Dear Buddhist Friends,

We rejoice with you in your celebration of the feast of Vesak recalling the birth, enlightenment and final nirvana of Gautama Buddha. May your celebration be a very joyful and peace-filled one.

It is a fitting occasion for us to remember and reflect on the poor, needy and marginalised who suffer so much in the world. As we celebrate the golden jubilee of Singapore’s nation building this year, it is all the more timely that we also each renew our efforts to care for and build-up the lives of these least of our brothers and sisters.

Singapore is one of the most developed countries in the world. Many of our people are privileged to share in the great economic prosperity of the city-state. Nevertheless, many continue to suffer economic hardships, physical illnesses, psychological ailments and a myriad of other painful concerns and needs of their family and future. As a gracious society and, more so, as believers of our respective religions who are concerned about alleviating the sufferings of others, let us renew our commitment to reach out to those who live in darkness with profound compassion. Life acquires deeper meaning when it is lived for others and not merely for ourselves.

Both our Buddhist and Christian traditions affirm that the path to holiness is through a life of compassion and respect for the sacredness of human persons and all life. May we continue to live this truth more fully as we are inspired to do so in concrete ways.

On this note, on behalf of the Catholic community in Singapore, I sincerely wish you a happy and spiritually fruitful Vesak Day.

Most Rev Msgr William Goh, DD
Archbishop of Singapore

Rev Msgr Philip Heng, SJ
Vicar General
(Interreligious Relations)