By Joyce Gan

SINGAPORE - Four new principals of Catholic schools were commissioned by Archbishop Nicholas Chia at a Mass at the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour on Saturday Jan 21.

They are (photo, from left): Catherine Seah (CHIJ, Our Lady of Good Counsel), Christopher Neo (Assumption Vocational Institute), Antonia Teng (St. Gabriel's Primary) and Marcia  Yong (Canossian School of the Hearing Impaired).

This annual ceremony was organised by the Archdiocesan Commission for Catholic Schools. It was also an occasion for the principals and vice-principals of the 33 Catholic primary and secondary schools, as well as the one Catholic junior college in Singapore, to renew their commitment to "their vocation of educating the 52,100 children of God placed in their care", said the archbishop.

The archbishop thanked them for their "extremely good work". Archbishop Chia urged parents to recognise that Catholic schools are an extension of the church and encouraged them to make Catholic schools "schools of choice for their children".

"This makes the responsibility of our school leaders and their teachers all the more onerous," Archbishop Chia said of the educators' roles to nurture our children "to seek the truth and imbibe the right spiritual and moral values [in them]".

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Miss Antonia Teng, who said she found her identity as "a part of a large family of Catholic educators" shared that she "felt grateful for God's promise that his grace will be sufficient" for the challenges that she will face.  "I felt assured that through prayer, the wisdom of the Holy Spirit will enable me to discern God's will for the school (St. Gabriel's Primary)."

Mrs Marcia Yong shared the same sentiments of belonging. "There's a feeling of unity among fellow Catholic educators," she said. "It was a rare opportunity to be able to come  together as educators and leaders with that special mission of bringing God and sharing our faith with the children entrusted in our care. I felt very honoured and special [during the commissioning]," she said.

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