/RUGZRUNLQJLQWKHGLRFHVHWKURXJKWKH\RXWKDQGIRUPLQJPHQDQGZRPHQDIWHU+LVRZQ KHDUWÂ´Â„
Sunday April 20, 2014 CatholicNews
The Sri Lankan Catholic community in Singapore recently honoured their founder, Sr Sushila Thomas (in centre of both pictures above) in a celebration on April 6.
Sri Lankan community honours founder On April 6, the Sri Lankan community honoured their founder, Sr Sushila Thomas, who recently returned to Singapore to serve on a project undertaken by the Good Shepherd sisters. During the celebration, Ms Clara Perera, a founder member of the Sri Lankan community recounted how the community was formed in 1995, when Sr Sushila arrived in Singapore as a missionary to serve the Sri Lankan migrant workers. Ms Perera related how Sr Sushila would go around the Little India area on Sundays looking for Sri Lankan Catholics. She gradu-
ally went on to organise classes for cooking, typing, dressmaking and computer skills. Although Sr Sushila left Singapore in 2002, the community she founded continued to meet at the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes under the guidance of Ms Geneview Kanangara, who once served at the Archdiocesan Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants & Itinerant People. In 2008, the Sri Lankan community was blessed by the arrival of Friar Julian Mariaratnam, a Franciscan friar of Sri Lankan origin. The community thus continued to meet every Sunday at the
Church of Our Lady of Lourdes and celebrate Mass in Sinhalese. During this time, the community embarked on a project to produce a Sunday Missal in the Sinhalese language. They currently have produced missals for two liturgical years and the publications are used by the faithful back in Sri Lanka. In March 2014, due to lack of space at the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, the Sri Lankan community temporarily moved to Chestnut Drive. Every Sunday they celebrate Mass in Sinhalese at noon at the Franciscans’ Greccio Friary, and thereafter, they meet for fel-
lowship at the adjoining CHIJ Our Lady Queen of Peace. The community also spends time making audio recordings of the daily Mass readings, and these recordings are available on the Sri Lankan Catholics Facebook page. Friar Julian, chaplain of the Sri Lankan community, believes that there are many Sri Lankan Catholics in Singapore who are unaware that they can participate in a Mass celebrated in their own language. For more information, visit the Sri Lankan Catholics Facebook page or their website at www. srilankancatholics.org.
Sunday April 20, 2014 CatholicNews
Nativity Church’s Lent production on overcoming struggles as a family The family is where many beautiful moments may be shared – it is a source of joy but also of pain. Going beyond what Lent represents for the individual, the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary put the passion, death and resurrection of Christ into the family context through a play, titled #03-16. Held on April 5 and 6 at the church hall, the production was supported by 37 cast and crew aged three to 37. The storyline explored the life of a typical family going through a week of work, play, rest and prayer. As the plot unfolded, the struggles that inevitably follow when one’s self interest is placed above the other and the lack of faith in God led members of the family further away from one another. Dealing with expectations from every facet of life, the main characters – Anne (mother), Joseph (father), Agnes (eldest child), Gabriel (middle child) and Maria (youngest child) experience the demands and challenges of a family, and eventually realise that they have to “die” to themselves to love each other.
Mr Roysmond Sim, 21, who played Gabriel, reflect, “In my own life, I often struggle to deal with misleading voices in my head and the play reminded me that Jesus is always there to guide me back to the right path.” An audience member Ms Cassandra Lim, 28, mentioned how easy it was to connect with the play as the characters are so relatable. Ms Grace Lin, 31, DOVR VDLG VKH LGHQWL¿HG with the emotions of the characters, and that at ¿UVWLWZDV³IUXVWUDWLQJWR see the struggles [of] the mother”, but upon further pondering, she realised that the “intensity of the acting is the pinnacle of an emotional encounter for a woman in the role of a mother and wife, whilst facing barriers on each front.” To be informed of future Lent productions, email email@example.com for more information.
The Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary recently performed a Lent production that explored the life of a typical family facing struggles and temptations incited by the ‘devil’ (in red, above), but eventually the members bond closer through prayer and faith in God, and Jesus appears to them when they pray (above right).
Sunday April 20, 2014 Â„ CatholicNews
A dialogue of love among people of different faiths The international Focolare Movement recently met in Rome to celebrate the legacy of their founder and conduct interfaith dialogues. Lawrence Chong, a Singapore representative, shares his experience. ,QDIDPLO\OLNHDWPRVSKHUHPRUH than 250 members of different faiths from 30 nations gathered from March 17 to 19 at Castel Gandolfo near Rome to celebrate the legacy of Chiara Lubich. As the founder of the Focolare Movement, Ms Lubich had contributed in building unity among people of different religions. ,W ZDV WKH ÂżUVW LQWHUUHOLJLRXV conference organised by the Focolare. Prior to this, the Focolare conducted bilateral symposiums with Buddhists, Hindus, Jews and Muslims to deepen the already strong friendships formed since the 1980s. The programme featured numerous testimonials, experiences of mutual love, the spiritual fruits that came out of such encounters. $ VHQLRU %XGGKLVW PRQN IURP Thailand shared how he gained a new understanding about Christianity through an act of love. Once he was staying with the community of the Focolare in Florence during winter. He had left his pair of dirty sandals outside during the night but the very next morning he found them cleaned. He was surprised and wondered why anyone would do that. Then he learned from his hosts
that for Christians, because God loved them so much that He was willing to die for them, it is this love that inspire them to love others in extraordinary ways. He was so impressed, he returned home DQG EURXJKW RWKHU PRQNV WR JHW WRNQRZPRUHDERXWWKH)RFRODUH community in Thailand. At different sessions, there ZHUHYLGHRVVKRZLQJWKHÂżUVWHQcounters, capturing the moments of friendship between the FocoODUH PHPEHUV ,W ZDV OLNH D ZDON down memory lane and some were clearly moved to see those images. There were also deeply UHĂ€HFWLYH H[FKDQJHV RI VSLULWXDO thoughts from many participants. Because of the atmosphere of trust, everyone felt very comfortable to be distinct in their beliefs while remaining open to listen to the other. At this meeting, because of the atmosphere of love, there is this JUHDW GHVLUH WR OHW RWKHUV VSHDN the willingness to listen and to build a great relationship. Dr Vinu Aram, a Hindu leader in the interfaith world shared that â€œeveryone felt comfortable to share what is in their hearts because they felt at homeâ€?. A Jewish leader from the United States commented, â€œThe
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Focolarini should congratulate yourselves, you have managed to gather Jews from different tradiWLRQV DQG NHSW WKH SHDFH DPRQJ us.â€? When an Imam from Spain needed translation to share with an Italian Catholic, a Jewish Rabbi from Argentina â€“ gifted in languages â€“ jumped in to help. Or when Catholic media wanted to DVNDTXHVWLRQDERXWWKHSURFHHGings of the conference, an Iranian professor â€“ a Shia Muslim who WHDFKHVDWWKH3RQWLÂżFDO*UHJRULDQ 8QLYHUVLW\ÂąĂ€XHQWLQ,WDOLDQZDV able to sum up beautifully, including the thoughts of others in a succinct and spiritual way. Right now in Singapore, there is a great amount of friendship between leaders of different faiths and those who are deeply involved. But it is time to go beyond and build sustained friendVKLSV EHWZHHQ FRPPXQLWLHV OLNH between a parish and a mosque. When a spirit of trust is built
then it will be easier to have dialogue. Through deeper relationships, it then pushes people to have deeper spiritual sharings. Through the years, I have learned more about the Churchâ€™s teachings on dialogue because the friends that you meet from other IDLWKV PDNH DQ HIIRUW WR VKDUH DERXWWKHLUVWRR6RWRNHHSWKHGLalogue going, we have to be constantly ready with our gifts which is our identity and experience as a Christian. The conclusion of the confer-
HQFH WRRN SODFH LQ WKH 3RQWLÂżFDO Urbaniana University with more than 500 leaders and personaliWLHVLQDWWHQGDQFHWRPDUNWKHWK anni-versary of Chiaraâ€™s passing. Different religious personalities such as Rabbi David Rosen, Director of Interreligious Affairs for the American Jewish Committee VSRNHÂ„ The writer is an interreligious representative of the Focolare since 2005, at Religions for Peace, a global interfaith organisation.
The Focolare in Singapore The Focolare is a lay Catholic movement founded in 1943 in Trent, Italy by Chiara Lubich, who consecrated her life to God and subsequently inspired many young people to do the same. The charism of the Focolare 0RYHPHQW RIÂżFLDOO\ NQRZQ LQ the Church as Opera di Maria 7KH:RUNRI0DU\ LVXQLW\ Today the Movement is pre-
sent in 194 nations, with more than two million adherents from different vocations â€“ from children and young people to families, priests and the Religious. The Focolare Movement in Singapore was established in 1991 and has about 100 active members under the zone comprising Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. The group organises activities
for young people and families, and annual Mariapolis gatherings are held in June in Johor Bahru. There are also monthly meetings based on the Word of Life, or a phrase from the Gospel. Â„ To join the monthly meetings, email firstname.lastname@example.org.For more information about the Focolare, visit www.focolare.org.
Sunday April 20, 2014 CatholicNews
Update on Archbishop Chia SINGAPORE – 7KH $UFKELVKRS¶V 2I¿FH UHleased the following update on Archbishop Emeritus Nicholas Chia’s condition on April 4:
Dear Rev Fathers, Brothers and Sisters in Christ, As advised in our last communique, Archbishop William Goh has formed a team of doctors to, among other assignments, prognosticate Archbishop Emeritus’ medical condition with a view to recommending the type of treatment that would best facilitate his recovery. Accordingly, the team met on 2 April, 2014, and made the following observations and recommendations: “Emeritus Archbishop Nicholas Chia is currently making good progress in recovery but it is still too early to prognosticate the extent of full recovery which will be more apparent after a period of rehabilitation over a period of 6 months to 1 year. “Plans are being made to transfer him to a Neurological Rehabilitation Unit. He LVFXUUHQWO\XQ¿WWRUHVXPHKLVSUHLQFLGHQW RI¿FLDOUROHVDQGUHVSRQVLELOLWLHV “Controlled visitations from immediate family members, Religious, Government 2I¿FLDOVDQGUHOHYDQWGRFWRUVDUHSHUPLVVLble, subjected to visiting hours and restrictions pertaining to Mount Alvernia Hospital ICU before transfer.”
No morning Masses on Holy Thursday and Holy Saturday. Holy Thursday (April 17): Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper. Adoration till midnight. Good Friday (April 18): Service only, no Mass. Holy Saturday (April 19): Easter Vigil. Easter Sunday (April 20) CITY DISTRICT ST JOSEPH’S CHURCH (VICTORIA STREET)
Holy Thursday: 6.30pm Good Friday: Way of the Cross followed by Service: 3.00pm (with procession & adoration till midnight) Holy Saturday: 8.00pm (No Baptism) Easter Sunday: 8.00am, 10am, 11.30am (French), 3.00pm (Latin), 5.00pm CHURCH OF STS PETER & PAUL Holy Thursday: 7.00pm (Trilingual) Good Friday: 11.00am (M*), 3.00pm Holy Saturday: 8.00pm (Trilingual) Easter Sunday: 8.30am (M*), 11.00am, 4.20pm CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES Holy Thursday: 6.30pm (Eng. and Tamil) Good Friday: Way of the Cross: 2.30pm, 5.30pm; Service: 3.00pm, 6.30pm Holy Saturday: 8.00pm (Eng. and Tamil) Easter Sunday: 7.30am, 9.00am (T*), 11.30am, 1.00pm, 6.30pm (T*) CHURCH OF THE SACRED HEART Holy Thursday: 6.00pm Good Friday: 10am (M*), Way of the Cross followed by Service: 2.30pm, 5.30pm Holy Saturday: 7.15pm (M*), 10.00pm Easter Sunday: 9.00am, 10.30am, 12.00pm, 5.30pm CHURCH OF ST TERESA Holy Thursday: 5.00pm, 7.00pm, 9.00pm (Holy Hour) Good Friday: 10.00am at the auditorium (For children), Way of the Cross followed by Service: 10.00am, 2.30pm Holy Saturday: 8.00pm Easter Sunday: 8.30am Children’s Mass (Auditorium), 10.30am, 12.30pm (with infant Baptism), 6.00pm
Pakistan Catholics, activists stand up for those accused of ‘blasphemy’ LAHORE, PAKISTAN – The Pakistan Cath-
olic Church recently held a day of prayer and fasting for two Christians sentenced to death under the country’s controversial blasphemy laws. Pakistani activists and religious leaders also led various peaceful demonstrations in Lahore and Islamabad on that day, April 2, as “a sign of kinship and solidarity”. Mr Sawan Masih, a 26-year-old Christian from Lahore, was recently convicted in a lower court on charges made by a person he had a personal disagreement with. The Lahore High Court is set to hear his appeal on July 25. Ms Asia Bibi was accused by several Muslim women, with whom she had argued, of blaspheming the prophet Mohammad, a charge she denies. She was sentenced to death in November 2010. Her appeal trial is scheduled for April 14. Fr Asher Arshad, from Lahore archdiocese, noted the “encouraging response” that came in recent days from civil society groups who decided to respond positively to a call for fast and prayer on behalf “of Asia Bibi and Sawan Masih, both persecuted because of their faith”.
