New Curial Appointment for the Archdiocese of Singapore

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The new Archbishop of Singapore, Archbishop William Goh Seng Chye, has appointed new members of his Curia, that is the Curia of the Archdiocese of Singapore, which functions to help the Archbishop in his management of the day-to-day affairs in the Archdiocese.

 

The new appointments :

1. Vicar General (Pastoral) : Monsignor Ambrose Vaz

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2. Vicar General (Administration and Religious) : Monsignor Philip Heng, S.J.

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Both of the Vicar Generals receive the honorary title Monsignor, more precisely titular Monsignor durante munere, that is they are only Monsignori during their term of office as Vicar Generals. The former Vicar General, Monsignor Eugene Vaz therefore is now known as Fr. Eugene Vaz.

3. Chancellor : Fr. John Paul Tan, O.F.M.

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4. Episcopal Vicar for New Evangelisation : Fr. Erbin Fernandez

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5. Executive Secretary (to Archbishop William Goh) : Fr. Ignatius Yeo

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6. Financial Administrator : (Permanent) Deacon Clement Chen

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We pray for all the new appointees of Archbishop William Goh, that both all of them and the new Archbishop will begin their new term of office with God’s every graces and blessings, for the Church in Singapore and in the wider world. God bless!

Installation, Inauguration, and Thanksgiving Mass for Archbishop William Goh Seng Chye, the new Archbishop of Singapore

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The new Archbishop of Singapore, Archbishop William Goh Seng Chye, having taken over officially on Saturday, 18 May 2013 after the Holy See accepted the resignation of the now Archbishop Emeritus Nicholas Chia Yeck Joo, will be installed at the cathedra of the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, the mother church of the Church in Singapore.

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Archbishop William Goh was the Coadjutor Archbishop of Singapore and being a coadjutor, in conjunction with the Code of the Canon Law, has the right to immediately succeed the Archbishop upon his resignation being accepted by the Holy See.

This Installation Mass will also be an Inauguration Mass for the ministry of the new Archbishop and also a thanksgiving for both the new Archbishop and for the service of the now Archbishop Emeritus Nicholas Chia.

 

Details on the Mass :

Location : Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, ‘A’ Queen Street, Singapore

Time : Friday, 24 May 2013 at 10.30 am (on Vesak Day – Public Holiday)

 

As Archbishop William Goh has officially taken over the duty as the Ordinary of the Archdiocese, he immediately resides in the official residence of the Archbishop in the Archbishop’s House, located within the Cathedral grounds.

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Meanwhile, Archbishop Emeritus Nicholas Chia will transfer his residence to the Catholic Spirituality Centre in Hougang, Singapore, where Archbishop William Goh had resided during his term as the Coadjutor Archbishop.

 

God bless our new Archbishop and we also pray for our Archbishop Emeritus, that in his retirement he will continue to do great works for the sake of the Lord.

Ad multos annos, His Excellency Archbishop William Goh!

Tuesday, 14 May 2013 : 7th Week of Easter, Feast of St. Matthias, Apostle (Gospel Reading)

John 15 : 9-17

As the Father has loved Me, so I have loved you. Remain in My love! You will remain in My love if you keep My commandments, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love.

I have told you all this, that My own joy may be in you, and your joy may be complete. This is My commandment : Love one another as I have loved you! There is no greater love than this, to give one’s life for one’s friends; and you are My friends, if you do what I command you.

I shall not call you servants anymore, because servants do not know what their master is about. Instead I have called you friends, since I have made known to you everything I learnt from My Father.

You did not choose Me; it was I who chose you and sent you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last. And everything you ask the Father in My Name, He will give you. This is My command, that you love one another.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013 : 7th Week of Easter, Feast of St. Matthias, Apostle (Psalm)

Psalm 112 : 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8

Alleluia! Praise, o servants of the Lord, praise the Name of the Lord! Blessed be the Name of the lord, now and forever!

