SUNDAY DECEMBER 13, 2015
SINGAPORE $1.50 CENTS / WEST MALAYSIA RM$4.60
MCI (P) 009/08/2015
PPS 201/04/2013 (022940)
Archbishopâ€™s message IRU<HDURI0HUF\ :KDW WKH ZRUOG QHHGV PRVW WR- needs the doctor, not the healthy. GD\ PRUH WKDQ DW DQ\ WLPH LQ Hence, we need to be more comKLVWRU\LVPHUF\ In the world of passionate and understanding toscience and technology, there is no wards those who are struggling to place for mercy. This lack of mercy live up to the ideals of the gospel. Holiness is a gift from the Lord. is evident in the violent destruction of human life and habitat. Ironical- Without His grace, we too would O\ VXFK DFWV DUH RIWHQ MXVWLÂżHG LQ have fallen. So instead of boasting the name of justice. Many of these about our strength, we must boast acts of terrorism are committed in about the mercy of God. ,Q WKH OLJKW RI WKH -XELOHH the name of God and love. In the guise of mercy, we advo- \HDU RI PHUF\ OHW XV MRLQ 3RSH cate the abortion of babies so that )UDQFLV LQ UHLWHUDWLQJ WKH FHQthey will not be without parental WUDOLW\ RI WKH JRVSHO RI PHUF\ love; euthanasia is encouraged so UHĂ€HFWHG LQ WKH 2OG 7HVWDPHQW that the elderly need not suffer and particularly in the New Testaloneliness or meaningless pain in ment. The heart of Jesusâ€™ ministry their illness. The truth is that such is one of mercy and compassion. St Paul gives the doctrine of actions are contrary to our profession of love and mercy, for where MXVWLÂżFDWLRQE\IDLWKWKDWLVWUXVWLQ Godâ€™s mercy and there is love and as the compassion, we :HQHHGWRÂżQGD forgiveness starting point of a will truly care for the helpless babies SDVWRUDODSSURDFK right relationship with the Lord. What and the elderly. WRKHOSSHRSOH the Lord is asking 7KLV ODFN RI OLYHXSWRWKH of us is not sacriPHUF\LVDOVRDSÂżFH EXW PHUF\:H SDUHQWLQDZRUOG LGHDOVRISHUIHFW are called to radiate ZKHUHSHRSOHDUH ORYHDQGWRVKRZ the image of the FaYDOXHG LQ WHUPV RI WKHLU XWLOLW\ FRPSDVVLRQZKHQ ther of mercy in our daily life, whether We make use of WKH\IDOOVKRUW in almsgiving, in people for our amworks of mercy ELWLRQDQGWRIXOÂżO our needs. People are not loved and compassion or in forgiveness and accepted for who they are but of those who have hurt us, and seek reconciliation with them, reaching what they can do for us. 7KLVODFNRIPHUF\LVDOVRUH- out to sinners and those rejected by YHDOHGLQWKHZD\ZHUHJDUGVLQ- society and the world. :KDW SUHYHQWV XV IURP KDYQHUVDQGWKRVHZKRKDYHKXUWXV Indeed, many Catholics are wound- LQJ D KHDUW RI PHUF\" ,I PHUF\ ed because they feel judged, con- LV ZDQWLQJ LW LV EHFDXVH RI WKH demned and rejected by the com- VLQRISULGHWKDWOHDGVXVWRVHOI munity for being unable to live out ULJKWHRXVQHVV We become dogtheir lives according to the laws. As matic in the way we look at life. We a consequence, they conclude that measure people against doctrines. Whilst doctrines are important to God does not love them as well. The Church, as the mercy of show us the truth of love, yet, we Christ, must reach out to such QHHGWRÂżQGDSDVWRUDODSSURDFKWR people and show them compas- help people to live up to the idesion and understanding. Like Je- als of perfect love and to show sus, we need to let them know that we care because it is the sick that Â„&RQWLQXHGRQ3DJH
INSIDE HOME Mass for Paris attack victims Locals and French Catholics gather in solidarity Â„ Page 2
Agape Village RIĂ€FLDOO\RSHQV Social services hub to serve more than 50,000 people Â„ Page 3
Christ@Work &RQIHUHQFH Catholic business leaders share their experiences Â„ Page 6
WORLD Blessed Teresa could be FDQRQLVHGLQ Vatican awaiting assessment of possible miracle Â„3DJH
$GYHQWSHQLWHQWLDO VHUYLFHVDQG 6LPEDQJ*DEL schedule Â„3DJH
0DVVWRRSHQ-XELOHH<HDURI0HUF\ A Mass will be held at the Church of Divine Mercy on Dec 8 at 7.30 pm.
Sunday December 13, 2015 CatholicNews
Memorial Mass held in wake of Paris tragedy Photo: MEDIA MINISTRY, CHURCH OF ST FRANCIS XAVIER
Members of the French community praying during the memorial Mass at St Francis Xavier Church on Nov 19.
By Jared Ng “I’m at peace now, sometimes I’m angry and depressed, but this gives me hope. Now I have managed to pray for them and the jihadists as well,” said Ms Beatrice Burguet. The 45-year-old French woman was speaking to CatholicNews after attending a memorial Mass for the victims of the Nov 13 Paris terror attacks. About 200 French people attended the Mass, organised in a spirit of solidarity with the French community, at the Church of St Francis Xavier on Nov 19. A sombre atmosphere was evident as they and about 100 local Catholics gathered to pray for the victims of the attacks and their families.
In his homily, Fr Jude David expressed his condolences to the French community, some of whom might have “intimately known those who perished and shared a common history ... with”. He told those gathered that God will continue to walk with them despite the questions and doubts they may have because “in the eyes of God, we are all His children”. “God is with us, whatever the situation or circumstance,” he said. Fr Jude also highlighted the story of Dom Christian, a French Trappist monk killed by extremists in Tibhirine, Algeria, in 1996. “In Dom Christian, we see... a man who desired to love all people as the children of God, without
allowing religion to separate us, and also to live out the message of Jesus, to forgive even the one who would kill him,” Fr Jude said. “We are one Church, and it is because we are one Church
I feel much better ‘now. Even a hug or a hand on the shoulder really helps.
– Mr Ronan Conte, who arrived from France recently
that we are here tonight,” said Fr Jude. “We ache with you, and we cry with God the Father for the pain His children continue to go through in our world.” During the Mass, parish priest Fr Brian D’Souza read out a mes-
A memorial to the victims of the Paris attacks and their families.
sage from Archbishop William Goh to the French community. In it, he assured them that his “thoughts and prayers” are with them “in this time of searching”, and noted that “Jesus Himself ... was not spared from the sins against humanity”. He also noted that the French community has a special place in Singapore. “It was your forefathers who brought the faith to our shores, and worked tirelessly to ensure that it took root. It was WKH\ ZKR EXLOW RXU ¿UVW PLVVLRQ schools, orphanages and hospitals, and of course our many churches,” he wrote. “Tonight, we want to return the love that your forefathers gave to us, and hold you in our hearts as you grieve with your family and friends in your loss.”
“May you draw strength from the promise of our heavenly Father that He will never abandon us,” he added. After Mass, participants lighted tea lights placed on a makeshift memorial to the victims of the attacks and their families. When asked how the Mass had helped them deal with the tragedy, Ms Beatrice Desbazeille, 44, said that this was “one way” to be in solidarity with the French community. Mr Ronan Conte, 24, who arrived from France two weeks ago for work, said: “The homily really spoke to me and I felt connected to everyone around. I feel much better now. Even a hug or a hand on the shoulder really helps.” firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday December 13, 2015 Â„ CatholicNews
$JDSH9LOODJHRIĂ€FLDOO\RSHQV 6RFLDOVHUYLFHVKXEZLOOVHUYHPRUHWKDQEHQHĂ€FLDULHVUHJDUGOHVVRIUDFHUHOLJLRQRUQDWLRQDOLW\ By Jared Ng Agape Village â€œis to be a village of love ... a love without borders, without conditions, without condescension, and without expectation of rewardsâ€?, said Archbishop Goh DWWKHRIÂżFLDORSHQLQJRIWKHIRXU storey Caritas Singapore building. â€œMy dream is that Agape Village will be a household name in Singapore one day, and that all will know that there is one village ÂŤZKHUH\RXFDQÂżQGDORYHWKDW is genuine, sincere and true.â€? Archbishop Goh was one of several speakers at the Nov 21 event, which saw the blessing of the building at Lorong 8 Toa Payoh, and the unveiling of the buildingâ€™s plaque. Agape Village is an initiative of Caritas Singapore, the social mission arm of the Catholic Church. Thirteen of the 24 Caritas afÂżOLDWHFKDULWLHVDUHKRXVHGKHUH The building has 12 gardens Above: Agape Village in Toa Payoh. and facilities including counsel- Thirteen member organisations of ling and therapy rooms, caregiver Caritas Singapore are housed here. support and training facilities, a Right: Unveiling of the Agape Village dance studio, multi-purpose halls plaque on Nov 21. From left: Ms Teo and rooms for Masses, retreats, Jin Lee, chairperson of Agape Vilmeetings and training. lage Management Committee; Ms In his address to the estimated Janet Ang, chairperson of Caritas 500 people attending the ceremo- Singapore; Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Minny, Archbishop Goh also asked ister for Social and Family Developthat social workers and caregivers ment; Archbishop William Goh and â€œexercise great patience, compas- Mr George Lim, former chairperson sion, understanding and sensitiv- of Caritas Singapore. ity in serving their clients. â€œMay they in the process of people,â€? said Mr Tan. KHOSLQJ WKH SRRU ÂżQG WKH IDFH RI A video showing how Caritas God in them and experience the joy DIÂżOLDWHVDLGWKHQHHG\ZDVVKRZQ of meeting Jesus in them,â€? he said. during the event. Ms Janet Ang, chairperson of Msgr Ambrose Vaz then blessCaritas Singapore, told the crowd, HG WKH FUXFLÂż[HV WKDW ZHUH WR EH â€œToday, we are starting a new placed in the rooms of Agape chapter of Agape Village, and I Village. Priests who attended the am counting on your continued event blessed the different parts of engagement and support.â€? the building. In her welcome address, she Those present were also entersaid that the Agape Village com- tained by members of the different munity, practising &DULWDV DIÂżOLDWHV Catholic social who performed Agape Village â€˜is teaching, â€œwill the Agape Village to be a village of provide holistic theme song, as well and integrated care love... a love without as performances by to the poor, marBoysâ€™ Town Singaborders, without ginalised and those pore and Young conditions, without at Heart (YAH!), limited by their circumstancesâ€?. condescension, and a group serving Mr Tan Chuanelderly under without expectation the Jin, Minister for SoMontfortCare. of rewardsâ€™. cial and Family DeMr Tan Chuanvelopment, was the â€“ Archbishop William Goh Jin and Archbishguest-of-honour. op Goh were later In his speech, he said the inte- given a tour of Agape Village. gration of different social services Some of the organisations they LQ$JDSH9LOODJHZDVDÂłVLJQLÂżFDQW visited were Abilities Beyond Limstep forwardâ€? in addressing issues itations and Expectations (ABLE); faced by society, noting that the Mamre Oaks, a centre for adults â€œco-locationâ€? of various organi- with intellectual and developmenVDWLRQV ZRXOG SURYH EHQHÂżFLDO WR tal disabilities; the Digital InnovaERWKPLQLVWULHVDQGEHQHÂżFLDULHV WLRQ5RRPZKHUHEHQHÂżFLDULHVDUH â€œNothing beats the face-to- taught basic computing skills; and face contact of having lunch or the Respite Centre for caregivers. coffee together and building up For more information on trust and mutual respect. This step Agape Village, visit http://agapegoes a very long way in deepening village.caritas-singapore.org/ or that collaboration between organi- contact 6801 7400. Â„ sations and thereby enhancing our effectiveness in our service to the email@example.com
CARITAS AFFILIATES BASED IN AGAPE VILLAGE Caritas Singapore serves as an umbrella organisation to lead and coordinate 24 Catholic Charities, of which 13 are based in Agape Village. Â„ Abilities Beyond Limitations & Expectations (ABLE) Â„ Archdiocesan Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants & Itinerant People (ACMI) Â„ Boysâ€™ Town Â„ Catholic Business Network Â„ Catholic Lawyers Guild Â„ Catholic Welfare Services Â„ Clarity Singapore Â„ Christian Family and Social Movement Â„ Family Life Society Â„ Jesuit Refugee Service Singapore Â„ Mamre Oaks Â„ Montfort Care Â„ Society of St Vincent de Paul (SSVP)
Sunday December 13, 2015 CatholicNews
Participants learn about Autism Spectrum Disorder at symposium More than 300 parents, professionals, teachers and volunteers attended a symposium titled Living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) on Nov 14 at Agape Village in Toa Payoh. The event, organised by the Church of the Holy Spirit, sought to empower participants with information and support in their journey with their children with ASD. ASD is a lifelong condition which affects at least one in 100 individuals in the way they interact with others both socially and communicatively. Individuals with ASD also show a repetitive pattern of behaviours, activities, and interests. ASD affects individuals differently. Some may have no speech and require high levels of care while others may attain high levels of academic achievement. During the symposium, Assoc Prof Kenneth Poon from the National Institute of Education provided a concise overview of ASD, emphasising that the spectrum nature of the disorder means that eve-
ry individual with ASD is unique. Dr Sylvia Choo, a paediatrician from KK Women’s and Children Hospital, then discussed the social developmental of children, and how young children with ASD may be delayed in meeting these milestones. Ms Genevieve Chua, an educational psychologist, shared tips on providing educational interventions, which involves support and/or assistance, to children with ASD. She highlighted that in deciding the various ways of supporting the child with ASD, one has to understand the social, emotional, behaviour, learning, motor, processing, medical or sensory needs of the child. Dr Christopher Cheok, from the Institute of Mental Health drew on his past experience as a psychiatrist with the Singapore Armed Forces. He spoke about how an individual with ASD may prepare for National Service. Mr Kevin Leong, a parent of three young adults with highfunctioning ASD, shared strate-
Assoc Prof Kenneth Poon speaking at the Living with Autism Spectrum Disorder Symposium on Nov 14.
