Saturday, May 13, 2017

Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Fatima at Ss Peter & Paul

For some reason, it's a positive avalanche of church posts recently!  Purely coincidental :-)

13th May 2017 is the 100th Anniversary of the first apparition of our Lady at Fatima, to three shepherd children.  Pope Francis is marking the event by canonising two of the three children, Jacinta and Francisco (they passed away, victims of the Spanish Flu of 1918).  The third child, Lucia, passed away only in 2005 and is still undergoing the sainthood process.  This website has more on the apparitions at Fatima.

Churches in Singapore are celebrating this event, whether through screening movies, or holding special masses.  St Peter and Paul held a candlelit procession after their evening mass on 6 May.

I just happened to be visiting St Peter & Paul, and so was able to view the procession.  One of the oldest parishes in Singapore, it serves largely the Chinese community and many, including those who have moved out of the area, still return to the church regularly for mass, and there's a vibrant community here.  (It was a 96-year old lady, daughter of the former Sacristan of the church, who put the Crown on Our Lady's statue before the procession).  What's impressive is that besides the Mandarin mass every Sunday, there's even a Cantonese Mass!  The Carmelites are now administering the parish on behalf of the Diocese.  I wonder who the Cantonese-speaking priest is!  The church underwent a massive restoration programme last year and it is so lovely to see it restored to its splendour.

At the back of the church, facing Waterloo St

The Altar

The candlelight procession itself took place after the Saturday evening mass.  The congregation processed out of the church behind the statue of Our Lady, and said the rosary as they walked around the church and back in again.  It was a joyful event, with the little children walking in front of the statue, throwing flowers into the air (and on / at the bystanders).

Leaving the church

And back again

By the Altar

More photos here on my Flickr page.

Indeed, it was an evening well spent.  Following my visit to the Cathedral and also after the Holy Family 80th Anniversary celebrations, it is indeed a walk through the history and heritage of the Catholic church here in Singapore.  It is up to us, living stones indeed, to take this into the years ahead.

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