From eastern lands to the western islands, may the Name of the Lord be praised! The Lord is exalted over the nations, His glory above the heavens.

Who is like the Lord our God, who sits enthroned on high, but also bends down to see on earth as in heaven?

He lifts up the poor from the dust and the needy from the ash heap. He makes them sit with princes, with rulers of His people.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013 : 7th Week of Easter, Feast of St. Matthias, Apostle (First Reading)

Acts 1 : 15-17, 20-26

It was during this time that Peter stood up in the midst of the community – about one hundred and twenty in all – and he said, “Brothers, it was necessary that the Scriptures referring to Judas be fulfilled. The Holy Spirit had spoken through David about the one who would lead the crowd coming to arrest Jesus. He was one of our number and had been called to share our common ministry.

In the book of Psalms it is written : ‘Let his house become deserted and may no one live in it.’ But it is also written: ‘May another take his office.’ Therefore, we must choose someone from among those who were with us during all the time that the Lord Jesus moved about with us, beginning with John’s baptism until the day when Jesus was taken away from us. One of these has to become, with us, a witness to His resurrection.

Then they proposed two : Joseph, called Barsabbas, also known as Justus, and Matthias. They prayed : “You know, Lord, what is in the hearts of all. Show us, therefore, which of the two You have chosen to replace Judas in this apostolic ministry which he deserted to go to the place he deserved.”

Then they drew lots between the two and the choice fell on Matthias who was added to the eleven apostles.

Monday, 13 May 2013 : 7th Week of Easter, Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima (Scripture Reflection)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today, we celebrate a great feast and memorial of our Lady, that is our Lady of Fatima, who made an appearance to the three young children at Fatima in Portugal almost a century ago, and through them, she revealed to them prophecy and secret, which contains the will of God, and the desire of the Lord, conveyed through Mary, His mother, that the world be converted to Christ and be brought into God’s love and salvation.

Throughout the subsequent decades, especially after the devotion to our Lady of Fatima had been officially recognised by the Vatican, by the Pope himself, it quickly became a place of great devotion to Mary, the mother of God, the mother of Jesus Christ. Mary, is a role model to all of us, because her entire life had been dedicated to God, and had been given up for the sake of the Lord, that through her indeed, salvation of this world might spring forth, through Jesus, her Son, the Messiah.

It is her obedience and submission to the will of God that made salvation possible, and made her exalted above all women and all the peoples of God, for through her, all mankind who believe in her Son, are made perfect and whole again through the ministry and sacrifice of her Son, Jesus Christ, on the cross.

Many people had great misconceptions about this strong devotion to Mary, the mother of Jesus our Lord, especially among those who hates these devotions because of their misinformation, lack of faith, and lack of understanding because they do not have in them the truth and the full extent of truth that the Lord passed down to us, through the Church and only in the Church.

They hated these devotions because to them apparently that these devotions border on worship and therefore they equate it with us, who believes, with the worship of Mary as some sort of mother-goddess. But they got it entirely wrong, and yet even so, the world perpetuates the falsehood and the hatred because it belongs to the evil one, and it will stop at nothing to prevent the truth from reaching the ears and hearts of many in this world.

Our devotion to Mary, the mother of God, which is represented and celebrated today in the form of Our Lady of Fatima, because Mary had made her appearance to the children at Fatima, is because through Mary, we can be more guaranteed of salvation in Christ. Mary, as the mother of the Lord, and having been righteous and obedient to God throughout her entire life, is the perfect role model for all of us, that indeed she is the greatest and queen of all saints in heaven.

By following the examples of Mary, in her words, in her actions, and in her various messages that she had delivered through her various approved appearances, had been crucial in guiding many either to the Lord or return from their wayward paths. Through our devotion to her, in which we show our love and dedication to the mother of God, and not our worship, we bring ourselves closer to God at the same time. For the mother of God is surely always close to her Son, the Lord God Most High, and therefore, she can indeed help us to be ever closer to our God.