gies for how a parent may manage relationships within the family while coping with the demands of raising a child with ASD. A panel discussion followed which included topics such as how the diagnosis of ASD may be shared with the child, the application of the Mental Capacity Act, and the preparation process of teenagers with ASD for National Service.
Prior to the event, Fr Andrew Wong, parish priest of the Church of the Holy Spirit, had commented that the “symposium is but one way of being in solidarity with God’s children” and “more so as we enter the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy” which begins on Dec 8. He added that “it is with joy and gratitude that the parish has been able to start a special needs
I have learned a lot about Autism ‘ Spectrum Disorder. I can identify some of my school pupils who show signs of ASD and hopefully I’ll be able to support my pupils better.
– Mr Vincent Teo, a teacher
catechism class – Rainbow of Love – this year and it caters to children aged between six and 18 years.” Participants found the symposium useful. Ms Dulcie Ching, a mother in her mid-40s, commented that the symposium was “comprehensive and informative, covering topics from early signs and intervention, to other practical issues like setting up a trust, National Service and even how to manage family dynamics with an ASD child.” Mr Vincent Teo, a teacher in his 60s, shared, “I have learned a lot about ASD. I can identify some of my school pupils who show signs of ASD and hopefully I’ll be able to support my pupils better.”
Sunday December 13, 2015 CatholicNews
Sunday December 13, 2015 Â„ CatholicNews
Conference participants advised on Ă€QGLQJVSLULWXDOSXUSRVHDWZRUN Photos: MARK ORTEGA, VINCENT CHIA
Participants of a recent Christ@ Work 2015 Conference were challenged to let their lives be GHÂżQHG E\ DFWLRQ DQG D SHUVRQDO relationship with God. The conference, featuring speakers such as Mr Philip Ng, CEO of Far East Organisation and Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers from the US, had the theme Your Pursuit of Happiness at Work, DQG IRFXVHG RQ ÂżQGLQJ RQHÂśV spiritual purpose and mission in the workplace. The day-long conference, organised by the Catholic Business Network (CBN), was held on Nov 28 at Catholic Junior College and marked the 10th anniversary of the Christ@work series since its inauguration in 2005. The event which culminated in a Mass celebrated by Archbishop William Goh, attracted about 700 people including many Catholic business leaders. Deacon Burke-Sivers from Portland, Oregon, who was the ÂżUVWNH\QRWHVSHDNHULQUHprised his role again and reminded the audience to seek â€œtrue joyâ€? as opposed to â€œmaterial happinessâ€?. He recounted his personal story where he eventually had to choose between his lucrative fulltime job as police chief of the University of Portland and the calling to the permanent diaconate. He told the audience that leaving his job as a police chief was the best decision he had ever made. â€œWhy wait till youâ€™re retired to do Godâ€™s work? Whatâ€™s stopping you?â€? he asked. An interview-style session followed featuring Mr Philip Ng and Mr Willie Cheng, deputy chairman of the Catholic Foundation. When asked about his public persona as a â€œgenerous manâ€?, Mr Ng replied how being blessed
with wealth meant that he was merely a steward of Godâ€™s riches, not his own. He added that he could hardly be compared to someone like the poor widow in the Bible who gave away all of her two coins. Straits Times journalist Lydia Lim, during her presentation, stressed the importance of not identifying oneâ€™s self-worth with oneâ€™s job or career, and that life-giving choices and authenticity were hallmarks of living oneâ€™s true vocation. The panel discussion that followed echoed similar sentiments. It was moderated by Mr Bernard Lim, head of the Mediacorp family segment and a former radio personality, and featured an eclectic mix of professionals. One of the panellists was Pas-
tor Barney Lau, who left his career at its peak as managing director of Microsoft Singapore to become a full-time pastor. Mr Lau shared how, at age 41, despite the struggle of leaving a stable high powered corporate job to devote his life to God, he felt what he was truly doing was â€œgiving inâ€? to God instead of â€œgiving upâ€? the good life. Mr Kevin Ho, chief comPHUFLDO RIÂżFHU RI WKH %DOO:DWFK Company, brought the conference to a close by taking the audience through moral dilemmas, and showed how seemingly â€œlogicalâ€? choices were actually non-Christian, â€œutilitarianâ€?, ones. Archbishop William Goh, in his homily during Mass reminded the audience to heed the call to urgent-
a wake-up call to remind ourselves that â€˜It isthere is more to life than money... and that we need to do more for those around us.â€™
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ly respond to do Godâ€™s work and â€œnot to wait until they are too old... before doing so as we never know how much time each of us has left on this earth.â€? Mr Paul Raj, who attended the conference said: â€œIt is so humbling to hear of one of the richest
men in Singapore talk so passionately about his love and belief in our Lord. â€œIt is a wake-up call to remind ourselves that there is more to life than money and possessions and that we need to do more for those around us and the poor.â€? Â„
Catholics urged not to discriminate during World AIDS Day Mass Held annually around the world on Dec 1, this yearâ€™s World AIDS Day Mass was celebrated at the Church of St Vincent de Paul. Among the 1,000 people who attended the Mass on Nov 29 were members and volunteers of Catholic AIDS Response Effort (CARE) and residents from the shelter home operated by the charity. The event was organised by CARE, a Catholic Charity under Caritas Singapore, which cares for and supports people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs). In his homily, CARE spiritual director Fr Kenson Koh reminded Catholics to be watchful. In the context of HIV/AIDS, Catholics need to root out the causes of the disease but at the same time watch that they do not fall victim to the common and sinful response of discrimination and prejudice.
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Fr Kenson stressed that discrimination and prejudice against PLWHAs is not something Jesus would do, and that
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it is not Christian behaviour to identify the activity with the person. He concluded his homily by
people with AIDS in friendship. In conjunction with the event, CARE staff and volunteers were present over the weekend at the church to speak to parishioners about the work the charity does for PLWHAs in Singapore. They also sold items such as URVDULHV FDQGOHV DQG FUXFLÂż[HV made by CARE residents. Sarah, 35, a parishioner, said she was impressed with the work that CARE does for PLWHAs. Had it not been for the mini-exhibition, she would not have learnt about CARE or got to understand WKH GLIÂżFXOWLHV IDFHG E\ SHRSOH with AIDS. She said she felt sad upon reading the story of a CARE resident who was rejected by his own family upon being diagnosed with AIDS. Â„
Sunday December 13, 2015 CatholicNews
Sunday December 13, 2015 Â„ CatholicNews
A desire to preach Godâ€™s love to the deaf led him to the priesthood Deaf Friar Rowland Yeo shares the challenges he faced in his journey with Jared Ng
Above: Friar Rowland Yeo blessing a member of the deaf community. /HIW)ULDU5RZODQG<HRZLWKKLVJRGSDUHQWV0UDQG0UV7RN%RRQ&KLQ DIWHUKLVRUGLQDWLRQDWWKH&KXUFKRI6W0DU\RIWKH$QJHOV
Recounting his time in secondary school, Friar Rowland Yeo, 58, VKDUHG DERXW WKH GLIÂżFXOWLHV KH faced when he â€œstrained to lip-read teachers whose faces he could not always see as they turned to the chalkboard or walked around the classroom.â€? Born deaf, Friar Rowland said WKDWZKHQKHZDVÂżQDOO\DIWHUIRXU years, transferred to the Vocational Institute for the Handicapped where he could learn sign language, he felt â€œa new world opening to himâ€?. Friar Rowland graduated from the institute in 1975 with a furniWXUHPDNLQJFHUWLÂżFDWH Speaking to CatholicNews through email and an interpreter, Friar Rowland, who was ordained a priest on Nov 28, shared that being born into a Buddhist family, KLVÂżUVWHQFRXQWHUZLWKWKH&DWKRlic faith was when he was 11.
His aunt who was a Catholic, brought him to the Church of Our Lady Perpetual Succour to attend Mass, and he recalled how â€œcomfortableâ€? he felt despite the service not being in sign language. It was in 1976, when Friar Rowland was introduced to Redemptorist Fr Gasper by a friend, that he began to take interest in the faith. He was baptised two years later at the age of 21. Friar Rowland shared that he developed a love for the rosary and would often ask â€œWho am I?â€? as he prayed it. â€œYou are a child of Godâ€? was the prompting he received. During this time, Friar Rowland was working in a furniture company as a carpenter. After spending seven years there, he went on to work as an
assistant clerk at Community Chest for a further two years before leaving for the United States to pursue his studies in 1986. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy in 1992. He later spent two years in
calling made â€˜meGodâ€™s decide to become a priest to preach Godâ€™s love to the deaf
â€“ Friar Rowland Yeo, 58
Peru as a lay missionary helping deaf children. On his return to Singapore, Friar Rowland felt the call to a Religious life getting stronger and soon applied to three different missionary orders, the Jesuits, Re-
demptorists, and the Franciscans. Receiving a positive reply from the Franciscans, Friar Rowland felt that â€œthat was what God wanted for meâ€?. He joined the Franciscan order in 1997 and made his solemn profession in 2003. However, his formation period had its challenges. When he was in the US and Philippines studying Theology, he had to have one person interprete the lesson in sign language for him, while another would help write down the information. The communication barrier was a tough challenge to overcome but Friar Rowland credits St Francis of Assisi as a major LQĂ€XHQFH LQ KLV OLIH VKDULQJ WKDW the saint teaches him to remain â€œhappy, smiling and patient even GXULQJWKHPRVWGLIÂżFXOWWLPHVÂ´ Fr Rowland shared that he
later decided to become a priest as he wanted to be of greater service to the deaf community in Singapore and the region by celebrating the sacraments for them. â€œGodâ€™s calling made me decide to become a priest to preach Godâ€™s love to the deaf,â€? he signed. Friar Rowland was ordained a deacon in 2014, and began ministering to the deaf community at the Church of St Mary of the Angels. His duties included signing for the deaf parishioners at the 11am Sunday Mass. He also gave homilies in sign language, which were then interpreted, to his Franciscan confreres and Infant Jesus Sisters at Mass every Tuesday and Thursday at the Greccio Friary at Chestnut Drive. Â„ firstname.lastname@example.org
Friar Rowland ordained, celebrates 1st Mass â€œPlease pray for me that I will always... give everything I have, everything I am to the service of Godâ€™s people,â€? signed Friar Rowland Yeo in his speech during his ordination Mass on Nov 28. Speaking through an interpreter, Franciscan Fr Hozo Sato who serves the deaf community in the Philippines, Friar Rowland also extended his thanks to those who helped him along his journey to the priesthood. About 600 people gathered at the Church of St Mary of the Angels to join Friar Rowland in the
Mass celebrated by Archbishop William Goh. Members of the deaf community were also present and many queued to receive a special blessing from him after the Mass. Archbishop Goh, speaking before the Rite of Ordination, had a few words of advice for Friar Rowland: â€œRemain in the love of the Lord, you need to be intimate with Him, otherwise along the way you will suffer burnout... there will be problems, there will EHWULDOVDQGGLIÂżFXOWLHVÂ´ The following day, Friar Row-
ODQG FHOHEUDWHG KLV ÂżUVW 0DVV DW the Church of the Sacred Heart. He urged the 120 people present, mostly from the deaf community, to prepare for the coming of Jesus. â€œIn a few weeks, we will greet him in the Christmas of Bethlehem,â€? signed Friar Rowland, who appeared somewhat nervous celHEUDWLQJKLVÂżUVW0DVV â€œOne day, we will be with Him in the never ending Christmas of heaven,â€? said Friar Rowland, speaking through Fr Hozo Sato, who is Japanese. Â„
Friar Rowland Yeo celebrating KLVÂżUVW0DVV at the Church of the Sacred Heart.
