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

Our Catholic education seeks to give our children a holistic education for life, centred on the Catholic faith. At St Gabriel Primary, the school follows the footsteps of their founder, St. Louis Marie de Montfort, whose belief was to ‘Love each child as a son of God’, and children are schooled to be God-loving, disciplined, gracious, and caring.

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

 

Steven Wang

Being in a Catholic school means I can attend mass more often. This enables me to deepen my faith and through the homily I can learn about values.

My teachers selected me to be a lector for the school masses. I need to prepare myself before I read during mass and this helps me learn more.

During recess, most of my friends go to the playground. I often go to the chapel to pray. Some of my friends ask me why – my reply is the chapel is where I can share about my faith and be connected to God through prayer.

 

Living the Values of Jesus

Teachers here teach us about values and it is good for us so that we can grow in the right way. I am in an environment where I am able to mix with Catholic friends and do things together.

Perseverance is an important value for me. When I am stuck with problems, perseverance helps me deal with the problems easier. Perseverance helps me work hard and seek help from my teachers so that I can improve.

Self-discipline is important to me too. Self-discipline helps me to stay within the teachings and values of Christ. With self-discipline, and the help of the Holy Spirit, I learn to remain humble and to help my friends. I learn also through helping my friends, and I gain new friends. I pray for the Holy Spirit to guide me, to give me wisdom to do what is right.

For my friends who are not Catholics, I want to uphold good behaviour so they can appreciate our faith and values. I share with them parables in the bible so that they can learn about our faith. I usually use the story of St Louis-Marie de Montfort who helped the poor to elaborate on the teaching and values of our faith.

 

Important Lessons Learnt

Attending camps for Catholic students has helped me learn about moral courage. I learn about why people behave differently and what we can do to help them change their behaviour. I was able to share with friends who ridiculed others, to empathise with others instead.

I was bullied in Primary 1 and 2, and the bullies moved on to bully others. With a lot of prayers, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, I gained the courage to stand up to them and to influence them not to bully others.

I will continue to grow my faith by attending mass regularly, praying and reading the bible. We need to remain connected to Christ.

I pray that people will continue to go to church and grow in their faith.

 

Alexander Bryan Yulianto  

I am born and raised a Catholic. I like to serve at mass, in church or in school. Jesus sacrificed His life for us, so whenever I serve at mass, I feel close to God.

Homily at the mass touches me, helps me understand the bible and the works of Jesus better. I build on my relationship with God by participating in different online masses so that I can learn from the different homilies.

Knowing more has strengthened my bond with God. Thus, when I face difficulties, I know I can turn to God for courage and support.

 

Living the Values of Jesus

Love is very important; if there is no love, we will be constantly fighting and there is no peace. With love, and care for each other, we then will have peace.

I try my best to help my friends who are in need of help. I assure them when they did not do well in their exams. I also care for my siblings, especially my younger sister, and help her in any way I can. I have also helped out at a home for the elderly by playing board games with the residents to make them happy.

I like the story of the Good Samaritan; it reminds me to help others even if they are not my friends or families.

As I grow up, I want to be able to spread God’s love by helping and volunteering at homes for the elderly, and by giving food to the foreign workers who work very hard to provide for their families. I often pray for them during this COVID-19 crisis.

Through my actions, I hope others can see Jesus’ love through me.

I pray that Mother Mary will continue to intercede for us so as to protect us. I pray that many will remain in church and have faith because God will always bring love and comfort.

 

Raphael Fong           

I like being in a Catholic school because I can learn more about my faith. There are many activities, masses that keep me focused on my faith.

Here, I have Catholic friends whom I can play and pray with. I like to go to the chapel to pray with my friends and catechists. We have daily rosary sessions over Zoom and even in the evenings.

At school masses, I serve as a lector most times, and once I took part in the offertory to represent the school cohort in presenting gifts to God.

 

Living the Values of Jesus

I like the parable of the five loaves and two fish. It reinforces the lesson that no matter how small we are, we can still create a positive impact and help people. Whatever we may be able to give, God will multiply the effort and this will help a lot more people, so what is important is our willingness to give.

I had a friend in Primary 1 who had difficulty reading. I helped him and he improved. He also became my best friend while other friends drifted away.

 

Important Lessons Learnt

Once, my catechist brought us to a home for seniors to spend time with the elderly. I was initially reluctant as I assumed that the place is not nice and that the elderly will not be able to hear us.

I prayed for help to change my attitude. I was able to overcome that reluctance and I joined my friends in serving at the home. I am glad I did that as it is in serving others, we serve God.

I try to see God in everyone because we are made in the image of God. We need to treat others well as God wants us to be good to others.

My mother is a good example of God’s love. She does a lot for the family and she also does a lot to help the poor. Some time ago, we went for a mission trip in Thailand and spent time playing with the children, and taught them English. I felt happy that I could help these children.

My prayer for the Church is that many more people will be inspired to do good for the Church and be the catalysts to draw people to church.

 

 

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