01 Dec 2015 News Vatican No comments

Pope Francis' message to Patriarch Bartholomew for Feast of St. Andrew

In Istanbul a letter to the Orthodox leader was hand-delivered by the the head of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Cardinal Kurt Koch, who …

Read more

18 Mar 2016 Europe News Comments (3)

Bishop Egan urges “Christian Dads" to emulate St. Joseph as model of fatherhood and faithfulness

In a pastoral letter Bishop Philip Egan issued to “Christian Dads" to be read in all churches and chapels of the Diocese of Portsmouth, he spoke about the life …

Read more

13 Nov 2015 Europe News No comments

President Castro's cross donated to Lampedusa by Pope Francis

The Cross given to Pope Francis during ring his visit to Cuba this year by Cuban President Raul Castro, have now become an instrument of expressing God's mercy …

Read more

29 Sep 2015 Middle East - Africa News No comments

As synod approaches, Nigerian bishops speak up for the family

Nigeria’s bishops closed their latest assembly with a view toward the upcoming Synod on the Family, re-affirming the family while warning about LGBT activism. …

Read more

26 Aug 2016 Europe News USA Vatican Comments (1)

‘I can only think of our nuns’: Italian bishop criticises burkini ban

Secretary-general of the bishops' conference points out that nuns and 'peasant grandmothers' stay covered up at the beach too Bishop Nunzio Galantino, the secr…

Read more

05 Nov 2015 Articles Comments (1)

47 Questions & Answers on the Sacrament of Matrimony from the Late Nineteenth Century till Date

Q. 1005. What is the Sacrament of Matrimony? A. The Sacrament of Matrimony is the Sacrament which unites a Christian man and woman in lawful marriage. &nb…

Read more

11 Dec 2014 Q&A Comments (1)

Why is contraception immoral when pacemakers are not?

Full Question Why is contraception any more "unnatural" than, say, pacemakers or appendectomies? If it's okay to intervene artificially in the circulatory …

Read more

23 Sep 2015 News USA No comments

World Meeting of Families begins in Philadelphia

The eighth World Meeting of Families began in Philadelphia on September 22. Attracting over 17,500 participants from 100 nations, it is the largest meeting i…

Read more

30 Nov 2014 Q&A Comments (1)

Why do Matthew and Mark list Thaddeus in the names of apostles, but Luke mentions another Judas?

Full Question Why is the listing of names for the twelve apostles in Matthew 10 and Mark 3 different from Luke 6? The first two evangelists list Thaddeus i…

Read more
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Catholics in Singapore celebrate 50 years of nation’s independence

Anticipating this autumn’s 50th anniversary of Singapore’s independence from Malaysia, the nation’s Catholics gathered earlier this month to celebrate a Mass pledging the Church’s support for the city-state.

While Singapore achieved independence from Great Britain in 1963, it was first a state of Malaysia. It achieved full independence in 1965, when it was expelled following political turmoil and troubled race relations.

“It is the jubilee year, it is a year of rejoicing because God is restoring all to wholeness," Fr. Derrick Yap, OFM, chairman of the Singapore 50 celebration committee, told CNA.

Fr. Yap said: “We are called to sanctify the nation and this event is to celebrate what we have done but to propel into the future with a renewed vigour and hope – Let the light of Christ shine forth to the nations!"

Some 10,000 people gathered at the Singapore Indoor Stadium July 4 for a Mass of thanksgiving, joined by the apostolic nuncio, Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli; the prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong; and representatives of other religions.

The Mass paid tribute to the missionaries who first brought the faith to Singapore and who sacrificed their lives serving the people and building the nation.

Fr. Yap said, “Joy captures all the dynamics of the occasion as we celebrate the nation’s 50th anniversary," the priest reflected. “As a Church, it is also an event for rejuvenation, restoration, and healing, where needed, and of looking forward with hope. The occasion not only serves as a platform for the Church to celebrate her share in nation-building, but also to bring together Catholics here to forge stronger bonds with each other.”

Archbishop William Goh Seng Chye of Singapore in his opening address praised the untiring zeal of the pioneer missionaries in proclaiming Christ and stressed that “they have been true to their mission."

The prelate, noting the Church’s distinctive pastoral role in the areas of education, healthcare, social services, and integral human development, said, “The Church had always stood as a voice of the poor, the marginalized, and those who are very close to the heart of God."

He further added, “She continues in the mission to unity to recognize the new poor in our midst who are vulnerable to … relativism , individualism, materialism, consumerism, and the negative impact of the internet and social media, particularly youth and families, which form the building blocks of society."

Archbishop Goh’s homily also echoed Pope Francis’ recent encyclical Laudato Si’ and he urged: “We need to care for the environment so that generations to come can continue to enjoy the fruits of the earth."

Archbishop Goh emphasized that the Church will work closely with the Singaporean government “to prevent moral decadence, to strengthen institution of marriage, to promote justice, peace, and harmony … and to form us as responsible citizens."

Prime minister Lee addressed the faithful, lauding the Church’s immense pastoral work and saying, “the Church has been a responsible, reliable, and sensitive partner, helping us to strengthen our multiracial and multireligious society."

Lee went to a secondary Catholic school, and added a word of “thanks to the pioneers who secured our future, including the pioneers in the Church who built it up."

He noted that Church has been a “light and hope nurturing the young, moulding people into upright citizens, uplifting the downtrodden, succoring the needy, ministering to the sick … building a community with sound values and a sense of social responsibility, duty, and obligation to one another."

In his homily, Archbishop Goh noted the “greater need for formation" of the laity, adding that “until the laity takes part in the mission of the Church, we have not grown."

He urged the faithful to promote s culture of life from conception to natural death, especially through a strengthening of marriage and the family.
Archbishop Goh also examined four pillars which brought Singapore from the third to the first world, enumerating self sacrifice; justice and equality; economic development; and moral and spiritual development.

Among its preparations for the jubilee, the Archdiocese of Singapore encouraged the faithful to offer five pledges of faith and works for the intentions of the nation – to attend a daily Mass, to recite the rosary, to offer a fast, to share a meal with the poor, and to partake in Eucharistic adoration.

Fr. Yap explained that “the five pledges were meant to provide some challenge for the pledgers, because a rosary or a weekday mass just doesn’t seem challenging enough; so we invite Catholics to perform five different acts of love and hope that they will actively pursue feeding the poor … this is catechesis and faith formation in action."

“This event for me is to help build bridges within the various organisations of the archdiocese. Relationships are very important … if the Church is to move forward in Singapore for the next 50 years and beyond, we will all need work together."

“If we are united with one heart, and united with the Lord, we can bring the Gospel farther than we’d ever imagined," Fr. Yap said.


Leave a Reply

  1. most read post
  2. Most Commented
  3. Choose Categories