ASIA/SINGAPORE – A ten-year plan for the Church: God's Word at the center and New Evangelization

Monday, 19 May 2014

Singapore ( Agenzia Fides) - Starting afresh from the Gospel and engage in the New Evangelization: is the approach that will characterize the Church in Singapore in the near future. This was outlined by Archbishop William Goh, explaining his ten-year pastoral plan, in a meeting with representatives and delegates from all the parishes of the diocese, held in past days. As reported to Fides, the meeting, entitled "Building an evangelical and missionary Church", was attended by about 750 people, including priests, religious and laity. The Archbishop noted that in Singapore "there is a living and hardworking community". But this is not enough: "Only half of Catholics go to church. Churches are full thanks to migrants", he said. Often, Catholic families, adolescents and young people stop attending parishes, there are many divorces or cases of entire families who turn to other Christian Churches. A sign for the local communities are vocations: "If you do not have vocations, it means that something is wrong".
The Archbishop pointed out two basic paths: the first is to pray, because "only the Holy Spirit can touch the lives of people"; the second is to build an "inclusive and compassionate" community that does not exclude people such as the poor, homosexuals, divorcees, women who have had abortions. "Have compassion for them", he urged. Most important, he said, is that each parish community starts from the centrality of the Word of God: it is necessary that the faithful form listening groups and share the Word. This is necessary to be missionaries. According to Mgr. Goh, other 30 parishes should be built in Singapore, in order to be truly "a Church of all".
As Fides learns, once the general guidelines for the ten-year plan were illustrated, the Archbishop presented the first three years: the "New Evangelization" will be at the center. In the first year a diocesan office for the "New Evangelization" will be set up. In the second year, this office will be established in all parishes. In the third year, a diocesan synod will be held. In an interactive survey carried out among those present thanks to new technologies (all of them responded immediately with a smartphone), it was found that they all share the desire and the approach to build over the next ten years, "an evangelical and missionary Church". (PA) (Agenzia 19/05/2014)