Temporary Closure of Church
4 April 2020
As announced on Friday, 3rd April, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce will be implementing significantly stricter safe distancing measures to curb the local transmission of COVID-19, and to keep as many people at home as possible.
These measures, effective from 7 April 2020 until 4 May 2020 (inclusive). include the closure of places of worship.
Entrances to the Church of the Risen Christ will therefore be closed from next Tuesday, 7 April 2020. Please do not come to church. Pray at home.
Join our Archbishop in the 24 hours of prayer, fasting and penance, starting this Holy Tuesday at 7pm, 7 April. It will be broadcast live at https://live.catholic.sg
We will be with you in prayer 🙏
Day of Prayer and Fasting
for God’s Divine Intervention
3 April 2020
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
We are facing one of the most challenging crises in our time. No disease or virus has in recent history infected so many thousands and killed so many in the world within a short span of time. In the face of this Covid-19, many of us feel helpless in the fight against it. Even governments around the world realize how inadequate they are in handling this spread of the virus or to prevent death. We still have not found the vaccine for this virus and it may take scientists many more months before they can find a way to stop the contagion.
If man cannot do it, only God can do it. As the scripture says, “For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.” (Mt 19:26) Once again, the words of St Paul should awaken us all to the arrogance and pride of this modern generation. “To shame what is strong, God chose what is weak by human reckoning; those whom the world thinks common and contemptible are the ones that God has chosen – those who are nothing at all to show up those who are everything. ” (1 Cor 1:27-30)
So like Azariah we need to intercede for forgiveness for the sins of humanity. He said, “For you are just in all you have done; all your works are true and your ways right, and all your judgments are true. You have executed true judgments in all you have brought upon us …because of our sins. For we have sinned and broken your law in turning away from you; in all matters we have sinned grievously.” (Dn 3: 27-29)
Hence, as your Shepherd, I am inviting you all to join me in a 24 hour of prayer, fasting and penance vigil (or 24 hours of prayer, fasting and penance), starting at 7pm on Holy Tuesday, 7 April and ending at 7pm on Holy Wednesday, 8 April. Whilst we have done all we could in implementing the precautionary measures and giving support to healthcare workers and all those affected by Covid-19, it is not enough. We need to pray and intercede together as Church for God’s mercy and divine intervention in the world. Whilst it is true that this disease has purified humanity of greed, arrogance, removed many sins of the flesh from humanity, and restored the beauty of creation, we also must ask God to be merciful to humanity who are suffering the loss of lives of their loved ones.
So please join me in praying for divine mercy and intervention to save the world not just from Covid-19 but that through this pandemic, the world may come to its senses and recognize that man does not have full control over the world regardless of how technologically and militarily advanced we are. Only God alone decides because He is the Lord of life and death. “See now that I, even I, am he; there is no god besides me. I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and no one can deliver from my hand.” (Dt 32:39) May God extend His mighty hand over our nation to heal and to save.
I have chosen Holy Tuesday and Holy Wednesday because the gospel on both of these days speak about the betrayal of Judas. Indeed, Holy Wednesday is called Spy Wednesday. We who have betrayed the Lord by our sins and suffering the judgment of God, must therefore repent and pray for conversion of humanity so that this Covid-19 pandemic can be eliminated from the face of the earth.
Devotedly yours in Christ,
Most Rev. William Goh
Archbishop of Singapore
3 April 2020
Penitential Services in the Districts and Parishes
19 March 2020
Given the serious situation of the COVID-19 contagion and with the rising number of infections both locally and in other countries, His Grace, Archbishop William Goh has instructed all parishes to suspend Penitential Services in the Archdiocese.
For those who are seeking the Sacrament of Reconciliation, please contact your parishes. Do continue to observe the public health guidelines as laid down by the Archdiocesan COVID-19 Task Force.
Thank you for your understanding and patience on this matter as we continue to pray for God’s blessings and protection on our people.