CHURCH OF ST ALPHONSUS (NOVENA CHURCH)
Holy Thursday: 7.00pm. Good Friday: Passion Play: 10.00am, Service: 3.00pm Holy Saturday: 8.00pm Easter Sunday: 7.00am, 9.00am, 5.30pm, 11.00am (Tg*) CHURCH OF ST BERNADETTE Holy Thursday: 7.30pm Good Friday: 9.00am (M*), 11.00am (Indonesian), 3.00pm Holy Saturday: 8.00pm Easter Sunday: 8.00am (M*), 9.30am, 11.00am, 5.30pm CHURCH OF ST MICHAEL Holy Thursday: 8.00pm Good Friday: Way of the Cross followed by Service: 8.00am (M*), 11.00am, 2.30pm Holy Saturday: 8.00pm Easter Sunday: 7.30am (M*) with Baptism, 9.30am, 5.30pm EAST DISTRICT CHURCH OF THE HOLY FAMILY Holy Thursday: 7:30pm Good Friday: Way of the Cross: 8.30am, Service: 9.00am; 12.00noon, 3.00pm. 5.30pm (M*) Holy Saturday: 8.00 pm (adult Baptism) Easter Sunday: 7.15am; 9.15am, 11.15am; 6.00pm (M*) CHURCH OF OUR LADY QUEEN OF PEACE Holy Thursday: 7.00pm Good Friday: 9.00am (M*); 11.30am; 3.00pm Holy Saturday: 8.00pm, Easter Vigil & adult Baptism Easter Sunday: 7.30am (M*); 9.00am; 10.45am, 5.30pm CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL SUCCOUR Holy Thursday: 5.00pm, 7.00pm Good Friday: Way of the Cross followed by Service: 7.30am (M*); 10.30am; 2.00pm, 5.00pm Holy Saturday: 8.00pm Easter Sunday: 7.00am (M*); 8.45am; 10.30am; 12.15pm, 6.00pm
Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi seen in an undated photo. CNS photo
Mr Aqeel Mehadi, a human rights activist from Lahore, said, “We join our Christian brothers and sisters in solidarity.”
CHURCH OF ST STEPHEN Holy Thursday: 6.30pm Good Friday: 3.00pm, 6.00pm Holy Saturday: 9.00pm Easter Sunday: 7.30am (M*), 9.00am, 10.30am, 6.00pm CHURCH OF THE HOLY TRINITY Holy Thursday: 6.00pm, 8.00pm Good Friday: 8.00am (M*), 11.00am, 3.00pm, 6.00pm, Holy Saturday: 7.30pm (with Baptism) Easter Sunday: 6.45am, 9.30am, 11.15am, 3.00pm (M*) with Baptism, 6.00pm CHURCH OF THE DIVINE MERCY Holy Thursday: 7.00 pm Good Friday: Service: 9.00am; 11.30am & 3.00pm. Children’s Service (Chapel): 9.00am; 11.30am, 3.00pm Holy Saturday: 7.00pm (adult Baptism) Easter Sunday: 7.00am; 9.00am, 11.30am, 5.30pm (with infant Baptism) Divine Mercy Novena From Monday April 21 Saturday 26 April - 7.30pm Chaplet followed by 8.00pm Mass
NORTH DISTRICT ST JOSEPH CHURCH (BUKIT TIMAH) Holy Thursday: 7.00pm Good Friday: 9.00am (M*), 11.00am, 3.00pm Holy Saturday: 8.00pm Easter Sunday: 7.15am (M*), 9.00am, 11.00am, 5.30pm
He added that “as a Muslim, I am disgusted by what has happened and what continues to happen.” He noted that Ali Jinnah, the founding father of modern Pakistan always stressed in his speeches the principle of religious freedom, imagining a liberal and multicultural nation where all citizens have “the right to practise their religion and not be imprisoned because of their faith”. “It is indeed sad to see that what has become of Pakistan,” said Fr John Barkat, a priest and activist in Lahore. “Unfortunately a handful of fanatics have promoted intolerance and paved the way for sectarian violence; as a result we have witnessed incidents like those in Shanti Nagar, Gojra and Joseph Colony. Let us therefore fast and pray for the persecuted in Pakistan.” In a statement, two human rights groups – the Masihi Foundation and Life for All Pakistan – said, “Blasphemy remains a hugely sensitive issue in Pakistan. The blasphemy laws in Pakistan are used to settle personal vendettas ... We peacefully protest against Masih’s sentence and demand justice for Asia Bibi.” ASIANEWS
CHURCH OF THE RISEN CHRIST Holy Thursday: 4.00pm, 6.00pm Good Friday: 8.00am (M*), 10.30am, 2.30pm, 5.00pm Holy Saturday: 7.30pm Easter Sunday: 7.00am, 8.15am (M*), 9.45am, 11.30am, 6.00pm
WEST DISTRICT CHURCH OF ST IGNATIUS Holy Thursday: 7.30pm Good Friday: 12.00noon, 3.00pm, 6.00pm Holy Saturday: 8.00pm Easter Sunday: 6.45am, 8.15am, 10.15am, 12.15pm, 6.00pm
CHURCH OF CHRIST THE KING Holy Thursday: 6.15pm Good Friday: 7.30am, 10.00am (with children’s liturgy), 12.30pm (M*), 3.00pm (with children’s liturgy), 5.30pm Holy Saturday: 7.30pm Easter Sunday: 7.30am (M*) with Baptism, 9.45am, 11.30am, 5.30pm
BLESSED SACRAMENT CHURCH Holy Thursday: 7.00pm Good Friday: 10.00am, 12.30pm (M*), 3.00pm Holy Saturday: 8.00pm Easter Sunday: 7.30am, 9.00am (M*), 11.00am, 3.00pm (Tg*), 5.30pm, 7.00pm (T*)
SERANGOON DISTRICT CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY Holy Thursday: 6.30pm Good Friday: 8.00am, 10.30am (M*), 1.00pm, 3.00pm, 5.00pm; Way of the Cross in Teochew: 10.00am Holy Saturday: 7.00pm (M*), 10pm Easter Sunday: 7.30am, 9.15am, 11.00am, 6.00pm
CHURCH OF ST MARY OF THE ANGELS Holy Thursday: 6.30pm, 8.30pm Good Friday: 9.00am Morning Prayer, 11.00am (M*), 1.00pm, 3.00pm, 5.00pm (followed by Way of the Cross) Holy Saturday: 8.00pm Easter Sunday: 7.30am (M*), 9.00am, 10.45am, 12.30pm, 5.30pm, 7.15pm
CHURCH OF THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY Holy Thursday: 6.30pm Good Friday: 10.00am, 3.00pm Holy Saturday: 7.30pm Easter Sunday: 7.00am, 8:30am, 11.15am, 6.15pm
CHURCH OF ST ANTHONY Holy Thursday: 9.30pm Good Friday: 9am, 12.00noon (M*), 3.00pm, 5.30pm (T*) Holy Saturday: 7.30pm Easter Sunday: 7.30am (M*), 11.15am, 6.00pm
CHURCH OF ST FRANCIS XAVIER Holy Thursday: 8.00pm Good Friday: 9.00am, 11.30am, 3.00pm, Way of the Cross: 8.00pm Holy Saturday: 7.30pm Easter Sunday: 7.00am, 9.00am, 11.00am, 5.30pm
CHURCH OF OUR LADY STAR OF THE SEA Holy Thursday: 6.30pm, 9.30pm Good Friday: 8.15am (M*), 11.00am (T*), 1.00pm, 3.00pm, 5.00pm (Tg*) Holy Saturday: Vigil Mass – 8.00pm Easter Sunday: 7.10am (M*), 8.30am, 10.00am, 11.30am, 5.00pm
ST ANNE’S CHURCH Holy Thursday: 7.00pm Good Friday: Way of the Cross: 8.00am, 11.00am, 3.00pm Holy Saturday: 8.00pm Easter Sunday: 7.15am, 9.00am, 11.00am, 6.00pm
CHURCH OF THE HOLY SPIRIT Holy Thursday: 7.00pm Good Friday: 10.00am (Children’s Mass in Chapel), 3.00pm Holy Saturday: 7.30pm Easter Sunday: 7.00am, 9.00am, 11.00am, 5.30pm
CHURCH OF ST VINCENT DE PAUL Holy Thursday: 8.00pm Good Friday: Service: 8.45am (Indonesian), 11.00am (Tg*), 2.30pm, 5.30pm Holy Saturday: 8.00pm Easter Sunday: 7.00am, 9.00am, 11.00am, 6.00pm
CHURCH OF ST FRANCIS OF ASSISI Holy Thursday: 7.30pm Good Friday: 7.30am (Tamil) 10.00am. 1.00pm; 3.00pm (M*) Holy Saturday: 6.00pm (M*), 9.30pm Easter Sunday: 7.30am; 9.00am, 11.00am; 6.00pm (M*), 7.30pm (T*) CHURCH OF THE HOLY CROSS Holy Thursday: 6.00pm, 8.00pm Good Friday: 7.30am, 10.00am, 12.30pm, 3.00pm followed by Way of the Cross, 6.00pm (M*) Holy Saturday: 7.30pm Easter Sunday: 7.30am, 9.30am, 11.15am, 1.00pm (M*) Note: In English unless indicated. (M*) Mandarin, (T*) Tamil, (Tg*) Tagalog, (EM*) English & Mandarin, (Mylm*) Malayalam All information provided correct at press time. Please contact the individual parishes for updates.
Sunday April 20, 2014 Â„ CatholicNews
Cardinal lauds peace deal between govt, rebel group MANILA â€“ The Philippinesâ€™ new-
est cardinal was among 1,000 guests who witnessed the peace agreement between the government and the countryâ€™s largest Muslim rebel group. Cotabato Cardinal Orlando Quevedoâ€™s archdiocese in the southern island of Mindanao includes the main administrative camp for the rebels of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Cardinal Quevedo told reporters on the sidelines on March 27 that he admired the determination of negotiators for the rebels and the government and â€œalso their wisdom because the Bangsamoro KDV ÂżQDOO\ DFKLHYHG WKHLU RZQ fundamental aspiration for selfdeterminationâ€?. In a speech, MILF chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim said the SDFW ÂżQDOO\ UHVWRUHG WKH LGHQWLW\ powers and resources of all residents of Muslim-majority Mindanao, called â€œBangsamoroâ€?. â€œThese three things, which have been ours since time immemorial, unjustly taken through colonisation and occupation, are now returned to us,â€? he said at the ceremony on the grounds of the presidential palace in Manila. For nearly 40 years, the Mus-
$0RURZRPDQKROGVDĂ€DJRIWKH0RUR,VODPLF/LEHUDWLRQ)URQWRQ0DUFK 7KH3KLOLSSLQHVDQGLWVODUJHVW0XVOLPUHEHOJURXSVLJQHGDÂżQDOSHDFH SDFWWKDWGD\CNS photo
lim rebels fought for the right to self-determination, engaging government troops in skirmishes and forcing millions of residents to Ă€HH WKHLU KRPHV $SSUR[LPDWHO\ 120,000 people were killed. 7KH SDFW ZKLFK RIÂżFLDOV FDOO the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro creates a selfgoverning region in Mindanao. The region, to be called Bangsamoro, will have a parliamentary form of government. Cardinal Quevedo acknowl-
edged there was room for even better understanding on the part of Catholics in the region. â€œI know that living together with Muslims, which has been part of my long life in Mindanao, is something I appreciate very much,â€? he said. â€œSo at the grassroots level, in the marketplace, be friends with one another. Pray for one another. Live together in the community, and all those biases and mistrust can be somehow sigQLÂżFDQWO\UHGXFHGÂ´Â„ CNS
Sunday April 20, 2014 Â„ CatholicNews
â€˜Partial victoryâ€™ for Philippine Church in health law verdict MANILA â€“ 7KH 3KLOLSSLQH 6XSUHPH&RXUWUXOHGDUHSURGXFWLYH health law constitutional on April DQGGHFODUHGLWHIIHFWLYHLPPHdiately. But in rendering the decision, WKH FRXUW DOVR VWUXFN GRZQ VRPH SURYLVLRQV RI 7KH 5HVSRQVLEOH 3DUHQWKRRG DQG 5HSURGXFWLYH +HDOWK$FWRIOHDGLQJDQRIÂżFLDORIWKHELVKRSVÂśFRQIHUHQFHWR FDOOLWDÂłSDUWLDOYLFWRU\Â´ Âł7KH 6XSUHPH &RXUW VWUXFN down a number of important SURYLVLRQV WKDW ZHUH ZHDNHQLQJ the conscientious objections for &DWKROLF KRVSLWDOV JRYHUQPHQW ZRUNHUV KHDOWK FDUH SURYLGHUVÂ´ )U 0HOYLQ &DVWUR H[HFXWLYH VHFretary of the Catholic Bishopsâ€™ &RQIHUHQFH RI WKH 3KLOLSSLQHVÂś Commission on Family and Life, WROG&DWKROLF1HZV6HUYLFH +H VDLG WKH FRPPLVVLRQ DOVR was glad that the court ruled unconstitutional a portion that would UHTXLUH KHDOWK FDUH SURYLGHUV WR JLYH DFFHVV WR IDPLO\ SODQQLQJ to minor girls, who had already borne children or miscarried, without their parentsâ€™ permission. Âł$OO LQ DOO ZH ZRXOG KDYH wanted the entire law to be declared unconstitutional,â€? said Fr Castro. â€œBut nonetheless ... we see a glimmer of hope that ... if we are going to point out its constituWLRQDODQGPRUDOZHDNQHVVHVWKDW the Supreme Court of the land is willing to listen to it, then we are happy with that.â€? The law mandates that famLO\ SODQQLQJ VHUYLFHV DQG JRYernment-funded contraception be JLYHQWRSHRSOHOLYLQJLQSRYHUW\ It also calls for sex education for
Nuns participate in a rally against the Reproductive Health Bill outside the EDSA Shrine in Manila in 2012. Catholics have protested against the bill, which would allow the government to distribute contraceptives. CNS photo
minors in middle through high school, with some exceptions. While abortion is illegal in this country, the law compels health FDUHSURYLGHUVWRRIIHUVHUYLFHVWR ZRPHQZKRKDYHKDGDERUWLRQV The court deemed unconstituWLRQDO SURYLVLRQV WKDW FRPSHOOHG religious health institutions and RWKHU VHUYLFH SURYLGHUV ZKR GLG not agree with the use of contraception to offer family planning â€œmaterials and productsâ€?. It also said it was unconstitutional to SXQLVK SURYLGHUV ZKR UHIXVHG WR FDUU\RXWFHUWDLQSURYLVLRQVRIWKH law based on their beliefs.
