Cardinal Darmaatmadja of Indonesia will skip the Conclave due to health reasons : Cardinal-electors for the Conclave now stand at 116

Cardinal Julius Riyadi Darmaatmadja, Metropolitan Archbishop Emeritus of Jakarta, Indonesia, who is now 78, has declined to go and attend the Conclave due to health reasons, particularly badly failing eyesight and other health issues, which he determined would prevent him from effectively participating in the Conclave processes.

We pray for Cardinal Darmaatmadja that God will continue to bless him, and sustain him, even through the health problems that he face at the moment. May God bless and protect him from afflictions, that he will remain in great vigour to continue the mission entrusted to him by God even in retirement.

As originally, barring any death between now and the beginning of the Conclave, there would have been 117 Cardinals, Cardinal Darmaatmadja’s decision reduce the number of the Cardinal-electors at the conclave to 116.

College of Cardinals : Passing of Cardinal Julien Ries, at the age of 92

Cardinal Julien Ries from Belgium, who was 92, has passed away yesterday, on Saturday, 23 February 2013. He was elevated to the Cardinalate as a Cardinal non-elector at the consistory of 18 February 2012 last year with 22 other cardinals, and was the first one to pass away among them. He was made the Cardinal Deacon of S. Antonio di Padova a Circonvallazione Appia.

Let us pray for the Cardinal, that God will welcome him home, and open the doors of heaven for him, after his long and tireless work in the spread of the Gospel and in bringing mankind closer to God. Requiescat in Pace, Your Eminence.

College of Cardinals now stand at 208. Cardinal Electors remain at 118, and Cardinal non-Electors at 90.


Available videos on the Episcopal Ordination of Coadjutor Archbishop William Goh of Singapore

The part of the laying on of the hands on the Coadjutor Archbishop by the principal consecrator, Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli, and the co-consecrators and the other bishops present. Pouring of the Holy Spirit (passing of the Apostolic authority), and finally the imposition of the bishop’s pontificalia on the Coadjutor Archbishop, and his enthronement at his cathedra with his new coat-of-arms.

Also included is the special anthem composed by the Cathedral Choir master, titled Ut Vivant, in conjunction with the Coadjutor’s motto, Ut vivant (that they may live).


The speech made by Coadjutor Archbishop William Goh at the end of the Ordination Mass, thanking all present and all who had a hand in making the event a success, and he laid out the vision he has for the Church in Singapore.


(If there is any full video of the event available either on the internet or for purchase, I will update as soon as there is any news available on the matter).

Sunday, 24 February 2013 : 2nd Sunday of Lent (Gospel Reading)

Luke 9 : 28b-36

Jesus took Peter, John, and James, and went up the mountain to pray. And while He was praying, the aspect of His face was changed, and His clothing became dazzling white. Two men were talking with Jesus : Moses and Elijah. Appearing in the glory of heaven, Moses and Elijah spoke to Jesus about His departure from this life; which was to take place in Jerusalem.

Peter and his companions had fallen asleep; but they awoke suddenly, and they saw His glory and the two men standing with Him. As Moses and Elijah were about to leave, Peter – not knowing what to say – said to Jesus, “Master, how good it is for us to be here! Let us make three tents, one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

And no sooner had he spoken, than a cloud appeared and covered them; and the disciples were afraid as they entered the cloud. Then these words came from the cloud, “This is My Son, My Beloved, listen to Him.” And after the voice had spoken, Jesus was there alone.

The disciples kept this to themselves at the time, telling no one of anything they had seen.

Sunday, 24 February 2013 : 2nd Sunday of Lent (Second Reading)

Philippians 3 : 17 – Philippians 4 : 1

Unite in imitating me, brothers and sisters, and look at those who walk in our way of life. For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. I have said it to you many times, and now I repeat it with tears : they are heading for ruin; their belly is their god and they feel proud of what should be their shame. They only think of earthly things.

For us, our citizenship is in heaven, from where we await the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, the Lord. He will transfigure our lowly body, making it like His own Body, radiant in Glory, through the power which is His to submit everything to Himself.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for; you my glory and crown, be steadfast in the Lord.


(Alternative Reading – shorter form, Philippians 3 : 20 – Philippians 4 : 1)

For us, our citizenship is in heaven, from where we await the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, the Lord. He will transfigure our lowly body, making it like His own Body, radiant in Glory, through the power which is His to submit everything to Himself.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for; you my glory and crown, be steadfast in the Lord.

