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 Catholic is joyous in daily living,constantly growing in faith and engaged with fellow Catholics as well as the broader community to build the Kingdom of God on earth.
Every Catholic is called to a conversion or renewal of heart with Jesus as Lord and Saviour, to offer the Good News of salvation and to pave the way, by word and deed, for others to encounter Him.
Every Catholic is a missionary by virtue of baptism, sent to make disciples of all nations. This is accomplished with every Catholic belonging to communities rooted in the Word of God, Sacred Tradition, Church teachings.
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.
The final approach to realising the archdiocese’s vision is refreshing structures, which encompasses the Church’s operating procedures, good management, governance, as well as physical structures.
As the Church strives to “make disciples of all nations”, it is the responsibility of the Church to also provide every Catholic a space to gather, worship and serve God.
Next 4 years
Over the next 4 years, the archdiocesan organisations that we fund will be scaling up their programmes and initiatives to increase the missionary momentum of the Church. More funding would be directed towards the capacity building of these organisations.
In addition, the periodic strategic reviews of organisations and structures have resulted in the restructuring of existing organisations and establishment of new ones from 2020:
The operations of Archdiocesan Commission for Families (ACF) and Family Life Society (FLS) will be merged under a single umbrella body called Catholic Family Life (CFL), for the purpose of a more effective outreach to Catholic and non-Catholic families alike.
A new organisation, Catholic Preschool Education (Singapore) Limited (CPES), is being set up to improve and operate Catholic preschools.
A Catholic Leadership Centre (CLC) has been proposed for the training and development of current and future lay leaders of the Catholic Church in Singapore.