The law, which went through QXPHURXVLQFDUQDWLRQVLQWKH3KLOLSSLQH OHJLVODWXUH RYHU D \HDU SHULRGÂżQDOO\FDPHLQWRH[LVWHQFH LQ'HFHPEHUDIWHU3UHVLGHQW Benigno Aquino pushed hard for it. Mr Aquino, a Catholic, said he was willing to be excommunicated to see it pass. Opponents of the law said it was a population-control measure that would help promote promisFXLW\LQ\RXQJSHRSOH3URSRQHQWV DUJXHG WKDW JLYLQJ WKH QHHG\ DFcess to family planning information would enable them to better SURYLGHIRUWKHLUFKLOGUHQÂ„ CNS
All in all, we would have wanted the â€˜ entire law to be declared unconstitutional.â€™
â€“ Fr Melvin Castro, from the Commission on Family and Life
Priests ordered to pull out of Indiaâ€™s elections THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, INDIA â€“ A Catholic priest in India has
been suspended and another is facing suspension for failing to withdraw as candidates for parliamentary elections. &KXUFKRIÂżFLDOVKDYHWROGWKH two priests in southern India not WRSDUWLFLSDWHEXWERWKPHQKDYH chosen to press on with their political ambitions. )U076WHSKHQRI7ULYDQGUXP archdiocese, who is running as an independent candidate in Kerala, was suspended after refusing to end his candidacy, said archdiocesan YLFDUJHQHUDO)U(XJLQH+3HUHLUD â€œWe had directed him to withGUDZIURPWKHHOHFWLRQÂ´)U3HUHLra told ucanews.com. Canon law 285.3 states that â€œclerics are forbidden to assume SXEOLFRIÂżFHVZKLFKHQWDLODSDUWLFLSDWLRQ LQ WKH H[HUFLVH RI FLYLO powerâ€?. Campaign posters of Fr Stephen LQSULHVWO\JDUEKDYHEHHQRQGLVSOD\ throughout his district. About 50 YROXQWHHUV KDYH EHHQ FDPSDLJQLQJ for him as India prepared to go to the polls on April 10 to elect members WRWKHORZHUKRXVHRI3DUOLDPHQW
Fr Stephen, 50, said he is runQLQJIRUHOHFWHGRIÂżFHEHFDXVHWKH PDLQVWUHDP SROLWLFDO SDUWLHV KDYH failed to protect the interests of the common man. Âł,ÂśYH EHHQ ÂżJKWLQJ IRU WKH FDXVHRIWKHSRRUHYHUVLQFH,EHcame a priest. During the last 24 years of my priesthood, I led agitations for the poor and was jailed twice,â€? he said, adding that he has EHHQ RQ OHDYH IURP SDULVK GXWLHV since February. In southern Tamil Nadu state, )U03-HVXUDMDSURPLQHQWDQWL QXFOHDUDFWLYLVWLVVHHNLQJDORZHU KRXVHVHDWLQWKH7LUXQHOYHOLFRQstituency, representing the newly IRUPHG&RPPRQ0DQÂśV3DUW\ Media reports said Bishop -XGH3DXOUDMRI3DOD\DPNRWWDLKDG DVNHG)U-HVXUDMWRZLWKGUDZIURP the election. If the priest continues, he could be suspended from priestly duties. â€œI had sought permission from the bishop but he told me that I am not supposed to join the political IUD\Â´ )U -HVXUDM WROG XFDQHZV FRP +H VDLG KH ZDV QRW WROG DW that time that he would be suspended. Â„ UCANEWS.COM
Sunday April 20, 2014 Â„ CatholicNews
Priest, who appealed for aid for Syrians, killed CNS photo
ROME â€“ A 75-year-old Dutch Jes-
uit who refused to leave war-torn Syria, instead staying in Homs to help the poor and homeless, was beaten by armed men and killed with two bullets to the head, according to an email sent by the Jesuitsâ€™ Middle East province to the Jesuit headquarters in Rome. Jesuit Fr Frans van der Lugt, who had worked in Syria since 1966, declined suggestions to leave because he wanted to help Syriaâ€™s suffering civilians â€“ â€œChristians and Muslims â€“ anyone in need,â€? said Fr Giuseppe BellucFLKHDGRIWKH-HVXLWVÂśSUHVVRIÂżFH The email, reporting that armed men had taken Fr Van der Lugt, beaten him and then shot him dead in front of the Jesuit residence in Homs, was sent to the Jesuit headquarters on April 7, Fr Bellucci said. â€œThatâ€™s all the information we have right now.â€? In a statement published later, Fr Adolfo Nicolas, superior general of the Jesuits, and the staff of the Jesuitsâ€™ headquarters expressed their sorrow â€œfor the brutal assassination of a man who dedicated his life to the poorest and neediest, especially in Homs, and who did not want to abandon them even at times of great dangerâ€?. â€œHe always spoke of peace and reconciliation,â€? the statement said, â€œand he opened his doors
Pro-Russian protesters VFXIĂ€HZLWK police at the regional government building in Donetsk, Ukraine, April 6. A Ukrainian Catholic bishop says his Church could lose its legal status under Russian rule in Crimea.
Jesuit Fr Frans van der Lugt seen here in Homs, Syria, in January.
to all those asking help without distinction of race or religion. â€˜I donâ€™t see Muslims or Christians,â€™ he used to say, â€˜but only human beings. I am the only priest and the only foreigner in this place, but I donâ€™t feel like a foreigner.â€™â€? The Jesuits prayed that â€œhis VDFULÂżFH ZRXOG EULQJ WKH IUXLW RI peace and that it would be a further stimulus for silencing the weapons and setting aside hatredâ€?. Fr Van der Lugt became known around the world after appealing for aid for the people of the besieged city of Homs in a video posted on YouTube in late January. In Syria, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) announced it would close for three days after Fr Van der Lugtâ€™s death. Â„ CNS
Ukrainian Catholic Church Ă€JKWLQJWRUHPDLQ OHJDOLQ&ULPHDELVKRS OXFORD, ENGLAND â€“ A Ukrain-
ian Catholic bishop warned that his Church could lose its legal status in Crimea under Russian rule and pledged to use â€œall possible means in the international arenaâ€? to defend it. â€œGreek Catholic communities like ours are denied rights in the Russian Federation, which we see as a violation of freedom of conscience and religion,â€? said Bishop Bohdan Dzyurakh, secretarygeneral of the Ukrainian Catholic Synod of Bishops. â€œWe hoped these restrictions wouldnâ€™t be applied to our Church in Crimea, but weâ€™ve been told all religious communities must now re-register there. This means the local government usurps the power to reject those it sees as a threat.â€? Bishop Dzyurakh spoke to
Catholic News Service in early April as pro-Russian protesters stormed Ukrainian government buildings in the eastern cities of Donetsk, Lugansk and Kharkiv, raising fears of a new Russian military intervention after the March annexation of Crimea. He said the situation in Crimea remained â€œtense and dangerousâ€? for Catholic clergy, after one priest was arrested and threatened with prison, and others were branded â€œVatican agentsâ€? and warned to leave. â€œCatholics are still leaving Crimea â€“ hardly anyone remains in some communities, and itâ€™s hard to see how our pastoral work can survive,â€? he told CNS. â€œWeâ€™re consulting legal experts about our rights under international law, since these are issues of fundamental religious freedom too important to be left in the KDQGVRIORFDORIÂżFLDOVÂ´KHVDLG The bishop said two Redemptorist priests were currently run-
ning the Church in Crimea, and plans had been made to replace clergy with families with unmarried pastors from Religious orders. In Crimea, â€œthe threats and accusations against us recall Soviet propaganda from when our Church was suppressed in 1945-46, and weâ€™ve no illusions as to what this portends,â€? Bishop Dzyurakh said. â€œCatholics who support Ukraineâ€™s independence and territorial integrity are being viewed as enemies. Priestsâ€™ families are also being mistreated by people LQĂ€XHQFHG E\ 5XVVLDQ SURSDJDQda, which has succeeded in fuelling aggression between citizens who previously lived in peace.â€? The Ukrainian Catholic Church, a Byzantine rite, was outlawed under Soviet rule from 1946 to 1989, when many clergy were imprisoned and most Church properties seized by the state or transferred to Russian Orthodox possession. Â„ CNS
Sunday April 20, 2014 Â„ CatholicNews
In Chile, Caritas moves materials into area hit by quake, aftershocks
A woman walks with children amid debris around a home on April 3 following an earthquake and tsunami that hit the northern port of Iquique, Chile, on April 2. The natural disaster did damage, triggered tsunami warnings and claimed at least six lives, but has been much less destructive than previous earthquakes in the region. CNS photo MEXICO CITY â€“ Caritas Chile has
continued moving materials into an area of northern Chile hit hard E\DQ$SULOHDUWKTXDNHDQGWKH VXEVHTXHQW DIWHUVKRFNV ZKLFK have prevented some people from sleeping in their homes. Bishop Guillermo Villa of ,TXLTXHKDVVSRNHQYLDUDGLRWRWKH local population, while he and his priests in the impacted cities served by the diocese have continued celebrating Mass and visiting with those whose homes were damaged E\ WKH PDJQLWXGH HDUWKTXDNH DQGVXEVHTXHQWDIWHUVKRFNV The natural disaster did damage, triggered tsunami warnings and killed six, but has been much less destructive than previous HDUWKTXDNHVLQWKHUHJLRQ Âł:HÂśUH XVHG WR KDYLQJ WKH ground move often, but not with this intensity,â€? said Ms Doris De Ferrari, secretary at the Diocese
RI ,TXLTXH RIÂżFHV FRPPHQWLQJ after a magnitude-7.6 aftershock rocked the region. That April 3 aftershock prompted another tsunami and evacuation alert for &KLOHÂśVHQWLUHFRDVWOLQH Âł,WÂśVTXLWHZRUU\LQJÂ´VKHDGGed, saying schools and businesses had closed, while highways were wrecked and many homes lacked power or water service. 0V ,QJULG 6DDYHGUD VSRNHVwoman for Caritas Chile, said in an email, â€œThe most urgent needs are for water, some food, hygiene products and shelter for families that have suffered damage to their homes.â€? Caritas was working with other nongovernmental groups to coordinate its response, she said, ZKLOH FUHZV IURP WKH &KXUFKÂśV charitable arm were still assessing this situation. â€œThe objective is to know what
are the real needs and the magnitude of the damage,â€? she said. ,Q D WHOHJUDP RQ $SULO WR Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati Andrello of Santiago, Pope Francis said he was saddened by the news of the HDUWKTXDNHZKLFKOHIWDWOHDVWVL[ people dead and others injured or homeless. The pope asked the cardinal to convey to all Chileans â€œmy closeness and affectionâ€?. Âł,DVN*RGWRJUDQWHWHUQDOUHVW to those who have died, give consolation to those suffering the effects of such a sad disaster and, at the same time, inspire in everyone sentiments of hope to face the adversity,â€? the pope said. Âł$W WKH VDPH WLPH , VWURQJO\ urge Christian communities, civil institutions and people of good will, with a generous spirit and fraternal charity, to offer effective help at this painful moment to all those involved.â€? Â„ CNS
US military archdiocese head prays for victims WASHINGTON â€“ Once again, the people at Fort Hood â€œare at the centre of national attention and the focus of our prayersâ€?, Archbishop Timothy P Broglio of the US Archdiocese for the Military Services said in response to the April 2 shooting at the Texas military base. The archbishop said he had been in touch with the Catholic priests who serve at Fort Hood to â€œassure them of the solidarity and the prayerful supportâ€? of the military archdiocese after a shootout at the base which left three people dead and wounded 16 others. The VKRRWHU ODWHU LGHQWLÂżHG DV ,YDQ Lopez, then killed himself. /RSH] DQ ,UDT :DU YHWHUDQ who was being treated for mental LOOQHVV RSHQHG ÂżUH RQ WKH VDPH military base where 13 people were killed in a 2009 shooting. â€œOn behalf of my auxiliary bishops, the priests, Religious and all of those who make up the archGLRFHVDQ IDPLO\ , RIIHU KHDUWIHOW condolences to the families that mourn the loss of a loved one. As believers we also pray for the repose of the souls of the victims and the assailant,â€? Archbishop Broglio said in an April 3 statement. â€œThe remedy for this senseless violence can only be found in a more profound respect for human life, a deeper concern for our neighbours, a willingness to listen rather than to shout, and a reducWLRQ LQ WKH JORULÂżFDWLRQ RI YLRlence by our society,â€? he added. The diocese of Austin, Texas, where Fort Hood is located, posted the simple message â€œPray for Fort Hoodâ€? in the centre of the homepage of its diocesan website. The Dallas Morning News said Lopez, a military truck driver, was dressed in his standard-issue green FDPRXĂ€DJHXQLIRUPDWWKHWLPHRI WKH DWWDFN +H KDG VHUYHG LQ ,UDT for four months in 2011 and had arrived at Fort Hood in February from another base. The motive for the shooting is still unknown. Lt Gen Mark A Milley, the
A soldier stands guard at the entrance to Fort Hood Army Post in Texas before a news conference on April 2. An Iraq War veteran who was being treated for mental health issues gunned down three colleagues at Fort Hood and injured 16 others before killing himself that day, authorities said. CNS photo
VHQLRU RIÂżFHU RQ WKH EDVH WROG reporters on April 2 that â€œevents of the past have taught us many things at Fort Hoodâ€?. He said he knows â€œthe community is strong and resilientâ€?, those who have bravely served in combat are strong and â€œwe will get through thisâ€?. US Senator John Cornyn said the scene at the military base in Killeen, Texas, is â€œsadly too familiar and still too fresh in our memories. No community should have WRJRWKURXJKWKLVKRUULÂżFYLROHQFH once, let alone twice.â€? Army Major Nidal Hasan was sentenced to death last August following his conviction for murder in the 2009 massacre at Fort Hood. His sentence is still under appeal but after it was announced, Archbishop Broglio objected to capital punishment for Hasan, saying: â€œThe Church teaches that XQMXVWLÂżHG NLOOLQJ LV ZURQJ LQ DOO circumstances. That includes the death penalty.â€? Â„ CNS
16 MOVIE REVIEW
Sunday April 20, 2014 Â„ CatholicNews
Much lost in this storm of a Noah movie By Fr Richards Ambrose One of the most loved Bible stories that continues to fascinate children and adults is the story of Noah. If you are going to watch this NC16 movie with little understanding or background to the movie, you might think that what is depicted is what is recounted in the Bible. The movie, however, is not faithful to the scriptural source material and this has sparked the consternation of many religious leaders (especially in America) so much so that the studio included a GLVFODLPHUDWWKHVWDUWRIWKHÂżOP 7KHÂżOPSRUWUD\V1RDK5XVVHOO Crowe) to be more of a folklore than WKH ELEOLFDO ÂżJXUH KH DFWXDOO\ LV Much can be said about the movieâ€™s artistic creativity and ingenuity but not for its honouring of sacred scripture. For example, characters such as the Watchers (the fallen angels), who are portrayed to be good and willing to help man deviates completely from the biblical account. Then you have Methuselah, Noahâ€™s grandfather (Anthony Hopkins), who is like a soothsayer with his magical tea and ability to effect physical changes in people. The viewer may draw some parallels with other movies. The YHU\ÂżUVWLPDJHLQWKHÂżOPLVWKDW
of space, and then the words, â€œIn the beginning there was nothingâ€? appears, seeming to echo George Lucasâ€™ Star Wars â€œIn a galaxy far far awayâ€Śâ€? rather than Genesis. Then you have the Watchers who help Noah to build the ark. They seem to bear some resemblance to Transformers â€“ only this time made of stone â€“ together with the deep sounding voice of Optimus Prime. But the most classic of all references I believe is
A discerning audience is left to wonder whether it was Godâ€™s revelation that Noah was trying to IXOÂżORUKLVLQWHUSUHWDWLRQ of Godâ€™s silence. when director and co-writer Darren Aronofsky borrows the â€œtear of Godâ€? image from Mel Gibsonâ€™s The Passion of the Christ, with the ÂżUVWGURSRIUDLQIDOOLQJIURPWKH heavens onto Noahâ€™s face. Aronofsky turns the movie into one centring around Noahâ€™s family and their coming to terms with Godâ€™s will in their lives. The only thing true to the biblical story is that of the ark, the anLPDOVDQGWKHĂ€RRG(YHQ1RDKÂśV family is inaccurately portrayed.
