A group photo of the Catholic varsity leaders with (in the centre from left to right) Fr Samuel Lim, Fr Jude David and Fr Jovita Cyprian Ho.
From Aug 29-30, Catholic leaders from several local and private universities in Singapore got together to renew their commitment to Christ and to journey in faith with other university leaders at the Office for Young People (OYP) in Lorong Low Koon.

They came from National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Management University, Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore Institute of Management, Singapore Institute of Technology and James Cook University Singapore.

On the first night, the 59 participants gathered in front of the Eucharist in adoration of the Lord. This was despite them not knowing each other. Together, they offered up songs of praise.

Time was also set aside for personal and communal prayers, inputs from the various school leaders’ chaplains – Fr Samuel Lim, Fr Jude David and Fr Jovita Cyprian Ho.

Catholic university leaders from NTU engaging in a discussion.

Participants also had fellowship over meals and time to bond together.

A highlight of the recollection was when various school leaders shared and presented their challenges, achievements, goals and developments in their campus community. Newer communities gathered and brainstormed ideas on how to grow while the more developed communities listened to the challenges faced by others.

From the sharings, participants were reminded that like others, they too face similar challenges. The leaders also found out that instead of only focusing on their own community, they should be praying for the larger Church. They also learnt to build up common shared resources for all the university communities.

Through the big group discussions, there were many suggestions raised. Some areas discussed were: leadership training and regular meetings for leaders, spiritual formation of students, and better support network structures.

At present, OYP is in the midst of consolidating these ideas to better meet the needs of the university communities.

By Teresa Luo
The 20-year-old student is part of the Singapore Management University’s FIDES Catholic Community.