Yes, the directory is published every two years by the Chancery. The online directory can be found here. For more info, please contact Chancery +65 6336 9408 or a good local Catholic bookshop to purchase a copy.
The Society of St Vincent de Paul (SSVP) serves the underprivileged through financial aid and rations distribution including home visitations. Please contact the SSVP council closest to your district to inform them of your need.
Individual Parishes have formation programmes that are available. You might like to also check out Archdiocesan Biblical Apostolate, Catholic Theological Institute of Singapore, or Kingsmead Centre, for their list of activities. St Francis Xavier Major Seminary offers Philosophical, liturgical, biblical or theological courses available for laypersons and religious as well. The Eventstab has updates on latest courses as well.
Couples are advised to attend the Marriage Preparation Course or Engaged Encounter before your Church wedding. You might like to speak to your Parish Priest or a Priest you are close to journey with you both a year before the date of your wedding. Booking of facilities for your wedding should be done with the Parish Secretariat itself.
Please have a read at our Vocations page. If you are interested in priesthood, speak to Vocation Directors by clicking on Priestly Vocations at the end of the page. For religious life, please explore the list of communities available under Consecrated Life (end of the page).
The Catholic Church recognises valid Christian baptism as baptism with water using the Trinitarian formula (in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). Where your baptism is recognised as valid, you will not need to be baptised but will join the RCIA journey as a Christian candidate seeking reception into full communion with the Catholic Church. Where after investigation there is still doubt regarding the validity of the baptism you have received, you will be baptised conditionally.
Our Basic Faith
God reveals himself in Creation. Jesus told his disciples: “Think of the flowers growing in the fields; they never have to work or spin; yet not even Solomon in all his regalia was robed like one of these. Now if that is how God clothes the grass in the field… will he not much more look after you, you men of little faith?” (Matthew 6:28-30)
God reveals himself in Old Testament. Other men depended on creation alone for their knowledge of God. This led to false ideas so that men often ended up in worshipping creation itself. But God led the Hebrew people to a unique intimacy. This revelation began with the call of Moses, when God revealed his name: “I Am who I Am.” (Exodus 3:1-15)
God reveals himself fully in Jesus Christ. The apostle, Philip, said to Jesus: “Lord, let us see the Father and then we shall be satisfied.” And Jesus replied: “To have seen me is to have seen the Father.” (John 14:9)
All sin is an offence or rebellion against God. Every sin spoils the relationship between ourselves and God. And so we must ask two questions:
- What does God ask of me? That is, what is God’s law for me?
- How do I respond to what God asks of me? That is, how do I fulfill God’s law?
The Old Testament word for sin is hata: which means to miss the mark. Sin, in other words is our failure to reach the goal set us by God. Our failure is like the arrow which fails to reach its target: or like the stone thrown from the sling which has been badly aimed.
In the New Testament Jesus explains the kind of relationship between God and ourselves: it is the most intimate possible. We sin when we separate ourselves from God like the “Prodigal Son” separating himself from the intimacy of his father’s home. Sin is like leaving our loving Father.
Its true malice is to be judged, not primarily from the action itself, but from the evil in the heart. “It is what comes out of a man that makes him unclean. For it is from within, from men’s hearts, that evil intentions emerge: fornication, theft, murder…” (Mark 7:20-21)
God did not create evil. Man in his origin was created in a state of knowing God. But man freely chose evil. As a result, the state of “knowing God” was lost: man’s nature as created by God was disturbed. This fallen nature was transmitted by way of generation to all men. Man’s first sin – original sin – is described in a symbolic way in Genesis.
The guilt and effects of man’s unique “original” sin remain as the initial reason for sin in the world. In personal sin, for which each individual is actually responsible (actual sin), man freely follows his inclinations toward evil. This sin is symbolically described in the story of the tower of Babel (Genesis 11).