In the biblical story, when God calls Noah, his sons are already married. In this movie they are not. So the quest of Ham, Noahâ€™s secRQGVRQWRÂżQGDZLIHDQG1RDKÂśV wife Naamehâ€™s dealing with Methuselah to help Ila, Noahâ€™s eldest sonâ€™s wife, to be rid of her barrenQHVVIRUPDQLPSRUWDQWVXESORW Noah comes to believe that the punishment God is meting out to the world includes the annihilation of the human race and his sole mission is to ensure that the animals arrive to safety to start life all over again. So bent is his delusional belief that he even considers killing his own grandchildren. Noah doesnâ€™t get a direct revelation from God in the movie. There are only three moments when Noah encounters some form of revelation from God but in all of these, God is literally silent. 7KH ÂżUVW WZR LV E\ ZD\ RI dreams. The last is questionable, in which he hears that Ila is supposedly pregnant. He is now tormented, wondering how he is JRLQJ WR IXOÂżO *RGÂśV ZLOO ZKLFK he believes is the end all humankind). He stares at the sky for a moment and says. â€œI will not fail you!â€? Did God speak to him? A discerning audience is left to wonder whether it was Godâ€™s revelation that Noah was trying to
Jennifer Connelly and Russell Crowe star in a scene from Noah. &16SKRWR
IXOÂżORUKLVLQWHUSUHWDWLRQRI*RGÂśV silence. Movies donâ€™t irk people so much when they do a retelling of fairy tales or folklore, even though artistic licence is taken to its limits â€“ as can be seen in movies such as Hansel and Gretel: Witch HuntHUVRUHYHQKLVWRULFDOÂżJXUHVWRD certain extent such as Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. %XW ZKHQ ELEOLFDO ÂżJXUHV DUH portrayed far from the norm it affects the sentiments and religious sense of many who subscribe to the faith. So what can we say of this movie besides its entertainment value and CGI effects? One pivotal
moment of realisation comes when Shem, Noahâ€™s eldest son, cannot understand the way Noah acts and shouts at him, â€œI thought you were chosen because you were good.â€? Noah replies, â€œI was chosen because I can get the job done.â€? This is not the Noah we know DQGGHÂżQLWHO\QRWWKH1RDKZHEHlieve in. Scripture tells us in Genesis 6:8-9: â€œNoah found favour with Yahweh ... Noah was a good man, a man of integrity among his contemporaries and he walked with God.â€? Looks like a lot more has been ORVWLQWKHVWRUPDQGĂ€RRGRIWKLV Noah movie. Â„ Fr Richards is the managing editor of &DWKROLF1HZV6LQJDSRUH
Sunday April 20, 2014 CatholicNews
18 POPE FRANCIS
Cross vital to Christianity, not an ornament: pope VATICAN CITY â€“&KULVWLDQLW\LVQÂ¶W
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-HVXV WHOOV WKHP Â³:KHQ \RX OLIW XS WKH 6RQ RI 0DQ WKHQ \RX ZLOOUHDOLVHÂ´WKDW+HLVWKHVRQRI *RGREH\LQJ*RGÂ¶VZLOO Â³&KULVWLDQLW\ GRHVQÂ¶W H[ LVW ZLWKRXW WKH FURVV DQG D FURVV GRHVQÂ¶W H[LVW ZLWKRXW -HVXV &KULVWÂ´ WKH SRSH VDLG DFFRUGLQJ WRDUHSRUWE\9DWLFDQ5DGLR 7KH FURVV KRZHYHU Â³LVQÂ¶W DQ RUQDPHQWÂ´ WKDW LV MXVW SODFHG LQ FKXUFKHV DQG RQ DOWDUV DQG Â³LWÂ¶V QRWDV\PEROÂ´RILGHQWLÂ¿FDWLRQKH VDLG Â³7KHFURVVLVWKHP\VWHU\WKH P\VWHU\RI*RGÂ¶VORYHZKRORZ HUV +LPVHOI ZKR PDNHV +LPVHOI ÂµQRWKLQJÂ¶Â´ DQG WDNHV RQ KXPDQ LW\Â¶VVLQVKHVDLG ,I SHRSOH ZDQW WR Â¿QG WKHLU VLQVKHVDLGWKH\VKRXOGORRNWR WKHFURVVWRÂ³WKH/RUGÂ¶VZRXQGVÂ´ DQGLWÂ¶VWKHUHWKDWWKHLUVLQVZLOOEH KHDOHGDQGIRUJLYHQÂ„ CNS
Sunday April 20, 2014 Â„ CatholicNews
On Rwandan genocide anniversary, pontiff urges reconciliation VATICAN CITY â€“ Just days before
Rwanda was to begin a weeklong SHULRG RI RIÂ¿FLDO PRXUQLQJ WR PDUN WKH WK DQQLYHUVDU\ RI LWV JHQRFLGH3RSH)UDQFLVXUJHGWKH FRXQWU\Â¶V ELVKRSV WR EH UHVROXWH LQFRQWLQXLQJWKHZRUNRIKHDOLQJ DQGUHFRQFLOLDWLRQ Â³7ZHQW\ \HDUV DIWHU WKRVH WUDJLF HYHQWVÂ´ ZKHQ DV PDQ\ DV PLOOLRQ SHRSOH ZHUH PXUGHUHG LQVDYDJHDFWVRIHWKQLFYLROHQFH 3RSH)UDQFLVVDLGÂ³UHFRQFLOLDWLRQ DQG WKH KHDOLQJ RI ZRXQGV PXVW UHPDLQWKHSULRULW\RIWKH&KXUFK LQ5ZDQGDÂ´ 0HHWLQJWKHFRXQWU\Â¶VELVKRSV RQ$SULOGXULQJWKHLUÂ³DGOLPLQDÂ´ RUÂ¿YH\HDUO\YLVLWVWRWKH9DWLFDQ WKHSRSHRIIHUHGKLVSUD\HUVIRUDOO 5ZDQGDQVÂ³ZLWKRXWGLVWLQFWLRQRI UHOLJLRQHWKQLFLW\RUSROLWLFVÂ´ )RUJLYHQHVV IRU ZKDW KDS SHQHG DQG Â³DXWKHQWLF UHFRQFLOLD WLRQ FDQ VHHP LPSRVVLEOH IURP D KXPDQ SRLQW RI YLHZÂ´ WKH SRSH VDLGEXWWKH\DUHJLIWVSHRSOHFDQ Â³UHFHLYHIURP&KULVWWKURXJKDOLIH RIIDLWKDQGSUD\HUÂ´ Â³7KHSDWKLVORQJDQGUHTXLUHV SDWLHQFH PXWXDO UHVSHFW DQG GLD ORJXHÂ´KHVDLG 5ZDQGDQV EHJDQ DQ RIÂ¿FLDO ZHHN RI PRXUQLQJ RQ $SULO WR PDUNWKHDQQLYHUVDU\RIWKHJHQR FLGH LQ ZKLFK PRVWO\ 7XWVLV DQG VRPH PRGHUDWH +XWXV HWKQLF JURXSV ZLWK D KLVWRU\ RI ULYDOU\ ZHUH NLOOHG 6RPH PDVVDFUHV WRRN SODFH LQ FKXUFKHV LQ VRPH FDVHV HQWLUH FRQJUHJDWLRQV ZHUH PXUGHUHG /HDGHUV RI YDULRXV &KULVWLDQ FKXUFKHV LQFOXGLQJ WKH &DWKROLF&KXUFKZHUHLPSOLFDWHG LQWKHYLROHQFHEHFDXVHRIWLHVWR RQHRUWKHRWKHUHWKQLFJURXS 3RSH )UDQFLV VDLG WKH VFKRROV DQGKRVSLWDOVWKH&DWKROLF&KXUFK RSHUDWHV LQ 5ZDQGD KDYH DQ HV sential role to play in ensuring a
A woman holds a child during Mass at St Famille Church in Kigali, Rwanda, on April 6, a day ahead of the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. CNS photo
Twenty years after those tragic events, â€˜ reconciliation and the healing of wounds must remain the priority of the Church in Rwanda.â€™
â€“ Pope Francis to Rwandaâ€™s bishops
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FLHW\EDVHGRQWKHYDOXHVRIKXPDQ GLJQLW\MXVWLFHDQGSHDFHÂ´KHVDLG 7KH SRSH DOVR HQFRXUDJHG 5ZDQGDÂ¶V &DWKROLFV WR HQWUXVW WKHPVHOYHV WR WKH PDWHUQDO FDUH RI 0DU\ ZKR DSSHDUHG WR WKUHH \RXQJ5ZDQGDQJLUOVLQWKHV DW.LEHKR Â³7KH PRWKHU RI -HVXV ZDQWHG WR VKRZ KHUVHOI WR \RXU FRXQ WU\Â¶VFKLOGUHQUHPLQGLQJWKHPRI WKH HIIHFWLYHQHVV RI IDVWLQJ DQG SUD\HU HVSHFLDOO\ WKH URVDU\Â´ 3RSH)UDQFLVVDLGÂ³,WLVP\DUGHQW KRSHWKDW\RXFDQPDNHWKHVKULQH RI .LEHKR RQFH DJDLQ UDGLDWH WKH ORYH RI 0DU\ IRU KHU FKLOGUHQ HVSHFLDOO\ WKH SRRUHVW DQG WKRVH ZKRDUHZRXQGHGÂ´Â„ CNS
POPE FRANCIS 19
Sunday April 20, 2014 Â„ CatholicNews
3RSHWR\RXQJ people: Be KRQHVWFKRRVH ZKDWÂˇVLPSRUWDQW VATICAN CITY â€“ Pope Francis told
a group of young people to be honest with themselves and othHUVDQGÂżJXUHRXWZKDWWKH\KROG dear: money and pride or the desire to do good. He also said he has made plenty of mistakes in life, being guilty of being too bossy and stubborn. â€œThey say mankind is the only animal that falls in the same well twice,â€? he said. While mistakes are the â€œgreat teachersâ€? in life, â€œI think there are some I havenâ€™t learned because Iâ€™m hardheadedâ€?, he said, rapping his knuckles on his wooden desk and laughing. â€œItâ€™s not easy learning, but I learned from many mistakes, and this has done me good.â€? The pope spoke to young Belgian students and reporters on March 31, who were accompanied by Bishop Lucas Van Looy of Ghent. When asked why he agreed to do the interview with them, the
pope said because he sensed they had a feeling of â€œapprehensionâ€? or unease about life and â€œI think it is my duty to serve young peopleâ€?, to listen to and guide them. A reporter asked the pope if he was happy and why, since everyRQHLVWU\LQJWRÂżQGMR\ â€œAbsolutely,â€? he smiled, â€œabsolutely, I am happy. I have a certain inner peace, a great peace and happiness that come with age, too.â€? Even though he has always encountered problems in his life, he said, â€œthis happiness does not disappear when there are problemsâ€?. When one young woman said: â€œI have my fears. What makes you afraid?â€? The pope laughed and responded, â€œMyself.â€? He said the reason Jesus constantly says, â€œBe not afraid,â€? is because â€œHe knows that fear is something, that I would say is, quote, unquote, â€˜normalâ€™â€?. â€œWe are afraid of life, of chal-
,WÂˇV2.WRÂśĂ€JKWZLWK*RGÂˇ VATICAN CITY â€“ Donâ€™t hold back
when praying to God â€“ tell Him exactly whatâ€™s wrong and insist on holding Him to His promises, Pope Francis said. Prayer should be like speaking face-to-face with a friend: â€œwithout fear, freely and also with insistenceâ€?, the pope said in his homily on April 3 during an early morning Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae. Pope Francisâ€™ homily focused on the dayâ€™s reading from the Book of Exodus (32:7-14), in which Moses begs God to spare His people, even though they have created a golden calf to worship as their god. God says Heâ€™s going to let His wrath â€œblaze up against them to consume themâ€?, but Moses reminds the Lord that these are His own people He has saved before and has promised to make their descendents â€œas numerous as the stars in the skyâ€?. Pope Francis said that, in the dayâ€™s reading, Moses shows what praying to God should really feel DQG VRXQG OLNH QRW ÂżOOHG ZLWK empty words, but a heartfelt, â€œreal ÂżJKWZLWK*RGÂ´ Moses is courageously insistent and argues his point, the pope said, and prayer must also be â€œa negotiation with God, presenting argumentsâ€? supporting oneâ€™s position. When God decides to not punish His people, itâ€™s not God who has changed, but Moses, the pope said. By freely talking out the problem and underlining all the ways God has always shown His mercy, Moses was able to rediscover,
deep in his heart, what his head already â€œmore or less sort of knewâ€?. â€œPrayer changes our hearts. It helps us better understand what our God is like,â€? it helps people grow closer to him, recognise His love and rejuvenate oneâ€™s faith. The pope underlined what Jesus said: â€œIn praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words.â€? â€œNo, say whatâ€™s what: â€˜Look, Lord, I have this problem, in my family, with my child, with this, with that ... What can you do?
