Ninety-five graduates of the Catholic Theological Institute of Singapore (CTIS) received their Diplomas and Certificates in Theology from Archbishop William Goh on Feb 27.
This was the first time that CTIS held a combined ceremony for the graduates of both its English- and Mandarin-language courses.
In his welcome speech, CTIS academic director Arthur Goh explained that Catholic educational centres such as CTIS cater to both laity and Religious, and are established and regulated by bishops together with the Holy See.
Archbishop William Goh set up the CTIS as a centre of higher learning in theology to better equip the laity for evangelisation, said Mr Goh.
In his address, Archbishop Goh asked the graduates if their faith in Jesus and their relationship with Him have grown as a result of their studies.
He said he considered it a failure if, despite acquiring more religious knowledge, they did not develop a deeper relationship with God, enrich their prayer lives or find more meaning in their lives. They would know that they were on the right track if, firstly, they desire to share their faith. “If you have no desire to share the Gospel, it means that you have not found the Gospel,” he said. “Because if you are convicted of the Gospel, you will share with everyone. You will not keep the Gospel to yourself.”
The second sign is a desire to study more even after graduation. “When you love someone, you want to know him more and love him more,” said Archbishop Goh.
The third sign is the strong bond of fellowship that comes with proclaiming and sharing Christ, said Archbishop Goh, citing 1 John 1:3: “That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you may have fellowship with us; and our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.”
Archbishop Goh exhorted everyone to be always ready to explain their faith to the world, especially in Singapore’s secular, cosmopolitan society with its diverse religions. He noted that 83 percent of Singapore’s population were faith believers while the rest were either atheists or humanists.
Seminarian Daniel Tham gave the commencement speech on behalf of the cohort.
He noted that formation was a process that took much time, effort and prayer, a process that was not just the acquiring of information but one which led to personal transformation. He is now studying at CTIS as a seminarian student for the Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology (STB).
Mandarin-stream graduate Noeline Chua told CatholicNews that the certificate programme helped her deepen her understanding of the Scriptures and greatly strengthened her faith. She said she hoped her fellow graduates would assist in church work such as the RCIA or as Bible class facilitators.
Ms Chua is continuing with the Diploma-in-Theology (Mandarin) programme at CTIS.
The oldest graduate in this cohort was lawyer Vincent Lau, 77.
He told CatholicNews he now feels more confident to talk about his faith to people who are not Catholics. He added that he will return to serving in the Bible apostolate while exploring opportunities to do missionary work.
The CTIS graduation ceremony was held at the Church of the Holy Cross auditorium.
|The Catholic Theological Institute of Singapore was established in 2013 to provide systematic faith formation in Catholic theology in faithfulness to Holy Scripture and the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. It aspires to be a premier institute of theology preparing students for the New Evangelisation amidst the pluralistic cultures and religions of the region.
Registration for the next intake for the Certificate in Theology programme opens on April 1, and classes start on July 11. For information on other programmes such as the Diploma in Theology, Advanced Diploma in Theology and Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology (STB), visit www.ctis.sg