“We are called to discourage materialism…”

Dear Buddhist Friends,

I would like to extend my heartfelt greetings and best wishes to all of you as you celebrate the feast of Vesak which commemorates the birth, enlightenment and final nirvana of the Buddha. May you continue to grow in wisdom, gratitude and compassion towards all sentient beings.

On this special feast we would like to thank you for the invaluable contribution you have made towards building a stronger bond of unity and harmony between us and the other religions in our country.

Singapore is the most religiously diverse country in the world. People of different religions in our country live in close proximity.

Thus, it is of paramount importance that we continue to build genuine respect for one another and deepen our appreciation of our diversity and fraternity.

As life becomes more hectic, complex and competitive in our affluent society, we need to fight against individualism and secularism.

We are called to discourage materialism; as it promotes a self-centredness that estranges us from our neighbours.

As such, it is rightly so that a notable number of our Buddhist and Catholic communities have social outreach programmes to reach out to the needy in society financially, and through projects such as soup kitchens, free medical clinics and other charitable endeavours.

On behalf of the Catholic community in Singapore, I pray that the celebration of Vesak Day would be a special time of spiritual growth for all Buddhists and a renewal of our mutual friendship.

Happy Vesak Day!

Most Rev Msgr William Goh, DD
Archbishop of Singapore

Rev Msgr Philip Heng, SJ
Vicar General
(Administration and Religious)

12 May 2014

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