Prayer should not EHÂżOOHGZLWKHPSW\ ZRUGVEXWDKHDUWIHOW ÂľUHDOÂżJKWZLWK*RGÂś WKHSRSHVDLG Now see here, you canâ€™t leave me like this!â€™ This is prayer. And does this prayer take a long time? Yes, it takes time.â€? Pray like Moses did, face-toface with the Lord, like a friend, freely, with insistence and good arguments, the pope said. â€œAnd also scold the Lord a little: â€˜Hey, you promised me this, and you havenâ€™t done it ...â€™ Like that, like you talk with a friend.â€? Open oneâ€™s heart wide to God and get to know Him better, he said. Prayer is a grace, and the Holy Spirit is present; it changes and reinvigorates oneâ€™s heart so people can strike back out on their life journey. Â„ CNS
7KHSRSHDVNHG \RXQJSHRSOH What do you treasure and hold close to your hearts?
Pope Francis smiles as he arrives to lead his general audience in St Peterâ€™s Square at the Vatican on April 2. The pope said in an interview with young people that they need to decide what they think is important to them. &16SKRWR
lenges, we are even afraid before God, right?â€? Everyone is afraid, so the real LVVXH LV WR ÂżJXUH RXW WKH GLIIHUence between â€œgood fear and bad fear. Good fear is prudence,â€? being careful and â€œbad fearâ€? is something that â€œcancels you out, turns you into nothingâ€?, preventing the person from doing anything, and that kind of fear must be â€œthrown outâ€?. One young man asked what mistakes the pope has learned from. The pope laughed, saying, â€œIâ€™ve made mistakes, I still make mistakes.â€?
The example he highlighted was when he was elected superior of the Jesuit province of Argentina and Uruguay at the age of 36. â€œI was very young,â€? he said, â€œI was too authoritarian.â€? But with time, he said, he learned that itâ€™s important to truly listen to what other people think and to dialogue with them. When his guests said they were ready to ask the last question, the pope laughed, â€œAh, the last! The last is always terrible.â€? They asked the pope to pose
a question for them. He said his question came from the Gospel, when Jesus says to not store up treasure on earth, but in heaven, â€œFor where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.â€? The pope asked them: What do you treasure and hold close to your hearts? Is it â€œpower, money, pride or goodness, beauty, the desire to do goodâ€?? It can be many things, he VDLGDQGKHDVNHGWKHPWRÂżQGWKH answer â€œfor yourselves, alone, at homeâ€?. Â„ CNS
4XHHQPHHWV+RO\)DWKHU VATICAN CITY â€“,QWKHLUÂżUVWRYHU-
seas trip in three years, Britainâ€™s Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, met on April 3 with Pope Francis at the Vatican. The 30-minute visit of the 87-year-old queen and her 92-year-old husband was the BritLVK UR\DOVÂś ÂżIWK PHHWLQJ ZLWK D pope at the Vatican. After a 17-minute private meeting, Pope Francis and the queen exchanged gifts. The pope presented the couple with a facsimile of Pope Innocent XIâ€™s order extending the cult of St Edward the Confessor. St Edward, king of England in the mid-11th century, is venerated by both Catholics and Anglicans. The pope also had a gift for eight-month-old Prince George of Cambridge, the queenâ€™s greatgrandson: a cross mounted on a lapis lazuli orb.
Britainâ€™s Queen Elizabeth talks with Pope Francis during a meeting at the Vatican on April 3. The Queen and her husband, Prince Philip, were on a one-day visit to Italy. &16SKRWR
â€œHe will be thrilled by that,â€? the queen said, adding, â€œwhen heâ€™s a little older.â€? Pope Francis gave Prince Philip a series of three medals of his SRQWLÂżFDWH Saying it was â€œa gift for you personallyâ€?, Queen Elizabeth gave the pope a large basket of food from the estates surrounding her homes; the items included
an assortment of honey, a dozen eggs, a â€œhaunch of venisonâ€?, shortbread, juice, preserves and â€œBalmoral whiskeyâ€?. $QGIXOÂżOOLQJDORQJVWDQGLQJ tradition, Queen Elizabeth gave the pope two signed, silver framed photographs of her and the Duke of Edinburgh, telling him, â€œIâ€™m afraid I have to give you a photograph; it is inevitable.â€? Â„ CNS
&KDQJHVWRLPSURYHWKH9DWLFDQEDQN VATICAN CITY â€“ Pope Francis, ac-
cepting the recommendations of his international Council of Cardinals and other advisory groups, has decided the Vatican bank will continue to exist and has approved a plan to increase its transparency and accountability. 7KH9DWLFDQSUHVVRIÂżFHLVVXHG a statement on April 7 saying the pope â€œhas approved a proposal on the futureâ€? of the Institute for the Words of Religion (IOR), the for-
mal title of the bank. The Vatican, however, did not release details. In June 2013, Pope Francis established a commission to review the activities of the Vatican bank, DVNLQJWKHÂżYHFRPPLVVLRQPHPbers to study whether the bank was in harmony with the mission of the universal Church. While not providing details on proposed changes, the Vaticanâ€™s April 7 statement seemed intended to reassure the bankâ€™s employ-
ees and clients that the institute would have a future. â€œThe IOR will continue to serve with prudence and provide VSHFLDOLVHG ÂżQDQFLDO VHUYLFHV WR the Catholic Church worldwide,â€? the statement said. â€œThe valuable services that can be offered by the institute assist the Holy Father in his mission as universal pastor and also aid those institutions and individuals who collaborate with him in his ministry.â€? Â„ CNS
20 POPE FRANCIS
Sunday April 20, 2014 Â„ CatholicNews
Popeâ€™s May trip to Holy Land to focus on Christian unity JERUSALEM â€“ Pope Francis will
meet with Israeli, Jordanian and Palestian leaders in his May trip to the Holy Land, as well as visit the less fortunate. However, the trip also will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the historic meeting between Pope Paul VI and Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras, and it is for that reason the theme of the trip is So That They May Be One. &KXUFK RIÂżFLDOV UHOHDVHG WKH SRSHÂśV RIÂżFLDO VFKHGXOH IRU WKH 0D\YLVLWDQGFRQÂżUPHGWKDW Pope Francis will meet Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, considered ÂłÂżUVWDPRQJHTXDOVÂ´RIWKH2UWKRdox bishops, on May 25 in Jerusalem and again the following day. On May 25, the two are scheduled to sign a joint declaration. â€œWe are called to be one, and the pope is coming to remind us of this and renew the spirit of unity DQG IUDWHUQDO ORYHÂ´ /DWLQ 3DWULarch Fouad Twal of Jerusalem told a news conference on March 27. â€œThe logo and the motto that have been chosen for this pilgrimage IRFXVLQRQWKLVGHVLUHIRUXQLW\Â´ 7KH RIÂżFLDO ORJR RI WKH SLOgrimage depicts the embrace of Sts Peter and Andrew, patrons of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, the patriarch added. Patriarch Twal said Pope FranFLVKDVUHTXHVWHGPRGHVWZHOFRPing ceremonies throughout the visit. In Amman on May 24, he will meet with Jordanâ€™s King Abdullah and Queen Rania.
Pope Francis embraces Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians, at the Vatican last year. The two are expected to sign a joint declaration in May. &16ÂżOHSKRWR
The following day, in Bethlehem, West Bank, Pope Francis will meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. In Jerusalem on May 26, he will meet with Israeli President Shimon Peres and separately with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In Jordan, the pope will meet with refugees and disabled young people. In Bethlehem, he will eat lunch with Palestinian families at the Franciscan Convent of Casa Nova, following which he will greet children from the Dehi-
yshe, Aida and Beit Jibrin refugee camps at the Phoenix Centre of the Dehiyshe Refugee Camp. The pope will celebrate two public Masses during his visit; at the International Stadium in Amman and in Bethlehemâ€™s Manger 6TXDUH Patriarch Twal said he hoped travel restrictions would be eased to allow Christians from Gaza to attend the Bethlehem Mass. He also said a special place would be made for Christians travelling from Israelâ€™s Galilee region to the Mass in Bethlehem. Â„ CNS
POPE FRANCIS 21
Sunday April 20, 2014 Â„ CatholicNews
Pope, Obama meet for 1st time, discuss religious freedom VATICAN CITY â€“ Pope Francis and US President Barack Obama discussed several areas of tension between the Catholic Church and the :KLWH+RXVHLQWKHLUÂżUVWPHHWLQJ on March 27 at the Vatican. 'XULQJ WKH PLQXWH PHHWLQJ WKH WZR OHDGHUV GLVFXVVHG â€œquestions of particular relevance IRU WKH &KXUFK LQ >WKH 86@ VXFK DVWKHH[HUFLVHRIWKHULJKWVWRUHOLJLRXVIUHHGRPOLIHDQGFRQVFLHQtious objection as well as the issue RILPPLJUDWLRQUHIRUPÂ´WKH9DWLcan said in a statement. 7KHPHQWLRQRIUHOLJLRXVIUHHdom and conscientious objection presumably referred to the contraception mandate in the new health care law. The Obama administration requires that nearly all health LQVXUDQFH SODQV LQFOXGLQJ WKRVH RIIHUHG E\ PRVW &DWKROLF DJHQFLHV FRYHU VWHULOLVDWLRQV FRQWUDceptives and some abortion-inGXFLQJGUXJV The Vatican statement said Pope Francis and Mr Obama DOVR KDG DQ ÂłH[FKDQJH RI YLHZV on some current international WKHPHV DQG LW ZDV KRSHG WKDW LQ DUHDV RI FRQĂ€LFW WKHUH ZRXOG EH respect for humanitarian and inWHUQDWLRQDO ODZ DQG D QHJRWLDWHG solution between the parties inYROYHGÂ´ 7KH 9DWLFDQ KLJKOLJKWHG WZR points of harmony in the discusVLRQV LPPLJUDWLRQ UHIRUP RQ which the Obama administrationâ€™s position is close to that of the US bishops; and a â€œcommon commitment to the eradication of WUDIÂżFNLQJ LQ KXPDQ SHUVRQV LQ WKHZRUOGÂ´ /DWHU DW D MRLQW QHZV FRQIHUence with Italian Prime Minister
US President Barack Obama accepts a gift from Pope Francis during a private audience at the Vatican on March 27. CNS photo
0DWWHR 5HQ]L 0U 2EDPD VDLG KH VSHQW WKH ÂłODUJHVW EXON RI WKH WLPHÂ´ ZLWK WKH SRSH GLVFXVVLQJ ÂłLVVXHV RI WKH SRRU WKH PDUJLQDOLVHG WKRVH ZLWKRXW RSSRUWXQLW\DQGJURZLQJLQHTXDOLW\Â´DQG WKH ÂłFKDOOHQJHV RI FRQĂ€LFW DQG how elusive peace is around the ZRUOGÂ´SDUWLFXODUO\LQWKH0LGGOH East. Mr Obama said Pope Francis ÂłGLG QRW WRXFK LQ GHWDLOÂ´ RQ WKH FRQWUDFHSWLRQPDQGDWHEXWWKDWLQ
The two leaders discussed â€˜questions of particular relevanceâ€™ for the US Church â€˜such as the exercise of the rights to religious freedom, life and conscientious objectionâ€™, said the Vatican.
the presidentâ€™s subsequent meetLQJ ZLWK &DUGLQDO 3LHWUR 3DUROLQ WKH9DWLFDQVHFUHWDU\RIVWDWHÂłZH GLVFXVVHGEULHĂ€\WKHLVVXHRIPDNLQJVXUHWKDWFRQVFLHQFHDQGUHOLJLRXV IUHHGRP ZHUH REVHUYHG LQ WKHFRQWH[WRIDSSO\LQJWKHODZÂ´ Âł,SOHGJHGWRFRQWLQXHWRGLDORJXH ZLWK WKH 86 FRQIHUHQFH of bishops to make sure we can VWULNHWKHULJKWEDODQFHÂ´RQWKHLVVXH0U2EDPDVDLG $WWKHHQGRIWKHLUWDON3RSH
)UDQFLVJDYH0U2EDPDDERXQG edition of his apostolic exhortaWLRQ(YDQJHOLL*DXGLXP7KH-R\ RIWKH*RVSHO SXEOLVKHGODVW1Rvember. Pope Francis also presented Mr Obama with a pair of bronze PHGDOOLRQV RQH FRPPHPRUDWLQJ the 17th-century construction of the colonnades around St Peterâ€™s 6TXDUHDQRWKHUSRUWUD\LQJDQDQJHOWKDWEULQJVWRJHWKHUWKHZRUOGÂśV 1RUWK DQG 6RXWK LQ ÂłVROLGDULW\ DQGSHDFHIRXQGHGRQMXVWLFHÂ´ Âł7KLV JLIW LV IURP WKH SRSHÂ´ 3RSH )UDQFLV VDLG RI WKH ÂżUVW medallion. â€œBut this other one is IURP-RUJH%HUJRJOLR>WKHSRSHÂśV name before he took on the name RI)UDQFLV@:KHQ,VDZLW,VDLG Âł,ÂśOOJLYHWR2EDPDLWÂśVWKHDQJHO RISHDFHÂ´ 0U 2EDPDÂśV JLIW WR WKH SRSH ZDVDVHOHFWLRQRIIUXLWDQGYHJHtable seeds from the White House JDUGHQ LQ D ER[ PDGH IURP UHclaimed wood used to build BalWLPRUHÂśV %DVLOLFD RI WKH 1DWLRQDO Shrine of the Assumption of the %OHVVHG 9LUJLQ 0DU\ WKH ÂżUVW Catholic cathedral in the US. Mr Obama said he had invited the pope â€œto come to the United 6WDWHV WHOOLQJ KLP WKDW SHRSOH ZRXOGEHRYHUMR\HGWRVHHKLPÂ´ 7KH PHHWLQJ VWDUWHG DV WKH SRSHJUHHWHGWKHSUHVLGHQWRXWVLGH the formerâ€™s library a few minutes before their appointed time of DP Âł:RQGHUIXO PHHWLQJ \RX ,ÂśP DJUHDWDGPLUHUÂ´0U2EDPDWROG the pope as they shook hands. 'XULQJDQH[WHQGHGKDQGVKDNH DWWKHHQGRIWKHPHHWLQJ0U2EDPD DVNHG WKH SRSH WR ÂłSUD\ IRUÂ´ his family. Â„ CNS
Sunday April 20, 2014 Â„ CatholicNews
Fortnightly newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore
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The man on the wooden cross Over the distant hills The sky slowly darkens as the thunder came roaring. Heaven shed its tears, in thickness pouring, In Golgotha, on a wooden cross, a Man was nailed. With blood dripping from His Face, He was hailed A King whose Head was crowned with thorns. People danced and jeered, laughed and scorned At a Man, one winter night, in a manger, He was born. Thirty-three winters passed, EORWVRIÂżUHĂ€DVKLQJRYHUWKHKLOOV Nailed to the cross for no sin, He bore neither hatred nor ill To the multitude of people who gathered to mock His Death. The words He uttered in His dying breath, â€œIT IS FINISHED.â€? Shook the earth, temple walls and curtains torn. Beneath the cross, sat His Mother, in agony, She mourned. With the tempest ceaselessly pounding the sunless skies Echoing the sound of thousand drums with fearful cries. The crowd wailed, beat their breasts in pain and utter despair.