Sunday December 13, 2015 Â„ CatholicNews
&DUPHOLWH6LVWHUPDNHVĂ€QDOYRZV VKDUHVKHUGLVFHUQPHQWVWRU\ By Jared Ng An experience at a youth retreat in New Zealand in 2003 led Yvonne Chew to believe she was being called to the Religious life. â€œDuring a praise and worship session, I heard a manâ€™s voice inside me saying: â€˜Do not be afraid because I love you,â€™â€? said Chew, who is now known as Sr Jacinta. The YRLFHZDVÂżUP\HWJHQWOHUHFDOOHG WKHQXQZKRPDGHKHUÂżQDOYRZV as a Carmelite Sister on Nov 30. The 45-year-old nun told CatholicNews in an interview that she had been drawn to the Religious life in New Zealand, where she was completing her Masters in Ecology. â€œI could see the priests and the nuns were ... joyful, leading a humble life of service and there was a sense of freedom about them,â€? she said with a smile. Sr Jacinta joined the cloistered Carmelite nuns in Singapore, but left the monastery for a period of discernment. She later rejoined the order. Sr Jacinta shared that prior to going to New Zealand, she had worked in Singapore as a newspaper reporter and layout designer for three and a half years. Now, together with the other 18 nuns in the Carmelite Monastery, Sr Jacinta prays the Divine 2IÂżFHVHYHQWLPHVGDLO\ She also devotes an hour in the morning and evening to meditation.
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Unlike most of the other nuns, who stay within the enclosure of the monastery, Sr Jacinta is an extern Sister. This means she is able to leave the monastery a few times a month for grocery shopping and to represent the community at ordinations and funerals. Her other duties include welcoming visitors who ask for prayers, and cleaning the premises. Sr Jacinta shared that living and praying within the four walls of the monastery took some getting used to.
this community, He will take care of mineâ€?. For those thinking of joining the Religious life, Sr Jacinta had this SLHFHRIDGYLFHÂł5HĂ€HFWRQZKHWKHU \RXDUHGHHSO\WUXO\VDWLVÂżHGZLWK what the world is offering, because I IRXQGWKDW,ZDVQRWVDWLVÂżHGÂ´ During the Nov 30 Mass when VKHPDGHKHUÂżQDOYRZV$UFKELVKop William Goh told the crowd, â€œWe need to support and encourage her with our prayers because she
â€œHow I overcame that was listening, listening to Godâ€™s word and the priests during Mass,â€? she recalled. â€œA Carmelite priest once said: â€˜In enclosure there is no way out but up.â€™â€? She eventually grew accustomed to being cloistered and discovered that â€œtruly He is enough for me, He gives the grace I needâ€?. Sr Jacinta, the younger of two siblings, shared that she had worries and concerns about leaving her family to join the Carmelites. However, she realised that â€œif I take care of His people here in
has a long journey ahead of her.â€? Not even a temporary blackout in the chapel dampened the mood of the estimated 180 people gathered, as they all had well wishes for her. After making her vows, Sr Jacinta greeted and embraced her family members who were in tears. The crowd then proceeded for dinner afterwards. A cake was also specially prepared for Sr Jacinta for the occasion.Â„ email@example.com
Sunday December 13, 2015 Â„ CatholicNews
Mt Alvernia Hospital sets up clinic for needy
THE BIG WALK:
Msgr Philip Heng, Vicar General of Inter-religious Dialogue, (centre), together with nine other Catholics, formed a group for the SG50 Jubilee Big Walk on Nov 29. The Catholic Church in Singapore, together with other religions, was invited to join at the starting point with other interfaith and intercultural organisations to walk together in unity. The 5-km walk took participants through a trail that connected more than 20 historic locations within the Civic District and Marina Bay areas. The Catholic group comprised participants encompassing three generations from six parishes and from various ministries. Â„
0RXQW $OYHUQLD +RVSLWDOÂśV ÂżUVW community outreach medical clinic is now fully operational. The facility, which started operations on Nov 2, is located at Redhill. It is part of Enabling Village, an initiative of SG Enable, an agency dedicated to enabling persons with disabilities. Âł2QHRIWKHPDLQEHQHÂżFLDULHV we want to serve is people with GLVDELOLWLHV ZKR DUH DOVR ÂżQDQcially needy,â€? said Mr Goh Hock Soon, the Catholic hospitalâ€™s director of corporate development and community engagement. The Mount Alvernia Outreach Medical Clinic provides general practitioner consultation and medication for the management of FRPPRQFROGVDQGĂ€XIHYHUGLDUrhoea and constipation, joint aches and pains, headache and giddiness, and other acute illnesses. The facility, which is fully funded by the hospital, is staffed with doctors and a nurse, and is equipped with medical supplies. Apart from serving people with disabilities, the clinic also seeks to assist those who need help to re-integrate into society. â€œThe ex-prisoners from the Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises [SCORE] are an example,â€? said hospital
CEO Lee Suen Ming. â€œA number of them still require help to reintegrate and to be gainfully employed EHIRUHWKH\FDQEHFRPHVHOIVXIÂżcient. We decided to expand our cause by providing them with a familiar place where they know they will be treated for a small fee.â€? The hospital said the clinic will work with organisations such as SG Enable, the National Council of Social Service (NCSS), Caritas Singapore and SCORE. More partnerships with other voluntary welfare organisations to assist women or teenagers in pregnancy crisis, foreign workers DQGYLFWLPVRIKXPDQWUDIÂżFNLQJ are also being planned. â€œWe hope to set up a few more outreach clinics in different parts of Singapore over the next few years,â€? said Mr Goh. Clinic members pay a nominal fee of $5 for all outpatient treatments. Applications can be submitted through partner VWO organisations. The clinic is located at 20 Lengkok Bahru, #01-03, Singapore 159053. Operating hours: Mon and Fri (9 am-1 pm, 2 pm6pm); Tues, Wed, Thurs (noon-4 pm, 5 pm-9 pm); closed on Sat, Sun and public holidays. Tel: 6473-5100, email: firstname.lastname@example.org Â„
The Mount Alvernia Outreach Medical Clinic is located at Redhill.
Coming up: world forum on marriage Isnâ€™t it sad how a good, strong marriage seems to be the exception rather than the norm these days? Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME) Singapore will hold a World Forum on Marriage on Jan 16, 2016, to examine the challenges to marriages and family life worldwide. The forum is held in conjunction with the WWME World Council Leaders meeting hosted by ME Singapore from Jan 14-20. The forum will feature presentations on the state of marriages by the World Councilâ€™s delegates comprising couples and priests from around the world.
Mgsr Ambrose Vaz will give the keynote address. The forum aims to inspire couples, priests and the community through real-life marriage examples; reinforce that marriage is the building block of every society; and rediscover the mission of making marriages great by recognising the threats in their midst. The forum will be held at the Catholic Junior College Performing Arts Centre on Jan 16 from 8.30am-7.30pm. Contribution: $25 from wfm2016.eventbrite.sg (includes lunch and dinner). For enquiries, email wwmesgforum@ yahoo.com.sg Â„
Sunday December 13, 2015 CatholicNews
1 December 2015
APPOINTMENTS 1. Fr Joseph Jeannequin MEP has been transferred to Bethany Home, 49 Upper Thomson Road for his residence and retirement. He remains available for visits at the home. 2. Fr Christopher Lee has been appointed chaplain for the Nanyang Technological University Catholic Students Apostolate (NTUCSA) for a term of two  years with effect from 19 November 2015. 3. The following have been appointed to the Board of Management of the Catholic Theological Institute of Singapore (CTIS) for a term of two  years with effect from 10 November 2015 to 10 November 2017: a. Rev Fr James Yeo (Rector and Supervisor) b. Rev Fr Peter Zhang (Vice-Rector) c. Mr Arthur Goh (Academic Director) d. Mr Anthony Seah (Board Chairman) e. Mr Lionel Tseng (Treasurer, Accountant) f. Mr Alvin Koh (Secretary) g. Mr Kenneth Ho (member) h. Ms Rose Yeo (member) i. Mr Derrick Chee (member) j. Sister Cecily Pavri (member) k. Ms Hanna Lim Yee Fen (member) 4. Mr Sean La’Brooy has been re-appointed to the IJ Board of Management for a term of two  years with effect from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2017. 5. The following have been appointed to the Caritas Board of Trustees for a term of two  years with effect from 19 November 2015: a. Mr Laurence Lien b. Ms Jane Foo c. Mrs Christina Ong 6. Fr Timothy Yeo has been appointed a member and Chairman of the Board of TRCAS - Chinese Mission Fund for a term of two  years with effect from 19 November 2015. 7. Mr Patrick Lo Kai Huat has been appointed a member of the Board of TRCAS - Chinese Mission Fund for a term of two  years with effect from 19 November 2015. OTHER MATTERS $UFKGLRFHVDQ2I¿FHV 7KH&DWHFKHWLFDO2I¿FHZLOORSHUDWHVHSDUDWHO\IURPWKH2I¿FHIRU WKH 1HZ (YDQJHOL]DWLRQ WR FDWHU IRU WKH VSHFL¿F SDVWRUDO QHHGV RI catechesis for the Archdiocese. Diaconate Ordination Br Cornelius Ching has been given approval for his diaconate ordination. He will be posted to the Church of Holy Spirit for his diaconal ministry with effect from 1st January 2016. Further details of the diaconate ordination will follow.
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: email@example.com
New head appointed for Melaka-Johor diocese By Vincent D’Silva JOHOR BAHRU – Pope Francis
has appointed Msgr Bernard Paul, 62, as bishop-elect of Melaka-Johor diocese. Msgr Bernard Paul is currently the parish priest of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit and a vicar-general of Penang diocese. He will take over from Jesuit Bishop Paul Tan, who has headed the Melaka-Johor diocese since 2003. Msgr Bernard said that youth, family and interreligious cooperation will be among his areas of focus when he takes over as bishop. He added that he will strive to hold more interfaith dialogues to foster greater understanding among Malaysians. On the theme for his episcopate, Msgr Paul said it will be “Take! Bless! Break! Give”, explaining that these are words associated with the consecration of bread and wine.
Msgr Bernard Paul (left) will take over from Bishop Paul Tan.
Msgr Bernard was born in Kuala Lumpur in 1953 and was ordained a priest in 1989. He has served in a number of roles in Penang diocese including being vicar general for pastoral life, diocesan head for voca-
tions, president of the Council of Priests, and working in parishes. The episcopal ordination of bishop-elect Bernard Paul will be held at the Persada International Convention Centre in Johor Bahru on Jan 12, 2016, at 5 pm.
