School chaplaincy team members discuss challenges
Participants agreed that a School Chaplaincy Team member’s role, more than that of a religious education teacher or a provider of doctrinal instruction, is to lend a listening ear.
School Chaplaincy teams cumulated their experiences and challenges they faced at a recent meeting organised by the Archdiocesan Commission for Catholic Schools in Singapore on November 1.
Chaplaincy teams are involved in supporting leaders of Catholic schools in their efforts to nurture Catholic ethos in their institutions. They provide a ministry of presence and accompaniment to the school community. They also help Catholic students to deepen their faith through prayer and formation.
Finding space in the school timetable to hold religious activities for Catholic students was identified as one of the challenges. Participants agreed that a School Chaplaincy Team member’s role, more than that of a religious education teacher or a provider of doctrinal instruction, is to lend a listening ear. Team member has to be an approachable and loving presence that mirrors the love of God for all, participants noted.
Father Edward Seah shared his experience providing pastoral care to students during his years as a De la Salle Brother. He stressed the role of chaplaincy teams in supporting the religious education coordinator as well as other members of the school. “If your relationship with the children is positive, they will look for you,” said Father Seah.
During the recollection, participants also had to learn the “Stella Mass” for young people, composed by the renowned Church musician Christopher Walker, who has granted ACCS permission to use it in all Catholic schools here.
Fourteen members, including three nuns and 11 lay people, attended the event. Many of the participants, from both primary and secondary Catholic schools, had attended either the basic or advanced chaplaincy training programme.
“We can’t work alone as chaplains or in any ministry: everyone has a gift and we pull them together to build the Kingdom,” said Franciscan Missionaries of Mary Sister Nora Gomez, who is part of a three-member chaplaincy team at Hai Sing Catholic School.
Source: Catholic News