Archbishop’s Communications Office (ArchComms)
19 March 2020
Ongoing Suspension of Masses
12 March 2020
Ongoing Suspension of Masses
My dear People of God
It was with much sadness that I had to order the suspension of Masses on 14th February, particularly because the celebration of the Eucharist is the Summit of our faith. More than anyone, as the Archbishop, it is my desire to make the Eucharist available to everyone. However, as the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Singapore, I have to act responsibly not just for the sake of our Catholics but the community at large. To this end, we have been working hard to put in place the precautionary measures in our parishes so that we can resume the Masses.
When I made the announcement to lift the suspension last Thursday, it was in the context of a stabilised situation. However, the situation has become so serious that WHO has just declared COVID-19 a pandemic. The worsening regional threat and recent big cluster arising from SAFRA Jurong have caused much anxiety among the community at large. There is a rising number of infections.
Outbreak control measures are in full swing. The authorities are putting up more stringent measures to include social distancing and assembly of crowds. All social activities involving seniors by government agencies have been suspended. We are not helping the situation if we resume Masses at this time, simply because of the sheer numbers of Catholics packing in each service, and their fluidity in moving from one parish to another, and attending different services. Furthermore, a large percentage of our parishioners belong to a vulnerable group-seniors with lower immunity.
As responsible Catholics, we should be mindful that we do not do anything that might further burden the already strained healthcare system. Hence, to protect the larger population, I have decided to rescind the order to resume Masses until the situation is much improved and more stabilised.
I know many of you who desire to participate in the Mass and receive the Eucharist will be greatly disappointed. There are as many who are for the ongoing suspension as there are those for its resumption.
After weighing all the views and bringing them to prayer, I have discerned that we should not proceed at this point in time. Our Catholic Medical Guild (CMG), which is helping us monitor the situation on the ground and is constantly in consultation with the government, will do the necessary reviews. The CMG will make its recommendations to me when it is time to resume Masses. I know it is a decision that will not please all, but as the Head of the Catholic Church in Singapore, I have to decide for the common good. Should anything untoward happen, it would be too late to regret. We should not insist on having the Eucharist at the expense of the safety of the larger community.
Hence, I appeal to all Catholics to be magnanimous, charitable and generous, especially during this season of Lent, for the greater good of our people in Singapore. When others see us as being socially responsible, they will appreciate our faith even more because they see us putting Christian charity into action. This is how we show ourselves to be good Catholics.
I invite you to make the greatest sacrifice of all, which is to deprive ourselves of the celebration of the Sacrifice of the Mass. Instead, you will use this time to yearn for our Lord in the Eucharist even more through participation in the on-line Masses, prayer services and praying the scriptures. It is an occasion for us to be conscious that we should never take the freedom to practise our faith or the Eucharist for granted. We must not think that just because we are without the Eucharist for the time being, our faith would be compromised. The early Christians and those Christians still under persecution in some countries today also did not have the privilege of the Eucharist to accompany them in their faith journey. But they were still able to keep their faith alive, and grow from strength to strength by reading, praying and sharing the Word of God.
Instead of lamenting the prohibition of the use of traditional ways to provide our people their spiritual needs, we must see this crisis as a grace of God to challenge the Church to rethink how we can continue to sustain the faith and evangelise our people by leveraging modern technology and other resources available to us. Parishes can be more proactive and creative by offering on-line Masses, on-line catechesis, on-line Spiritual reflections and talks, and encourage the formation of small bible-sharing groups. We encourage our Catechists and children to continue to nurture their faith through on-line catechesis. This would be a great opportunity to strengthen our neighbourhood communities and church organisations.
Thank you for your understanding and for putting the interests of the larger community before our own. Let us support each other in our faith and continue to pray for the elimination of this virus from the world. Please keep me and our priests in your prayers as well.
Your devoted Shepherd,
Most Rev. William Goh
Archbishop of Singapore