Some went insane, rolling, howling and tearing their hair. Those who stoned Him, cowered with shame, shivered in fear. The faithful, who loved Him, on bended knees, shed their tears. The high priests who condemned Him reached insanity :KHQWKH\FUXFLÂżHGD0DQFRQceived in holy purity. The dead Man was lowered from the cross and laid on the ground. A centurion, armed with a spear, came up to Him without a sound. He pierced the side of His body, and saw His Glory When Blood and Water came gushing out from His Body. For he knew â€œTHE MAN ON THE WOODEN CROSSâ€? was already dead. In sorrow and remorse, he held his spear high above his head. Crying out aloud, he threw his spear and all that he got. Looking at Jesus lying on the ground, he sadly proclaimed, â€œTruly, this Man was a Son of God.â€? A declaration well said. Maurice Oh Singapore This poem was submitted by Selena Oh on behalf of her late father, Maurice.
Groaning â€“ our deeper way of praying WHEN we no longer know how to pray, the Spirit, in groans too deep for words, prays through us. St Paul wrote those words and they contain both a stunning revelation and a wonderful consolation, namely, there is deep prayer happening inside us beyond our conscious awareness and independent of our deliberate efforts. What is this unconscious prayer? It is our deep LQQDWH GHVLUH UHOHQWOHVVO\ RQ ÂżUH IRUHYHU VRPHZKDW frustrated, making itself felt through the groaning of our bodies and souls, silently begging the very energies of the universe, not least God Himself, to let it come to consummation. Allow me an analogy: Some years ago, a friend of mine bought a house that had sat empty and abandoned for a number of years. The surface of the driveway was cracked and a bamboo plant, now several feet high, had grown up through the pavement. My friend cut down the bamboo tree, chopped down several feet into its roots to try to destroy them, poured a chemical poison into the root system in hopes of killing whatever was left, packed some gravel over the spot, and paved over the top with a thick layer of concrete. But the little tree was not so easily thwarted. Two years later, the pavement began to heave as the bamboo plant again began to assert itself. Its powerful life force was still blindly pushing outward and upward, cement blockage notwithstanding. Life, all life, has powerful inner pressures and is not easily thwarted. It pushes relentlessly and blindly towards its own ends, irrespective of resistance. Sometimes resistance does kill it. There are, as the saying goes, storms we cannot weather. But we do weather most of what life throws at us and our deep lifeprinciple remains strong and robust, even as on the surface the frustrations we have experienced and the dreams in us that have been shamed slowly muzzle us into a mute despair so that our prayer lives begin to express less and less of what we are actually feeling. But it is through that very frustration that the Spirit prays, darkly, silently, in groans too deep for words. In our striving, our yearning, our broken dreams, our tears, in the daydreams we escape into, and even in our sexual desire, the Spirit of God prays through us, as does our soul, our life-principle. Like the life forces innate in that bamboo plant, powerful forces are blindly working inside us too, pushing us outward and upward to eventually throw off whatever cement lies on top of us. This is true, of course, also of our joys. The Spirit also prays through our gratitude, both when we express consciously it and even when we only sense it unconsciously. Our deepest prayers are mostly not those we express in our churches and private oratories. Our deepest prayers are spoken in our silent gratitude and silent tears. The person praising Godâ€™s name ecstatically and the person bitterly cursing Godâ€™s name in anger are, in different ways, in radically different ways of groaning, both praying. There are many lessons to be drawn from this. First, from this we can learn to forgive life a little more for its frustrations and we can learn to give ourselves permission to be more patient with life and with ourselves. Who of us does not lament that the pressures and frustrations of life keep us from fully enjoying lifeâ€™s pleasures, from smelling WKHĂ€RZHUVIURPEHLQJPRUHSUHVHQWWRIDPLO\IURPFHOHEUDWLQJZLWK friends, from peaceful solitude, and from deeper prayer? 6RZHDUHIRUHYHUPDNLQJUHVROXWLRQVWRVORZGRZQWRÂżQGDTXLHW space inside our pressured lives in which to pray. But, after failing over DQGRYHUDJDLQZHHYHQWXDOO\GHVSDLURIÂżQGLQJDTXLHWFRQWHPSODWLYH space for prayer in our lives. Although we need to continue to search for that, we can already live with the consolation that, deep down, our YHU\IUXVWUDWLRQLQQRWEHLQJDEOHWRÂżQGWKDWTXLHWVSDFHLVDOUHDG\D SUD\HU,QWKHJURDQVRIRXULQDGHTXDF\WKH6SLULWLVDOUHDG\SUD\LQJ through our bodies and souls in a way deeper than words. 2QHRIWKHROGHVWFODVVLFDOGHÂżQLWLRQVRISUD\HUGHÂżQHVLWWKLVZD\ Prayer is lifting mind and heart to God. Too often in our efforts to pray formally, both communally and privately, we fail to do that, namely, to actually lift our hearts and minds to God. Why? Because what is really in our hearts and minds, alongside our gratitude and more gracious thoughts, is not something we generally connect with prayer at all. Our IUXVWUDWLRQVELWWHUQHVVMHDORXVLHVOXVWVFXUVHVVORWKDQGTXLHWGHVSDLU are usually understood to be the very antithesis of prayer, something to be overcome in order to pray. But a deeper thing is happening under the surface: Our frustration, longing, lust, jealousy, and escapist daydreams, things we are ashamed to take to prayer, are in fact already lifting our hearts and minds to God in more honest ways that we ever do consciously. Â„
Sunday April 20, 2014 Â„ CatholicNews
Praying for Church in China Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In May 2007, Pope Benedict XVI released a Letter to Chinese Catholics, in which he asked that May 24 each year be celebrated as a World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. He chose May 24 because it is the Feast of Our Lady Help of Christians, who is venerated at the Shrine of Sheshan (ÖˆáŠĄ) in Shanghai. The local Church, in response to His Holinessâ€™ exhortation, will be holding a Mass on Friday 23 May at 7.45 pm at St. Bernadetteâ€™s Church to pray for this intention. However, such a day of prayer for China is more than just a single event to be celebrated and then forgotten. Rather, it is to spur us on to show concern for the spiritual wellbeing of the mainland Chinese. Indeed, it is our duty as Catholics who have received the gift of faith in Jesus who is the Light in the world, the Way, the Truth and the Life to share Him with those who are seeking for the fullness of truth, life and love. What else can the Catholic Church in Singapore do in response to the Popeâ€™s call? We must reach out to migrant Chinese particularly, by showing them our genuine love and concern. We could also support and participate in charitable projects for the poorer parts of China, and
I invite you to pray individually and as a family, so that you are conscious of the great number of souls in China that need to receive the Good News. Prayer to Our Lady of Sheshan
Chinese Catholics carry a statue of Mary in procession to the Sheshan Marian shrine in Shanghai, China. &16ÂżOHSKRWR
bring the Gospel of Christ to those who have not yet heard of Him. However, after all that is said and done, the gift of faith in Jesus as the Saviour of humanity is brought about not just by witnessing in word and deed, but faith is the work of the grace given by the Holy Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit can enlighten and convict the hearts of people and move them to faith in Christ. So besides evangelisation through proclamation and good works, we must pray fervently for their conversion as well. I invite you to pray individu-
ally and as a family, so that you are conscious of the great number of souls in China that need to receive the Good News of our Lord. I encourage you as a community, whichever organisation or ministry you are actively participating in, to pray constantly for the Church in China. In a special way, you can use the following prayer which Pope Benedict VI has composed. Together with you in prayer,
Archbishop William Goh
Virgin Most Holy, Mother of the Incarnate Word and our Mother, venerated in the Shrine of Sheshan under the title â€œHelp of Christiansâ€?, the entire Church in China looks to you with devout affection. We come before you today to implore your protection. Look upon the People of God and, with a motherâ€™s care, guide them along the paths of truth and love, so that they may always be a leaven of harmonious coexistence among all citizens. When you obediently said â€œyesâ€? in the house of Nazareth, you allowed Godâ€™s eternal Son to WDNHĂ€HVKLQ\RXUYLUJLQDOZRPE and thus to begin in history the work of our redemption. You willingly and generously cooperated in that work, allowing the sword of pain to pierce your soul,
until the supreme hour of the Cross, when you kept watch on Calvary, standing beside your Son, who died that we might live. From that moment, you became, in a new way, the Mother of all those who receive your Son Jesus in faith and choose to follow in his footsteps by taking up his Cross. Mother of hope, in the darkness of Holy Saturday you journeyed with unfailing trust towards the dawn of Easter. Grant that your children may discern at all times, even those that are darkest, the signs of Godâ€™s loving presence. Our Lady of Sheshan, sustain all those in China, who, amid their daily trials, continue to believe, to hope, to love. May they never be afraid to speak of Jesus to the world, and of the world to Jesus. In the statue overlooking the Shrine you lift your Son on high, offering him to the world with open arms in a gesture of love. Help Catholics always to be credible witnesses to this love, ever clinging to the rock of Peter on which the Church is built. Mother of China and all Asia, pray for us, now and forever. Amen!
