Growing up, I often wondered, “What so great about being a man when society is biased against him?” As it were, the law favors and protects women more; a masculine movement is seldom heard of to advocate the wellbeing of men; and there seems to be a perception that men are predisposed to “receiving” more in relationships than giving, especially in sexual relationships.
These questions did not help me as a young growing male individual learning about himself as a guy and trying to understand his being, let alone appreciate the purpose of God’s plan for him in creating and designing him as a man. Sure! There are all the teachings of male sexuality and his place in society, but what so great about manhood?
It was not until I got married and had my first son, that I gained a greater understanding of the greatness that men have been called to. I realised I had asked the wrong question all along. The question should have been, “Are men called to greatness in the first place?” In fact, I would have been able to answer the first question only if I first knew the kind of greatness that men have been called to. In my prayers and reflections, it’s come upon me that men have been made for and called to such greatness that sometimes I wonder even if I am fit to be a man.
The Archdiocese of Singapore has appointed a new communications manager.
Ms Charlene Chew came on board on June 1 and brings with her years of public relations experience having previously worked with a public relations consultancy and Singapore Press Holdings.
She has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the National University of Singapore where she majored in English Language and Literature. She also holds a Master of Science in Public Relations from the University of Colorado, USA.
She spent two years working in the US in the Communications Office on the university campus as well as in the Corporate Affairs Department of the local community hospital.
The Night of Songs for Christian Unity was a moving experience for the
St Mary of the Angels’ Children’s Choir, says its coordinator Carolyn Seow
ALTHOUGH I was in the midst of a gathering of people from diverse backgrounds, I had never felt such a strong sense of “oneness” before.
It was indeed a beautiful Saturday evening that June 2 at the Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer.
The Night of Songs for Christian Unity, initiated by the archdiocese’s Committee for Ecumenical Movement, turned out to be more than just a “night of songs” for me and others.
TAICHUNG, TAIWAN – Around 3,000 Catholics from across Taiwan took to the streets of Taichung on May 26 demanding city authorities intervene in the alleged seizure of a church in the municipality’s Nantun district by a private developer.
Fr Benedict Hsu, vicar-general of Taichung diocese, delivered a petition letter to City Hall containing the signatures of 25,000 supporters, demanding that the Mother of God Church be saved.
The three-hour march demonstrated a greater show of force by Catholics following a smaller scale protest by local parishioners from the church during Holy Week.
“If it happens to the Nantun church today”, it could happen to another church tomorrow, said Fr Mbwi Khohi, a Congolese priest based in Nantun district.
“There could be more Church lands grabbed by consortium-developers who have been casting greedy eyes on them,” he said.
VATICAN CITY – To help bishops determine the credibility of alleged Marian apparitions, the Vatican has translated and published procedural rules from 1978 that had previously been available only in Latin.
More than 1,500 visions of Mary have been reported around the world, but in the past century only nine cases have received church approval as worthy of belief.
According to the newly translated norms, published recently on www.doctrinafidei.va, the local bishop should set up a commission of experts, including theologians, canonists, psychologists and doctors, to help him determine the facts, the mental, moral and spiritual wholesomeness and seriousness of the visionary, and whether the message and testimony are free from theological and doctrinal error.
A bishop can come to one of three conclusions: He can determine the apparition to be true and worthy of belief; he can say it is not true, which leaves open the possibility for an appeal; or he can say that at the moment he doesn’t know and needs more help.
St Bernandette Church choir members pose with Fr Rufino Sescon after singing at a Mass in Makati, Manila. The group brought 350 kg of humanitarian aid for flood victims and poor people in the Philippines.
A singing trip to the Philippines for Church of St Bernadette choir members also saw them lugging humanitarian aid to give to poor people and flood victims.
According to choirmaster John Lee, the May 4-7 trip to Manila aimed at fostering greater bonding among his Emmanuel Choir members. They had also been invited to sing at the Santo Nino de Paz Chapel at the Greenbelt Shopping Mall in Makati on May 6.
The idea of offering some humanitarian service evolved during planning discussions.
This could go some way towards helping lapsed Catholics return to Mass, says an editorial in a US diocesan paper
IT IS hard to imagine that any Catholic who truly understood and accepted that Jesus is truly, physically present in the Eucharist would treat His body and blood with anything less than the utmost reverence and respect.
And yet, anecdotal reports bespeak an all too common lack of such reverence and respect, seen in the lackadaisical way some people approach the sacrament.
