On Sunday, 28 February 2021, the Archdiocese of Singapore headed by Archbishop William Goh, organized a virtual gathering of ecumenical leaders and young adults as part of their year-long program celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Catholic Church’s presence in Singapore. Reverend Avelino Gonzalez-Ferrer, the staff member responsible for relations with the churches in Asia, represented the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and provided perspectives on the Council’s international ecumenical work.
The event organized by the Archdiocesan Catholic Council for Ecumenical Dialogue (ACCED) and entitled DialogueSpaceSG Forum for Christian Young Adults, brought together 78 Christian young adults and ecumenical leaders to share the insights on dialogue in Pope Francis’ latest encyclical, Fratelli tutti.
The event included an opening prayer, welcome and introduction by Monsignor John-Paul Tan, OFM, Vicar General and Director of Ecumenical Relations, followed by a Catholic reflection on the spiritual background of Fratelli tutti (Friar Derrick Yap, OFM), and a Protestant reflection entitled An Architecture of Peace: Pope Francis on Universal Fraternity (Dr Roland Chia from the Trinity Theological College). An opportunity for the young adults to have discussions in breakout groups produced many fruitful insights and questions.
The gathering was held with the understanding that the encyclical written on fraternity and social friendships would go a long way in strengthening social cohesion and resilience among the younger generation of Christians.