Singapore Catholic group meets Pope

Singapore Catholic group meets Pope
Catholics attending a huge open-air Mass led by Pope Francis in front of the Seoul City Hall Plaza in the South Korean capital yesterday. At the service, the Pope denounced the growing gap between the haves and have-nots, urging people in affluent societies to listen to "the cry of the poor" among them.

A group of Catholics from Singapore are in South Korea for the visit of Pope Francis, and got to meet him on Friday.

The 48-strong contingent is from 16 Catholic parishes across Singapore. Aged between 20 and 35, they have been participating in in the week-long Asian Youth Day festival in the city of Daejeon. The festival ends today.

With them are four priests, including Father Brian D'Souza, the youth chaplain at the Catholic Church's Office for Young People.

Activities they have taken part in included Masses, prayer sessions, workshops and a pilgrimage in the footsteps of Korean martyrs.

Participant Teri Wee, 26, a kindergarten teacher, said the Asian Youth Day has given her the chance to express solidarity with Catholics from across Asia.

"It is also a time to be inspired and enriched in my faith as I get to have fellowship with Catholics who live out their faith in the diverse realities in Asia."

She said it was a good opportunity to hear first-hand from the Pope, who is on his first visit to Asia since becoming head of the Roman Catholic Church last year.

The Singaporeans were within arm's length of the Pope after he addressed young Catholics on Friday, she said, even managing to snap a clear photo of him.

It was also a good chance to "understand how we can live out Gospel values for the building of our faith and contribute to the development of the human family in our local context", she added.

This article was first published on August 17, 2014.
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