Disturbing as this is, of even more concern, perhaps, should be the numbers of Catholics whose lack of faith in the Real Presence prompts their consistent absence from Sunday Mass, and from reception of the Eucharist.
A 2008 study in the US by the Georgetown University-based Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate found that only 57 percent of Catholics there profess belief that Christ is present in the Eucharist; but the figure was 91 percent among respondents who attend Mass at least weekly.
This indicates, obviously, that the vast majority of professed Catholics who do not believe in the Real Presence are found among those who do not attend Mass regularly; or, put conversely, most Catholics who do not attend Mass regularly do not believe that the Eucharist is truly an opportunity to receive the body and blood of Jesus.
GOOD SHEPHERD Sr Elizabeth Lim (right) has been invited by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity to attend a meeting in Canada.
The ecumenical meeting is scheduled to be held from Sept 23-28.
According to Sr Elizabeth, the meeting is organised by the Catholic team involved in the preparation for the material for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2014.
“I feel most humbled, blessed and honoured to participate as a member of the Catholic team to make whatever contributions I can towards the promotion of Christian unity which I am passionate about,” said Sr Elizabeth.
The nun has been involved in ecumenism since the 1980s and is currently with the Committee for Ecumenical Movement under the Archdiocesan Council for Inter-religious and Ecumenical Dialogue.
Fr Davaine Donatien Christian, a new MEP priest, will be assistant priest at the parish of the Holy Family in early July.
Prayers are requested for Frs William Lim, Alfred Chan, Joseph Tan, Joseph Jeannequin and John Baptist Tou who are suffering from ill health.
SINGAPORE – “God has given me a musical talent which I have used throughout my life to spread His word and teach others about Him through music,” says Fr Francis Leong.
The 76-year-old Malaysian-born priest, currently residing in Singapore, was a La Salle Brother for 34 years before becoming a Maryknoll priest.
The accomplished musician has earned doctorates in sacred music, creative arts and theological studies, and held senior teaching appointments in music in various parts of the world.
After two and half years, CHIJ St Nicholas’ School finally returned to its original campus in Ang Mo Kio.
On May 30, led by principal Tan Wai Lan, a former student herself, a group of pupils formed a marathon relay from the school’s holding site in Toa Payoh back to its original location.
The school, which caters to both primary and secondary students, had undergone a Ministry of Education initiative, called PRIME, which involved the reconstruction of school buildings to cater to evolving needs.
Among the new facilities students now enjoy are a seven-storey classroom block, larger classrooms, a new track and field, and improved extra curricula activity rooms.
Two of Singapore’s premier Catholic schools are working with Singapore Chinese Girls’ School to offer a joint Integrated Programme (IP) next year.
CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School and Catholic High School, both Special Assistance Plan (SAP) schools nurturing students who are proficient in English and Chinese, are working towards a broader learning experience, says St Nicholas vice principal Ruby Khoo.
“Students in the three schools can look forward to an expanded education experience of either their well-established GCE O Level programmes or a unique Integrated Programme designed collaboratively by the three schools,” she told CatholicNews.
“The Joint Integrated Programme will provide an integrated secondary and JC [junior college] education whereby students offer the year one to four programme in the respective schools but proceed to a new junior college at years five and six without taking the GCE O Level Examination,” she said.
1 million at families’ meeting in Milan
Church-organised event focuses on balance between work demands and family needs
Charities Week 2012 raised a total of $5,217,720 at its close.
Although this amount was lower than last year’s $5,564,243, it is “heartening to know that despite the uncertain economy, the Catholic community responded to the call to help our less fortunate brothers and sisters”, says Caritas Singapore Community Council (CSCC).
CSCC, which organises the annual Lenten fundraising campaign, said it would like to thank all donors for their generosity (see chart on left).
Youths from parishes and 26 Catholic schools also participated in this year’s Charities Week.
Parishioners of the Church of St Bernadette say that a special evening walk organised by the parish has helped them make new friends and bond with other churchgoers.
About 290 parishioners participated in the walk on Saturday, May 26. It started at the church at about 4.30 pm.
Fr Eugene Chong, the parish priest, flagged the participants off with a prayer and a blessing.
The participants were split into smaller groups which left 10 minutes apart of each another.
Several delegates from an Australian interfaith group visited Archbishop Nicholas Chia at his residence on May 27.
The 10 delegates, comprising community leaders and representatives from the Christian, Baha’i, Muslim and Buddhist faiths, were from Toowoomba, Queensland.
They are members of the Toowoomba Goodwill Committee.
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