What can you do to evangelise China? By Fr Henry Siew Pope John Paul II says in his Apostolic ExKRUWDWLRQ Âł-XVW DV LQ WKH ÂżUVW PLOOHQQLXP the Cross was planted on the soil of Europe, and in the second on that of the Americas and Africa, we can pray that in the Third Christian Millennium a great harvest of faith will be reaped in the vast and vital Asia Continent.â€? (Ecclesia in Asia #1) Talking about Asia, we cannot miss out China, this great nation with a long history and rich culture. Yet, like many other nations, China has its periods of history that experienced social and spiritual crises, and she has endured deep pains and sustained great suffering. China is open to the divine In China, many people have seen the experimentation of an ideal equalitarian social system fail and transmute into a capitalist society, with many ills of the latter system now manifested, which were once criticised by the sociologist Karl Marx. Many Chinese people are lamenting the emptiness of a purely materialist social atmosphere and are seeking for meaning for their OLYHV WR IXOÂżO D VSLULWXDO KXQJHU DQG TXHVW They recognise a â€œspiritual crisisâ€? in society when China opens herself to the market economy and emphasises the material development of her people. This danger has been warned about even by her national leaders. Providently, there is now great religious revival involving mainly populist Buddhism
and Christianity. The latter is booming in a special way, with large number of new followers joining various congregations annually. According to Pew Researchâ€™s â€œRegional Distribution of Christiansâ€? published on Dec 19, 2011, Christians make up approximately 5 percent of Chinaâ€™s population, numbering about 67 million. Of these, roughly 9 million (0.7 percent of Chinaâ€™s total population) are Catholics (http://www.pewforum. org/2011/12/19/global-christianity-regions/). Need for evangelisation Though there are now more people embracing religion in China, there is still a huge percentage of Chinese who have no religion and still less those who know Christ. Pope John Paul II says, â€œIt is indeed a mystery why the Saviour of the world, born in Asia, has until now remained largely unknown to the people of the FRQWLQHQW,IWKH&KXUFKLQ$VLDLVWRIXOÂżOLWV providential destiny, evangelisation must be your absolute priority.â€? (Ecclesia in Asia #19) Yes, we need to bring the Gospel to the Chinese people who are hungry for spiritual nourishment. And we need clergy and laity both within and outside the country to help in this important mission. The tasks of evangelisation include the following areas: simple presence and witness to Christian life, human and social development, prayer, inter-religious dialogue, and the explicit announcement of the Gospel. Pope Paul VI once said, â€œThere can be no true evangelisation without the explicit
proclamation of Jesus as Lordâ€Ś. there is no true evangelisation if the name, the teaching, the life, the promises, the Kingdom and the mystery of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, are not proclaimed.â€? (8 Dec 1975, Evangelii Nuntiandi, #22) Prayer as integral part of evangelisation It is important for us to remember that â€œwithout Christ we can do nothingâ€? (cf. Jn15:5). It is prayer which roots us in this truth. It constantly reminds us of the primacy of Christ and, in union with Him, the primacy of the interior life and of holiness. â€œWhen this principle is not respected, is it any wonder that pastoral plans come to nothing and leave us with a disheartening sense of frustration?â€? (Pope John Paul II, 6 Jan 2001, Novo Millennio Ineunte, 38) Our Protestant Christians have done a lot to pray for the effectiveness of evangelisation. The â€œChina Prayer Partnersâ€? is an international alliance of Christian churches and ministries that believe the opening years of the 21st century represent a pivotal time in Godâ€™s plan for China. Now that China has the potential to be a great blessing to the world, we must continue to pray for its spiritual revival and transformation. What can Catholics do? It is a fact that Catholics lag far behind Protestants, not only in our mission work in China, but also in our concerted prayers for
China. We have fallen asleep for too long, and we have to make up for lost time by intensifying our effort. We need Catholic missionaries on two fronts: 1. Outward China ministries in social development, education, medical and health care which are ways to realise Godâ€™s kingdom of love, peace, justice and joy in China; and in direct preaching of the Gospel. 2. Prayer ministry or the apostolate of prayer, which enables us to share the mind of Christ, and which reminds us of trusting in the wisdom and power of our Lord for our social and evangelical works. In May 2007, Pope Benedict XVI released a Letter to Chinese Catholics, in which he asked that May 24 each year be celebrated as a World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. He chose May 24 because it is the Feast of Our Lady Help of Christians, who is venerated at the Shrine of Sheshan in Shanghai. As a start, Pope Benedict composed a prayer to Our Lady of Sheshan and asked that Christians throughout the world recite it. Our care for the Church in China should begin with praying this prayer, but not ending there. It should be a practice for all Catholics who are aware of their role in the new evangelisation to continue to pray for this intention daily, personally and in their respective communities. We should all start praying, discussing this issue and taking actions to show our care for the Church in China. What can you do to evangelise China? What should your church organisation, community or ministry do to evangelise China? Â„
Sunday April 20, 2014 Â„ CatholicNews
$QQDEHOOH/LDQJ7KHRGRUD'ÂˇFUX]DQG'DQVRQ&KHRQJĂ€VKRXWWKHUHDOLW\RIXQIDLUO\SDLGDQGSRRUO\WUHDWHGĂ€VKHUPHQDQGWKHSR Photo: ANNABELLE LIANG
Fr Romeo Yu-Changâ€™s vocation often takes him onboard a Star Cruise. The port chaplain at the Apostleship of the Sea (AOS) goes on monthly trips with SuperStar Virgo to Malaysia and Thailand, celebrating Mass and leading sharing sessions with the crew. Out at sea, men working on merchant ships have told him about the long hours, hard work and lack of communication with their families. Over the past 12 years with the mission, 52-year-old Fr Romeo has heard countless stories. But the most harrowing of them all are the accounts of men workLQJRQORQJKDXOÂżVKLQJYHVVHOV,W LVWKHFU\RIÂżVKHUPHQWKDWKHÂżQGV the hardest to minister to, because the lack of legal protection leaves these men open to abuse. â€œMechanisms are there to protect [merchant crew], especially with the implementation of the Maritime Labour Convention. They stipulate all the rest days and vacation, all these things. But it doesnâ€™t DSSO\WRÂżVKHUVÂ´)U5RPHRVDLG The Maritime Labour ConvenWLRQ UDWLÂżHG E\ VWDWHV LQFOXGLQJ Singapore, provides minimum safety and recruitment guidelines for seafarHUV,QFRQWUDVWWKH:RUNLQ)LVKLQJ Convention, a legal instrument by WKH ,QWHUQDWLRQDO /DERXU 2UJDQLVDtion that protects the labour rights of ÂżVKHUPHQKDVRQO\EHHQUDWLÂżHGE\ four countries and is not yet in force. $VDUHVXOWÂżVKHUPHQDUHRIWHQ unfairly paid and cheaply treated. Some are also left stranded in Singapore, after they choose to leave vessels when they dock at the Jurong Fishery Port (JFP), Fr Romeo said. ,QRWKHULQVWDQFHVWKH\ÂżQGWKHPselves out of a job because the vesselâ€™s owner went bankrupt, he added. The Vatican-appointed AOS regional coordinator of East and Southeast Asia has helped about a KXQGUHG RI VXFK ÂżVKHUPHQ WR GDWH The mission started in Singapore in 1958 and largely caters to workers on merchant vessels and cruise ships. ,Q WKLV FDSDFLW\ )U 5RPHR oversees AOS missions in nine FRXQWULHV LQFOXGLQJ 7DLZDQ ,Qdonesia and the Philippines, and liaises with port chaplains when cross-country work is needed. Âł,W LV RQO\ GXULQJ GHVSHUDWH FDVHVWKDWZHFRPHLQIRUWKHÂżVKHUV:HKDYHQHWZRUNVÂąVRLIWKHUH are some problems in places where WKHÂżVKHUVDUHZHWU\WRFRQWDFWWKH FKDSODLQRIWKHSODFHÂ´KHVDLG 0DQ\ RI WKH ÂżVKHUPHQ IURP impoverished villages in countries VXFK DV &DPERGLD ,QGRQHVLD DQG WKH 3KLOLSSLQHV WDNH WKH ÂłEDLWÂ´ RI high salaries, offered by informal brokers or relatives for work on a ÂżVKLQJERDWVDLG)U5RPHR Mr Condrad Banihit was one of these men.
Four years ago, he was offered ZRUNRYHUVHDVDVDÂżVKHUPDQE\D broker in a neighbouring village in Aklan province in the Philippines. She promised him an attractive PRQWKO\VDODU\RI866 and so he travelled to Singapore, RQO\WRÂżQGRXWODWHUIURPWKHVWDIIing agency here that he would be SDLG 86 Âą OHVV WKDQ KDOI WKH promised amount. But it was too late to back out, as broker fees had left him saddled with debt.
Any discontent from WKHÂżVKHUPHQZRXOG EHVZLIWO\VLOHQFHG ZLWKWKHKDUGVODSRID VOLSSHURUWKHZKDFNRI DEDVHEDOOEDW For over a year, Mr Banihit worked 20-hour shifts, hauling tuna IURPWKHGHSWKVRIWKH,QGLDQ2FHDQ onboard a Taiwanese long-liner. ,W ZDV EDFNEUHDNLQJ ZRUN with barely any rest in between. â€œThere is no break time that comes DIWHUZRUNÂ´0U%DQLKLWVDLGÂł<RX have four hours every day to do your personal things, you choose whether you want to sleep, shower RUZDVK\RXUFORWKHVÂ´ Any discontent would be swiftly silenced with the hard slap of a slip-
per or the whack of a baseball bat. Mr Banihit added: â€œThey would hit XVRQWKHEDFNRIWKHQHFNÂ´ ,WZDVRQO\ZKHQKLVERDWÂżQDOly docked at Cape Town, South Africa, that Mr Banihit called his famLO\ IRU WKH ÂżUVW WLPH VLQFH VHWWLQJ sail. They insisted he return home, DQGFRQWDFWHG0VJU,VDJDQL)DELWR IURPWKH,JOHVLD)LOLSLQD,QGHSHQGLente Church in Aklan for help. Âł:H ZHUH GHVSHUDWH , FRQtacted the recruitment agency in 6LQJDSRUH WKH ,/60 DQG$26 LQ 6LQJDSRUHÂ´0VJU)DELWRVDLG The recruitment agency paid IRU WKH Ă€LJKWV DQG )U 5RPHR PHW Mr Banihit when he transited in Singapore. Âł, ZDV DIUDLG VRPHRQH IURP the agency would come and get [Mr Banihit] at the airport and put KLPRQDVKLSDJDLQÂ´0VJU)DELWR DGGHG Âł, WROG KLP QHYHU PLQG LI you donâ€™t bring home any money DVORQJDV\RXFRPHKRPHVDIHÂ´ Now back home in the village of Ochando in Aklan, Philippines, Mr Banihit does the odd carpentry job now and then, but is otherwise unemployed. But he knows he is one of the lucky ones. 2QERDUG WKHVH WXQD YHVVHOV Âą XVXDOO\ 7DLZDQHVHRZQHG Âą PHQ are usually made to labour for 18 to KRXUV0DQ\ÂżQGWKHPVHOYHVXQaccustomed to the work conditions. Fr Romeo said, â€œThey are not H[DFWO\>WUDLQHGÂżVKHUPHQ@7KH\DUH
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farmers, construction workers... They OHDUQWKHWUDGHRQERDUGYHVVHOVÂ´ â€œThe reality is not as good as ZKDWZDVRIIHUHGÂ´KHDGGHGÂł7KH FDSWDLQ QRUPDOO\ DEXVHV WKH ÂżVKHUV ,WÂśV YHU\ WUDXPDWLF IRU WKHP There is no documentation of suiFLGHV >EXW@ ,ÂśYH KHDUG DFFRXQWV IURPÂżVKHUV,HQFRXQWHUHGÂ´ At least one Singapore manning agency is involved in placing these men on jobs in the treacherRXVÂżVKLQJLQGXVWU\ But the Ministry of Manpower does not have the jurisdiction to
prosecute these labour offences because contracts are signed overseas, explained Fr Romeo, seated LQKLVRIÂżFHGHFRUDWHGZLWKPRGHO cruise ships and nautical memorabilia at Church of St Teresa. Âł,WÂśV D YHU\ GLIÂżFXOW VLWXDWLRQ [Fishermen] usually get a portion of the salaries that are promised to WKHPEXWQRWDOOÂ´KHDGGHG Pursuing wage claims back in their home countries has proven to EHODUJHO\XQVXFFHVVIXODVWKHÂżVKÂ„&RQWLQXHGRQ3DJH
Sunday April 20, 2014 Â„ CatholicNews
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Â„ From Page 24
ermen could have gotten their jobs illegally, and recruitment agencies may have changed their names or closed down by then. $ZDUH RI WKLV KDUVK UHDOLW\ )U Romeo does the best he can to help these distressed migrant workers return home. He is one of the hotlines for VWUDQGHGÂżVKHUPHQUHIHUUHGE\WKH embassies here. Men in need have also gotten in contact with him WKURXJKSRVWHUVSODFHGDWWKH-)3 Âł,I >WKH HPEDVV\@ FDQQRW KHOS them with lodging, I can give them lodging. If they cannot get the airIDUH,SURYLGHWKHDLUIDUHÂ´WKH)LOipino-Chinese priest said. )RU WKUHH WR IRXU GD\V EHIRUH ERDUGLQJ Ă€LJKWV KRPH WKHVH PHQ from all faiths are given pocket money and beds in the retreat centre of St Teresaâ€™s Church. The transient home was, on one occasion, a source of UHIXJHIRUDVPDQ\DVÂżVKHUPHQ The AOS in Kaohsiung, TaiZDQZKHUHDODUJHSRUWLRQRIÂżVKing vessels come from, also has D VKHOWHU DQG DVVLVWV VHDPHQ 3RUW chaplain Ranulfo Salise said an inWHUYLHZWKURXJK)DFHERRNDQGRYHU the phone that the shelter can house about 40 people and is usually fully RFFXSLHGPRVWO\E\ÂżVKHUPHQ He added that the AOS there has been observing an increasing QXPEHURIFRPSODLQWVIURPÂżVKHUmen since 2009, mostly from Indonesians. â€œWorking and living conditions as well as the treatment is getting ZRUVHÂ´)U6DOLVHVDLGÂł,WLVWKHSRY-
7KH6W7HUHVD&KXUFKÂśVUHWUHDWFHQWUHRIWHQSURYLGHVUHIXJHIRUIRUHLJQÂżVKHUmen waiting to go home. Each room has two beds and a writing desk.
erty and lack of education in these >VRXUFH@FRXQWULHV7KH\GRQÂśWNQRZ who to call and where to get help.â€? Citing loopholes in the legal system, he added, â€œIt is necessary to reduce the incident of abuse by enacting an even more just labour policy for foreign workers.â€? AOS also works with groups like the International Lutheran Seafarersâ€™ Mission (ILSM) in Singapore, which runs a Seafarersâ€™ Welfare Centre (SWC) in the UHVWULFWHG DUHD RI -)3 ZKHUH WKHVH migrant workers have access. Opened by the Migrant Workersâ€™ Centre in January, the SWC is an avenue for migrant workers to lodge complaints on employment or well-being issues. Calling and top-up value phone cards, and two computers are availDEOH IRU XVH DW WKH FHQWUH )LVKHU-
men can visit between 5 to 9pm daily to rest, enjoy hot beverages and play games. )U5RPHRLVDZDUHRIWKHOLPLtations of what he can do for these ÂżVKHUVEXWWKDWGRHVQRWVWRSKLP 3UD\HUV DQG SURYLGLQJ D OLVWHQLQJ ear are often his best remedies. â€œYou hear their litanies, but you are helpless because you cannot give them the wages due them,â€? he said. â€œYou just have to try to make it easier for them before they go back home.â€? â€œThese people have nowhere to go. If they are exploited, if they are abused, they have nowhere to go,â€? )U5RPHRDGGHGÂł7KH\DUHLQYLVible to society. I try to help out in whatever way I can.â€? Â„ 7KH ZULWHUV DUH ÂżQDO\HDU VWXGHQWV DW 1DQ\DQJ 7HFKQRORJLFDO 8QLYHUVLW\ÂśV :HH .LP :HH 6FKRRO RI &RPPXQLFD WLRQDQG,QIRUPDWLRQ
What does the AOS do? It is in these uncertain conditions that the Apostleship of the Sea (AOS) plays an important apostolic role. According to its website (www. aos-world.org), the AOS is the Catholic Churchâ€™s global arm in PLQLVWHULQJWRVHDIDUHUVDQGÂżVKHUV It has port chaplains and seafarersâ€™ centres in more than 60 countries, and caters to â€œthe pastoral, social, and material welfare of all VHDIDUHUV DQG ÂżVKHUV UHJDUGOHVV RI colour, race or creedâ€?. The mission carries out its work by visiting ships, providing communication facilities, and extending the support of Christian groups to those onboard vessels. But there is much left to do in tackling the problem of abuses on ÂżVKLQJ YHVVHOV )U %UXQR &LFHUL the international coordinator of the Rome-based AOS, said in a Skype interview. This is because the problems ÂżVKHUPHQ IDFH GLIIHU DFURVV UHgions, making it hard to find
A screengrab of the Apostleship of the Sea website.
