Launching the Canossian Education Charter on May 26. From left: Sr Louisa Lim (supervisor of Canossian Schools), Sr Cecily Pavri (local leader of the Canossian Formation House), student Kimberly Tan, Sr Theresa Seow (provincial leader of the Canossian Sisters) and Mr Gerard Ee (chairman of Canossian Mainstream Schools and Canossian School Boards of Management).

By Jared Ng

The Canossians launched an education charter to ensure that their charism is not lost in today’s pace of education.

There is “an urgency to ensure that our unique charism is not watered down in this fast changing world,” said Sr Theresa Seow, provincial leader of the Canossian Sisters, in her opening address at the event.

“While the charter is written specifically with education in mind,” it also focuses on the “formation of the heart” which is the cornerstone of Canossian formation, she said.

All Canossian education institutions were represented by teachers, staff and principals at the event held on May 26 at St Anthony’s Canossian Primary School.

The institutions are Canossian Convent Kindergarten, Magdalene’s Kindergarten, St Anthony’s Canossian Primary School, Canossa Convent Primary, Canossian School and St Anthony’s Canossian Secondary School.

St Joseph’s Home and Canossaville Children and Community Services, both under the Canossians, were also represented.

Sr Theresa Seow speaking to participants of the launch at St Anthony’s Canossian Primary School.

Sr Cecily Pavri, local leader of the Canossian Formation House, detailed key elements of the charter in her address.

By 2013, “there was a realisation for the need of a charter” because of a declining presence of Sisters in the Canossian schools, she said. “It [the charter] was written for school staff, alumni, parents, the management board and other stakeholders.”

It will be used “as an interpretation of the Canossian education charism, a reference resource in the formation of educators and as inspiration for curriculum design,” said Sr Cecily.

Key points of the charter include:
- Legacy: The charism, vison and purpose of St Magdalene of Canossa, foundress of the congregation, was “her preference to educate the poor, raise awareness about their dignity and calling as children of God and the need to be morally upright,” said Sr Cecily.
- Hallmarks: The distinctive identity of the Canossian institutes such as the 3Ps (person-centredness, passion and proactive) in love and service of others, as well as the 3Cs (compassion, commitment and cheerfulness) to encourage the virtues of courage, resilience and zest for life.
- Culture: A Canossian school is both Catholic and Canossian and both are nutured through formation by the school’s chaplaincy. Also, Canossian schools in Singapore educate within a secular state that respects faith expressions and promotes inter-religious harmony.
- Growing St Magdalene’s dream: The charism, vision and purpose left by the Canossian foundress has been left to today’s generation to be used and also evolve with time, such as education in the 21st century. Ingenuity is required to integrate the charism into the curriculum which will be passed onto future generations of educators.

Sr Cecily Pavri said that the charter will be used ‘as an interpretation of the Canossian education charism’.

It is hoped, Sr Cecily said, that educators will allow themselves to be affected by the charter in the way “you teach, in how you make decisions and the kindness you radiate as you provide pastoral care for students.”

She ended by reminding participants that “students are the main reason for the charter.” The Sisters, leaders, educators, parents, alumni are together in this for them, she said.

The official launch of the charter which followed saw St Anthony’s Canossian Primary School student Kimberly Tan emerge from a shell-like structure she was hiding in holding a copy of the charter. It drew loud cheers and applause from the crowd.

All participants also received a copy.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Share this post

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to Twitter