Sunday, 24 February 2013 : 2nd Sunday of Lent (Psalm)

Psalm 26 : 1, 7-8, 9abc, 13-14

The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the rampart of my life; I will not be afraid.

Hear my voice when I call, o Lord, have mercy on me and answer. My heart says to You, “I seek Your face, o Lord.”

Do not hide Your face from me nor turn away Your servant in anger. You are my protection, do not reject me.

I hope, I am sure, that I will see the goodness of the Lord, in the land of the living. Trust in the Lord, be strong and courageous. Yes, put your hope in the Lord!

Sunday, 24 February 2013 : 2nd Sunday of Lent (First Reading)

Genesis 15 : 5-12, 17-18

Then YHVH brought him outside and said to him, “Look up at the sky and count the stars if you can. Your descendants will be like that.”

Abram believed YHVH who, because of this, held him to be an upright man. And He said, “I am YHVH who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land as your possession.” Then Abram asked, “My Lord, how am I to know that it shall be mine?”

YHVH replied, “Bring me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtle dove and a young pigeon.” Abram brought all these animals, cut them in two, and laid each half facing its other half, but he did not cut the birds in half. The birds of prey came down upon them, but Abram drove them away.

As the sun was going down, a deep sleep came over Abram, and a dreadful darkness took hold of him. When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot and a flaming torch passed between the halves of the victims. On that day YHVH made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I have given this country from the river of Egypt to the Great River , the Euphrates.”

Saturday, 23 February 2013 : 1st Week of Lent (Scripture Reflection)

God loves all, and He loves everyone, without exception. Not even the worst sinners can escape from His love. However, all of us, who truly love God in return, and keep His teachings and commandments, enjoy even greater love, and also He has made us His people, His children, and promise us every graces and blessings in our lives.

It is easy to love your friends, those who also love you, and your family, and those whom you know. It is easy to be with them and also live happily with them. But indeed, if we are all indeed called by God to be His missionaries to all the world, can we just stay content in being within our own sphere of safety? within our own comfort zone?

No! Indeed, as the Lord said to us, “Love our enemies” and “Pray for those who persecutes you”, we have to reach out to those who hate us, and especially to those whom because of the hate in our hearts, have hated too. It is natural for us humans to hate, as since the days of the fall of Adam and Eve, sin has entered the hearts of men, and therefore with it, came hatred, prejudice, and jealousy. It is natural for us to hate someone who hated us first, and it is natural for us to covet the possession of others, especially those who are more fortunate than us. However, remember that through our baptism in God, and through the Sacred Scripture that we read and listened to, we have all become the children of God, and have been made better than what our human natures allow us to be.

For as the children of God, we too should follow in God’s footsteps. No better example at this, that Christ, the Son of God, whose in His death throes on the cross, showed how great God’s love is to all peoples. For Christ Himself had said, “There is no greater love, than that of those who gave their life for their friends. To Christ, all of us are His friends, does not matter whether king or poor, big or small, saints or sinners. Even to those whom had handed Him the death penalty by shouting “Crucify Him!”, Christ also consider them as friends, and He gave His life for them. These were His enemies, but out of His great love, He forgave them, and asked the Father not to punish them, because they do not know what they were doing.

This was one example Christ gave why we should love our enemies. Not to die like Him for our enemies, but because, these enemies of ours are after all, also the children of God, whom God loves, despite of their sins, just like God loves us, despite of our sins. Therefore, we should love one another, even our enemies, that they too, may learn love, and in doing so, shed off their hatred and sinful ways, and join us in salvation. There are many who also persecute us, especially the faithful, as we have often heard happening all over the world. But how do we face this? Do we face them with hatred and more violence, or do we face them with love? with prayer? For if we face them with hatred, and violence, not only would they be condemned, but we too, since in doing so, we let ourselves fall to the snares of evil, and by bringing more hatred and violence, we prevent the works and love of God from being manifest.

Rather, let us indeed do what the Lord told us, to end the cycle of hatred, the cycle of evil, and steadfastly refuse the temptations of the devil. Bring back our separated brethren, who are separated from us by hatred, prejudice, and jealousy, and therefore, bring ourselves together into the Light, and made our world a better place, just as the Lord wishes for us, whom He loves dearly. Let us pray, that all of us will be strong, and will be able to carry out our mission, and in that mission, to reach out to those who hate us, our enemies, to be able to forgive them and the pains and sufferings they have inflicted on us, and to love all who had persecuted us. Let us make this world a better world, based in love, peace, compassion, and harmony, instead of hatred, evil, and death. Amen.