Sunday December 13, 2015 CatholicNews
Indian Church to honour former ‘untouchables’ The Catholic Church in India is taking its cue from Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment in observing its annual Day for the Liberation of Dalits. “As we take care of nature, we have to take care of the marginalised and oppressed people in our country,” Fr Devasagaya Raj, sec-
retary of the Indian Catholic bishRSV¶ RI¿FH IRU dalits and lower classes, told ucanews.com. The priest highlighted the importance of the pope’s encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’, which was addressed to every person on the planet. When nature is exploited, dalits are also exploited and
discriminated by society, he said. “Let us take a vow to protect the rights of these people and give them their due place in the society,” Fr Raj said, adding that the encyclical, while talking about saving the climate, also includes the “social climate”. Indian society comprises the high castes – Brahmins (priests,
The dalits have long been the teachers), Kshatriyas (kings, wartarget of disempowerment, opriors) and Vaishyas (merchants, artisans). The Sudras (labourers, pression and persecution even peasants) make up the lowest caste. though the Indian Constitution Those not born into these four abolished caste discrimination castes were the outcasts, formerly and made “untouchability” becalled “untouchables”, and who cause of religious sanction a punare now called dalits, a Sanskrit ishable offence. It guarantees quotas for dalits term meaning “trampled upon”. and other underThe Catholic privileged classes Church in India anAs we take care in government jobs nually celebrates The Day for the of nature, we have and in educational institutions. Liberation of Dalto take care of the However, its on the nearest Christian Sunday following marginalised and lim dalitsandareMusdethe UN Human oppressed people QLHG WKHVH EHQH¿WV Rights Day on Dec on the grounds that 10. in our country. their religions do Hence, Dec – Fr Devasagaya Raj not recognise the 13 this year is to caste system. be observed at the Christian dalits in India have parish level to educate “our own Catholics about the rights of the EHHQ¿JKWLQJIRUWKHLUULJKWVDVHQjoyed by their Hindu counterparts dalits,” said Fr Raj. There will be special prayers for more than half a century. Church leaders estimate that in parish churches and liturgies will be centred around the theme at least half of India’s 23 million of climate, castes and care for the Christians are of dalit origin. UCANEWS.COM Earth, he explained.
Sunday December 13, 2015 Â„ CatholicNews
Climate deal must be transformative, papal envoy tells leaders in Paris VATICAN CITY â€“ Heads of state
discussing carbon emission limits must create a global and â€œtransformativeâ€? agreement built on justice, solidarity and fairness, a papal representative told the UN climate conference in Paris. Pope Francis has said â€œit would be tragicâ€? if special interests â€œmanipulated informationâ€? and won out over the common good, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, said on Nov 30. The cardinal delivered a speech on behalf of the pope during the Nov 30-Dec 11 Conference of Parties, or COP21, in Paris. The Vatican released a copy of the speech on Dec 1. A global agreement must have three interrelated goals in mind: â€œAlleviate the impact of climate FKDQJH ÂżJKW SRYHUW\ DQG OHW WKH GLJQLW\RIWKHKXPDQSHUVRQĂ€RXUish,â€? the cardinal said in a speech delivered in French. A meaningful global pact must be guided by a clear ethical vision that sees all of humanity as belonging to one human family, and has â€œno room for the so-called globalisation of indifference,â€? he said.
Pray for peace, weep for world at war, pope says
Alleviate the â€˜ impact of climate FKDQJHÂżJKW poverty and let the dignity of the human SHUVRQĂ€RXULVK
â€“ Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state
â€œGiven the urgency of a situation that requires the broadest collaboration possible in order to reach a common plan,â€? it is important the agreement recognises everyoneâ€™s responsibility to help others and according to oneâ€™s abilities and means. An agreement must send â€œclear signalsâ€? to governments, busiQHVVHV WKH VFLHQWLÂżF FRPPXQLW\ and local communities on how to adjust or change their behaviour and policies in ways that leads to a low carbon economy and integral human development, he said. Finally, the cardinal said, the COP21 endeavour must be part of
an ever-evolving commitment to future generations with constant updates, follow-up and enforcement. â€œItâ€™s necessary to take into serious consideration the realisation of models of sustainable production and consumption and new behaviours and lifestyles,â€? he said. â€œTechnical solutions are necessary but not enough,â€? he said, adding that teaching and supporting sustainable lifestyles are critical. People must become more aware of their responsibility and that todayâ€™s lifestyles based on an unsustainable â€œculture of wasteâ€? have no place in new models of education and development. Â„ CNS
VATICAN CITY â€“ â€œJesus wept.â€? Pope Francis opened his morning homily with those words as he spoke about WKHZDUVDQGYLROHQFHHQJXOÂżQJQXmerous parts of the world. The Gospel reading for Nov 19 began, â€œAs Jesus drew near Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, â€˜If this day you only knew what makes for peace â€“ but now it is hidden from your eyes.â€™â€? â€œJesus is weeping today, too, because we have preferred the path of war, the path of hatred, the path of enmity,â€? the pope said during the Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae where he lives. â€œA war can be â€“ quote-unquote ÂąÂľMXVWLÂżHGÂśIRUPDQ\UHDVRQVEXW when the whole world is embroiled in war like it is today â€“ there is a world war [being fought] in pieces, here, there, everywhere â€“ there LVQRMXVWLÂżFDWLRQ$QG*RGZHHSV Jesus weeps,â€? the pope said. â€œIt would do us good to ask for the grace of tears for this world that does not recognise the path of peace,â€? the pope said. â€œLet us ask for the conversion of hearts.â€? Pope Francis prayed that the upcoming Year of Mercy would
If miracle approved, Blessed Teresa could be canonised on Sept 4 VATICAN CITY â€“ The Vatican cal-
endar for the Year of Mercy deliberately set aside Sept 4, 2016, as a possible date for the canonisation of Blessed Teresa of Kolkata, if her sainthood cause is concluded by then. The canonisation would be celebrated by Pope Francis in St Peterâ€™s Square at the end of a threeday pilgrimage of people who, like Blessed Teresa was, are engaged in corporal works of mercy. â€œSept 4 is a hypothesis or plan within the calendar for the jubilee year,â€? Jesuit Fr Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, told Catholic News Service on Nov 19. The Italian news agency AGI reported on Nov 18 that a panel of physicians convoked by the Congregation for Saintsâ€™ Causes agreed there was no medical or natural explanation for the recovery of a Brazilian man suffering from multiple brain tumours. His healing after prayers for the intercession of Blessed Teresa was submitted as the miracle needed for her canonisation. Fr Lombardi urged caution, however. â€œThe process is still unGHUZD\ DQG RIÂżFLDO FRPPXQLFDtions will be given at the appropriate time.â€? Members of the Congregation for Saintsâ€™ Causes still must review the physiciansâ€™ report on the healing. If the members have no further questions, Pope Francis would be asked to issue a decree
recognising the healing as a miracle worked by God through the intercession of Mother Teresa. With the decree, the pope would set a date for a consistory of cardinals who live in or could come to Rome for the occasion. They would be asked to recommend the pope canonise Blessed Teresa. AGI had reported the likely date of the canonisation would be Sept 5 â€“ Mother Teresaâ€™s feast day and the anniversary of her death. However, Sept 5 is a Monday in 2016 and Fr Lombardi said the canonisation would not take place on a Monday. Â„ CNS
bring with it â€œthe grace that the world would discover again the ability to weep for its crimes.â€? â€œWe are approaching Christmas,â€? the pope said, and soon everywhere â€œthere will be lights, decorated trees, even Nativity scenes,â€? but if they are not signs of faith in Jesus and a commitment to following Him, then it is â€œall fake.â€? All the wars and violence lead to â€œruin, thousands of children without an education, many innocent people dead and a lot of money in the pockets of those who sell weapons,â€? the pope said. â€œJesus once said, â€˜You cannot serve two masters: Either God or riches.â€™ War is choosing riches.â€? Choosing war, he said, is like saying, â€œâ€˜Letâ€™s make weapons, that way we can balance the budget a bit and move our own interests forward.â€™ The Lord has strong words for those people: â€˜Be cursed!â€™â€? He said, â€˜Blessed are the peacemakers.â€™ Those who decide for war, who make wars, are cursed; they are criminals.â€? Â„ CNS
Let us ask for â€˜ the conversion of KHDUWVâ€™
â€“ Pope Francis
Blessed Teresa of Kolkata.
14 POPE IN AFRICA
Sunday December 13, 2015 CatholicNews
Pope raises interfaith, jus
Pope Francis reaches out to the marginalised as he visits a s
A crowd waiting to see Pope Francis during his visit to a Catholic parish in the Kangemi slum on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya. NAIROBI, KENYA – One of the
highlights of Pope Francis’ Nov 25-30 trip to Africa was his visit to a slum in Nairobi’s Kangemi neighbourhood. The pope visited the slum on Nov 27. It features tiny dwellings made of cinder block, tin or reclaimed boards. The homes are jumbled together with dirt roads and paths running between them. Pope Francis told the people gathered in the church that he had an obligation to denounce the injustices that keep the slum dwellers living in such desperate circumstances, but he also urged the people to recognise the values they have and that the world needs: Solidarity, celebration, taking care to bury the dead, making more room at one’s simple table and taking in the sick all are characteristic of people in the world’s poorest neighbourhoods. The problems faced in the makeshift communities are “the consequence of new forms of co-
lonialism,” which see African countries as “cogs on a gigantic wheel” and a storehouse of natural resources to plunder. African nations, he said, “are frequently pressured to adopt policies typical of the culture of waste, like those aimed at lowering the birth rate.” Pope Francis then went to Nairobi’s Kasarani Stadium for a meeting with young people. A young woman and young man asked Pope Francis questions and, as they spoke, he took notes. Later, he set aside his prepared text and answered their questions, particularly regarding the problems of tribalism and corruption. “Tribalism destroys a nation,” he said. “The ear, the heart and the hand” are needed to overcome tribalism, the pope told the crowd. People need to listen to each other, ask each other about their history and customs, open their hearts to one another and extend a hand in friendship, he said.
Pope Francis arrives for a meeting with young people at Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi. CNS photos
He asked the estimated 70,000 \RXQJSHRSOHZKR¿OOHGWKHVWDGLum to hold hands as well. “We are all a nation,” he had them say. “No to tribalism.” He also noted that all institutions have people tempted by corruption, “including the Vatican.” He urged the young people to have nothing to do with cheating or corruption.
are all a nation. ‘We No to tribalism.’
– 70,000 young people, upon Pope Francis’ urging
The previous day, the pope met with 40 representatives of Kenya’s Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Sikh and Buddhist communities, as well as with a Masai elder and other leaders of communities that have maintained their traditional African beliefs. During the meeting, Pope Francis remembered the terrorist attacks on Kenya’s Westgate Mall
in 2013, Garissa University College in April and Mandera in July. “All too often, young people are being radicalised in the name of religion to sow discord and fear, and to tear at the very fabric of our societies,” the pope said. “How important it is that we be seen as prophets of peace, peacemakers who invite others to live in peace, harmony and mutual respect.” Abdulghafur El-Busaidy, chairman of the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims, greeted the pope as “a revolutionary-minded man of God” on behalf of the country’s Muslims, who, he said, make up about 30 percent of the population. “As people of one God and of this world,” he told the pope, “we must stand up and in unison clasp hands together in all the things that are essential for our collective progress as one humanity, one world irrespective of location, culture, language, race, ethnicity, status, politics ... for we are citizens of the same world.”
Later, the pope celebrated Mass with more than 200,000 people on the grounds of the University of Nairobi. The health of a society depends on the health of its families, the pope said in his homily. Welcoming children as a blessing and respecting the dignity of each human being should be the marks of Christian families, the pope said. In the afternoon, Pope Francis met with the priests, Religious and seminarians of Kenya. He set aside his prepared text DQGUHÀHFWHGRQWKHLPSRUWDQFHRI priests and Religious recognising that the Lord called them to serve and that serving is what their lives must be about. “When we were called, we were not canonised,” the pope said. Each priest and religious continues to be a person in need of God’s mercy and forgiveness, a person who must devote time to prayer, he said. CNS
Honour your martyrs by KAMPALA, UGANDA – During his
Pope Francis kneels in prayer at the Anglican martyrs’ shrine at Namugongo in Kampala, Uganda.
visit to Uganda, Pope Francis encouraged Ugandan Christians to draw inspiration from the 19thcentury Ugandan Martyrs. The pope made an early morning visit on Nov 28 to the Anglican shrine and museum located on the site in Kampala where many of the martyrs died. The main exhibit features realistic statues of men being tortured, bound and thrown on D¿UH Anglican Archbishop Stanley Ntagali of Uganda explained to him how the martyrs were executed on the orders of King Mwanga II in the late 1800s.
