Friday, 18 October 2013 : 28th Week of Ordinary Time, Feast of St. Luke the Evangelist (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Luke 10 : 1-9

After this, the Lord appointed seventy-two other disciples, and sent them two by two ahead of Him to every town and place, where He Himself was to go. And He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. So you must ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers to His harvest.”

“Courage! I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Set off without purse or bag or sandals; and do not stop at the homes of those you know. Whatever house you enter, first bless them, saying, ‘Peace to this house!’ If a friend of peace lives there, the peace shall rest upon that person. But if not, the blessing will return to you.”

“Stay in that house, eating and drinking at their table, for the worker deserves to be paid. Do not move from house to house. When they welcome you to any town, eat what they offer you. Heal the sick, who are there, and say to them, ‘The Kingdom of God has drawn near to you.

New Secretary of State of the Holy See, Archbishop Pietro Parolin

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Archbishop Pietro Parolin, the longtime veteran of the Secretariat of State of the Holy See, and a skilled and veteran diplomat in his current role as the Apostolic Nuncio to Venezuela, as the trusted aide to Pope Benedict XVI (now Pope Emeritus), had been appointed on Saturday, 31 August 2013 as the new Secretary of State, the top position of the Roman Curia, the governing body of the Church.

In addition, as positions tied to the post of Secretary of State, Archbishop Parolin also automatically become the new President of Interdicasterial Commission on Particular Churches (which task is managing the Eastern Catholic Churches), President of Interdicasterial Commission for the Church in Eastern Europe, and the Protector of Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy.

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Archbishop Pietro Parolin will replace the outgoing Cardinal Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., who is also the Chamberlain (Camerlengo) of the Church, effective on 15 October 2013 as per the decree of Pope Francis released today.

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Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone is then the Secretary of State Emeritus effective on the state mentioned in the paragraph above (15 October), when Archbishop Pietro Parolin officially takes over as the new Secretary of State. The position of the Secretary of State is the top in the Roman Curia, below only the Pope in the hierarchy of the Church. Cardinal Bertone will however remain as the Camerlengo of the Church.

We thank Cardinal Bertone for all his hard work and contributions to the Church, many of which were unknown to many, and all the labours he had done in great humility and dedication in his position as the servant of the Holy Church.

As the Secretary of State position is the top official post of the entire Church and the Roman Curia save for the Pope himself, it is expected that the 58 years old Archbishop Pietro Parolin will be made a Cardinal in the next Consistory of Cardinals (possibly early 2014 or late 2014).

Sunday, 7 July 2013 : 14th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Luke 10 : 1-12, 17-20

After this, the Lord appointed seventy-two other disciples, and sent them two by two ahead of Him to every town and place where He Himself was to go. And He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. So you must ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers to His harvest. Courage! I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Set off without purse or bag or sandals; and do not stop at the homes of those you know.”

“Whatever house you enter, first bless them, saying, ‘Peace to this house!’ If a friend of peace lives there, the peace shall rest upon that person. But if not, the blessing will return to you. Stay in that house, eating and drinking at their table, for the worker deserves to be paid. Do not move from house to house.”

“When they welcome you to any town, eat what they offer you. Heal the sick who are there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has drawn near to you.'”

“But in any town where you are not welcome, go to the marketplace and proclaim : ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off and leave with you. But know for a certainty that the kingdom of God has drawn near to you.’ I tell you, that on the Day of Judgment it will be better for Sodom that for this town.”

The seventy-two disciples returned full of joy. They said, “Lord, even the demons obeyed us when we called on Your Name.” Then Jesus replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. You see, I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the Enemy, so that nothing will harm you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the evil spirits submit to you; rejoice rather that your names are written in heaven.”

 

Alternative Reading (shorter version)

 

Luke 10 : 1-9

After this, the Lord appointed seventy-two other disciples, and sent them two by two ahead of Him to every town and place where He Himself was to go. And He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. So you must ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers to His harvest. Courage! I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Set off without purse or bag or sandals; and do not stop at the homes of those you know.”

“Whatever house you enter, first bless them, saying, ‘Peace to this house!’ If a friend of peace lives there, the peace shall rest upon that person. But if not, the blessing will return to you. Stay in that house, eating and drinking at their table, for the worker deserves to be paid. Do not move from house to house.”

“When they welcome you to any town, eat what they offer you. Heal the sick who are there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has drawn near to you.'”

