Archbishop gives hope to AIDS patients
The annual event was planned by Catholic AIDS Response Effort (CARE), an organisation that runs a shelter for people living with HIV and AIDS who are destitute and homeless.
Archbishop William Seng Chye Goh of Singapore led the special Mass held at the Church of the Holy Spirit during the World AIDS Day on December 1.
“It is fitting that on this first Sunday of Advent, we are called to give hope ... and especially those who are suffering from HIV and AIDS,” he said.
The annual event was planned by Catholic AIDS Response Effort (CARE), an organisation that runs a shelter for people living with HIV and AIDS who are destitute and homeless, as well as other support programmes for non-residents.
“We need to identify with the plight of these victims of AIDS,” he said.
The archbishop also suggested educating people so that they can “work together to eradicate this disease from the world”.
“Without education, people are ignorant,” he added.
He ended with encouraging words to HIV/AIDS patients, saying that “we need to entrust ourselves to the mercy of God”, and that “it is only God who can give us peace”.
President of the CARE management committee, Ms Jacinta Rajoo, said, “In past years, attendance for World AIDS Day Mass was always limited to our patients and volunteers. It is nice to have a full church worshipping and praying for our HIV and AIDS patients this year.”
In addition to the Mass, handmade soaps and candles by CARE’s residents and volunteers were also on sale outside the church.
Mr George Lim, who is in his 50s and a parishioner of Church of the Holy Spirit, talked about a late AIDS affected neighbour who “could not find solace and consolation”. “At that time, there was no CARE,” he said. “Now that we do, it is important to have a desire for compassion.”
Mr Abel Tan, 33, from the Church of St Michael said the local World AIDS Day Mass is “limited to one parish every year”.
“It will take 10 to 20 years to spread [awareness of the condition] to everyone in the Catholic churches in Singapore,” he said. “Maybe we can start with the Catholic schools?”