Celebrating 200 Years of Catholicism in Singapore

Two years after Sir Stamford Raffles founded Singapore in 1819, Saint Laurent Marie Joseph Imbert stepped foot on our shores to mark the beginning of Catholic outreach to our country.

When he arrived on December 11, 1821, he was then a priest from MEP (Société des Missions étrangères de Paris) and played a significant role in bringing Catholicism to Singapore in the 19th century.

He was martyred on September 21, 1839 in Saenamteo, Korea, for refusing to reveal the whereabouts of other foreign missionaries during a time of Christian persecution in the country. He was canonised by Pope John Paul II in Seoul on May 6, 1984.


It is, therefore, with great joy and excitement that the Archdiocese of Singapore will be commemorating its 200th anniversary in 2021.

His Grace, Archbishop William Goh, said that this historic milestone would be an opportunity to galvanise Catholics for the past, present, and future.

“We want to celebrate with gratitude and thanksgiving how far we have come. We must empower our Catholics today to be vibrant in their faith and evangelise. And we should inspire all to work for a future when humanity and creation find completion in God.”

The bicentennial celebration will be a year-long series of coordinated activities and initiatives that will culminate in a grand bicentennial celebration towards the end of
2021.

An Archdiocesan committee has been formed to plan for the celebrations. Father Stephen Yim, the co-chair of the committee, said: “We want to involve all Catholics, all parishes, all church groups.”

With this in mind, the committee is reaching out to the community for ideas and suggestions so that this becomes a celebration
for all:

• Share your big ideas for initiatives and activities that can ignite the faithful through this celebration to be vibrant, evangelistic, and missionary. Submit your thoughts to: ideas200@catholic.org.sg by April 30, 2020.

• Get involved as a group. Let the committee know if your group (parish, group within the parish, Archdiocesan organisation, movements, Catholic schools, Catholic institutions, etc) is interested in organising a major programme, event or activity inspired or linked to the bicentennial. The committee is keen to partner with as many groups as possible so that this celebration can reach everyone. Email the name of your group and what you have in mind to: programme200@catholic.org.sg by May 30, 2020.

• Volunteer. Be part of the action to promote, facilitate or help out at events and initiatives. Please submit your name, contact information and area of interest and expertise to help out to: volunteer200@catholic.org.sg

More stories

“He made us better for each other and for our families”: Ashley Yeo’s journey in surrendering to God enabled her to find fulfilment as a wife and mother

“He made us better for each other and for our families”: Ashley Yeo’s journey in surrendering to God enabled her to find fulfilment as a wife and mother

Encountering God in School: Andrew Tan, Timothy Abaoag, Montfort Junior School

Encountering God in School: Andrew Tan, Timothy Abaoag, Montfort Junior School

Encountering God in School: Amelia Jason, Avelyn E, Joanna Susanto, St Anthony’s Canossian Primary School

Encountering God in School: Amelia Jason, Avelyn E, Joanna Susanto, St Anthony’s Canossian Primary School

“We have to keep trying to be witnesses for Christ” : Pauline Goh

“We have to keep trying to be witnesses for Christ” : Pauline Goh

Encountering God in School: Marc Loh, Dylan Lee, Linus Tan, St Stephen’s School

Encountering God in School: Marc Loh, Dylan Lee, Linus Tan, St Stephen’s School

Encountering God in School: Steven Wang, Alexander Bryan Yulianto, Raphael Fong, St Gabriel Primary School

Encountering God in School: Steven Wang, Alexander Bryan Yulianto, Raphael Fong, St Gabriel Primary School

Encountering God in School: Rayson Oh and Sean Gan, Catholic High School, Primary

Encountering God in School: Rayson Oh and Sean Gan, Catholic High School, Primary

Encountering God in School: Natalie Chong, SJI and Joanna Ong, CJC

Encountering God in School: Natalie Chong, SJI and Joanna Ong, CJC

“It is urgent times to give back” : Stephen Raj

“It is urgent times to give back” : Stephen Raj

Discovering God’s Plan, Living God’s Call: Joel Leong had cruised along for years till he decided to rediscover his faith

Discovering God’s Plan, Living God’s Call: Joel Leong had cruised along for years till he decided to rediscover his faith

Encountering God in School: Katherine Taylor and Anika Muthukumar, SJI International

Encountering God in School: Katherine Taylor and Anika Muthukumar, SJI International

“Learning to Love Myself Because God Loves Me” : Shye Anne

“Learning to Love Myself Because God Loves Me” : Shye Anne

“Following God’s plan opened my eyes to the struggles of families and individuals” : In serving migrants through ACMI, Esther Chia is learning to truly surrender

“Following God’s plan opened my eyes to the struggles of families and individuals” : In serving migrants through ACMI, Esther Chia is learning to truly surrender

Encountering God in School: Tiffany Lim, Jamie Joshua, Julia Joshua, Natalie Tong, CHIJ Schools

Encountering God in School: Tiffany Lim, Jamie Joshua, Julia Joshua, Natalie Tong, CHIJ Schools

Encountering God in School: Judith, CJC and Ethan, SJI

Encountering God in School: Judith, CJC and Ethan, SJI

Encountering God in School: Brian Lai and Brian Loh, SJI Junior

Encountering God in School: Brian Lai and Brian Loh, SJI Junior

“We Bring the Gospel of Christ to the School community”: Fr. Henry Siew on What Lies at the Heart of Catholic Education