As much as we are dedicated to Mary, the mother of God, we are devoted even more to her Son, that is our Lord Jesus. Why is this so? Because through Mary, we can understand our Lord better, we can glimpse better the purpose of the coming of our God into this world, to be man like us, and to die on the cross that we can be saved from the certainty of death due to sin.

That is how we should indeed pray, that is through Mary, to Jesus. Because Mary is our greatest intercessor, our great link between ourselves and God in Christ. Remember that in Cana, during that wedding when Christ performed His very first miracle? It was because of the intercession of Mary that the wedding could proceed well, because Mary was insistent in helping the couple that their wedding would not go awry. Our Lord being a good son listens to His mother’s wishes.

We have to be careful here to note that our Lord listens to His mother but this does not make Him subordinate to her. She is not a goddess or anything of that kind, but rather, she is the perfect example of the role of saints and why we ask for their intercession, because they intercede for us before Christ, and put forth our case and our petitions before Him. And no greater saint exists other than Mary, the Lord’s own mother.

That is why today we celebrate this feast of Our Lady of Fatima, because Mary, our Lady, had made her appearance in Fatima, and showing the miracles of God that many would end up believing in God, and through her message at Fatima, she wanted to bring the world ever closer to her Son, indeed showing that even though it had been long since Mary had been assumed to heaven in the Assumption, she still cares for us and intercedes for us at all times, and is willing to come forth and give her aid to mankind, especially to bring more souls to salvation and away from damnation of hell.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, from today on, let us strive to follow the examples of the saints, particularly that of Mary, our Lady of Fatima. Let us follow her example and her faith in God, that we too can be obedient like her to the will of God and lead a righteous life like she had once led in this world and received her rewards in heaven.

Whenever someone said that we in the Church worship Mary and the saints, do not be quiet and give in to passivity, but rather, bravely defend our Lady and our God, her Son. For such accusation actually amounts to an insult for our Lady, and an insult to Mary, the mother of our Lord means also an insult to our Lord Jesus, her Son. Courageously defend our faith, not by being confrontational or hostile, but rather with patience, explaining the real truth of our true faith to those who have been blinded by the falsehood spread by the evil one.

Let us be more like Mary, and make ourselves closer to Jesus, her Son, just as our Lady of Fatima had wanted us, so that we can truly be God’s children, through our words, our actions, and our bearings, that we reflect Christ in all our dealings, and the world that sees us, will believe and will be converted to the cause of Christ. God bless us all. Mary, our Lady of Fatima, pray for us. Amen.

Monday, 13 May 2013 : 7th Week of Easter, Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima (Gospel Reading)

John 16 : 29-33

The disciples said to Him, “Now You are speaking plainly and not in veiled language! Now we see that You know all things, even before we question You. Because of this we believe that You came from God.”

Jesus answered them, “You say that you believe? The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each one to his home, and you will leave Me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with Me.”

“I have told you all this, so that in Me you may have peace. You will have trouble in the world; but courage! I have overcome the world.”

 

Reading from the Mass of Our Lady of Fatima

 

Luke 11 : 27-28

As Jesus was speaking, a woman spoke from the crowd and said to Him, “Blessed is the one who gave You birth and nursed You!”

Jesus replied, “Truly blessed are those who hear the word of God, and keep it as well.”

Monday, 13 May 2013 : 7th Week of Easter, Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima (Psalm)

Psalm 67 : 2-3, 4-5ac, 6-7ab

Arise, o God, scatter Your enemies; let Your foes flee before You. As smoke is blown by the wind, so blow them away; as wax melts before the fire, so let the wicked perish before You.

But let the righteous be glad and exult before God; let them sing to God and shout for joy. Sing to God, sing praises to His Name; the Lord is His name. Rejoice in His presence.

Father of orphans and protector of widows – such is our God in His holy dwelling. He gives shelter to the homeless, sets the prisoners free.