Saturday, 25 May 2013 : 7th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Bede the Venerable, Priest and Doctor; Pope St. Gregory VII, Pope; and St. Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi, Virgin (Scripture Reflection)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today, we learn about God, that God is our Father, our creator. God shaped us from dust, in His own image, that we look like Him, and receiving His Holy Spirit through His breath, we gain life that is anchored in the Spirit that is in all of us.

He is our Father, and like our earthly father, He loves us, protects us, and grant us His grace, through His guidance and numerous blessings to us. He taught us many things through subtle means, and He opened our eyes to the knowledge of the world. He brought us up since the day of our conception and cares for us till the day of our death.

God who is our Father loves us, brothers and sisters in Christ, that He even sent His only Son, one of the Holy Trinity, Jesus Christ, to be one of us, to be a lowly man like us, and in doing so, He brought us even closer to Himself, because we now, through Christ, truly become children of God, because Christ Himself, the Son of God, is our brother, just as He is our Lord and Saviour.

But we have rebelled against His love and His faithfulness to us, and we have rejected Him since the first days of creation, beginning with the disobedience of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, when they ate the fruits of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, trusting Satan in the snake more than they trust the Lord their God and their creator.

Yes, one weakness that mankind particularly has today is greed, my brethren, especially greed for knowledge, curiosity, and an excess of it, which resulted exactly in the rebellion of the first mankind, because of their curiosity of the knowledge of good and evil as tempted by Satan. The Lord has given each one of us wisdom and intellect, but we have never felt enough, and are always curious and wanting to know more.

This is how our modern world rapidly becoming less and less faithful to God, and many turn their hearts away from total obedience and love for God. Many question their faith, because they are curious about the truth behind it, and they trust more alternatives to God such as scientific discoveries, because in those discoveries, they gain more and more knowledge, and this displaces God in their hearts, because to them, science seems to offer them something tangible, as science itself represents something that must be verifiable and visible.

Yes, our God and Lord may not be visible to us, and His presence may not be easily felt, if you apply the standards of science, and the standards of our human stature to it, but God does exist in our hearts, brothers and sisters in Christ, and He is present in all of us, through the Spirit of life that He has given us. What mankind is lacking truly is the ability to transcend that greed for more knowledge and more understanding, but in the process, those greed transform them into a corrupted being.

That is why Christ asks us to be like the children, to have faith like the children, because children are pure and innocent, and in the children lie the fullness of the love of God, and they are beings that can truly love God with all their heart, their mind, and their soul, without being disrupted and clouded by the evils of this world, simply because, in the innocence of their heart, they know only the love of God.

That is why, brothers and sisters in Christ, we too should follow the children’s example, in their pure and unadulterated love for God. If you see a child pray, you can see that their prayer is pure, and not like many of us who utter litany of wishes in our prayer, because we have been tainted by greed and desire, desiring that God grant us our wishes, although prayer is in fact the bridge of faith, our pure connection, a two-way connection between us and God, instead of being a help line or a wishing line.

That is why those of you who are parents with young children, it is important to educate your children well, and ensure that they are protected from the evil influences that are ever present in our world, and in our surroundings. In a world where knowledge had become much more readily accessible and in the reach of even children through the media and the internet, there is a need for greater vigilance, brethren, that we, and especially young children, do not fall prey to Satan’s advances. Knowledge is good, and knowing more is good, but are we able to truly distinguish between truth or lies? and are we able to distinguish between what is good and what is bad?

Today, we also celebrate feast of saints, my brothers and sisters in Christ. Saints because we do not just celebrate one saint, but three saints! They are St. Bede the Venerable, a holy monk living in the seventh and early eighth century England, who contributed greatly to the development of the Church in Britannia, and we also have Pope St. Gregory VII, a great Pope, and a great reformer Pope, who championed the freedom and the authority of the Papacy against secular powers that try to usurp the Church’s authority from it, and finally St. Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi, a virtuous religious sister who often received visions from the Lord, and was known for her great piety and love for God.

St. Bede the Venerable was a great author who wrote extensively on the early histories of the British Isles, but also made important chronicles of the development of the Church in the West and in Britain, especially in the well known history of the Church and people of England, that is the Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum. His works brought great advancement in the field of learning and knowledge. This shows the greatness of wisdom and intellect that God has given us, and if we utilise it right, we can bring about great good to mankind, just as St. Bede the Venerable had done.

Pope St. Gregory VII, is a great Pope of the medieval era, who championed Papal supremacy and authority over the rulers of Christendom. He persevered over the power of the secular ruler, in the person of the Holy Roman Emperor, the Christendom’s ruler at the time, over the appointment of bishops, which rightfully should belong to the successor of the apostles, the successor of Peter, that is the Pope, alone. He triumphed against those who in their pride think that they know it all and did not pay proper respect to the Lord out of their pride and arrogance.

St. Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi gained many visions which she received regularly from the Lord, and through her writings on her visions and experiences, many believed in the Lord. This is the proof that knowledge and wisdom indeed comes from God, and from God alone. We humans receive our knowledge and wisdom from the Spirit that is also our life, but we are prone to think that this knowledge and wisdom is our own, and disregard the Lord’s role in it.

Therefore, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us from now on, follow in the footsteps of these great saints, and pursue the true knowledge, the truth that is in the Lord. Do not be tempted by the falsehood that this world offers, that is Satan’s temptation. God who loves us will grant us truth, wisdom, and knowledge that is anchored in Him, that we will not fall like Adam and Eve once did. May God be our light of guidance, and steer us on the path to return to Him one day. Amen.

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

Ambrose Vaz

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

Rev.-Fr-Erbin-Fernandez

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!

Archbishop William Goh, the new Archbishop of Singapore

http://www.catholicnews.sg/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8794%3Aholy-see-announces-new-archbishop-of-singapore-accepts-retirement-of-his-grace-most-rev-msgr-nicholas-chia&catid=265%3Aannouncements

As of today, Saturday, 18 May 2013, on the eve of the Pentecost Sunday, the Holy See and the Pope Francis has accepted the retirement of Archbishop Nicholas Chia, who will immediately become the Archbishop Emeritus of Singapore. This is in fulfillment of the Code of the Canon Law Can. 401§1, that all bishops upon reaching the age of 75 must tender their resignation to the Holy See, and the See will be empty once the resignation is accepted.

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(Above : The now Archbishop Emeritus Nicholas Chia of Singapore)

Archbishop William Goh, the Coadjutor Archbishop of Singapore, therefore, being the coadjutor archbishop, has an immediate right of succession, and thus immediately become the new Archbishop of Singapore, and the proper Ordinary of the Archdiocese, according to the Code of the Canon Law, Can. 404§1, as of today, Saturday, 18 May 2013.

Although today’s (18 May 2013) Vatican bollettino has yet to include this announcement of appointment, but as this news comes from the Apostolic Nunciature to Singapore, it is expected that by Monday, the bollettino will reflect this new change in the Church.

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(Above : The new Archbishop of Singapore, Archbishop William Goh)

The installation Mass of the new Archbishop of Singapore is expected to be soon, to be held at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, which will also be soon closed for major renovation.

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Pope Francis’ Schedule of Celebrations and Events from May to July 2013 (After Pentecost to World Youth Day)

http://attualita.vatican.va/sala-stampa/bollettino/2013/05/17/news/31002.html

Pope Francis’ schedule for the months of May to July 2013 (After Pentecost Sunday to World Youth Day 2013)

 

May 2013

 

Thursday, 23 May 2013 at 6 pm in the Basilica of St. Peter, Vatican

Profession of faith with the bishops of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI)

 

Sunday, 26 May 2013 at 9.30 am (Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity)

Visit to the Parish of St. Elizabeth and Zachary in the Diocese of Rome, followed by Holy Mass

 

Thursday, 30 May 2013 at 7 pm in the Lateran Square (in front of the Lateran Basilica)

Holy Mass of the Solemnity of the Most Precious Body and Blood of our Lord (Corpus Christi), followed by Eucharistic Adoration and Procession to the Basilica of St. Mary Major.

 

June 2013

 

Sunday, 2 June 2013 (9th Ordinary Sunday) at 6 pm in the Basilica of St. Peter, Vatican

Eucharistic Adoration

 

Sunday, 16 June 2013 (11th Ordinary Sunday)at 10.30 am in the St. Peter’s Square, Vatican

Holy Mass to commemorate the Encyclical (by Blessed Pope John Paul II) Evangelium Vitae, on the Sanctity of Life (Literal : The Gospel of Life)

 

Saturday, 29 June 2013 at 9.30 am in the Basilica of St. Peter, Vatican

Holy Mass of the great Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, with the imposition of the pallium on the newly appointed Metropolitan Archbishops by the Pope

 

July 2013

 

Sunday, 7 July 2013 (14th Ordinary Sunday) at 9.30 am in the Basilica of St. Peter, Vatican

Holy Mass with seminarians and religious novices

 

Monday, 22 July 2013 – Monday, 29 July 2013

World Youth Day 2013 celebrations in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil