OUR PRIESTS

 

Reverend Father John Bosco Pereira
Parish Priest
T: 62768154
E: bosco0537@gmail.com

Photo: Patrick Wong

 


Reverend Father Michael Arro, MEP
Resident Priest
T: 62717743
E: michael.arro@catholic.org.sg

Photo: Patrick Wong

1. Which is your favourite Scripture passage? Tell us why.

The breakfast by the lakeside after the resurrection, when Christ prepared the breakfast for them (the disciples). They went and they caught nothing. But everything was okay after Jesus came. I see the kindness, the tactfulness of God.

They (the disciples) came back, they were frustrated, they were cold, they were hungry, and He was there, to welcome them, to give them a sign of success. And He invites them to come and eat. And there is such a feeling of closeness.

2. Which saint do you relate most to personally or who is very dear to you?

One saint who is very dear to me is Saint Vincent de Paul, because he is really a man for all seasons. He was at the service of the poor. At the same time he was a counsellor and confessor of the Queen (Anne d’Autriche, wife of France’s King Louis XIII). He was at the service of priests. He was preaching missions. He was the one who created the order of nuns, the Sisters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul. So he is, for me, a very appealing saint.

3. Among your priestly duties, which do you find most humbling?

To relate to sick people. Because I am afraid of not doing it properly. I am afraid of not speaking their language. I feel uneasy though I do it, but I feel uneasy.

4. What, to you, is evil that you have witnessed personally?

The rejection of people, either because they are of different race, or because they are old.

5. What do you think is the gift / talent that God has given you?

The gift of putting across the Gospel and the love of Christ… preaching and teaching.

6. Who are the popes who have served since you were born, and which one of them do you find most inspiring? Tell us why.

(The popes who have led the Church since Fr Arro was born: Pius XI, Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, Benedict XVI, Francis)

Two – John XXIII and Pope Francis. Because I think that they are near to the people; they sense the people, the needs of the people.

7. What, to you, constitutes a good prayer life for a practising Catholic?

Pray sometime in the morning and evening daily, besides Sunday Mass. And to pray as you enter into liturgical seasons, for example, Advent and Lent. And from time to time, take part in some form of Christian formation because there is a need to grow.

8. Which year were you baptised?

1931

9. How many languages do you speak / understand? What are they?

French, local dialects, Latin, English, Mandarin, and a bit of Peranakan.

10. Which parishes have you served previously?

+ Church of the Holy Family – 1957, 1962-1963

+ Church of St Bernadette – Feb-Aug 1960

+ Church of Sacred Heart – 1968-1972

+ Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour – 1972-1996

+ Church of St Michael – 1997-2001

+ Church of St Teresa – 2002 to present

 

Fr Arro celebrated his 60 years of priesthood in July 2015. An anniversary booklet was made to mark occasion. Download it here: ARRO60 Magazine


Reverend Father Romeo Yu Chang, CICM
Port Chaplain
T: 62718464
E: yuchangr17@hotmail.com

Photo: Luke Woo

1. Which is your favourite Scripture passage? Tell us why.

And they recognised him at the breaking of bread. Luke 24:35.

I took this as the verse for my priestly ordination invitation because the text is meaningful for me. In my priesthood, I recognise the Risen Lord as my companion on the way through Scripture and Eucharist – and in a thousand moments in between – once I am on the lookout for Him as my companion on my journey.

What He did for these two disconsolate disciples He now does for me. He places my way in the context of His Way. Jesus is a journeying figure. Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem is His going to God.

Through the Holy Spirit, Christ now leads Christians on a journey to God, a journey in which disappointed hopes are interrupted by the recognition that the Risen Lord walks by their side.

And when we recognise His companionship on the way, we allow Him to breathe life into our despair and frame our aimless, anxious journeys in His Way. Now we know who it is who travels with us: He is the Way.

2. Which saint do you relate most to personally or who is very dear to you?

St Joseph, the carpenter and foster father of Jesus. I studied in a school (primary and secondary) named after St Joseph. As a child, I was trained to have a devotion to this saint. March 19 was a big feast for the school.

As I grew up, I admired the dedication and devotion of St Joseph to Jesus and Mary. He worked very hard to provide a good future for his family.

With his example I am also encouraged to work hard without any expecting to be rewarded, but just doing one’s best for the good of the Christian community.

3. Among your priestly duties, which do you find most humbling?

In my ministry to the fishers, especially to people who are victims of human trafficking, I feel so helpless. I just have to listen to their stories and be attentive to what they are saying, but to help them secure a good future for their family is far beyond what I can do. I am so blessed, but there are so many people who are hurting and suffering.

4. What, to you, is evil that you have witnessed personally?

The exploitation of poor people by people who are greedy to amass wealth for themselves.

5. What do you think is the gift / talent that God has given you?

The gift of just being there to listen to people’s stories. The willingness to be available to people when they need someone to be there.

6. Who are the popes who have served since you were born, and which one of them do you find most inspiring? Tell us why.

(The popes who have led the Church since Fr Romeo was born: John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, Benedict XVI, Francis)

I don’t have recollection about John XXIII, I was an infant then. Or Paul VI – I was a child and young teen then.

St John Paul II: I attended two World Youth Days during his reign as pontiff (Manila and Paris). I am inspired by his charisma, his dedication and his fidelity to the Gospel.

I remember his famous slogan, “Be not afraid”. These words remind me to be audacious and persevere in my priestly ministry although, at times, things are not what I envision them to be.

Pope Francis: His humility and simplicity and his nearness to people is very inspiring for me, which I hope I could also follow.

7. What, to you, constitutes a good prayer life for a practising Catholic?

Daily food: Take in the “pure milk of the word” through study and meditation.

Fresh air: Pray often. Pray when you wake up in the morning and before you retire to sleep. Pray with the Christian community in the Eucharist. Prayer is the oxygen of the soul.

Regular exercise: Put into practice what you learn in God’s Word.

Adequate rest: Rely on God at all times in simple faith.

Clean surroundings: Avoid evil company and whatever will weaken you spiritually.

Loving care: Be part of a church where you will benefit from the Church’s teaching and Christian gathering.

Periodic checkups: Regularly examine your spiritual health.

8. Which year were you baptised?

1962

9. How many languages do you speak / understand? What are they?

English, Tagalog, Cantonese, Mandarin, some Filipino dialects, Spanish

10. Which parishes have you served previously?

+ St. Mary’s Church, Kowloon, Hongkong – 1991-1994

+ RP CICM Province, New Manila, Quezon City, the Philippines – 1994-2000  (Provincial Treasurer)

+ Boston, USA, sabbatical year – 2000

+ Church of St Teresa, Singapore – end-2001 to present

 

Fr Romeo celebrated his 25 years of priesthood in September 2015. An anniversary booklet was made to mark occasion. Download it here: JUBILEE BOOK