Caritas affiliate ABLE joins hands with self-help organisation to launch centre for caregivers
A Caritas affiliate has partnered a self-help organisation to launch a respite centre for caregivers of those afflicted with muscular dystrophy.
Caritas affiliate Abilities Beyond Limitations and Expectations (ABLE), which works with the physically challenged, together with the Muscular Dystrophy Association Singapore (MDAS), held a soft launch of the centre on March 15.
Caregivers and muscular dystrophy patients attended the event, held at MDAS’ premises at Junction 8, Bishan.
Although Ms Vasantha Gorihdasamy was born into a non-Christian family, she has been interested in Christianity since young. However, she respected her father’s wishes and did not convert.
Ms Gorihdasamy, a Singaporean said she wanted to be a Catholic about three years ago. “I found that my first love is still for Jesus…to live a holy life,” she said.
She added that she feels close to Mother Mary and although she does not have a family of her own, she feels that God has given her a family of brothers and sisters within the Church.
For 22-year-old Joshua Tan, becoming a Catholic has allowed him to share a special bond with friends and family members.
He had attended a Catholic primary school and some of his good friends are Catholics. His mother and sister are Catholic as well as his mother’s family, including his late maternal grandmother who had looked after him in his younger days.
While he had attended church previously, he stopped due to a lack of interest and belief, he shared.
His experience of several “miracles” and his own grappling with a serious illness led Mr Ian Tan to become a Catholic.
His father-in-law, a devoted Catholic, had suffered from stage-four cancer but did not undergo chemotherapy. Through prayer and the receiving of Holy Communion, he lived on for 18 months, three months longer than predicted by doctors.
A woman who had prayed for his father-in-law had her own cancer cured.
While Ms Wong Shu Yun had been a Protestant Christian for more than 10 years, she was “largely Christian by name”.
“I judged based on a self-righteous worldview, did ministry in order to please, and evangelised because it only seemed like the right thing to do,” she shared.
“It was all law and no love, all fear and no freedom. And worst, all work and no play.”
A Catholic friend introduced Ms Jasline Chua to the Catholic Church more than 10 years.
She attended weekly Masses and even the RCIA. However as she lived in the west and the parish was in the east, she eventually dropped out of RCIA although she attended Mass occasionally and prayed whenever she encountered problems.
She was attending a Christmas midnight Mass in 2011 alone when she felt a strong calling to return more fully to church.
Ms Christine Lim knew her mother, Madam Georgina Khaw, had always been interested in Christianity.
Thus when Ms Lim, who was an airline cabin crew member then, signed up for the RCIA at Church of Divine Mercy, she asked her mum to attend the sessions also and take notes if Ms Lim was working.
That was her way of getting Madam Khaw to church, Ms Lim said.
More than 100 Catholics walked through the streets of Singapore barefoot praying the Stations of the Cross, the rosary, the Divine Mercy chaplet and other prayers.
The March 23 “Crucis Singapura” prayer walk was the third such event held in the last three years by Jesus Youth.
The participants, aged 18-40, some with kids in tow, prayed for Singapore, the archdiocese and their own spiritual needs.
The Natural Family Planning (NFP) community celebrated a memorial Mass for Dr Evelyn Billings at the Maris Stella Convent Chapel on March 9.
Fr David Garcia celebrated the Mass, which saw about 35 people attending.
Some 300 Tamil Catholics braved hot weather and a heavy downpour to pray in front of the outdoor Stations of the Cross at St Joseph Church (Bukit Timah) on March 17.
The Twelfth Station, which highlights Jesus’ death on the cross, was acted out by Tamil migrants from various parishes who performed in costumes and with props. Their performance apparently moved the crowd.
Pope Francis’ comments that the Church has to serve the poor and weak is consistent with the “demographic reality” facing the Church today, says an academic.
Dr Julius Bautista, at a talk organised by the Inter-Religious Organisation (IRO), told his audience that the majority Catholic population in the world has shifted from the developed West to the poorer, less developed Global South between 1900 and 2010.
Most of the world’s Catholics now live in Latin America, Africa and Asia, areas defined by social and economic development, he told the 40-strong crowd comprising lay Catholics, Religious, IRO members and his students.
Caritas Humanitarian Aid and Relief, Singapore (CHARIS) will hold its second Humanitarian Forum & Fair at the Singapore Polytechnic on June 22.
The event, themed Faith in Action, will highlight humanitarian aid and relief issues. Catholic ministries and organisations involved in humanitarian aid will also speak about their work.
The Humanitarian Forum & Fair 2013 (HFF 2013), first launched in September 2011, highlights the efforts of those who bring humanitarian aid to victims of natural disasters in the region. It is also an opportunity for volunteers to support these ongoing missions.
About 10,000 present and former Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (CHIJ) students took part in a walk from CHIJMES to Marina Barrage to mark World Water Day on March 16.
The Walk for Water was also to conclude the IJ congregation’s 350th anniversary celebrations.
Students from all 11 CHIJ schools gathered at CHIJMES and moved off in batches of 500 starting at 7.30am. Also present were teachers, principals and the IJ board of management.
... says Archbishop Chia at Mass to mark Pope Francis’ installation
Pope Francis is “truly an example of simplicity, humility and obedience to the Lord”, said Archbishop Nicholas Chia at a thanksgiving Mass for the new pope’s installation.
The new Church leader will “have to be a tireless pilgrim, spending lots of time and energy travelling to the ends of the earth in service of the new evangelisation, re-proposing the faith of the Church to friends and foes alike”, said Archbishop Chia during the March 23 Mass at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd.
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