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2013-05-21

ASIA/SINGAPORE - "Spirituality of communion": the new Archbishop’s manifesto

Singapore (Agenzia Fides) - "Spirituality of communion" is the style and pastoral manifesto of the new Archbishop of Singapore, just appointed by Pope Francis. His Exc. Mgr. William Goh succeeds His Exc. Mgr. Nichols Chia Yeck Joo. As reported in a note sent to Fides Agency by the Church in Singapore, the Archbishop will begin his ministry during a Mass to be celebrated on May 24 at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd. "The Church in Singapore wants to thank God for the Archbishop Emeritus’ contribution, for the new Archbishop and implore on him the guidance and protection of God and the Virgin Mary."
"The Church in Singapore will be able to renew itself with prayer and spirituality of communion," says the new Archbishop in a message sent to the diocesan clergy.
The Archbishop intends to meet all the priests and religious in the coming weeks to share with them his pastoral plans for the Church in Singapore. He will spend his first year of episcopal ministry visiting parishes, religious institutions and organizations, to "better understand the needs and concerns of the faithful," he says.
Mgr. Goh recalled the words of Pope John Paul II in the Letter "Novo Milleninio Ineunte": "Our testimony would be hopelessly inadequate if we ourselves do not fix our gaze on the Lord, to contemplate his face. All pastoral initiatives must be set in relation to holiness."
In order to depict a "lively and evangelical" Church, the Archbishop intends to strengthen the fraternal bonds between priests and pastoral zeal, so that they, in turn, can help the laity "to be jointly responsible for the Church's mission ". This is particularly true - the message says - "with regards to the protection of marriage and family, in promoting harmony and interfaith dialogue, in becoming carriers of universal values of truth and justice, promotion of life and the dignity of the poor."
Mgr. Goh notes the urgency of the "new evangelization" which, he says, starts with the youth. "Many of our young people cannot find meaning in faith, because they do not see the relevance of their faith in this secular, rationalist and relativist world. We must help them meet Jesus Christ: without this personal encounter, there can be no real mission or passion. " In Singapore, there are about 300 thousand baptized Catholics, including immigrants, out of 5 million people. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 21/05/2013)

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