Scriptures and Tradition tell us far more of restoration and redemption than of original integrity and original sin. “However great the number of sins committed, grace was even greater.” (Rom. 5: 20) In the story of Noah, for example, the rainbow becomes a sign of God’s promise of restoration. (Genesis 9)
God’s work of restoring creation was a very gradual process. It was achieved through the Jewish People and was recorded in the writings of the Old Testament. The Exodus, in which the Jews escaped from the Egyptians through the Red Sea to be given the Ten Commandments by God on Mount Sinai, always remained the formative event in their life and memory. Each year every Jewish family re-lived the event in the Passover meal.
The various stages of Jewish history are reflected in the preachings of the prophets such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos. Sometimes they condemn. Sometimes they coax. But always they speak in God’s name, leading his People to love the one living and true God.
This love reaches its highest point in the Old Testament in the poetic literature, especially the Psalms. These hymns of worship reflected the Jewish longing for God and prepared them for the coming of Christ.
Jesus Christ fulfils the promise of the Old Testament. The history, the prophecies and the worship of the Jewish People are explained in the life and teaching of Jesus Christ. “He cured all who were sick. This was to fulfil the prophecy of Isaiah: ‘He took our sicknesses away and earned our diseases for us’. “(Matthew 8: 17)
The words and miracles of Jesus confirms that Jesus is truly the Son of God. The crowning sign was his exultation when the Father resurrected Jesus from the tomb. Man’s friendship with God was restored. All men, when united with Christ, could now worship the Father perfectly.
Jesus is the Son of God. And he makes us children of God by uniting us to himself. He does this by offering us his Spirit who gave him his own power. When Jesus began his work, Luke tells us: “Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit through the wilderness.”
In the public ministry of Jesus we can only glimpse the Holy Spirit. The true power of the Spirit was fully revealed only when Jesus rose from the dead. Jesus’ miracles when, for example, he brought the dead Lazarus from the tomb, prepare us for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all men after the Resurrection.
It is through faith, the gift of the Holy Spirit, that we become the sons of God. Jesus could only work where there was faith. To the woman who said to herself, “If I can only touch his cloak I shall be well again”, Jesus replied: “Courage, your faith has restored you to health”. (Luke 8:48)
Jesus reveals his Father as the one who sends. “When the appointed time came, God sent his Son.” (Galatians 4:4) This revelation reflects the truth that “the Person of the Father is not made by anyone, nor created, nor begotten.” (Athanasian Creed) Traditionally, the work of creation is appropriated to the Father
Jesus reveals himself as the Son who is sent: “I have come here from God… not that I came because I chose, no, I was sent, and by him.” (John 8: 42) This mission reflects the truth that “the Person of the Son is from the Father alone, not made, not created, but begotten.” (Athanasian Creed) The Son alone became man.
Jesus reveals the Holy Spirit as one who proceeds from the Father and the Son: “When the Advocate comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who issues from the Father, he will be my witness.” This mission reflects the truth that “the Holy Spirit is the uncreated Person who proceeds from the Father and the Son as their eternal love.” (Credo of the People of God) The Holy Spirit completes the work of creation and salvation: “God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts: the Spirit that cries, ‘Abba, Father’.” (Galatians 4:6)
The Church is an infallible sign of the presence of Christ, for the Church is given life by the same Holy Spirit who gave life to Jesus Christ. Jesus promised that the Father would send the Holy Spirit who “will teach you everything and remind you of all I have said to you.” (John 14:26) The whole People of God cannot err in belief when “from Bishops to the last layman” they show universal agreement in matters of faith and morals.
When, therefore, the Bishop of Rome speaks ex cathedra as shepherd and teacher of all the faithful, he enjoys the infallibility promised by Christ to his Church. The whole Episcopate also enjoys this infallibility when it exercises with him the supreme magisterium. Ex cathedra means from the chair; which is the symbol of authority situated in the cathedral and from which the bishop preaches, teaches and presides at the liturgy.
The truth that the Pope teaches infallibly when he defines “a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church”, was always accepted by the Church but was explicitly defined by the First Vatican Council in 1870.
