Social Mission Ministry for the Poor & Needy
The Church, as the “Mother of Mercy”, advocates its social mission through outreach to the poor and needy.
To help the Cathedral, our Mother Church, realise her vision of becoming a community of evangelising disciples, the Social Mission Ministry hopes to tap the programmes under the Ministry of Social and Family Development for low-income families, which are run by community centres, Residents’ Committees, Family Service Centres, People’s Association, and more.
The ongoing social mission projects include:
1. Sunday lunch-time meals distribution at noon
This was initially started for migrant construction workers, but when their attendance became irregular, the catered lunch packs, numbering about 100, are now distributed to the poor.
2. Cash assistance for the poor
To realise the Cathedral’s vision to be a compassionate Church that lives the Gospel of Christ’s preferential love for the poor and needy, the Social Mission Cash Assistance Project for the Local Poor was started in November 2016.
Every month, some 400 Singaporeans and their families who are poor and are not under any government schemes are given cash aid. Another 260 belonging to this group were given one-off payouts.
3. Overseas grants
To reach out to the abjectly poor from countries around our region, such as China, India, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, the Overseas Grant Requests Programme was started in May 2017.
Of the five beneficiaries approved so far, one is a group of 50 patients suffering from multi-dysfunctional disabilities in remote areas in Hebei, China who are looked after by poor Catholic nuns.
Another is a group of some 250 lepers and their families in Loilem’s Lepers’ Colony, who are “hidden” in Taunggyi, Myanmar.
Due diligence is conducted by the grant evaluation team based on a set of approved criteria. All evaluations are fully and professionally documented and audited. They are transparent to meet stringent internal controls as expected by the authorities.
4. Funding from benefactors
Rector, Msgr Philip Heng, SJ, had envisioned starting a social mission for the poor at the Cathedral. He made a personal appeal to the parishioners of the Church of St Ignatius, two weekends before stepping down as its parish priest, and they responded generously. This fund is being topped up by generous donors on a personal basis, when they see the very good work that is being done by the ministry.
For donations or to serve as volunteers, email Grace Tong at email [email protected].