Afterward, the pope celebrated a Mass outside the nearby Catholic shrine to the martyrs. In his homily, Pope Francis honoured all the martyrs, noting that they shared the same faith in Jesus and they offer a witness to “the ecumenism of blood”. Honouring the martyrs is not something to be done only on their feast day, he said, but must be done daily through upright behaviour and loving care for others in the family, the neighbourhood, at work and in society. In an afternoon meeting with Ugandan youths, the pope tried to respond directly to the young
POPE IN AFRICA 15
Sunday December 13, 2015 Â„ CatholicNews
stice issues in Africa trip
slum, embraces a HIV-positive youth and denounces tribalism
Pope opens Holy Door in Bangui, visits mosque BANGUI, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC â€“ Put down the weapons
of war and work for justice, Pope Francis urged the people of the Central African Republic. â€œEven when the powers of hell are unleashed, Christians must rise to the summons, their heads held high, and be ready to brave blows in this battle over which God will have the last word. And that word will be love and peace,â€? the pope said in an evening homily on Nov 29 at Banguiâ€™s cathedral. A civil war that began in 2013 and ongoing outbursts of violence, including between mainly Muslim and mainly Christian militias, have sown terror in the Central African Republic, which already was on PRVWOLVWVRIWKHÂżYHSRRUHVWFRXQWULHV LQ$IULFD$ ÂżIWK RI WKH FRXQWU\ÂśVSRSXODWLRQKDVĂ€HGDEURDGRULV living in camps for displaced people. Explaining to people outside the Bangui cathedral that their city was, for the day, â€œthe spiritual capital of
the worldâ€?, Pope Francis prayed for the mercy and grace of peace as he used both hands and his body weight to push open the Holy Door of the cathedral. The main opening of the Year of Mercy will be on Dec 8 at St Peterâ€™s Basilica in Rome. 0DUNLQJWKHÂżUVW6XQGD\RI$Gvent at the Mass with priests, Religious, catechists and youths, Pope Francis urged the Catholic community to be committed to helping the country make a new start. Pope Francis arrived at the cathedral after a meeting with representatives of the Central African Republicâ€™s evangelical and Protestant communities. For too long, too many Central Africans have been suffering, the pope said. â€œThere are also those who have been scarred in soul or body by hatred and violence, those whom war has deprived of everything: work, home and loved ones,â€? the pope said. When God looks upon the suf-
The pope Francis arrives for a meeting with the Muslim community at the Koudoukou mosque.
fering, He does not see members of one denomination or another. â€œI have often called this the ecumenism of blood,â€? he said. â€œAll our communities suffer indiscriminately as a result of injustice and the blind hatred unleashed by the devil.â€? Pope Francis urged the countryâ€™s Christians to continue on the path of ecumenism, cooperation and common prayer. â€œThe lack of unity among Christians is a scandal,â€? he said, â€œabove all because it is contrary to Godâ€™s will.â€? Pope Francis ended his visit to the violence-torn Central African Republic with a visit to the Koudoukou mosque in Bangui on Nov 30. After two years of civil war, much of the recurrent violence in
Christians and â€˜ Muslims are brothers DQGVLVWHUVâ€™
â€“ Pope Francis to imam
the country involves the murder of a Christian or a Muslim, then retaliations from members of the other community. Most areas of Bangui are divided into Christian or Muslim neighbourhoods with â€œbuffer zonesâ€? between them patrolled by UN peacekeepers. â€œGod is peace, â€˜salam,â€™â€? the pope said in his speech at the mosque. â€œChristians and Muslims are brothers and sisters,â€? created by the same God, he said, and they must act like it. â€œTogether, we must say no to hatred, to revenge and to violence, particularly that violence which is perpetrated in the name of a religion or of God himself,â€? Pope Francis insisted.
Pope Francis opens the Holy Door at the cathedral in Bangui.
Tidiani Moussa Naibi, the imam of the mosque, assured the pope that Central African Christians and Muslims know that they are brothers and sisters. â€œTrouble mongers could delay the completion of a particular project of common interest or compromise for a time a particular activity, but never, â€˜inshallah,â€™ [God willing] can they destroy the bonds of brotherhood that unite our communities so solidly.â€? After the speeches, Pope Fran-
cis asked the imam to show him the mihrab, which indicates the direction of Mecca, the direction Muslims face when praying. The pope and imam stood in front of it for several moments of silence. The last event on the popeâ€™s schedule was a Mass in a sports stadium, where he urged the Catholic community to participate in the Year of Mercy by moving forward courageously towards peace and reconciliation. Â„ CNS
putting faith into action, pope says woman and young man who addressed him. Ms Winnie Nansumba, 24, told the pope she was born HIV-positive and, â€œas a young woman, I always found it hard to fall in love because I thought I didnâ€™t have a right to love and be lovedâ€?. In the end, she said, she decided to use her story to teach other
veins, â€˜Intheyour blood of PDUW\UVĂ€RZVâ€™
â€“ Pope Francis
youths about HIV and AIDS, particularly that â€œwe must respect our life and that of others,â€? changing behaviour to prevent the spread of the disease. Pope Francis did not speak speFLÂżFDOO\DERXW$,'6RULWVSUHYHQtion, but he spoke instead about overcoming despair and depression DQGÂżJKWLQJIRURQHÂśVOLIH He also went on at length about courage, referring both to Nansumba and to Emmanuel Odokonyero, who had talked about being kidnapped by the rebel Lordâ€™s Resistance Army in 2003, tortured and escaping after three months. From the late 1980s and for
more than 20 years, the Lordâ€™s Resistance Army terrorised Uganda, kidnapping thousands of children and forcing hundreds of thousands of people to seek safety in camps for displaced persons. â€œIn your veins, the blood of PDUW\UV Ă€RZVÂ´ WKH SRSH WROG WKH two youths. â€œThat is why your faith is so strong.â€? The pope urged the young peoSOH WR ÂżQG SRVLWLYH FKDOOHQJHV LQ the negative events of their lives, to trust Jesus to transform their suffering into joy and to turn to Mary when experiencing pain, just like a child runs to his or her mother after falling and getting hurt. Â„ CNS
The pope embraces Ms Winnie Nansumba, who is living with HIV.
Sunday December 13, 2015 Â„ CatholicNews
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:K\GRHYLOVSLULWVH[LVW" Q: Why are there evil spirits?
One would have thought that *RGZLWK+LVLQÂżQLWHJRRGQHVV wisdom and foresight, would not create anything that would become evil. Now that they exist, why doesnâ€™t God wipe them out? Anthony Oei
necessarily include the possibility of it being rejected and unreturned. 6W 7KRPDV $TXLQDVÂś GHÂżQLtion of love puts this in a nutshell: Love is willing the good of the other as other. In this respect, Godâ€™s love, which is the basis of creation, nec-
: This is a good but rather complex question. Firstly, I am assuming that by â€œevil spiritsâ€? you are referring to the malevolent and demonic spirits that Jesus confronted when he exorcised the possessed people in the time of His earthly ministry. Though you may not be referring to the presence of sin and evil in the world, these are actually very much related, and they will be dealt with together. Secondly, your question carries with it an assumption that the notion of God necessarily abrogates any existence of sin or evil, based on the fact that God should not and must not tolerate any existence of evil or anything that is contrary to His goodness. This second assumption is thorny because this understanding of God does not take into account the great gift of free will that he has given to all human persons. If God is love, and scripture tells us that He is (1 John 4:8), then for love to be true and freely given, it has to
Painting of St Michael expelling Lucifer and the rebellious angels.
essarily includes the possibility of a turning away from the goodness that is willed by Him for His creation. Luciferâ€™s rebellion against God is a clear example of this. Evil and sin (which is essentially the effect of evil) are thus the result of the ongoing work of evil
spirits. So, in speaking about â€œevil spiritsâ€?, we are referring to evil spirits and their sin effects. That God doesnâ€™t â€œwipe outâ€? evil is strong testimony of His sufÂżFLHQF\RIVHOIZKHUH+HLVVHHQ to be tolerant even of disobedience and insubordination. Evil is GHÂżQLWHO\ QRW VRPHWKLQJ WKDW is willed by God directly, but rather willed by those who do evil. That God permits people to freely choose evil shows two things â€“ that He places a very high value in our choice to return His love for love shown, and that He wants to extend His mercy for a possible repentance for an evil choice. The answer of why there is evil in the light of Godâ€™s existence will never be one that is clear and fully satisfactory. Theodicies can only attempt to give rational explanations that demonstrate Godâ€™s existence despite permitting evil to happen and to exist. We must never forget that by removing Godâ€™s love, Godâ€™s mercy and Godâ€™s gift of free will in DQ\VXFKWKHRORJLFDOUHĂ€HFWLRQZLOO only endanger our thinking that God and evil are two ultimate forces in the universe, equal in power. Jesus Christ came to overturn the power of evil and sin. Evil is not a problem that can be solved by theories, but to be confronted by Christ and those who are willLQJ WR LPLWDWH +LP LQ KLV ÂżJKW DJDLQVW HYLO DQG VLQ FKLHĂ€\ E\ love, forgiveness and mercy. Â„ Fr Luke Fong
Do you have a burning question on the faith? Questions on the Faith is a new column for you to have your questions answered by authorities on various topics. Just email your question to firstname.lastname@example.org, and include your full name, address and contact number. All decisions on submissions rest with those answering the questions. Published submissions will be edited.
