ASIA/SINGAPORE - New missionary impetus for the faithful of the city-state

Saturday, 25 June 2022

Singapore (Agenzia Fides) - "I believe that the Holy Spirit, through Pope Francis and through the Synod, is giving us the grace of a new opportunity to renew the Church, empower its members and make them truly living evangelizers, faithful with a missionary mentality": this is what the Archbishop of Singapore, William Goh, told Fides after the 2022 Archdiocesan Assembly, where delegates representing different parishes, organizations, religious orders, met to reflect on the synodal which began last year.
Reflecting on the fruits of the assembly, Msgr. Goh explains: "As part of the discernment process, many shared their joys, sorrows, aspirations, frustrations, failures and successes, both in ecclesial groups and individually", says the Prelate. "Many delegates told me that they learned a great deal from listening to group members, as they have understood the broader needs and challenges of the Church, beyond the boundaries and interests of their parish, ministry or organization to which they belong". "People's love for the Church - he remarks - was demonstrated by taking two full days of the weekend for this Archdiocesan Assembly. And what consoles me even more and made me cry is the fact that, despite all the imperfections and scandals of the Church, people continue to believe and hope in a better Church, because it is Christ who guides it", he affirms.
"The clergy, religious and laity are inadequate, weak and sinful. But everyone's desire to collaborate and be co-responsible for the Church as members of the Body of Christ is intense and is present in the leaders as well as in all the baptized", he adds.
Over the past few days, more than 600 priests, religious and laity, representing 32 parishes and more than 200 archdiocesan organisations, institutes and archdiocesan offices gathered to talk and discuss the path of the local Church in Singapore. The participants shared the responsibility with the Archbishop, renewing the baptismal promises and the call to be priests, kings and prophets, as "baptized and envoys". Among the ecclesial groups present, the Dominican laity of Singapore sent five delegates to pray and reflect on how the Church can respond to the challenges of the current time. "The Holy Spirit has given me the grace to empathize with the Church and with its cry. Just as Saint Dominic preached with a heart full of love for the people of God, I have realized that the proclamation of faith is a proclamation of love for God and his people, more than a simple message against heresy or error", says James Chen, of the Dominican Laity of Singapore. "After two years of pandemic isolation, it has been wonderful to be able to be in contact with so many brothers. The Holy Spirit has really been present in our intense discussions as we listened deeply to each other. These meetings have helped us to better understand the spiritual needs of our society and to discern how we, as an Order of Preachers, can be authentic missionaries of the Word of God", points out Mrs. Estella Young, also from the Dominican laity. "The experience of the synodal confrontation shows how the fruits of our contemplation must really be shared with others, in the evangelization of society," says Sister Marcia Vanderstraaten. The archdiocese of Singapore, which covers the entire island, has about 360,000 Catholics. Singapore is a multi-religious and multi-ethnic nation with an estimated population of 5.6 million. The majority of the Chinese population is Buddhist and the majority of the Malay population is Muslim. Christians make up about 15% of the population. (SD/PA) (Agenzia Fides, 25/6/2022)