 

Reading from the Mass of Our Lady of Fatima

 

Psalm 44 : 11-12, 14-15, 16-17

Listen, o daughter, pay attention; forget your father’s house and your nation, and your beauty will charm the King, for He is your Lord.

All glorious as she enters is the princess in her gold-woven robes. She is led in royal attire to the king, following behind is her train of virgins.

Amid cheers and general rejoicing, they enter the palace of the king. Forget your fathers and think of your sons, you will make them princes throughout the land.

Monday, 13 May 2013 : 7th Week of Easter, Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima (First Reading)

Acts 19 : 1-8

While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul travelled through the interior of the country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples whom he asked, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?” They answered, “We have not even heard that anyone may receive the Holy Spirit.”

Paul then asked, “What kind of baptism have you received?” And they answered, “The baptism of John.”

Paul then explained, “John’s baptism was for conversion, but he himself said they should believe in the One who was to come, and that One is Jesus.” Upon hearing this, they were baptised in the Name of the Lord Jesus. Then Paul laid his hands on them and the Holy Spirit came down upon them; and they began to speak in tongues and to prophesy. There were about twelve of them in all.

Paul went into the synagogue and for three months he preached and discussed there boldly, trying to convince them about the Kingdom of God.

 

Reading from the Mass of Our Lady of Fatima

 

Isaiah 61 : 9-11

Their descendants shall be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a race YHVH has blessed.

I rejoice greatly in YHVH, my soul exults for joy in my God, for He has clothed me in the garments of His salvation, He has covered me with the robe of His righteousness, like a bridegroom wearing a garland, like a bride adorned with jewels.

For as the earth brings forth its growth, and as a garden makes seeds spring up, so will the Lord YHVH make justice and praise spring up in the sight of all nations.

Sunday, 12 May 2013 : 7th Sunday of Easter (Scripture Reflection)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we hear of the glory of God, who is to come, the glory of God who had been risen in glory from the dead and therefore triumphed over death and evil, and broke their hold over all of us for eternity. This God who had been taken up in glory to heaven, in the glorious Ascension, and seated at the right hand of God the Father. This was seen by the first martyr, Stephen the deacon, who saw and proclaim the glory of Christ, that despite knowing that such proclamation would certainly bring about his death at the hands of the chief priests.

God’s promise will become a reality, that He will soon once again come down onto this world, this time not as the humble king born in a manger, which we celebrate now as Christmas, but this time He will descend as a great and almighty king in glory, as the ruler of all creation and the Master of all the Universe. He will come as the great judge who will judge all for their own worth, whether they are worthy or unworthy of heaven that is the reward for those who are faithful, and for those who keep God in their hearts.

Those who knows Christ will know the Father, because Christ was sent by the Father into this world in His first coming to be our Messiah, our Saviour from death and the slavery of sin. If we hold fast onto this faith, Christ too will know us, and make all of us His own, and when the time comes for all of us to be judged, we will be welcomed into His Kingdom, and we will receive our rewards of eternal life.

Christ desires also, first and foremost, that all of those who believe in Him be one and united, as one Body, and therefore one Spirit, in the Church that He established through the Apostles. This is because Christ knows human weaknesses and the extent of human susceptibility to the devil’s influences. The evil one will stop at nothing to prevent his ultimate fate that is total defeat and damnation, but his fate has already been decided. Nevertheless, through his numerous agents and tools in this world, he can indeed make life difficult for those of us who believe and keep the faith.

Christ knows that the Church He had established will be fractured by the agents of Satan, through human pride and arrogance, and self-serving attitudes, that resulted in the breaking of the Body of the faithful. That is why He prayed, and prayed hard to His Father in heaven, that all the faithful ones in Him, His sheep, will remain as one, as indivisible from each other, just as He and the Father, and also the Holy Spirit are together and united in an immeasurably strong bond and unity.