Lacking the VHOIFRQĂ€GHQFH for greatness WE ALL have our own images of greatness as these pertain to virtue and saintliness. We picture, for instance, St Francis of Assisi, kissing a leper; or Mother Teresa, publicly hugging a dying beggar; or St John Paul II, standing before a crowd of millions and telling them how much he loves them; or St Therese of Lisieux, telling a fellow community member who has been deliberately cruel to her how much she loves her; or even of the iconic, Veronica, LQWKHFUXFLÂż[LRQVFHQHZKRDPLGVWDOOWKHIHDUDQGEUXWDOLW\RIWKH FUXFLÂż[LRQUXVKHVIRUZDUGDQGZLSHVWKHIDFHRI-HVXV There are a number of common features within these pictures that speak of exceptional character; but thereâ€™s another common denominator here that speaks of exceptionality in a different way, that is, each of these people had an exceptionally strong self-image and exFHSWLRQDOO\VWURQJVHOIFRQÂżGHQFH It takes more than just a big heart to reach across what separates \RXIURPDOHSHULWDOVRWDNHVVWURQJVHOIFRQÂżGHQFH,WWDNHVPRUH than an empathic heart to publicly hug a dying beggar; it also takes a very robust self-image. It takes more than mere compassion to stand before millions of people and announce that you love them and that itâ€™s important for WKHPWRKHDUWKLVIURP\RXLWDOVRWDNHVUDUHLQQHUFRQÂżGHQFH,WWDNHV more than a saintly soul to meet deliberate cruelty with warm affection; it also requires having experienced deep love in your life. And it takes more than simple courage to ignore the threat and hysteria of a lynch mob so as to rush into an intoxicated crowd and lovingly dry the face of the one they hate; it takes someone who has KHUVHOIÂżUVWH[SHULHQFHGDVWURQJORYHIURPVRPHRQHHOVH:HPXVW ÂżUVWEHORYHGLQRUGHUWRORYH:HFDQÂśWJLYHZKDWZHKDYHQÂśWJRW Great men and women like St Francis, Mother Teresa, St John Paul II, and St Therese of Lisieux are also people with stunning selfFRQÂżGHQFH7KH\KDYHQRGRXEWWKDW*RGKDVVSHFLDOO\JLIWHGWKHP DQGWKH\KDYHWKHFRQÂżGHQFHWRSXEOLFO\GLVSOD\WKRVHJLIWV7KHVDG IDFWLVWKDWPDQ\RIXVSHUKDSVPRVWRIXVVLPSO\ODFNVXIÂżFLHQWVHOI LPDJHDQGVHOIFRQÂżGHQFHWRGRZKDWWKH\GLG Perhaps our hearts are just as loving as theirs and our empathy just as deep, but, for all kinds of reasons, not least because of how we have been wounded and the shame and reticence that are born from that, it is existentially impossible for us to, like these spiritual giants, stand up in front of the world and say: â€œI love you â€“ and itâ€™s important that you hear this from me!â€? Our tongues would surely break off as an inner voice would be saying: â€œWho do you think you are? Who are you to think the world needs to hear of your special love?â€? Truth be told, too often it isnâ€™t virtue thatâ€™s our problem; itâ€™s selfFRQÂżGHQFH0RVWO\ZHDUHQÂśWEDGZHÂśUHMXVWZRXQGHG *RGNQRZVWKDWQRRQHFDQORYHXQOHVVKHRUVKHKDVÂżUVWEHHQ loved, and that very few, perhaps no one, can publicly display the heart of a giant, the courage of a hero, and the love of saint when that ELJKHDUWFRXUDJHDQGORYHKDYHQÂśWÂżUVWEHHQIHOWLQDQDIIHFWLYHDQG effective way inside of that personâ€™s own life. So whatâ€™s helpful in knowing this? A deeper self-understanding is always helpful and there can be a consolation, though hopefully not a rationalisation, in knowing that our hesitancy to step out publicly and do things like Mother Teresa is perhaps more rooted in our lack of a KHDOWK\HJRWKDQLQVRPHNLQGRIVHOÂżVKQHVVDQGHJRLVP But of course, after that consolation comes the challenge to throw away the crutches we have been using to cope with our wounds and our crippled self-image so as to begin to let our heart, courage, and love manifest themselves more publicly. Our tongues wonâ€™t break off if we speak out loud about our love and concern, but we will only know when we actually do it. But, to GRWKDWZHZLOOKDYHWRÂżUVWVWHSWKURXJKDSDUDO\VLQJVKDPHWRDVHOI abandon that up to now we havenâ€™t mastered. And thereâ€™s a lesson in this too for our understanding of ego withLQVSLULWXDOLW\:HÂśYHLQYDULDEO\VHHQHJRDVEDGDQGLGHQWLÂżHGLWZLWK egotism; but thatâ€™s over-simplistic because spiritual giants generally have strong egos, though without being egotists. Ironically too many of us are crippled by too-little ego and thatâ€™s why we never do great things like spiritual giants do. Egoism is bad, but a healthy, robust ego is not. Â„
Sunday December 13, 2015 CatholicNews
Obtaining an ‘indulgence’ during the Year of Mercy Fr Ignatius Yeo explains the meaning of indulgences ahead of the launch of the special year on Dec 8. 1. What does the Church teach about “Indulgences”?
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8. Where else can we gain the Indulgence? The Holy Door in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, one of many designated Holy Doors that pilgrims can enter during the Year of Mercy. CNS photo
One way of gaining an indulgence is by passing through a designated ‘Holy Door’ in a local church during the Year of Mercy. 3. What is a “plenary Indulgence”
5. How can we gain the Indulgences?
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18 FAITH ALIVE!
Sunday December 13, 2015 Â„ CatholicNews
ARCHDIOCESE OF SINGAPORE
CITY CATHEDRAL OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD â€“ Under renovation/restoration. CHURCH OF STS PETER & PAUL No Penitential Service CHURCH OF ST ALPHONSUS (NOVENA CHURCH) â€“ Under reconstruction CHURCH OF ST BERNADETTE Monday, December 14 at 8pm CHURCH OF ST MICHAEL Tuesday, December 15 at 8pm
CHURCH OF THE HOLY SPIRIT Monday, December 14 at 10.30am & 8pm
$GYHQW5HĂ HFWLQJRQ WKHKHDUWÂˇVWUXHGHVLUH
ST JOSEPH CHURCH (BT) Tuesday, December 15 at 8pm CHURCH OF ST ANTHONY Wednesday, December 16 at 7.30pm CHURCH OF THE RISEN CHRIST Thursday, December 17 at 10.30am, 8pm CHURCH OF OUR LADY STAR OF THE SEA Friday, December 18 at 8pm
CHURCH OF ST TERESA Wednesday, December 16 at 8pm
CHURCH OF ST VINCENT DE PAUL Monday, December 14 at 8pm
ST JOSEPHâ€™S CHURCH Thursday, December 17 at 8pm
CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY Tuesday, December 15, 8pm
CHURCH OF THE SACRED HEART Friday, December 18 at 8pm CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES Monday, December 21 at 8pm
EAST CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL SUCCOUR Friday, December 11 at 10.30am & 8pm CHURCH OF DIVINE MERCY Monday, December 14 at 8pm CHURCH OF OUR LADY QUEEN OF PEACE Tuesday, December 15 at 8pm CHURCH OF THE HOLY TRINITY Wednesday, December 16 at 10.30am & 8pm CHURCH OF ST STEPHEN Thursday, December 17 at 8pm CHURCH OF THE HOLY FAMILY Friday, December 18 at 10.30am & 8pm
NORTH CHURCH OF CHRIST THE KING Friday, December 11 at 10.30am & 8.00pm
CHURCH OF ST FRANCIS XAVIER Wednesday, December 16 at 8pm ST ANNEâ€™S CHURCH Thursday, December 17 at 8pm CHURCH OF THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY Friday, December 18 at 8pm
WEST CHURCH OF THE HOLY CROSS Monday, December 14 at 8pm CHURCH OF ST MARY OF THE ANGELS Tuesday, December 15 at 8pm CHURCH OF ST FRANCIS OF ASSISI Wednesday, December 16 at 8pm BLESSED SACRAMENT CHURCH Thursday, December 17 at 8pm CHURCH OF ST IGNATIUS Friday, December 18 at 8pm Note: Please check with parishes for updates.
Simbang Gabi sa Singapore 2015 THEME: MARIAN VIRTUES Organised by Fr Angel C Luciano, CICM and Filipino parish organisations in Singapore DAILY MASSES TO BE HELD IN THE FOLLOWING PARISHES FROM DEC 15-23 AT 8PM:
CHURCH OF DIVINE MERCY Rizaldy SAPIERA (84848065) / Marie SAPIERA (94783985) BLESSED SACRAMENT CHURCH Lito MIRANDA (64740741) / Armand LASPONA (92272160) DEC 15, TUESDAY, 8PM MARY, MOST PURE
CHURCH OF OUR LADY STAR OF THE SEA Francis CEPE (94761255) / Tony ODIADA (91391180) CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL SUCCOUR Jon Vitas GUIRITAN (84683560) DEC 16, WEDNESDAY, 8PM MARY, MOST PRUDENT
CHURCH OF SAINT VINCENT DE PAUL Third GUTLAY (96340743) / Luz GUTLAY (91376938) CHURCH OF SAINT TERESA Eric ARROYO (85719814) / Oliver CAPALAD (96184727) DEC 19, SATURDAY, 8PM MARY, MOST DEVOUT
SAINT ANNEâ€™s CHURCH Geraldine QUIAMBAO (92359267) CHURCH OF SAINT VINCENT DE PAUL Third GUTLAY (96340743) / Luz GUTLAY (91376938) DEC 20, SUNDAY, 8PM MARY, MOST OBEDIENT
CHURCH OF SAINT MICHAEL Rev Fr Angel C LUCIANO, CICM (63920592)
CHURCH OF THE RISEN CHRIST Tosing KEW (96246061) / Veronica ORESTE (97467143)
CHURCH OF SAINT IGNATIUS Rilyn BINAS (97918677) / Melinda DUMALOGDOG (82261469)
CHURCH OF ST MARY OF THE ANGELS Arman ARDIENTE (97679102) / Mark PERICO (96488038)
CHURCH OF THE HOLY CROSS Lalang CASTRO (91769340) / Bong NUNGAY (90401529)
CHURCH OF OUR LADY STAR OF THE SEA Butch SARMIENTO (91349109)
CHURCH OF SAINT BERNADETTE Edilberto ENDENO (96583526) / Dodeth VERGARA (84440213)
CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL SUCCOUR Jon Vitas GUIRITAN (84683560) DEC 17, THURSDAY, 8PM MARY, MOST HUMBLE
CHURCH OF SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI Alda VICTORIANO (84356267) / Daisy DUCUSIN (97108366) CHURCH OF SAINT VINCENT DE PAUL Third GUTLAY (96340743) / Luz GUTLAY (91376938) CHURCH OF CHRIST THE KING Betty CERVANTES (96582456) / Robert MENDOZA (98932229) CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL SUCCOUR Jon Vitas GUIRITAN (84683560) DEC 18, FRIDAY, 8PM MARY, MOST FAITHFUL
CHURCH OF SAINT STEPHEN Rey de LUNA (97453947) / Manulet BULAONG (91258086)
DEC 21, MONDAY, 8PM MARY, MOST POOR
CHURCH OF THE HOLY SPIRIT Helen PALEC (82883741) / Violet LIEW (91542797) DEC 22, TUESDAY, 8PM MARY, MOST PATIENT
CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY Nes SANIO (93669584) / Daisy LEONG (90995035) DEC 23, WEDNESDAY, 8PM MARY, MOST MERCIFUL
SAINT JOSEPHâ€™S CHURCH Jenny ARANCON (93425839) DEC 24, THURSDAY, 6PM MARY, MOST JOYFUL
CHURCH OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL Jenny ARANCON (93425839)
A Nativity scene and wall decoration depicting the birth of Christ. Amid the hustle and bustle of Christmas, Catholics should be reminded of Godâ€™s greatest gift â€“ the birth of Christ. &16ÂżOHSKRWR
By Mike Nelson ,WZDVWKHÂżUVW6XQGD\RI$GYHQW In the assembly were two visitors, an 11-year-old boy and his mother. As Mass was about to begin, the cantor stepped before the assembly and announced, with a big smile, â€œToday, weâ€™re going to sing Christmas carols!â€? The boy, son of a diocesanFHUWLÂżHG OLWXUJLVW FRXOG QRW KDYH been more alarmed had all his presents been stolen from underneath the Christmas tree. â€œMom,â€? he whispered anxiously, â€œthey canâ€™t do that! Itâ€™s Advent!â€? His mom, mindful of her role as responsible adult and visitor, calmed him down as best she could. â€œThey must do things differently here,â€? she said quietly, though not without a good glare in the cantorâ€™s direction. Such is the ongoing struggle experienced by many Catholics in Advent: trying to celebrate the season at hand amid a society that insists we play their game. Itâ€™s not easy, battling retailers who decree that Christmas shopping should begin early. Or newspapers, television and online advertisements that bombard us to â€œBuy now! Buy more!â€?. Or Christmas music â€“ sacred and secular â€“ pumped through sound systems in shopping malls and grocery stores, in elevators and restaurants. So whatâ€™s our response, as Catholics wishing to celebrate Advent? Not shop? Not read the
papers, watch television or listen to the radio? Not go anywhere? At the risk of sounding like Scrooge, I would suggest that we Catholics donâ€™t help the situation ZKHQ ZH Ă€RRG RXU SDULVK FDOHQdars with too many events. As well-intentioned as these events may be, they all entail work on the part of someone (and in parishes, itâ€™s usually the same people doing most of the work). My wife calls Advent her favourite season of the year. And yet, she has not enjoyed a truly spiritual
It is worth our time to UHĂ€HFWGXULQJ$GYHQWRQ the kind of treasure that never fades, never breaks, never wears out and is impossible to return. Advent in more than 20 years. She has plenty of work as the parish liturgist and musician â€“ planning and rehearsing the music, overseeing the liturgical environment, scheduling and preparing various ministers, writing scripts for celebrants and emcees, while doing her Christmas shopping, holiday baking and the regular day-to-day of running a household. All of it she does amazingly well. But when is there time for her â€“ or anyone in liturgical ministry, including priests â€“ to really enjoy Advent?
