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

Catholic schools are places where children encounter God through learning. Not only do they help the child acquire knowledge, they offer an environment of faith, love and values that promote character building and spiritual formation.

In Singapore, our Catholic schools were founded by different religious orders. Yet all are united in imbuing the two main principles of Catholic Social Teaching – the principle of Human Dignity and the principle of Common Good.

In this feature, two students from St Joseph’s Institution Junior share their experiences of Catholic education and how it has shaped them.

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Brian Lai

I like being in a Catholic school, I can feel God’s presence and that He is watching over me all the time. It makes me feel connected with God.

The school teaches us about faith, service and community. The parent volunteers help me develop these values during catechism to make me a better person.

I try to put these values into practice by helping my friend in his school work and when he has problems. My friend was surprised as he thought I was too busy. I assured him and encouraged him to be confident that he would be able to do well as long as he pays attention and does his work. He managed to do well in his exams eventually.

Generosity and helpfulness are important to me. I extend myself to serve others and to give to others. I also help my younger siblings with their school work. In helping others, I serve God too.

Sharing My Faith

Whenever I feel lonely or unsafe, I pray to God to give me strength and wisdom. Faith helps me to remember that God is always near and I am not alone, so I am better able to overcome my challenges.

At times I share bible verses with friends to help enlighten them. I also tell my friends if they have done something wrong that they should not repeat their mistake, and that God will watch over them to help them to be better. I also lead prayers in school. These help me grow in my faith.

One of the verses I often go to is Psalm 91. It tells people not to be scared. I reflect on this verse to encourage myself and I share it with my friends to motivate them to be courageous.

Another bible passage that inspires me is the story of the 5 loaves and 2 fishes. The boy who offered his bread and fish was generous, so Jesus could multiply the food and feed the thousands. We can be generous like the boy so Jesus can work through us too.

I thank God for the church we have. I pray that the church will grow and more people will come to church.

Brian Loh

I like being in a Catholic school as there is a chapel for me to go to, to pray every day.

When I was in Primary 1, I went to the chapel out of curiosity. Since then, I have been going to the chapel to pray.

I was then approached by a teacher to help lead in prayer in the chapel and in class. I also read the scripture passages during these sessions.

I like to bring my friends who are non-Catholics to the chapel to join me in prayers and for praise and worship. I really like the homily at mass. Every homily is different and each homily gives me new inspiration and learning.

Trusting in Our Heavenly Father

When I feel stressed and down, I will always go to the chapel to pray and I will feel a lot better. When I had my mid-year exams, I did not do as well as I would have liked to. I prayed and was also encouraged by the teacher to pray. I subsequently did well for the year end exams.

God has always helped me so I will always turn to Him for help. This also inspires me to continue to lead in prayer.

I see God everywhere. I am very confident that God is always with me and with my friends, so we just need to pray and trust God.

I want to thank God for always helping me with my problems. I pray that more people will come to know the Catholic faith. I thank God for everything, and for giving me Catholic friends and people who pray for me. I pray for them. I also pray that more people will come to church for mass and grow their faith.

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