“We Bring the Gospel of Christ to the School community”: Fr. Henry Siew on What Lies at the Heart of Catholic Education

Developing Whole Persons who will Grow To Be Men and Women for God and for Society: 4 Catholic Educators share their testimonials of Catholic Education

Developing Whole Persons who will Grow To Be Men and Women for God and for Society: 4 Catholic Educators share their testimonials of Catholic Education

“Teachers Who Show What It Means To Live the Catholic Life” : Prof Lily Kong

“Teachers Who Show What It Means To Live the Catholic Life” : Prof Lily Kong

“Singing is a beautiful way of praying,”  says Jeanne Sng, 11, a member of the Cathedral Children’s Choir

“Singing is a beautiful way of praying,” says Jeanne Sng, 11, a member of the Cathedral Children’s Choir

Scattered Soul to Passionate Believer:  Jennifer Erika Robert and her family  found their way back to God after years of trials

Scattered Soul to Passionate Believer: Jennifer Erika Robert and her family found their way back to God after years of trials

“We May Be Asked To Do More than We Expected”: George Yeo

“We May Be Asked To Do More than We Expected”: George Yeo

Different Backgrounds, One Journey in Life Giving:  Brian and Sue Richmond Recount how God has His Ways in Bringing People Together

Different Backgrounds, One Journey in Life Giving: Brian and Sue Richmond Recount how God has His Ways in Bringing People Together

“We Can Carry Our Cross Well” : Fr Luke Fong

“We Can Carry Our Cross Well” : Fr Luke Fong

“Faith Has To Be Experienced”:  Joesen Francis Wong found God through a painful encounter  and is now discovering the joy of serving

“Faith Has To Be Experienced”: Joesen Francis Wong found God through a painful encounter and is now discovering the joy of serving

Second Chances that Changed Him From Being A Sunday Catholic: Nicholas Chee

Second Chances that Changed Him From Being A Sunday Catholic: Nicholas Chee

“God can save and I want to share that with youths” : Missionary couple Edwyn and Karen De Souza

“God can save and I want to share that with youths” : Missionary couple Edwyn and Karen De Souza

“God Provides If It Is His Will For Me”:  Three Encounters in Deniece Wong’s Faith Journey  Convinces Her God Provides When the Time is Right

“God Provides If It Is His Will For Me”: Three Encounters in Deniece Wong’s Faith Journey Convinces Her God Provides When the Time is Right

Healing Myself, Healing Others:  Sebastian Liew is helping others regain their health  after surrendering his health to God 20 years ago

Healing Myself, Healing Others: Sebastian Liew is helping others regain their health after surrendering his health to God 20 years ago

Every Jump, A Leap of Faith: Jonathan Chan

Every Jump, A Leap of Faith: Jonathan Chan

‘With God, all things are possible’ (Matt 19:26):  9 year-old Travis Chua holds this verse close to his heart  in overcoming challenges  with Cerebral Palsy

‘With God, all things are possible’ (Matt 19:26): 9 year-old Travis Chua holds this verse close to his heart in overcoming challenges with Cerebral Palsy

Philip and Christine Seah witnessed how building God-centred relationships have affirmed their family and  enabled them to bring the faith to the workplace

Philip and Christine Seah witnessed how building God-centred relationships have affirmed their family and enabled them to bring the faith to the workplace

For the Love of God: Fr. Michael Arro MEP

For the Love of God: Fr. Michael Arro MEP

Called to walk with death row inmates : Sr. Gerard Fernandez

Called to walk with death row inmates : Sr. Gerard Fernandez

Christopher Wong used to serve for all the wrong reasons until he attended his first Prayer Experience Retreat

Christopher Wong used to serve for all the wrong reasons until he attended his first Prayer Experience Retreat

“Fullness of life comes from being with God and His people”: this revelation came to Sharen Goh, not through a spiritual manifestation, but through a gradual awakening  in a time of grace

“Fullness of life comes from being with God and His people”: this revelation came to Sharen Goh, not through a spiritual manifestation, but through a gradual awakening in a time of grace

“We have but one single response – Lord, we are yours”: Tyrone & Girlie Velasquez’s encounters of the Lord and their daily cooperation to His will give them the strength and joy to journey with families and women going through pain

“We have but one single response – Lord, we are yours”: Tyrone & Girlie Velasquez’s encounters of the Lord and their daily cooperation to His will give them the strength and joy to journey with families and women going through pain

Nilo revels in how boundless, extra-ordinary, profound, and personal God’s love is

Nilo revels in how boundless, extra-ordinary, profound, and personal God’s love is

Journeying with Families of the Dying and the Dead: David Tan sees it as his calling to serve those in need of comfort and support

Journeying with Families of the Dying and the Dead: David Tan sees it as his calling to serve those in need of comfort and support

A calling she wants to fulfil: Jenny on how God is using her as His instrument

A calling she wants to fulfil: Jenny on how God is using her as His instrument

“We are each other’s saint-makers”: Colin and Madelene, couple facilitators helping young adults rediscover the value of significant relationships

“We are each other’s saint-makers”: Colin and Madelene, couple facilitators helping young adults rediscover the value of significant relationships

Internship and Prayer: How God confirmed Fionn’s calling

Internship and Prayer: How God confirmed Fionn’s calling

22-year-old Emma found a whole new outlook after receiving a newfound revelation at 14

22-year-old Emma found a whole new outlook after receiving a newfound revelation at 14