Catholic Education Conference 2021

GRACED BY
Archbishop William Goh

DATE
15 March 2021

VENUE
Online

Programme

07.30 Gathering
08.00 Mass
08.30 Opening Remarks
09.00 Prayer Experience
10.15 Workshops
12.00 Address by His Grace, Archbishop William Goh
12.45 Lunch
14.00 Sharing of Best Practices
14.45 School-Based Discussion
15.30 Examen
16.00 Closing Remarks
16.15 End of Conference

Message

from
Mrs Woo Soo Min (Chairperson, Conference Planning Committee); and
Fr Adrian Danker, SJ (Chairperson, Conference Programme Committee)


Come, follow me. In the Gospels, we read about Jesus calling his disciples. It is a call to know God, to serve God’s people and to share in God’s life. Two hundred years ago, the early missionaries heard this same call and they came to Singapore to begin the Catholic Church. Since then, our Catholic Church here has grown and flourished through the good and hard work of laity, religious and priests.

A graced way they have done this is through Catholic Education. Since the founding of Catholic schools in Singapore, many have benefited from learning and growing up in our Catholic schools. They, in turn, have gone on and helped build up our nation. Today, our Catholic pre-schools and schools continue the same good work of educating students to become persons of values with the distinctive character to serve and make society better, especially, for the poor. This mission of Catholic education is especially relevant for the present times.

In this Conference, let us celebrate God’s gift of education.

Come away with me. In the Gospels, we see Jesus inviting his disciples to pray. It is a call to spend time with God and to listen to God. This is a call we discerned when planning for the Conference — that it be a time and space to pray and reflect on God and God’s goodness in our Catholic schools. Through teaching and learning, praying and playing, and growing up and becoming wiser, God encounters everyone in school, regardless of race, language or religion, in myriad ways to shape our lives for better. Each encounter reminds us that we are in God’s holy presence.

Through this Conference, let us encounter God more deeply.

Go, and do likewise. In the Gospels, we hear Jesus commanding his disciples to go forth into the world and serve like he does. This is the call we hope you will also hear in this Conference: God asking you, as a participant and a school, to do as Jesus did for your school community to know about God and to live in God’s ways. When Jesus taught, accompanied and cared for others, he created space and time for them and God to be together. In this Conference you will learn how to help others encounter and experience God through Scripture and art, origami and film.

From this Conference, let us go forth and create spaces for all to know, love and live with God.

Celebrating, Encountering, Creating our God Experience. This is the theme of the 2021 Catholic Education Conference. It expresses our human longing for God, and, more so, of God encountering always. May our Conference inspire us again to continue by the graced work of Catholic Education to meet this yearning every student and teacher has.

Pre-Conference Novena

The pre-conference Novena from 22 Feb to 12 Mar (8pm on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays for three weeks) is led by religious congregations, priests and Catholic schools. We pray for God’s grace and guidance. Parents and friends in the Catholic community are invited to join our Catholic schools in prayer. Join us by clicking on the links below (links will become available as each day of the Novena approaches).
Celebrating our God Experience
Day 1 (22 Feb)
La Salle Brothers and St Joseph’s Institution

Day 1 Video
Day 2 (24 Feb)
Infant Jesus Sisters and Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus

Day 2 Video
Day 3 (26 Feb)
Canossian Daughters of Charity and St Anthony’s Canossian Secondary School

Day 3 Video
Encountering our God Experience
Day 4 (1 Mar)
Gabrielite Brothers and Montfort Secondary School

Day 4 Video
Day 5 (3 Mar)
Franciscan Missionaries of Mary and Hai Sing Catholic School

Day 5 Video
Day 6 (5 Mar)
Good Shepherd Sisters and Marymount Convent

Day 6 Video
Creating our God Experience
Day 7 (8 Mar)
Marist Brothers and Maris Stella High School

Day 7 Video
Day 8 (10 Mar)
Fr Frederick Quek and Holy Innocents’ High School

Day 8 Video
Day 9 (12 Mar)
Fr Henry Siew and Fr Gregory Tan, Catholic High School and Catholic Junior College
'LIVE' on 12 Mar at 8pm:
Day 9 Video

Each 30-minute session will include an opening hymn, an opening prayer, a Scripture reading, a reading from the Founder of a Congregation, a reflection, a decade of the Rosary, a closing prayer, a closing hymn, and a call to action.

Conference Workshop Synopses

Workshop 1: Encountering God through Origami
Synopsis:
Discover how you may encounter God through origami, and what truths God can reveal through this beautiful art form. No prior experience in origami is required. Come simply as a blank piece of paper and place yourself into the loving and creative hands of God to see what might unfold during your encounter with Him!

About the Presenter:
Nicholas Lye has been trained in the diocesan seminary for 8 years, and is now living out his deeper calling as a lay missionary and creative evangelist. He focuses on using art and creativity to bring people to God and help them discover more about their identity and mission in life. Over the years, he has organised several Prayer through Art workshops and retreats in various parishes and communities both locally and overseas.

Workshop 2: Encountering God through Film
Synopsis:
Film is a powerful medium, connecting reel life with real life. Film takes one on a journey from the head to the heart, which is a hallmark of Ignatian spirituality, making it a powerful means of prayer. Learn how you can encounter God through film in this workshop.

About the Presenter:
Anthony Siow is a Spiritual Director trained in the Ignatian tradition. Anthony left behind an advertising career and channelled his creativity by incorporating the arts into his work as Spiritual and Retreat Director. Anthony also leads silent retreats here and overseas.

Workshop 3: Encountering God though Art and the Word
Synopsis:
Through a guided meditation, this workshop invites you to spend a moment of time in contemplation, reflection and visual expression. No art background is required.

About the Presenter:
Joanna Tan is a pioneer in the field of art therapy in Singapore with 16 years of full-time experience. She sees individuals in her private practice and conducts professional training and supervision for therapists and counsellors. She believes the therapeutic relationship provides a supported way for one to listen to one’s heart so as to remove the blocks in order for healing happen. Joanna started ‘Heartspace Open Studio’ at the Church of St. Mary of the Angels from 2006-2013. There she facilitated groups, organized exhibitions and gave retreats. She is also the founder of the Angelico Art Awards.

The Conference Logo

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” – Matthew 7:7–8

How often have we read this verse and considered the possibilities that await us each time we open and close doors in our everyday lives? We pass through so many from the time we wake to the time we sleep, and countless more as we make our way from classrooms to meetings and even to and from the gates of our schools.

There is also a light that passes through from one space to the other, leading us from places of certainty to uncertainty, much like the stone that rolled away to reveal an empty tomb. The act of opening the door leads us to discover the mystery of God’s calling as it beckons us forward.

The design for CEC2021 uses the symbol of an opening door to reveal the light of our Godly encounters that await us on the other side.

The letter E which forms the door, also stands for Education, reminding us of the transformative power of our profession.

The glow that extends from the door moves in a forward direction, suggesting how our meeting will lead us to break new ground. The Cs on either side of the door also reinforce the change that will occur when we let God lead the way and open doors.

The CEC2021 logo is designed by Mr Michael Ee, an Art educator with SJI.