We enter into the communion of the Church by baptism. This requires repentance. As he began to preach, Jesus taught: “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is close at hand.” (Matthew 4:17) “Repentance” means “change of heart”. This change of heart is perhaps best explained in Jesus’ words: “I tell you solemnly, unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)
The sign of this repentance is baptism. Peter began his first sermon with the words: “You must repent, and every one of you must be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)
As Catholics, our desire for Communion cannot stop at just receiving Communion. By giving himself to us in such a self-sacrificial way, the Lord beckons us to be just as sacrificial in our sharing of our love towards others outside of the Mass. This is where the mission of communion will bear fruit – when we draw others into this communion as well.
At each Mass, we encounter the reality of God’s love in our senses. With our ears, we hear the Word of love proclaimed, with our eyes, we behold the Lamb of God, and with our mouths, we taste the true goodness of Divine love. This intimate fellowship with God completes our joy, which is what we see written in 1 John 1:1-4).
Having been nourished by Love, we leave the Mass and enter the world renewed and energized by Love. If our awareness of the Divine Love that we meet and receive at Mass is only superficial, our response in mission will be just as superficial. The more we are in a state of grace and are in communion ourselves, the more we are willing to avail of ourselves to “love one another as I have loved you”.
Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults/Youth (RCIA/RCIY)
The RCIA is a process of initiation into the Catholic Church for adults. This process prepares adults to receive the sacraments of Christian initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist). While the formal RCIA process tends to end some time after initiation, the RCIA journey continues where as a baptised Catholic, you will continue to be lifelong and joyful disciples of Jesus Christ.
The RCIA process is broken up into four periods:
I. Evangelisation and Pre-catechumenate
As an Inquirer, this is a time for you to ask questions, be introduced to Gospel values, and experience the beginnings of faith. If you feel that you are ready and would like to take the next step, this period concludes with the celebration of the Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens.
As a Catechumen, this is a time for your faith to be nurtured. You will be participating in celebrations of the Word and attending sessions to learn about Catholic faith and teachings. If you feel that you are ready and would like to take the next step towards initiation, this period concludes with the celebration of the Rite of Election/Enrollment of Names where there will be a diocesan-wide celebration of Catechumens.
III. Purification and Enlightenment
As an Elect, this period (usually during Lent) preceding your initiation is meant to be a time of reflection, intensely centered on conversion, marked by the celebration of the scrutinies and preparation for the rites of the Sacraments of Initiation. During this time, you are still free to make a final decision whether you wish to be fully initiated into the church.
IV. Mystagogy/Postbaptismal Catechesis
Now that you have been initiated, as a neophyte, you are fully a part of the community. This is a time for deepening of your faith.
RCIA journeys have varying lengths. As a general guide, the journey is about a year – from your time of inquiry till a couple of weeks after baptism the following Easter.
If you find that you need more time to figure out if you really have the desire to join the Catholic Church, please do not feel that you need to rush the decision as the duration of the catechumenate should be long enough for the conversion and faith of the catechumens to become strong.
No. You are welcome to attend RCIA to simply find out more about Jesus and the Catholic Church. There is no obligation to get baptized and you are free to leave (and return!) anytime.
Children below the age of 7 years may be baptized at the Rite of Infant Baptism offered monthly at most parishes, and then attend catechism together with their peers in the parish.
A child aged 7 and up needs to undergo catechesis before making an informed decision to be baptized (just like you!). Most parishes offer age-appropriate programmes called RCIC/Y (Rite of Christian Initiation for Children/Youths). The Archdiocese also offers “Bridging”, a one-year formation for children aged 9-13 to prepare them for baptism and the other sacraments.
The Catholic Church recognizes baptisms of Christian communities which are carried out with water, “in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit”. If your baptism is considered valid, you will not be re-baptized. Instead, you will undergo the RCIA programme as a “candidate”, preparing for the other two Sacraments of Christian Initiation: Confirmation and Holy Communion. If your baptism was not valid (e.g. “in the name of Jesus”), you will be baptized. If there is doubt about the validity of your baptism (e.g. if you do not know what words were used), you will be baptized conditionally.
