To build a more vibrant, missionary and evangelistic Church in 10 years.
Archbishop William Goh expressed this hope for the Catholic Church in Singapore when he was installed as archbishop in 2013.
These words have become a rallying call for Catholics and Catholic organisations, inspiring them to support the realisation of the pastoral vision of the Archdiocese of Singapore. The words provide a picture of what the Church of tomorrow could be:
A Church where every individual Catholic is joyous in his or her faith and is engaged with fellow Catholics as well as the broader community. It is a Church that is constantly growing in faith, conversions and vocations.
Every Catholic is a missionary, called to be “salt of the earth” and “light to the world”. This divine mission is accomplished in communion, with every Catholic belonging to compassionate Christian communities that share and live the Word of God.
As missionaries, the role of every Catholic is to pave the way for others to encounter Christ. This encounter is, at once, intimate, personal, public and communal. The Universal Catholic Church has called for a “New Evangelisation” where every Catholic knows, lives and shares our faith in all its richness.
Much has happened in the three years since the vision was first introduced.
People are rediscovering their faith with renewed vigour. Priests, religious, and laity are working in greater communion.
New organisations have been established in the archdiocese, while existing organisations are being rejuvenated or restructured.
Several initiatives and projects have been rolled out to improve governance, establish standards, develop strategies, and align priorities.
But while good progress has been made, a vision will remain merely a dream if Catholics in Singapore do not actively involve themselves in the mission and vision of the Church.
Thus, the priests, religious and lay leaders of the Church, working through various archdiocesan organisations and strategic projects, have planned to involve Catholics in four strategic thrusts:
“Increase our faith!” (Luke 17:5) was the Apostles’ prayer to Jesus when they realised that faith, which is a gift from God, is the only way of having a personal relationship with Him and fulfilling their vocation as disciples.
The Church believes that it is faith that moves mountains, and faith that leads anyone to proclaim the Gospel. Thus, the first step to truly becoming a vibrant Church, is for every Catholic to have a deep and personal relationship with Christ.
This involves helping Catholics constantly renew their knowledge and understanding of God. To quote St Pope John Paul II in his 1998 encyclical, Fides et Ratio, “faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth”. A personal relationship with God, and a deep knowledge of Him, go hand in hand.
This is important especially for Catholics who are employed in the Church, who hold important positions in ministries, as well as the priests and religious in Singapore.