a â€œcommon denominatorâ€?. Âł)LVKLQJ LV D YHU\ GLIÂżFXOW VHW The abuses are so many because ZKHQ >ÂżVKHUV@ DUH RXW DW VHD WKH PDVWHU RI YHVVHO LV NLQJÂ´ VDLG )U Bruno, who previously ministered to these men for 12 years in Taiwan. â€œSo he can do whatever he
wants. He can beat. We had a number of cases where people...never came back,â€? he added. )U &LFHUL LV FXUUHQWO\ ZRUNLQJ RQDERRNRQWKHDEXVHVÂżVKHUPHQ face, and also said an AOS internaWLRQDO PHHWLQJ RQ ÂżVKLQJ ZDV RQ the cards for 2016. Â„
26 FAITH ALIVE!
Sunday April 20, 2014 Â„ CatholicNews
Making Easter, all 50 days, count As Lent is almost over and Easter is arriving, how do we continue the discipline that we had? CNS photo
By Daniel S Mulhall People are accustomed to giving up things for Lent. Perhaps we need to start a new tradition and start giving up things for Easter. Whatâ€™s that you ask? Why would someone give things up for Easter? Where Lent is a season of discipline and prayer, fasting and self-denial, Easter is a time of celebration and of joy, of living in the Lordâ€™s time of wonder. Self-denial may seem out of place in a time of joy but in some ways it is impossible for us to truly feel joy unless we let go of some negative feelings and emotions that prevent us from fully taking in what is available to us during the Easter season. Imagine that you are a kid in a candy store and you see a big jar of jawbreakers sitting on the counter and your mouth starts watering. You really, really want a piece of candy. The store manager says, â€œTry your luck. You can have free as many pieces as you can take from the jar in one pull.â€? You reach into the jar and grab a large handful of candy, closLQJ\RXUÂżQJHUVRQ\RXUWUHDVXUH However, when you try to remove your hand from the jar, it wonâ€™t come out. Itâ€™s stuck. The mouth of the jar is big enough for your unclenched hand to enter with room to spare, but as soon as you grab a handful of candy and close your ÂżVW WKH MDUÂśV PRXWK LV WRR VPDOO
The Lord offers us all that will satisfy our hunger, and we just have to open our minds and hearts to accept these gifts.
A godmother holds her goddaughter for baptism. Baptism and the Eucharist are major parts of the Easter celebration.
The only way to get your hand out of the jar is to let go of the candy. The same happens to us when it comes to matters of faith. We see all of the joys of the Easter season, which lasts for 50 days until Pentecost. We truly want to celebrate, but we canâ€™t because we are holding on to our fears and our concerns, our petty jealousies and closed attitudes. Like the child grabbing too
much in the candy store, we are not able to take advantage of the Easter celebration as long as our ÂżVWVDUHFORVHG In order to truly revel in the joy of the Resurrection, we have to realise that there are things we must give up, and the things we must give up are those that get in the way of our true joy. Unlike Lent, when people give up things they enjoy or love as a
VDFULÂżFH(DVWHUFDQEULQJDW\SHRI dumping, a spiritual spring cleaning, if you will, of attitudes and behaviours that are useless and are a hindrance to our happiness. To start, give up hungering for things. Instead, hunger for God. In John 4:14, which we read during Lent, Jesus tells the Samaritan woman at the well that He is the living water that relieves all thirst. In John 6:51, Jesus tells his fol-
lowers that He is the bread of life DQGWKDWWKRVHZKRHDWRI+LVĂ€HVK will live forever. Baptism and the Eucharist are major parts of the Easter celebration. The Lord offers us all the water and food that will satisfy our hunger. All we have to do is open our minds and hearts to accept these gifts. Donâ€™t hold on so tightly to the material. Let the Lord satisfy your hunger instead. The ultimate good news of Christianity is that death has no more power over us. This revelaWLRQ ÂżOOHG WKH ÂżUVW GLVFLSOHV ZLWK such joy that they took to the streets at Pentecost to share it with others. To believe in the Resurrection, we must, like the disciples, let go of our fears. If we let go of all of these negative things, only then can Easter, its 50 days and beyond, truly begin. Â„ CNS Mulhall lives and writes in Laurel, Maryland, USA.
We are modern-day disciples at Easter By Rhina Guidos A few years ago, I attended services at a small parish. On any given Sunday, anywhere from eight to 12 of us went to Mass regularly. One Easter Sunday, our population surged to about 20. Following Mass, we were handed a yellow balloon with WKH ÂżJXUH RI &KULVW VWDPSHG RQ LW It had the words â€œChrist is risenâ€?, and we were sent on our way. I remember feeling a huge letdown. Where was the Easter joy? , ZDV EHQW RQ ÂżQGLQJ D GLIIHUHQW parish, a bigger one with a little more fervour, one where Easter could really be felt. A few days later, I heard an Easter-time homily that was a call to action, one that asked us to be better brothers and sisters to each other, to build a sense of community and caring in our neighbourhood, which was plagued with high crime and poverty and where several homicides had taken place that week. We were told to be brothers to all, inside and outside our Church, no matter how small our numbers were, to act out the Gospel instead of just parroting it. We were told not
to abandon those in most need of us. Sometimes we must heed the words of Exodus 14:14: â€œThe /RUGZLOOÂżJKWIRU\RX\RXKDYH only to keep still.â€? For some, Easter will bring a letdown, but we have to remember that Easter is more than throngs of people at Church, a big meal, Ă€RZHUVSODVWLFHJJKXQWVRUFKRFolates. It is more than a day on the calendar. We have 50 days, not RQHWRÂżQGDQGEULQJWKHMR\WKH liberation we celebrate, to others. In a collection of essays from Rediscovering the Meaning of Lent and Easter, writer Kathleen Norris tells us that â€œGod doesnâ€™t bring us to a desert in order to let us die.â€? She says that â€œGod intends for His beloved to thrive,â€? and thatâ€™s what Easter aims to show us. She points to the words in Psalm 118:17: â€œI shall not die but live and declare the deeds of the Lord.â€? Norris refers to Mary Magdalene as the model of one who recounts the good deeds of the Lord. It is she who brings the news to the disciples and who is an important witness to the Resurrection. Norris asks an important question that should make us think
Children at an Easter egg hunt in Berwyn, Illinois, USA. For some, Easter will bring a letdown, but we have to rememEHUWKDW(DVWHULVPRUHWKDQWKURQJVRISHRSOHDW&KXUFKDELJPHDOĂ€RZHUVSODVWLFHJJKXQWVRUFKRFRODWHVCNS photo
about how we go about telling the good news in modern times. How do modern-day disciples celebrate Easter and recount its message? Itâ€™s a hard message to communicate to those who have not yet experienced liberation from the
daily struggles of unemployment, violence, economic or racial disparity, among others ailments. â€œHow do we recognise that we have seen the Lord, and how do we reveal this glorious truth to others?â€? she asks. â€œHow do we
dare speak of salvation and hope in a world so full of injustice, hatred, violence and deadly accident? This is the challenge and the mystery of Easter.â€? Â„ CNS Guidos is an editor at Catholic News Service.
Sunday April 20, 2014 Â„ CatholicNews
Sunday April 20, 2014 Â„ CatholicNews
By Joe Sarnicola
As Jesus rode toward the city, a large crowd gathered to greet Him. WHEN they had reached Bethphage, Some of them spread their cloaks on on the Mount of Olives, near Jerusa- the road in front of Him while others lem, Jesus sent two of His apostles cut branches from the trees and placed ahead. He said, â€œGo into the village them on the road as well. opposite you, and immediately you As Jesus approached JerusaZLOO ÂżQG DQ DVV WHWKHUHG DQG D FROW lem, the people chanted, â€œHosanna to with her. Untie them and bring them the Son of David, blessed is He who here to me. And if anyone should say comes in the name of the Lord; hosananything to you, reply, â€˜The master na in the highest.â€? By the time Jesus has need of them.â€™ Then he will send reached the city gates, the people of them at once.â€? Jerusalem were asking, â€œWho is this?â€? The two men left for the village The people in the crowd anand found the animals as Jesus had swered, â€œThis is Jesus the prophet, described. They brought the animals from Nazareth in Galilee.â€? When Jeback to Jesus and they put their cloaks sus reached the temple area He found over them for Jesus to sit on as he it as if it were a marketplace. He rode into Jerusalem. knocked over the tables of the money 7KLVIXOÂżOOHGDSURSKHF\IURPWKH changers and the chairs of the men Scriptures that said, â€œSay to daughter who were selling doves. As He did Zion, â€˜Behold, your king comes to so, He said, â€œIt is written: â€˜My house you, meek and riding on an ass, and on shall be a house of prayer,â€™ but you are a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.â€™â€? making it a den of thieves.â€?
St Hermenegild St Hermenegild (d. 585) was the son of Leovigild, the king of what is now Spain. Hermenegild fell in love with a devout Catholic woman. His wifeâ€™s prayerful life and the teachings of St Leander, the archbishop of Seville, were instrumental in Hermenegild choosing to become a Catholic. This angered his father, who demanded that he renounce his new faith. Hermenegild refused, and a war started between him and his supporters and his fatherâ€™s soldiers. Eventually Leovigild offered his son forgiveness, but the truce did not last, and he ordered the death of his own son. The faith of this young martyr led to the conversion of his brother and many other Spanish people. We honour him on April 13. Â„
Jesus left Jerusalem to go to Bethany, where He spent the night. Â„ Read more about it: Matthew 21
Q&A 1. What did the people do when they saw Jesus approaching Jerusalem? 2. What did Jesus do when he saw people selling things in the temple area?
Wordsearch: Â„ ASS
Â„ APOSTLES Â„ GATES
1. Jesus is condemned to death.
2. Jesus heals a blind man.
3. Jesus falls.
4. Jesus weeps.
5. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus. 6. Jesus asks for a sword. 7. Jesus is taken to prison. 8. Jesus is nailed to the cross
Answers to Puzzle: 2., 4., 6., 7.
During the time Jesus lived, the palm branch was considered a sign of victory. To the Roman rulers it was a symbol of military victory and power, so when the people of Jerusalem paved with palms the path that Jesus rode into the city, they were honouring him as if he were a triumphant ruler. 7KH\DOVRZHUHUHPHPEHULQJDQGIXOÂżOLQJWKHSURSKHcy made by Zechariah (Chapter 9) that predicted their king would enter Jerusalem riding a colt. On Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, many churches give out palms to members of the congregation as a way of remembering the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem. The palms that are left over are burned and used to mark our foreheads on Ash Wednesday the following year. Â„
Put an â€œXâ€? next to the following that are not one of the Stations of the Cross.
KIDSâ€™ CLUB: Share your thoughts on this weekâ€™s Bible story with family and friends by writing an essay in response to this question: Why is Easter such an important religious holiday?
Answer to Wordsearch
SPOTLIGHT ON SAINTS:
The blind and the disabled came to Jesus while He was still in the temple area, and He healed them. When the chief priests saw these things and heard the people crying out, â€œHosanna to the Son of David,â€? they were angry. They said to Jesus, â€œDo you hear what they are saying?â€? Jesus answered, â€œYes; and have you never read the text, â€˜Out of the mouths of infants and nurslings you have brought forth praiseâ€™?â€? After that
WHATâ€™S ON 29
Sunday April 20, 2014 Â„ CatholicNews
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APRIL 13 BILLINGS OVULATION METHOD 11am: The couple will learn how to use the knowledge of their fertility to make decisions whether to achieve or to space out pregnancy during their marital life, in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Church. Classes will only commence if there are VXIÂ¿FLHQWUHJLVWUDQWV%\1DWXUDO)DPLO\ Planning. At Church of the Holy Cross. Register E: email@example.com
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32 POPE FRANCIS
Sunday April 20, 2014 CatholicNews
Pope Francis goes to confession Gives priests advice on administering the sacrament VATICAN CITY – Leading a peni-
tential liturgy in St Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis surprised his liturgical adviser by going to confession during the service. After an examination of conscience on March 28, the pope and 61 priests moved into confessionals or to chairs set up against the walls to offer the sacrament to individual penitents. However, as Msgr Guido Marini, master of papal liturgical ceremonies, was showing which confessional the pope would be using to hear confessions, the pope pointed to another confessional nearby, indicating that he KLPVHOI ZDV JRLQJ WR ¿UVW FRQfess. The pope, dressed in a simple white alb and purple stole, spent about three minutes kneeling before the priest’s open confessional and received absolution. The priest also clasped the pope’s hands and kissed his silver ring. Pope Francis then went to another confessional and spent about 40 minutes hearing confessions. On the same day, in a separate event, he told priests not to be
too lax or too harsh during confession and always to make sure people know when the Sacrament of Reconciliation is available. “Let’s not forget that the faithful often struggle to take part in the sacrament, both for practical reasons and because of WKH QDWXUDO GLI¿FXOW\ LQ FRQIHVV-
Confession is ‘ not a prosecuting court but an experience of forgiveness and mercy.
– Pope Francis
ing one’s own sins to another person,” he told confessors and other participants attending a course sponsored by the Apostolic Penitentiary, a Vatican court that handles issues related to the absolution of sin. “For that reason we have to work really hard on who we are, on our humanity, so as to never
be an obstacle, but to always help people be drawn to mercy and forgiveness,” he said. Because the way the priest speaks and reacts is important, he must welcome penitents, “not with the attitude of a judge and not like a simple friend, but with the charity of God, with the love of a father who sees his son returning and then heads his way, like the shepherd who has found his lost sheep.” During confession, priests need to avoid being too strict or too lax, the pope said. “Neither of the two does good” or helps the penitent, he said. “Mercy truly listens with the heart of God and wants to accompany the soul along the road of reconciliation. Confession is not a prosecuting court but an experience of forgiveness and mercy,” the pope said. $SULHVW¶VKHDUWVKRXOG¿QGLWself easily moved, he said, “not out of sentimentalism or mere emotion” but because he has the Lord’s mercy in his “guts”. A confessor has the dual role of a doctor who heals and a judge who absolves, he added. CNS
The pope confesses his sins to a priest during a penitential liturgy in St Peter’s Basilica on March 28. CNS photo
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