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

Our Catholic education seeks to give our children a holistic education for life, centred on the Catholic faith.

St Anthony’s Canossian Primary School, managed by the Canossian sisters, is steered by its mission to nurture and empower youths to be persons of integrity committed to serving God and others.

In this feature, three students from St Anthony’s Canossian Primary School share their experiences of their Catholic education and how it has shaped them.

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Amelia Gabrielle Entoney Andrew Jason         

I like being in a Catholic school because during important days like Easter and All Saints’ Day, the masses in school are celebrated in a way that is easy to understand and relate to.

The non-Catholic students also attend mass with us. I explain to them about our faith and practices, and many have become interested in our faith.

During Lent in 2018, we created our own prayers and had many activities and games to help us understand our faith better.

During Lent, we also learnt to make sacrifices, like forgoing the things we like, such as fried chicken, because Jesus was in the dessert and he suffered.

The homily is the most impactful part of the mass in school. The priest tells us stories about Jesus that make us laugh. Receiving the eucharist is important too. I go for confession every month. I feel that a load is off my shoulder each time I receive the sacrament of reconciliation.

 

Important Lessons Learnt

When I was 10, I attended the Agape group. It was fun learning about Jesus.

My school places emphasis on commitment, compassion and cheerfulness, as well as forgiveness, humility and charity. It is important to have compassion and to remain cheerful, even when things get difficult. It is also important to forgive, especially when we get into disagreement and arguments.

 

Living My Faith

Prayer is important in my family. Early in the year, I did not do well in my exams. My family prayed with me. I studied harder and I improved.

As a student councillor, I lead the school in prayers. I was nervous initially but I have become more confident over time. Through living my faith, I am glad to see that my Catholic friends who do not practise their faith have been influenced by our example and they have started  going back to church.

One important life lesson I try to keep to is – “Love others just as how you want to be loved”. I offer people my smile with the hope that it will make them feel better. Some people smile back, some do not see, while some just stare or walk away. I feel embarrassed at times but I still offer my smile as often as I can.

My prayer for the Church is that the Church will be enduring, and that more people will go to Church and follow Jesus.

 

 

Avelyn E Rui En

Being in a Catholic school allows me to have a Catholic environment at home and in school. For me, this is important in forming the right values as they will stay with me throughout life.

The Gospel and homily at mass are important in helping me think about the areas I need to improve and pay attention to.

 

Important Lessons Learnt

The attributes our school has inculcated in us are commitment, compassion, and cheerfulness. Along with these, we are taught to embrace charity, humility and forgiveness as our core values.

These are important in guiding me in what I do and how I conduct myself. Commitment means I will strive to perform well and turn in quality school work. Humility means being able to accept that I may not be the best person and may not have the best idea – that others may have better ideas and are better than me. I am open to their ideas and opinions.

Being compassionate means being able to share warmth and care for others. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, at the start of every school year, we tried our best to befriend the Primary One students so they get the sense of belonging and know that there are older ‘sisters’ who will take care of them.

 

Living My Faith

I see God’s presence in my teachers and my peers. My teachers are encouraging, patient and helpful; through them I see Jesus at work.

When things do not go well, I think about what God wants us to learn. Some time ago, one of my friends in school did not do well in a test and was very down.

I went up to her, and reminded her of a video we saw together where the message was that God has a plan for us and there is a bigger plan as compared to what we can see now. I encouraged her to see it as a bigger plan and not get too stuck with the setback.

When I encounter challenges, I look to Mother Mary for inspiration to remain faithful and focused, and not to be discouraged. We learn ‘centering’ techniques at the Agape sessions, so I learn to focus and be more calm, and to listen to what God is saying to me.

I pray that the Church will continue to nurture young minds, to evangelise to the community and more people will get to know God.

 

 

Joanna Susanto

Here at St Anthony’s, we pray together every morning. We have special prayers for different intentions and we practise ‘centering’ to calm our minds.

We have rosary sessions and masses as well. The homilies shared by the priests help us to appreciate the gospels. The activities and para-liturgy help us understand our faith better and give us confidence.

I try to follow Jesus in His way because He is the truth, the way and the light. I believe we have to live our faith by our actions, and not by what we say.

 

Important Lessons Learnt

The school’s attributes and values are very helpful in guiding us to conduct ourselves well.

Of the attributes we have been taught, cheerfulness is the most important to me. With cheerfulness, we can deal with and overcome challenges better.

Faith, hope and love, values which we learnt through the ‘centering’ sessions, also help me in focusing and trusting that God will help us overcome challenges.

 

Living My Faith

I am from the Catholic Student Council. We prepare the school for mass and lead in prayers. We always try to carry out our duties to the best of our ability as it is important that we do these well so our friends can pray meaningfully.

Every year, we carry out projects to reach out to communities outside our school. Once, our project was to reach out to the elderly. We gathered groceries and packed them into food packs, then distributed them to the seniors. Another time, we went to the kindergarten to teach the younger ones about our faith.

I pray that more people will come to know our faith and will spread Jesus’ message of love, to make Jesus known and loved.

 

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