(College of Cardinals Update) Passing of Cardinal Karl Lehmann, Cardinal Priest of San Leone I, at the age of 81

Cardinal Karl Lehmann, Cardinal Priest of San Leone I and Bishop Emeritus of Mainz has returned to the Lord on Sunday, 11 March 2018 at the age 0f 81.

Cardinal Lehmann was the Bishop of Mainz from 1983 to 2016, and was also the Vice President of the German Episcopal Conference from 1985 to 1987 and the longtime President of the same Episcopal Conference from 1987 to 2008. He was also the Vice President of the Council of European Bishops’ Conference from 1993 to 2001. He was made a Prince of the Church as the Cardinal Priest of San Leone I in the Consistory of 21 February 2001 by Pope St. John Paul II, the Vicar of Christ.

We pray for the soul of Cardinal Karl Lehmann, that God will welcome him into the eternal glory of heaven. And we also thank God for having given us this great servant of God and His Church through his many works and dedications for the sake of the people of God. May God give him eternal rest. Amen.

As of today, with the passing of Cardinal Karl Lehmann, the College of Cardinals stood at 215 members, consisting of 117 Cardinal-electors and 98 Cardinal non-electors.

(College of Cardinals Update) Cardinal Paolo Romeo (Italy), Metropolitan Archbishop Emeritus of Palermo turned 80 and becomes ineligible to participate in a future Papal Conclave

Cardinal Paolo Romeo, Cardinal Priest of Santa Maria Odigitria dei Siciliani, Metropolitan Archbishop Emeritus of Palermo has turned 80 on Tuesday, 20 February 2018. Therefore, in accordance to the Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis, he can no longer vote in a future Papal Conclave.

Cardinal Paolo Romeo has served the Church for many years in the diplomatic service, as the Apostolic Nuncio to Haiti from 1983 to 1990, and then as Apostolic Nuncio to Colombia (199o to 1999), Canada (1999 to 2001) and Italy and San Marino (2001 to 2006).

Cardinal Paolo Romeo was appointed as the Metropolitan Archbishop of Palermo (Italy), a position he held from 2006 to 2015. He was made a Prince of the Church, as the Cardinal Priest of Santa Maria Odigitria dei Siciliani at the Consistory of 20 November 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI, the Vicar of Christ.

We pray for Cardinal Paolo Romeo, that even in his retirement years, he may continue to inspire the faithful and the Church, and keep strongly the teachings of the Church. May he have a good health and be blessed all the days of his life. Ad multos annos!

Currently, there are 118 Cardinal-electors in the College of Cardinals, which means that there are 2 vacancies for Cardinal-electors available at the moment. The next Cardinal to age out will be Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, President of Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts (Italy) on 6 March 2018.

Saturday, 28 October 2017 : Feast of St. Simon and St. Jude, Apostles (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Ephesians 2 : 19-22

Now, you are no longer strangers or guests, but fellow citizens of the holy people : you are of the household of God. You are the house, whose foundations are the Apostles and prophets, and whose cornerstone is Christ Jesus. In Him, the whole structure is joined together, and rises, to be a holy Temple, in the Lord.

In Him, you, too, are being built, to become the spiritual Sanctuary of God.

(Special Post) Dedication of the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, Mother Church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore, also the 120th Anniversary of its Consecration (14 February 1897) – History of the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd

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On 14 February 2017, the Church in Singapore is going to celebrate a great occasion of the Dedication of the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, which is the principal and mother of all the parishes and churches in Singapore. As the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Singapore, it is the place where the Cathedra or the seat of the Archbishop of Singapore is located at.

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The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd was established as one of the first church buildings in Singapore, in the earliest days of its history as a British colony after it was discovered by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles in the year 1819. The Cathedral had its origins in a simple and small chapel built from wooden and attap structure constructed between the year 1832 and 1833.
However, the rapid growth of the Church in Singapore, growing number of the faithful and pressing need for a more appropriate place for divine worship resulted in the efforts to establish a permanent place of worship for the faithful in Singapore. Upon generous donations from various individuals including that of the Queen of France and the Archbishop of Manila, the permanent church building that would become the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd became a reality.

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The foundation stone was placed in the site of the future Cathedral in the year 1843 and the completed church was opened and blessed on 18 June 1847, on the Feast of Corpus Christi by Father Jean-Marie Beurel, one of the pioneer priests and evangelisers in Singapore.

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(Picture: Fr. Jean-Marie Beurel)

The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd was named as such upon the inspiration from the holy martyr St. Laurent Imbert, one of the first Catholic priests to visit Singapore, who went on to be the first Vicar Apostolic to Korea, and was martyred for his faith there during the violent persecution against the Church and the faithful. It was told that he gave himself up to the authorities in order to safeguard the other faithful under his care, saying that “in times of great need, the Good Shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.” in the imitation of the Lord, our Good Shepherd.

