Singapore (Agenzia Fides) - The Catholic nurses in Singapore, in this time of pandemic, are a valid and precious contribution, and it is an extraordinary channel for communicating God's love. This is what the Archdiocese of Singapore affirms, appreciating the work of the "Catholic Nurses Guild of Singapore" (CNG), an organization that brings together women who work in the health sector and which is today a member of the Singapore Caritas. According to the Archbishop of Singapore, William Goh, nurses "play a vital role in healing the sick, initiating an integral process that includes healing of the heart, mind and body. Their responsibility is to sometimes heal, often relieve and always comfort".
"Being a nurse is more than a profession and especially for a Catholic, it is a matter of pure dedication. During this Covid-19 pandemic, nurses have provided us with an example of heroism through their willingness to risk their lives for others. Let us pay tribute to their courage and their sacrifice guided by their love for Christ", said Father Johnson Fernandez, spiritual director of CNG, in a note sent to Fides. According to Fr. Fernandez, the women of the CNG, which welcomes about 250 members, have been bringing "compassion, care and comfort to people every day for 50 years, especially during an ongoing pandemic". "The Catholic nurses in the country constitute the face of the Church in Singapore and exercise the mission of Jesus", he notes, praising the organization which celebrated the golden jubilee of its existence in 2020.
"Today, we are proud to be an association of 250 committed and caring nurses, living our vocation and our mission according to Christian moral principles and Catholic social teaching. Not only do we strive to maintain the utmost technical and medical competence, but we are dedicated to fostering and promoting the integral human development of our members, not only professionally but also socially and spiritually, for the common good of our patients and society", says to Fides Theresa Cheong, former President of CNG.
Operating under the aegis of Caritas, before the Covid-19 pandemic, CNG actively participated and supported the local Church in many activities to help the sick, the handicapped, the elderly and children with special needs. By collaborating with the Diocesan pastoral Commission for migrant and itinerant workers, it also offers training courses on basic medical assistance to foreign domestic workers. In addition, the CNG cares for AIDS patients through Catholic Aids Relief Effort (CARE), interacting with them and providing them with health education twice a month. The organization is responsible for providing medical coverage and first aid for ecclesial events and organizes free medical clinics and pastoral care laboratories for the laity. For missions abroad, it collaborates with the Caritas Humanitarian Aid and Relief Initiatives (CHARIS) program.
CNG was launched in 1970, originally in Kedah, Malaysia, by Father Albert Fortier, a French priest. Subsequently, it opened branches all over Malaysia, including Singapore. After the independence of Singapore in 1965, CNG Malaysia and CNG Singapore became two distinct realities in 1969, each of which dealt with Catholic nurses in their own countries.
CNG is a member of the International Catholic Committee of Nurses and Medical-Social Assistants, which collaborates with the Pontifical Council for Healthcare Workers, the Pontifical Council for the Family and the Pontifical Council for the Laity of the Holy See. (SD-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 11/1/2021)