The season of spring ushers in a new year filled with joyful hope and new beginnings. As we welcome the Chinese Lunar New Year, we as Church give praise first and foremost to God from whom all blessings flow, especially when we celebrate the 50th year of our Nation as well.
The small territory of Gaza has been devastated by weeks of war between Israel and Hamas. Even UN shelters for civilians have been shelled and are in ruins. In Iraq, extremists calling themselves the Islamic State have taken over Mosul and parts of Northern Iraq and are committing atrocities against Christians, Yazidis and other religious and ethnic minorities.
This year marks 49 years of Singapore’s independence. A young nation, we cannot help but feel proud as we recall what Singapore has achieved in a relatively short period of time. Even other nations look on Singapore’s achievements with much admiration.
n May 2007, Pope Benedict XVI released a Letter to Chinese Catholics, in which he asked that May 24 each year be celebrated as a World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. He chose May 24 because it is the Feast of Our Lady Help of Christians, who is venerated at the Shrine of Sheshan (佘山) in Shanghai.
Chinese New Year is one of the most celebrated occasions in the Lunar Calendar. It is customary for families to gather together during this time of the year to renew familial ties and to reminisce the good old times and to recall the shared experiences that bind us together.
TODAY, we celebrate 48 years of nation-building. We cannot but feel a sense of achievement and pride at how far we have come in such a short span of time. We have every right to feel patriotic.
On behalf of the Church and especially all patients and their loved ones, I want to thank you for the wonderful service you have rendered. Nursing is not just a profession but it is primarily a vocation – a vocation of love. You need a heart to be a real nurse.