His wish, that they all may be one, that all of us may be one, as one Church, one people, with one Creed, and one belief, had been dashed by the evils of human ambitions and weaknesses throughout the past centuries. Many had succumbed to the temptations of the world and false teachings, through numerous false prophets, aimed by Satan to confuse the Church and the faithful, and broke the unity within the Body of Christ, that is the Church.

False prophets like Arius, Jan Hus, Martin Luther, and many others who even claimed themselves Messiah or the second coming of Christ, had spread seeds of disunity among the faithful, and also spread false teachings that ended up confusing the faithful and snared many into damnation because of them believing in teachings in contrary to the teachings of Christ, as delivered to us through the Apostles and the early Church Fathers.

Many today in our world had claimed that faith must be a personal one, that is to be a personal ‘encounter’ with Christ. But they had forgotten that faith in Christ is impossible to be described in personal terms, or separated from the whole community of the faithful, that is the Church. Humans are inherently weak because of our imperfections, and because of our own sinful nature, since our first rebellion through our ancestors who disobeyed the Lord’s command not to eat the fruits of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Since then, many think too high of themselves, thinking that they are capable of great wisdom and possessing great knowledge, and therefore are capable of interpreting the Scripture on their own, and as they like it. This is why, although reading the Scripture is important for the development of the faith, we have to anchor ourselves in the authority and the teaching magisterium of the Church, as only in good guidance of the Church, that we can fully make use and understand the Scripture.

For the Scripture was written by the apostles and disciples of Christ, who were inspired by the Holy Spirit, and also the numerous prophets of the past times, who also received the message of the Lord, many of which are veiled messages that are part of the mystery of our faith. Even someone who is very knowledgeable and experienced in the Scripture, will certainly not be able to claim to fully understand the full and true meaning of God’s words contained in the Scripture.

Many today and in the past interpreted the words of God in the Scripture as they wished, and they ended up establishing new ‘faiths’ that they call churches, which in fact exist in thousands, millions, and maybe more today. There are as many ‘churches’ as there are heads, obviously because no one can agree perfectly with one another and mankind will certainly be influenced by pride and arrogance to shut out other’s own interpretations and keep one’s own interpretations to oneself. Such is the danger of self-faith and faith that does not conform to the will of God in the Church.

Indeed, many of them sinned grievously because they had caused division in the body of the faithful, the Church, the Body of Christ, and also spreading false teachings, and many of these, especially are intertwined with relativism, that is to include secular developments into the faith, which are in fact incompatible, and therefore, the faith, the true faith that we know of, no longer exists in those who had gone astray.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, strengthen your faith and resolve! Do not give up to the temptations of Satan and this world. Read the Scripture and learn the faith through the teachings of the Church, and deafen yourselves to the false allures of the false prophets and agents of the evil one. Be steadfast and be faithful, and the Lord will reward all of you.

Help one another in the faith, and pass the teachings of the Lord in the Church to those, especially those who had gone astray in their path, and those who has had wrong impression and ideas about the true faith in God. Who says that Christians can only evangelise to non-Christians and non-believers? Look into ourselves, and you can see so much division within the Body of Christ that is the Church, that we need to do some internal housecleaning first.

Just as Christ said, that if we are united then the world will believe in the Lord, if we are divided against ourselves, by attacking one another’s faith, how is the Church going to stand and bring then the fight to the devil? Let us strive to fulfill Christ’s wish and indeed, God’s will, that the entire community of the believers in Christ, would be reunited, into one body, one faith, and one belief in Christ our Lord, within His One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, our Roman Catholic Church, the one and only true Church that Christ had established in this world, on Peter His Apostle, on whom He entrusted the keys of the Kingdom of heaven.

May God strengthen the unity between Christians and allow all those who believe in Him to be reunited once again within one Church, and one faith, under the authority and jurisdiction of the Pope, the Bishop of Rome, the successor of St. Peter the Apostle, keeper of the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and Vicar of Christ in this world. God bless all of us, Amen.