School Chaplaincy Team Formation: A Participant’s Sharing

By Susan Ng-Thian, parent-volunteer

The School Chaplaincy Team Formation was held over three mornings from 19-21 April. As I am currently helping with the mass set-up in my youngest child’s school, St Joseph’s Institution Junior, I was quite interested to find out how the formation will help me in my vocation.

The formation course was divided into different modules, namely:-

  1. Understanding the Eucharist & Organising Mass in School
  2. Relating in a Multi-Religious Community
  3. Connecting with the Young and Mentoring Skills

Father Edward Seah led us in prayer each morning before introducing the respective speakers. Presentations by all three speakers (Father Ignatius Yeo, Gerald Kong and Brother Colin Wee) were not only informative but were very interesting as they also shared their experiences and answered many practical questions from the participants.

Father Ignatius, Chairperson of Archdiocesan Liturgy Commission, brought us through the history of salvation to show us the historical development of the Eucharist. He also explained the structure of the mass, all the way from the time of the Apostles, during the Persecution right up to the present day. He even explained in details the various parts of the Mass. These gave us a better understanding of the meaning behind the rituals and what is appropriate for the celebration.

In Module 2, Mr Kong, Executive Secretary of Archdiocesan Catholic Council for Interreligious Dialogue, explained to us how important it is be in constant dialogue with our brothers and sisters of other faiths, given the multi-religious nature of our country. Something new I learnt was that there are 10 official religions recognized in Singapore!

Brother Collin’s segment covered how we can connect with the young. He shared many anecdotes, based on his wealth of experience as Counsellor and Director of Hope House, working with many youths and young adults. His highly animated sharing had us breaking into laughter throughout his session.

All in all, I enjoyed the whole course tremendously. The information gained can and will definitely help in my vocation as a parent volunteer involved in mass set-up and in the way I serve. I would strongly recommend that anyone, whether you are a teacher or a Parent Volunteer involved in catechism in a Catholic School to register for this course whenever it is offered.