Advent is a season of anticipation, but it might also be described as a season of desire. And what, above all, do we desire? As liturgical musicians, my wife DQG,ÂżQGFRPIRUWDQGQRXULVKPHQW in Adventâ€™s rich supply of music that speaks to our desire and longing for the Lord. Among my favourites is Bernadette Farrellâ€™s gentle Litany of the Word, and its pleading refrain, Maranatha, the Aramaic word that means Come, Lord. John the Baptist anticipates our desire, I think, in one of the seasonâ€™s most familiar Gospel readings: â€œPrepare the way of the Lord, make straight His pathsâ€? (Mk 1:3). The way of the Lord, it seems to me, is the way that leads directly to our hearts. But how straight â€“ how uncluttered, actually â€“ is our path? â€œWhere your treasure is,â€? Jesus tells us, â€œthere also will your heart be.â€? Amid our seasonal treasure hunts in stores and online, it is worth RXUWLPHWRUHĂ€HFWGXULQJ$GYHQWRQ the kind of treasure that never fades, never breaks, never wears out and is impossible to return. Amid the commotion and promotion of Christmas, let us make room in our hearts during Advent by focusing on Godâ€™s greatest gift to us â€“ the presence of Jesus â€“ so that we fully receive, cherish and, yes, sing about it always. Â„ CNS Nelson is the former editor of The Tidings, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT Waiting seems like a long-lost virtue in a world thatâ€™s increasingly in a hurry. But the Bible assures us that if we wait, great things will come our way. And perhaps Advent is the perfect time to put that into prac-
tise. Take a page from St James, who advised us to be like a farmer who reaps rewards from waiting. But what we, as Christians, wait for is more precious than food. â€œBe patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord.
See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You, too, must be patient. Make your hearts ÂżUP EHFDXVH WKH FRPLQJ RI WKH Lord is at handâ€? (Jas 5:7-8). Â„
YEAR OF MERCY 19
Sunday December 13, 2015 Â„ CatholicNews
Confession, attending Masses, adoration and forgiveness materialism, and consumerism. How, then, can we become compassion when they fall short channels of Godâ€™s mercy? By in spite of their sincerity to be true being aware and conscious of to what they subscribe to in their our sins, inadequacies, lack of hearts. IXOÂżOPHQWORYHDQGIRUJLYHQHVV We also need to avoid legal- Only by becoming aware of our ism, as if things are all neatly clas- poverty in love and mercy and at VLÂżHGDVEODFNDQGZKLWH7KHODZV WKH VDPH WLPH RI RXU VHOÂżVKQHVV remain objective norms; yet we and hatred of others, can we then need to consider the circumstanc- EHJLQWRVHHNIRU*RGÂśVPHUF\ es, the context, the intention and So the realisation of oneâ€™s sins the motives of the actions of the DQGWKHVWDWHRIRXUVRXOLVWKHÂżUVW SHUVRQ7KDWLVZK\*RGGRHVQRW VWHS WRZDUGV VHHNLQJ *RGÂśV PHUjudge the external performance, F\ 7R EH PHUFLIXO ZH PXVW ÂżUVW what we do, but why we did it UHFHLYH *RGÂśV PHUF\ :H FDQQRW DQGWKHFLUFXPVWDQFHV*RGDVWKH render mercy to others if we do not MXGJH RI PHUF\ WDNHV HYHU\WKLQJ NQRZWKHMR\RIUHFHLYLQJPHUF\ LQWRFRQVLGHUDWLRQ7KXV-HVXVRQ How, then, can we open ourthe cross could say to His enemies, selves to Godâ€™s mercy? We must â€œFather, forgive them for they FRQWHPSODWH WKH PHUF\ RI *RG LQ NQRZQRWZKDWWKH\ZHUHGRLQJÂ´ &KULVW-HVXV5HDGLQJDQGSUD\LQJ But if mercy is lacking, it also the scriptures with devotion, constems from templating the hidden and Father of mercy During this Jubilee unresolved anand the paschal ger and resentYear ... I propose that mystery of our ment in our Lord, especially Catholics undertake hearts. Many on the cross and of us who have at the Eucharist, prayerful spiritual been hurt by our is of great help. parents, superiDevotional pilgrimages in our ors and even our SUD\HUVOLNHWKH backyard, visiting peers, cannot let Stations of the go of the hurts Cross and the designated parishes, or even abuses Divine Mercy we have suf- particularly the Church chaplet are of fered. We either great help in of Divine Mercy. suppress or reentering into press them. As the mercy and a consequence what is unhealed or compassion of Christ so that we unforgiven hinders us from being can live out that mercy encounfree to love freely and be merciful. tered in our daily life. History repeats itself as we 'XULQJ WKLV -XELOHH <HDU RI XQFRQVFLRXVO\ PDNH RWKHUV VXI- Mercy, I propose that Catholics fer what we have gone through in XQGHUWDNH SUD\HUIXO VSLULWXDO SLOlife. Instead of learning from the JULPDJHVLQRXUEDFN\DUGYLVLWLQJ PLVWDNHV RI WKRVH ZKR KDYH KXUW designated parishes, particularly us, we perpetuate their sins. Isnâ€™t WKH&KXUFKRI'LYLQH0HUF\7KLV this what original sin is all about? SLOJULPDJH ZKHWKHU XQGHUWDNHQ Not only are we in solidarity with within or outside Singapore, is not sin but we perpetuate the sins of IRUVLJKWVHHLQJEXWWRSUD\UHĂ€HFW our forefathers in our lives. and contemplate on Christâ€™s merFinally, the lack of mercy cy as we remember that we are FRPHV IURP VHOÂżVKQHVV VHOIFHQ- pilgrims on the way. tredness and slavishness to the %HWWHU VWLOO PDNH WLPH WR GR pleasures of the world. It comes a personal or community retreat from the sins of envy, sloth, greed, that brings us into contact with gluttony and lust. We want to sat- *RGÂśVPHUF\DQGIRUJLYHQHVV LVI\ RXU RZQ SOHDVXUHV :H VHHN The most privileged place to our own security at the expense of experience the mercy of God is others. We grab all we can for our- through the Sacrament of RecVHOYHVEXWZLOOQRWVDFULÂżFHRXUWLPH onciliation. I appeal to all priests and energy for the service of others. DQG5HOLJLRXVWRIUHTXHQWWKH6DFIt is about me, my wants and my UDPHQW RI 5HFRQFLOLDWLRQ UHJXneeds. It is the age of individualism, larly, for unless they themselves
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have experienced the mercy of *RG WKH\ FDQQRW PHGLDWH +LV mercy to the penitents. In exercising the Ministry of 5HFRQFLOLDWLRQ FRQIHVVRUV PXVW be mindful that they are ministers of mercy and compassion. 7KH\ VKRXOG EH PRUH DWWHQWLYH understanding, patient, compassionate, encouraging, consoling and forgiving to their penitents. 7KH\VKRXOGPDNHLWDSRLQWWREH more available for the Sacrament RI5HFRQFLOLDWLRQZDLWLQJIRUWKH penitents to come, rather than KDYHWKHSHQLWHQWVVHHNWKHPRXW In the same vein, I encourage all Catholics to make regular confession, at least once a month, and attend at least one Mass a week in addition to Sunday Mass, so that they can receive the healing grace of God through the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist. 7KH\ VKRXOG DOVR MRLQ LQ WKH monthly parish Holy Hour and
Adoration, focusing on the love and mercy of Christ on the cross DQG LQ WKH (XFKDULVW 7KRVH ZKR are unable to participate in any of these activities could spend some WLPH GXULQJ WKH ZHHN LQ WKH SDUishâ€™s Adoration room. For those who are able to do more, fast from IRRGGRSHQDQFHRUPDNHDFWVRI PRUWLÂżFDWLRQGXULQJWKHZHHN Following the contemplation of Godâ€™s mercy, we in turn must reach out to our brothers and sisters in the community. Most importantly, mercy comes through forgiveness of those who have hurt us. By letting go, we ÂżQGKHDOLQJRXUVHOYHV :H PXVW VHHN UHFRQFLOLDWLRQ with those who have hurt us. In concrete ways, this mercy must be expressed in ministering to the poor, the suffering and the needy. As we reach out to them, our hearts will be open and through them, we come to experience the joy of mercy and love.
So, without delay, spend some time before the Lord by beginning with a good examination of conscience and a well prepared, contrite and sincere celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. 7KLV LV DLGHG by contemplating His mercy and love so that we become more conscious of our sins and turn to Him for mercy. Having received His mercy, we can then become chanQHOVRI*RGÂśVPHUF\WRRWKHUV Âł%OHVVHG EH WKH *RG DQG )DWKHURIRXU/RUG-HVXV&KULVWWKH )DWKHURIPHUFLHVDQGWKH*RGRI all consolation, who consoles us in DOO RXU DIĂ€LFWLRQ VR WKDW ZH PD\ be able to console those who are LQDQ\DIĂ€LFWLRQZLWKWKHFRQVRODtion with which we ourselves are FRQVROHGE\*RGÂ´&RU Â„
Sunday December 13, 2015 Â„ CatholicNews
By Jennifer Ficcaglia Joseph was a very devout and righteous man who always obeyed Godâ€™s laws. He worked as a carpenter and was not very wealthy, but he did come from a very famous family. King David, the shepherd boy whom God made king of the Israelites during Old Testament times, was one of Josephâ€™s relatives. Joseph was betrothed to a woman, a virgin named Mary. â€œBetrothedâ€? means that Joseph and Mary were married, but they were not yet living together as husband and wife in the same house. One day, Joseph learned that Mary was going to have a baby. He did not realise that the angel Gabriel had told Mary that the Holy Spirit would come upon her and that â€œyou will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him
Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give Him the throne of David His father, and He will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.â€? Joseph decided that, according to the law, he should no longer be married to Mary. He also did not want to get Mary in any trouble or cause her to be shamed or harmed, so he decided that he would divorce her without making a big deal about it. Then, one night, Joseph had a dream. An angel of God came to him and spoke: â€œJoseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home,â€? the angel said. â€œFor it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name Him Jesus, because He
SPOTLIGHT ON SAINTS:
St Peter Fourier St Peter Fourier was born in Lorraine, a region now part of France. In 1580, when he was 15, he entered a Jesuit university. After graduation he started a school in his own home. Later he decided to become a priest. He joined the Canons Regular of St Augustine and was ordained a priest when he was 24. He was sent to a country town near what is today the French DQG*HUPDQERUGHU,QWKDWWRZQWKHUHZDVDORWRIÂżJKWLQJ7KHUH he opened a very unusual school for the time. It was a school for girls, both Catholic and Protestant. He helped several young women get the education to be teachers in this school. These women started a religious order, the Congregation of Notre Dame. St Peter Fourier was the parish priest in this country town for 30 years. After his success in this town, he was asked to visit the monasteries of the region to improve discipline and unity. He helped reform many monasteries. He died in 1640. We honour him on Dec 9. Â„
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will save His people from their sins.â€? What the angel said to Joseph fulÂżOOHGDSURSKHV\WKDW*RGWKURXJKRQH of his prophets, had revealed to his people in the Old Testament: â€œBehold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name Him Emmanuel.â€? Emmanuel means â€œGod is with us.â€? When Joseph woke up, he did exactly as the angel had told him to do.
He did not divorce Mary, but instead took her into his home and waited for Jesus to be born. Â„ Read more about it: Matthew 1
Q&A 1. Which famous person was Joseph related to? 2. To whom was Joseph betrothed?
Bible Accent: There were several times when God spoke to Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus, through dreams. Three of those dreams were meant to help protect the newborn Messiah from harm. Just before Jesus was born, Joseph took Mary to his familyâ€™s home city, Bethlehem, the city of David, to be counted in a census. Mary gave birth to Jesus there, and the new parents were visited by the Magi, who had followed a star to where Jesus had been born. Not long after the Magi left, Joseph had a dream. An angel warned him that King Herod wanted to kill Jesus and WROGKLPWRĂ€HHWR(J\SWZLWK0DU\DQGWKHEDE\$IWHUWKH Holy Family left for Egypt in the night, Herod ordered all male children up to 2 years old who lived in or around Bethlehem to be killed. After Herod died, Joseph had another dream in which an angel said, â€œRise, take the child and His mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the childâ€™s life are dead.â€? Joseph did so, but he was warned in another dream not to return to Judea, because it might not be safe. Instead, Joseph brought his family to Galilee to live in Nazareth. Â„
Â„ SIN Â„ KINGDOM Â„ DEVOUT Â„ FAMOUS Â„ RULE Â„ BABY Â„ BORN Â„ ANGEL Â„ WEALTHY Â„ HOUSE
KIDSâ€™ CLUB: Essay question: What is Advent, and how should Catholics celebrate it?