This depends on when your RCIA programme concludes, and when you intend to marry. Please take your time to come to know Jesus and discern your calling to join the Church instead of rushing into baptism. If you already have a deep familiarity with Christ and the Catholic Church, and wish to enter the Church ahead of schedule, please discuss this with your parish priest and RCIA co-ordinator.
Do note that if you and/or your fiancé(e) is divorced (whether from a civil or religious marriage), the wedding will need to be delayed until the Catholic Church has established that you are free to marry (e.g. by dissolving a previous marriage).
The Catechumenate is a time of formal catechesis and immersion in the life of the church. It is helpful for you to join in with the catechumens as they are also being prepared to receive the sacraments of initiation.
Divorce is no impediment to joining the Catholic Church. But since the Church does not recognize civil divorce, your entry to the Church may be delayed if you re-married while your original spouse is still living. Since the Church has the power to regularize the situation of some divorcees (e.g. by dissolving or declaring null a previous marriage), please highlight all previous marriages (of you and/or your spouse) to your RCIA co-ordinator as early as possible. The administrative process takes some months to complete, and cannot be speeded up simply to let you be baptized/received together with your RCIA cohort. During this time, you are still welcome to begin the RCIA programme.
Since a godparent accompanies you in your faith journey, s/he must be a baptised and confirmed Catholic in good standing with the Church. You could ask a Catholic relative or friend whose faith you find mature and strong. You may not ask your biological parent; a non-Catholic; or anyone under the age of 16, to be your godparent. You can have one godmother and/or one godfather, but no more than that.
There is no charge for the RCIA programme or the sacraments. However, your parish may ask for voluntary offerings to defray the costs (e.g. of food and facilities), or request payment for the materials used. Should finances be a issue, do speak privately to your RCIA coordinator as the Church will not turn anyone away due to an inability to pay.
Approach a Priest or Deacon directly to arrange for a house blessing.
Contact your Parish or call your Parish Secretariat on Infant Baptism Schedules.
Different Parishes have various weekends for baptism.
Contact the Parish that you frequent to submit mass offerings and your intentions.
There is a small amount stipulated for mass offerings.
Please contact the Parish nearest to you for your request.
If Anointing for the Sick is required before an operation, please contact a priest from your Parish before admission to hospital.
Please contact a Priest from the Parish nearest the hospital to visit you. Priests of the churches closest to the main hospitals in Singapore are usually available for any Catholic who are hospitalised and are in need of a priest’s help. They visit the hospitals on a regular basis to bring communion to the sick and if informed they will visit you.
See list below for easy reference:
In cases of emergency, when a patient is in need of the Anointing of the Sick and a priest from the nearby church is unavailable, any priest who receives a call (and is available) will go to the hospital.
Policy for Funerals in the Archdiocese of Singapore
Funerals are often a time of distress for families and funeral arrangements under these circumstances can be challenging to coordinate multiple issues. The Archdiocese of Singapore in helping to streamline the course of action for families of the deceased is establishing broad principles which would assist the families.
- As a principle the funeral is normally arranged at the parish of the deceased.
- The parish of the deceased is determined by the parish that he/she normally had been attending for their Masses and liturgical services.
- Before arranging a time or day of funeral and cremation, do contact the parish concerned to determine the availability of a priest.
- In the event that the parish that was contacted is not the parish of the deceased, it would be the duty of the secretary to forward the information to the relevant parish and inform the families concerned.
- The parish secretary will assist in sourcing a priest of the parish or another priest for the families to conduct the funeral rites.
- For all other logistics in relation to the funeral day and rites, it will then be directed to the parish that will be conducting the funeral.
- In the case of dispute, the territorial parish will assume responsibility for the funeral.
- If the parish venue is not available, the parish should arrange for an alternative venue.
- In exceptional cases, the Mass for the funeral can be held at the venue of the wake.
Senate Communications – August 2018
For information regarding burial and cremation, read this article: Vatican’s instruction on burial and cremation.