SJI students posing for a photo with Fr Stephen Yim, parish priest of the Church of the Sacred Heart. The students made pilgrimages to all five Holy Doors in the archdiocese as part of a programme to deepen their understanding of mercy.

St Joseph’s Institution (SJI) students took part in various projects throughout 2016 to reach out to the marginalised in society and also deepen their understanding of mercy.

On Aug 6, Sec 2 Catholic boys set out on a pilgrimage of the five Holy Doors in the archdiocese. The activity was part of the school’s Religious, Moral and Social Education (RMSE) programme to coincide with the Year of Mercy.

Accompanying them on the pilgrimage were school chaplain Friar Michael D’Cruz and seven other Franciscans in formation.

The first stop was the Church of Divine Mercy where the friars conducted a paraliturgy based on the Parable of the Prodigal Son.
At the Church of the Sacred Heart, the boys learnt about St Margaret Mary Alacoque and the image of the Sacred Heart.

The pilgrimage then moved on to the Church of the Holy Cross in Clementi where the friars shared about the meaning of bearing the crosses in one’s life.

Over at the Church of St Vincent de Paul, the friars shared the story of St Vincent de Paul, a French priest who was known for helping the poor. The pilgrimage ended at the Church of the Risen Christ.
Students painting the home of a needy family living in Toa Payoh. SJI scouts had tea with migrant workers who are renovating SJI’s Malcolm Road campus.
During Lent this year, Sec 1 to 4 students embarked on different service projects aimed at raising awareness about the plight faced by the needy.

Newly inducted Sec1 students distributed grocery supplies to 27 needy Muslims staying at the nearby Sin Ming Industrial Estate.

Eight classes of Sec 4 boys were also tasked to present an “SJI Lenten Gift” to help meet the needs of one-room flat dwellers in Toa Payoh Lorong 6. The majority of the boys rendered their services by cleaning these homes and providing daily essentials.

One of the classes made a trip to a family’s home during the school holidays. They divided themselves into smaller groups to paint the living room and bedroom, fix the wall fan, water pipe, ceiling light and metal door. The students also contributed some funds to buy provisions for the family.

The SJI scouts also organised an outreach project on March 3 to the workers renovating the SJI Malcolm Road campus. The initiative commemorated 105 years of scouting in SJI.

More than 60 boys from the SJI Scouts and National Police Cadet Corps (NPCC) Unit embarked on a hike from SJI (Bishan) to SJI (Malcolm Road), where they bought snacks and drinks to have tea with about 140 workers.

Tan Yi Long, SJI NPCC Station Inspector shared, “The interaction with the workers carried a very special meaning to everyone. During the hike, many of the boys struggled under the hot sun. This activity made us realise that no matter how hard the hike was, it could never compare with the workers’ struggles, waking up as early as 5am to come to work, carrying heavy construction materials for more than 12 hours every day.”

SJI teachers have also made an effort to incorporate the theme of mercy and compassion in their academic curriculum. As part of the school’s Learning Week in July, the boys presented English poems and six-word essays, wrote creative stories in their mother-tongue languages, and painted artworks, all based on the theme of mercy. 

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