Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury embraces Pope Benedict XVI after an evening prayer at Westminster Abbey in London Sep 17.
LONDON – Pope Benedict XVI and Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury knelt together before the tomb of an 11th-century Christian king after affirming the need for Catholics and Anglicans to give a united witness to society.
St. Edward the Confessor, who is buried in the Anglicans’ Westminster Abbey, reigned five centuries before English Christians became divided.
The pope and the primate of the Church of England paid homage together to the Christian king at the end of an afternoon that included a joint ecumenical prayer service in Westminster Abbey.
THE CATHOLIC CHURCH is the most credible religion in Korea, according to a recently published poll in a popular current affairs magazine.
A wide-ranging survey recently conducted by the Sisain weekly showed that Catholicism came out on top as the most trusted religion, ucanews.com reports.
Asked “to select two credible religions in Korea”, 57.6 percent of respondents selected Catholicism followed by Buddhism with 50.0 percent, Protestantism with 26.4 percent and Won Buddhism, 6.2 percent.
Won Buddhism is a native Korean religion.For the full text, please click on this link: http://www.ucanews.com/2010/09/27/catholic-church-most-trusted-religion/
The plaintiffs’ lawyer, Steven N Thiru with the Orang Asli Laut of Kuala Masai. Photo courtesy of Malaysiakini.com
A MALAYSIAN COURT awarded damages to the Orang Asli Laut of Kuala Masai, Johor, after ruling that the authorities unlawfully demolished their Christian chapel.
Ruling in favour of the plaintiffs, Orang Asli residents, Khalip Bachik and Kelah bin Lah, High Court Judge Zakiah Kassim said the defendants trespassed onto the land and had no right to tear down the chapel.
The Orang Asli had levelled their challenge against the Johor Lands and Mines director, the Johor Bahru City Council and the Orang Asli affairs department (JHEOA).
A CONFERENCE OF Buddhists and Christians in Thailand has issued a “common word on international economic practices” challenging “structural greed”.
Representatives of the two faith traditions met in late August at Payap University, Chiang Mai. The theme of their consultation was “Engaging Structural Greed”, Ekklesia reports.
The consultation was co-sponsored by the World Council of Churches and the Lutheran World Federation.
Participants included Theravada and Mahayana Buddhists as well as Lutheran, Anglican, Baptist, Catholic and Reformed Christians.
THE NEWSPAPER REPORTS on Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew in The Straits Times and Lianhe Zaobao of Sep 12 and 13, 2010 really struck me. The newspapers reported that in 1983, Hon Sui Sen, who was finance minister then, and whom MM Lee described as “a friend and colleague…who was a deeply religious Catholic”, had a second heart attack; MM Lee knew it was bad and visited him; a Catholic priest was giving him the last rites.
I quote MM Lee:
“Absolutely fearless, he showed no distress, no fear. The family was around him, his wife and daughters.
“With the priest delivering the last rites, he knew he was reaching the end. But his mind was clear and absolutely calm.”
I REFER TO Anthony Vaz’s letter published in CatholicNews (Sep 26, No. 19). I agree with the writer that there is an urgent need to correct the impression of many of our separated brothers and sisters that Catholics are not Christians.
We are the Church of Christ and the first to be called Christians.
But there is also a misleading notion, even among Catholics, that Catholicism is a denomination of Christianity. This contradicts what Jesus Christ defined as Church, the only one He founded on Peter.
POPE BENEDICT XVI has named Archbishop Giovanni d’Aniello, apostolic nuncio to the Democratic Republic of Congo, as his representative to Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand.
Italian-born Archbishop d’Aniello, 55, was appointed apostolic nuncio to Thailand and Cambodia, and apostolic delegate to Myanmar and Laos, a Vatican communiqué reported Sep 22.
He succeeds Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, who served as apostolic nuncio to Cambodia, Singapore and Thailand, and apostolic delegate to Brunei, Laos, Malaysia and Myanmar.
HONG KONG – About 400 new teachers from Catholic schools were invited by the Diocesan Office for Catholic Education in Hong Kong to attend a workshop to learn the values and principles of Catholic education.
According to reports from the Kong Ko Bao, before opening of the new school year, teachers were divided into groups of kindergarten teachers, elementary school teachers, and high school teachers to follow the three stages of the workshop: prayer, the work of the Diocesan Office for Catholic Education, and a seminar chaired by Father Simon Lam, Salesian Superior of the Province of China.
Adrian Long from the Taoist Federation explains the origin and significance of the Mid-Autumn Festival. Photo by Darren Boon
SINGAPORE – About 40 representatives of different faiths, including several Catholics, observed the International Day for Peace on Sep 21.
According to the United Nations (UN), the International Day for Peace was established in 1981 by the UN General Assembly “for commemorating and strengthening the ideas of peace within and among all nations and people”. In 2001, the General Assembly declared Sep 21 to be observed annually as a “day of global ceasefire and non-violence” and asked UN member states, organisations and individuals to mark the occasion through education and public awareness, and to work with the UN for establishing global ceasefire.
The evening’s observance was organised by the Inter-Religious Organisation (IRO) and held at the IRO’s headquarters in Geylang.
Those present also celebrated the Mid-Autumn Festival, which fell on Sep 22 this year.
The faithful queue up patiently to venerate the relics of St. Pio held by Father Ermelindo Di Capua, OFM Cap. Photo by Vincent Kwa
SINGAPORE – Father Ermelindo Di Capua, OFM Cap who travels all over the world to promote the spirituality, teaching and life of St. Pio of Pietrelcina arrived in Singapore on the last leg of his mission to the Far East which also took him to Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia.
