The Many Parts of Christ’s Body
Behind the scenes, the Church is made up of numerous organisations, each working tirelessly to bring Christ to the world.
Last year, when the Archdiocese of Singapore put together a thanksgiving event to commemorate the nation’s 50th birthday and history of the Church in the country, a resounding “I never knew” was heard amongst many Catholics.
Many only see the work of the Catholic Church within their parish or what is reported in the news. But with a mission to fill every aspect of human life with the light of Christ, the Catholic Church is in fact also involved in a multitude of ministries behind the scenes. In Singapore, the Church brings Christ to the people not only through its 31 parishes, but also by caring for migrants, providing education, strengthening families, reaching out to youths, and
countless other activities through over 100 organisations within the archdiocese.
Like many parts of the same body, the network of commissions, offices, groups, councils, apostolates, and other organisations in the archdiocese comprises different functions, each guided by the same pastoral vision to create a more vibrant, missionary and evangelistic Church.
Oneness of Mission
All these organisations play a pivotal role in bringing this vision to life. Rolling out numerous programmes, activities and
initiatives each year, they enable the Church to bring Christ to the world, benefitting not just Catholics but the whole of society.
“The world must see that what we do is not simply the work of a human institution, but the marvellous work of God, in and through poor and inadequate instruments like us,” Archbishop William Goh said in a pastoral letter published in 2015.
Organisations of the Archdiocese
The various parts of the archdiocese can be segmented by their functions: Catholic Education, Communities of
Faith, Family Groups, Formation of Laity, Infrastructure, Priests & Religious Development, and Social Mission.
Every organisation in the archdiocese is also connected to the Archdiocesan Curia, which assists the archbishop in the
governance of the archdiocese.
The curia is made up of the archbishop, vicar generals, council of priests in Singapore, as well as institutions established
according to the code of canon law, such as the Chancery.
In this way, each archdiocesan organisation is not only connected to the Universal Church by their mission, but also in their identity and relation to the Archdiocesan Curia in Singapore.
Pope Paul VI describes aptly in his 1965 decree, Apostolicam Actuositatem, “In the Church there is a diversity of ministry but a oneness of mission”.