02/25/2014, 00.00
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Archbishop of Singapore: Praying at work, a sign of Christian witness

Archbishop William Goh invites the faithful to pray the Liturgy of the Hours (even) in the office and at school. Prayer is the way to "encounter" God and proclaim "the joy of the Gospel." The prelate proposes meeting weekly for Bible study and an annual retreat for five days.

Singapore ( AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Archbishop of Singapore is inviting employees of parishes, schools and other Catholic institutions of the city - state to come together and recite the Liturgy of the Hours. Morning, noon and vespers prayer are daily appointments in which the community can and must come together to address their intentions to God, "As you are all aware - the prelate recently stressed - the battle cry of the Universal Church is the urgency of the work of the New Evangelization which entails, in the first place, a personal conversion of every Catholic, from the Pope to the bishops, priests, religious and laity".

In a letter sent recently to the community, Msgr. William Goh Chye Seng stressed that the primary challenge "is the renewal of our personal relationship with the Lord". He invites the faithful to "encounter him in a real and concrete way" so that "we can proclaim the joy of the Gospel to those who do not know it yet".

Together with the recitation of the Liturgy of the Hours, the Archbishop of Singapore invites employees of Catholic institutions to meet at least once a week for Bible study, as well as to "ask to take a five-day paid leave to do an annual spiritual retreat".

In Singapore, the local Catholic community actually consists of more than 200 thousand Catholics, representing approximately 5 % of the population (Buddhism is the most popular with 43 ​​%, followed by Christianity with 18%, 15% Islam, Hinduism and Taoism 11:05 %). The local church is going through a phase of growth and dynamism that led to the recent opening of a theological seminary, termed a real "milestone" for the local community.

Smaller than New York and without natural resources, the city-state's 2010 gross domestic product (GDP) stood at 285 billion Singapore dollars (about US$ 231 billion), up 14.5 per cent, the highest in all of Asia. However, wealth is not equally distributed and the city-state's economic prosperity has accentuated the disparity among citizens. Singapore's Gini coefficient - a measure of income distribution inequality - now stands at 0.48 (it was 0.444 in 2000). The Gini coefficient ranges between zero (perfect equality) and one (perfect inequality).

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