Answer to Wordsearch
WHATâ€™S ON 21
Sunday December 13, 2015 Â„ CatholicNews
EVENT SUBMISSIONS We welcome information of events happening in our local Church. Please send your submission at least one month before the event. Online submissions can be made at www.catholicnews.sg/whatson
RCIA/RCIY A journey for those seeking to know more about the Catholic faith. Baptised Catholics are also invited to journey as sponsors. NOV 1 TO DEC 25 2016 CALLING YOUTHS TO JOIN OUR CATHOLIC FAMILY! The RCIY team is welcoming nonCatholics, aged between 14 and 24 years old, to join us on a journey to know about the Catholic faith from November 1. Venue: Church of Christ the King. Sessions will take place on Sundays at 3pm. Register. T: 96718555 (Randy), T: 81880239 (Bernadette)
DEC 8 FEAST OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION All are reminded to bring their previous year prayer book. Venue: Church of Sts Peter and Paul, 225A Queen Street. Prayers and the rosary will begin at 11.30am. Mass to be celebrated at 1pm. DEC 8 WALK FOR PEACE AND MERCY Assembly time: 5.15pm at Changi Prison Museum (Changi Chapel). The walk will end at the Church of Divine Mercy. Mass to be celebrated at 7.30pm. Join the Religious priests, Brothers and Sisters in this opening event of the Jubilee Year of Mercy. Transportation will be provided to those who came by car to come back to Changi Prison Museum after Mass. Organised by the Conference of Major Religious Superiors Singapore. For more information. E: email@example.com
DEC 3 TO MAY 11 2017 RCIA NEW JOURNEY â€œCOME AND SEEâ€?. Every Thursday evening from 7.45pm-9.30pm in Church of St Michael, St Michaelâ€™s room (level two) Register. E: firstname.lastname@example.org; 7DGPLQRIÂżFH
Address: 17 St Michaelâ€™s Road S(327976) DEC 11 & DEC 13 MERCY UNFOLDING, LOVE ENDURING Presented by CANA. A concert with Fr Ricky Manalo CSP and Jesse Manibusan as we begin the Jubilee Year of Mercy. Friday, Dec 11 at the Church of Divine Mercy and Sunday, Dec 13 at the Church of St Ignatius. Time: 8pm. Tickets at $30 are available at Cana, 55 Waterloo Street, 02-00 from Mondays-Saturdays, 11am-6pm. For ticket reservation, E: email@example.com; T: 63384080
DEC 9 TO DEC 30 ART THERAPY OPEN STUDIO @ AGAPE VILLAGE Feeling down, lost and confused? Let your creative energy guide you to tap into your wisdom and expand your insights to your life. Come join us and let the healing qualities of art awaken you. No art experience required. Wednesdays from 9.30am-noon. Organised by Clarity Singapore, Agape Village 7A Lor 8 Toa Payoh, #02-08. Fee: $10 per session. Pre registration required. Register. T: 68017467; E: firstname.lastname@example.org
DEC 11 TO DEC 13 ACAMS YOUTH CAMP 2015 (MANDARIN) Calling all youth who are interested. Venue: Nativity Church. Theme: Our Father. Spiritual director: Fr Jeffrey Tan, OCD. We hope to give our youths a chance to experience Christian fellowship through games and also to grow closer to Jesus Christ through talks and spiritual programmes. Register. T: 91136598 (Nicholas); E: email@example.com; W: www.facebook.com/camsyouthcomm
DEC 11 WHY WE TAKE MARY AS OUR MOTHER? Organised by Apostolate for Catholic Truth. Time: 7.45pm-9.45pm. Venue: St Josephâ€™s Church, Conference Room (Victoria Street). FOC. All are welcome. Speaker: Andrew Kong (Licentiate in Canon Law). Register. W: http://tinyurl.com/ACT-Talk-Signup; W: www.catholic.sg/act; T: 96493893 (Andrew)
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DEC 12 FEAST OF OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE Come and celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, together with the Mexican Association of Singapore and Latin American friends. Venue: Church of Our Lady Queen of Peace. Time: 2.30pm DEC 13 JOY TO THE WORLD â€“ AN ADVENT CELEBRATION Come for an evening of sacred music in preparation for Christmas. FOC. Love offerings welcomed in aid of the Society of St Vincent de Paul (Church of St Teresa). Time: 7.30pm-8.30pm. Organised by The Advent Chorus at the Church of St Teresa, 510 Kampong Bahru Road. DEC 14 â€˜JESUS FOR EVERYONEâ€™ SLOGAN DESIGN 7KH2IÂżFHIRUWKH1HZ(YDQJHOLVDWLRQ (ONE) is looking for talented artists to turn the slogan â€˜Jesus for Everyoneâ€™ into a design that inspires us all to share the Good News. Deadline for submission: Dec 14. Visit www.one.org.sg for more information. JAN 5/JAN 7 TO JULY 14 2016 BIBLE TIMELINE SALVATION HISTORY Understand the entire Bible using a series of 24 videos presented by Jeff Cavins. Includes group discussions and sharing. Venue: Church of Our Lady Queen of Peace. Event starts Jan 5 (Tues 9am or 7.30pm) or Jan 7 (Thurs 7.30pm) 2016. Cost: $45. Registration is open on Sunday mornings until Dec 13 at the Church of Our Lady Queen of Peace. T: 94553456 (Felicia); T: 97323368 (David) JAN 9 2016 MEDITATIVE PRAYER USING THE SONGS OF TAIZE Come and pray with fellow Christians and all who want to create greater trust and openness through meditative prayer. No registration needed. All are welcome. Time: 8pm-9.30pm. Organised by the Sâ€™pore Taize core group at the Armenian Church of St Gregory the Illuminator, 60 Hill Street. E: firstname.lastname@example.org; W: www.taize.fr/en
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We apologise for the wrong clues given in the last Crossword Puzzle. These have been corrected in this issue.
JAN 10 TO JAN 24 2016 KERYGMA SCHOOL 7KH.HU\JPD6FKRROUXQE\WKH2IÂżFH for Young People, is a two week live in formation. It inspires, equips and releases participants to share with joy the basic message of the Gospel. Participants will gain practical experience of what it means to evangelise. Age range: 18-30 years old. Registration closes on Dec 20. Cost: $200. Venue: OYP 2 Lorong Low Koon, S536449. For more info, W: www.oyp. org.sg; E: email@example.com JAN 14 TO NOV 26 2016 BRIDGING PROGRAMME A one-year catechetical programme for children aged 9 to 13 years who have missed, or not had formal catechesis, or who are seeking baptism. Sessions are conducted weekly at the Catholic Archdiocescan Education Centre (CAEC) at 2 Highland Road, and the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour at 31 Siglap Hill. Managed by the Catechetical 2IÂżFH5HJLVWHU7(PLO\ E: firstname.lastname@example.org JAN 23 2016 COME, DISCOVER, LIVE By Sr Elizabeth Sim, FDCC. Time: 10am-12noon. Sr Elizabeth will speak of the discovery, the transformation and the freedom of being in union with God. Venue: 100 Jln Merbok. Register. T: 64662178 (Brenda); E: lifesprings @singnet.com.sg; W: www.lifespringscanossian.com JAN 28 TO MAR 31 2016 AT HOME RETREAT Every Thursday from Jan 28 to Mar 31 at Sts Peter and Paul Church. 7.30pm9.30pm. A 10-week programme based on the spiritual exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola to know Jesus more intimately in the midst of lifeâ€™s daily routine. Programme includes weekly meeting of faith sharing, daily prayer of scripture. Organised by the Cencle Sisters. T: 65652895; E: email@example.com; W: www.catholicsg.info/cenacle
Sunday December 13, 2015 Â„ CatholicNews
Nat Geo magazineâ€™s cover story reveals Maryâ€™s appeal By Carol Zimmermann
The cover of the Dec 2015 issue of National Geographic magazine.
WASHINGTON â€“ Maureen Orth, a special correspondent for Vanity Fair magazine who has written about music icons, world leaders and Hollywood celebrities, tackled a completely different subject for National Geographic magazine: the Virgin Mary. For the magazineâ€™s December cover story, â€œMary the most powerful woman in the world,â€? Orth visited several countries and interviewed dozens of people with strong devotional ties to Mary â€“ including from those who claim to
have seen her, those who believe her intercession has healed them and those seeking her spiritual guidance and intercession. In the magazineâ€™s Washington RIÂżFHRQ1RY2UWKVDLGZKDW made the biggest impression on her while interviewing people for the article was Maryâ€™s universal appeal across diverse cultures. â€œIt was a huge journey all over the world,â€? she said, noting that what particularly stands out after a year of visiting Marian devotional sites in Bosnia-Herzegovina, France, Mexico, Egypt and Rwanda is that Mary is the â€œhope and solace of so many people including Muslims.â€? The Muslim appreciation of Mary, as a â€œholy woman of God,â€? she told Catholic News Service, â€œis a bridge that ought to be explored,â€? especially in this time of strife caused by religious extremism.
One of Orthâ€™s most inspiring stops for the story, was the small village of Kibeho, Rwanda, described as the place where Mary appeared to three young girls in the 1980s and foretold the genocide that took place in that country LQ ,Q WKH 9DWLFDQ YHULÂżHG WKH FODLPV RI WKH WKUHH JLUOV One had been killed in the genocide, one became a monastic SisWHU LQ ,WDO\ DQG WKH WKLUG Ă€HG WR the Democratic Republic of the Congo and then Kenya during the three-month onslaught when the majority Hutu attacked the minority Tutsi and more than 800,000 people were killed. The girls, Orth writes, â€œsaid they spent countless hours in conversations with the Virgin, who called herself Nyina wa Jambo, Mother of the Word. Mary spoke to the girls so often that they called her Mama.â€?
What particularly stands out after a year of visiting Marian devotional sites... is that Mary is the â€˜hope and solace of so many peopleâ€™, said the writer, Maureen Orth. Orth, a practicing Catholic, who certainly knew about Mary before this assignment, said she learned a great deal from talking with scholarly experts and reading mystics who wrote about the life of Mary but whose observations didnâ€™t make it into the article. She came away with a â€œmore personal relationshipâ€? with Mary than an intellectual one, saying she understood Mary more as a person after talking with so many who are devoted to her. She also witnessed the deep faith of many who have travelled great distances to be where apparitions of Mary are said to have taken place such as Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, where six YLOODJHFKLOGUHQVDLGWKH\ÂżUVWVDZ Mary in 1981 and continue to see apparitions there. A Vatican doctrinal congregation is still studying these claims. In the small village, Orth met IRXU VWDJH FDQFHU YLFWLPV ODVW November: Two have since died, one is under treatment and another shows no signs of the disease. All four spoke of spiritual conversions and inner peace, she said.
But even though Mary is said to have spoken of the love of Jesus and gave these girls motherly advice, she is also said to have shown them images of heaven, hell and purgatory along with horULÂżF LPDJHV RI JHQRFLGH WKDW VKH warned could happen if Rwandans did not renew their hearts and dispel evil. Orth said that the people she spoke with who said they saw apparitions all seemed genuine. She approached them as she would an investigative journalist. Their stories have been consistent throughout the years and they also have undergone extensive questioning IURP9DWLFDQRIÂżFLDOV Orth pointed out that very little is known about Mary from the Bible, but as her story reveals, the lack of details about Mary has not stopped people from reaching out to her in prayer and devotion as a way to better understand and approach God. â€œThe number of people who use her as their guide and their way to a higher meaning, that was impressive across the board,â€? Orth said. Â„
PUBLISHED BY THE CATHOLIC NEWS, 2 HIGHLAND ROAD #01-03, SINGAPORE 549102. PRINTED BY TIMES PRINTERS PRIVATE LIMITED, 16 TUAS AVENUE 5, SINGAPORE 639340.
Archbishop’s message for Year of Mercy