The Church of the Holy Spirit was filled with many Catholics from all over Singapore coming to pray and venerate the relics of St. Pio during the triduum Sep 21-23. The theme was “Towards Holiness with St. Pio”.
Mass on the first day was celebrated by Father Augustine Joseph, Spiritual Director who delivered the homily on “Deepening One’s Faith in worshipping Christ”. Father Simon Pereira, CSsR preached on “A Call to Serve Christ Lovingly” on the second day.
Father Ermelindo. who had assisted Padre Pio for three years between 1965 and 1968 before the latter’s death on Sep 23 1968, preached on “Sharing Christ and Giving Christ to Others” on the feast day Mass Sep 23 where Archbishop Nicholas Chia was the main celebrant.
Concelebrating the Mass were Father Andrew Wong, Parish Priest of Church of the Holy Spirit, Father Ermelindo and Father Augustine Tay.
Father Ermelindo had spent time in Penang visiting St. Anne’s Church, Church of the Holy Name of Mary and the Church of the Holy Family where the Capuchin Friars are based.
Participants of the NFP TTC 2010 with the current NFP instructors and Father David Garcia (seated right). Photo by Pollen Soh
SINGAPORE – The Natural Family Planning (NFP) service conducted a Teacher Training Course for 14 participants Aug 21-22. The course covered detailed information related to the Billings Ovulation Method (BOM), presented by experienced NFP instructors, as well as the theology supporting the practice of NFP in the Catholic Church by Father David Garcia, OP.
The course aims to equip the new trainee teachers with in-depth knowledge, both scientific and theological, to teach and guide couples in fertility management by BOM. Trainees who attended the course are now attached to NFP centres in parishes with experienced NFP teachers to gain practical teaching experience and expand their knowledge of NFP. The trainees will be certified as NFP teachers after they have guided at least three couples and passed a test conducted six months after course.
During the course, the trainees also shared their motivation to be NFP teachers. Many felt that NFP has been a blessing to their lives and now, they want to share it with others. They also felt that it was a calling to serve God by spreading the pro-life message by teaching NFP. The course has also attracted medical doctors, who wanted to gain a better understanding of NFP to apply to their medical profession.
Top, Boys entering a home. Below, Mr Ching Chiat Kwong, CEO of Oxley Holdings, presenting cheque to Boys’ Town. Photos provided by Oxley Holdings Property developer helps two social causes with one donation
SINGAPORE – An idea by a Singapore property developer, which wanted to support both Boys’ Town as well as a group of elderly and disabled people, has enabled Boys’ Town residents to raise funds for the building of a new Boys’ Town dormitory whilst engaging in community service at the same time.
Instead of making an outright donation to Boys’ Town, Oxley Holdings wanted the Boys’ Town residents to pay it forward, which they did by mobilising 50 boys to clean up 30 homes of elderly and disabled residents in Bukit Merah on Sep 17. The boys also distributed daily provisions to 80 needy households in the area.
The boys’ efforts were rewarded with Oxley Holdings donating $1,000 for every participant from Boys’ Town. The Boys’ Town residents thus raised a total of $50,000, which will go towards improving the boys’ own living conditions when the new dormitory is built.
Oxley Holdings is a local lifestyle property developer which deals with residential-cum-commercial developments and industrial developments. Its projects include Loft@Rangoon and Suites@Katong.
Redemptorists from the region taking to the stage at the Gala Dinner to sing Viviate, a song of Blessing that we may have life. Photos provided by Church of St. Alphonsus2010 marks 75 years of the Redemptorists’ presence in Singapore and Malaysia. Several events were organised in the past months to celebrate this significant milestone
SINGAPORE – The Redemptorist presence in Singapore began with the arrival of six of their members from Australia in 1935. Their objective was to set up the first Redemptorist mission in Singapore and Malaya (now Peninsular Malaysia). Although based in Singapore, they did not confine themselves to just Singapore and Malaysia, and went as far as Burma (Myanmar), India and Ceylon (Sri Lanka) to conduct missions and retreats.
In 1950, following the Japanese Occupation, the Redemptorists rebuilt their chapel at 300 Thomson Road known as the Church of St. Alphonsus.
In 1956, in the parlour of their chapel, the Redemptorists conducted the first public Novena in honour of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. The Novena devotions became so popular that the Church of St. Alphonsus became known as the “Novena Church”, as thousands of devotees came for the Saturday Novenas in faith that their petitions will be answered through the intercession of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. It was also around this time that the tradition of the annual procession in honour of Our Blessed Mother began.
(From left to right) Ivy Koh Beng Neo (OLPS Conference), Mary Tan Chee Lang (Church of St. Stephen Conference), Noemia Vaz (St. Alphonsous Conference), Mark Leong (Risen Christ Conference), Lucas Williams President of National Council, Raymond Tan Seng Ngiap (OLPS Conference), Lawrence Goh (St. Joachim Conference), James Tay (St. Xavier Conference), Alexis Seah (St. Joachim Conference), Joseph Toh Chee Hock (Holy Cross Conference, absent). Photo by Vincent Kwa
SINGAPORE – More than 300 members of the various SVP parish conferences came together to celebrate their annual feast day of St. Vincent de Paul on Sep 27 at the Church of Divine Mercy.
The Eucharist was celebrated by Archbishop Nicholas Chia with spiritual directors from various parish SVP conferences. During the ceremony 55 new members took their promise.
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