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(Picture: St. Laurent Imbert)
As the Diocese of Malacca (established in 1558 in Malacca, now in Malaysia) was reestablished in the year 1888 after it has been temporarily suppressed in 1839 (and later revived as the Vicariate Apostolic of Western Siam in 1841), the church that was to become the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd was elevated to the status of a cathedral, and Bishop Edouard Gasnier became its first bishop. He was interred in the Cathedral’s crossing (between nave and transepts) upon his death in 1896.
The Cathedral was dedicated by Bishop Gasnier’s successor, Bishop Rene-Michel-Marie Fee, who dedicated and consecrated the Cathedral to our Lord Jesus the Good Shepherd, on 14 February of the year 1897, 120 years ago to the current date. Ever since, the Cathedral had become the hub for the growth of the Church and the Christian faith both in Singapore and throughout the region for the next 120 years.
Ever since, the Cathedral had weathered through good and difficult times, including the turbulent years of the Japanese Occupation of Singapore, when it was functioning as an emergency hospital, but it weathered through them. Nevertheless, time and the rapid construction around it and underneath the ground due to the building of the Mass Rapid Transit train line caused the foundation of the Cathedral to be affected, and serious cracks started to appear on the structure.
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Therefore, serious efforts for a major renovation was carried out, and after many years of preparation, the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd finally was closed on 28 October 2013, for a thorough and extensive renovation and modification. Throughout this major project, various discoveries were made on the historic nature of this Cathedral, including the discovery of the original foundation stone placed in site in the year 1843. The original layout and architecture of the Cathedral were also restored.

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Finally the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd was reopened on 20 November 2016, on the Solemnity of Jesus Christ the King, by His Excellency Archbishop William Goh of Singapore during the Opening Mass, where he solemnly reopened the Cathedral for the purpose of divine worship.

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And now, on the 14th day of February of the Year of our Lord 2017, the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd is going to be dedicated to the Lord before all the faithful people of God.

Pray for the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, pray for the Church of God in Singapore!

Thursday, 27 October 2016 : 30th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we are reminded today that the journey of our life is not an easy one if we decide to follow the Lord and devote ourselves to His ways. There are certainly going to be challenges and difficulties on the way forward, as there are those who are opposed to the ways of the Lord and His faithful ones, prowling about seeking our downfall and destruction.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, there is always and there will always be that constant struggle between us and those who follow the ways of the world, those who walk with the devil and his allies, all those who gave in to the temptations of their greed and desires, and fell to the pressure of their human pride, arrogance and hubris, resulting in them opening themselves up to all sorts of things that brought upon them corruption and sin.

That was why it was so easy for the people of Israel to fall into sin, as soon as they left the land of Egypt, as they fell into the temptations of Satan, trying to pull them away from the Lord’s salvation. They were tempted in the body and were found wanting, as they grumbled and complained against God Who have brought them to freedom by alleging that He had brought them out of the rich food and feast they had enjoyed in Egypt even though they were enslaved there.

They were not satisfied despite all that God had given them, despite Him having led them to the land promised to them and to their ancestors. They rebelled against Him, followed the ways of the pagans around them, casting their God aside for mere pagan idols and Baal, the false gods of their neighbours. And in doing so they have brought themselves to their downfall.

They allowed Satan to dwell in their hearts and corrupt them with his lies and false promises, and thus, they have opened the floodgates that brought them nearer and nearer to eternal damnation and hell. And yet, because of the tempting nature of earthly and worldly pleasures, all the human greed and predisposition to be tempted by these, they tend to refuse to let these go, even at the price of the salvation of their souls. And many more still were not aware of this fact.

Therefore, today, while it is indeed increasingly becoming more and more difficult for us to remain as faithful and devoted Christians, it is imperative for us all to spend time thinking about this matter and reflect on what we can do as the people of God in trying our best to follow Him, to be true to His ways, resisting the temptations of this world and the lures of the devil, and at the same time, showing our care and concern for our brethren who are in need of our help.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, let us all think of what we can do to help each other, both in persevering through the difficulties and challenges together, so that none of us may give up and let go of the promise of the salvation of God in exchange for the temporary goodness, respite and pleasure in this world, and also even to bring all those who hate us, all who have persecuted us, to see the light of God, be converted and be forgiven of their sins and faults.

This is the aim that all of us Christians should have, that we become real and genuine brethren to each other, showing care, love, concern and compassion to one another, and desiring to save all those who are now still living in the darkness and in ignorance of the ways of the Lord, so that all of us may together walk towards the salvation in the Lord, and together receive the sure promise of eternal life and glory with Him. May God bless our endeavours and help us. Amen.

Thursday, 27 October 2016 : 30th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green
Luke 13 : 31-35

At that time, some Pharisees came to Jesus and gave Him this warning, “Leave this place and go on Your way, for Herod wants to kill You.”

Jesus said to them, “Go and give that fox My answer : ‘I drive out demons, and I heal today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish My course!’ Nevertheless, I must go on My way today, and tomorrow, and for a little longer; for it would not be fitting for a Prophet to be killed outside Jerusalem.”

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you slay the prophets and stone those who are sent to you! How often have I tried to bring together your children, as a bird gathers her young under her wings, but you refused! From now on, you will be left with your Temple, and you will no longer see Me, until the time when you will say, ‘Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord.'”

Thursday, 27 October 2016 : 30th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green
Psalm 143 : 1, 2, 9-10

Blessed be the Lord, my Rock, Who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle.

My loving God, my Fortress; my Protector and Deliverer, my Shield where I take refuge, Who conquers nations and subjects them to my rule.

I will sing a new song to You, o God, I will make music on the ten-stringed harp, for You Who give victory to kings and deliver David, Your servant.