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Singapore Canossian educators (seated, front and right) seen here with Italian school children.

Fifteen educators from the different Canossian education institutions in Singapore went on a two-week learning journey in Italy as part of the recent launch of the Canossian Education Charter.

The charter was launched on May 26 in Singapore and is to be used as an interpretation of the Canossian education charism, a reference resource in the formation of educators and as inspiration for curriculum design.

Canossians Srs Cecily Pavri and Geraldine Lim led the trip to Italy, which lasted from May 28 to June 11.

The trip was to allow participants – who came from Canossa Convent Primary School, St Anthony’s Canossian Primary and Secondary Schools, Canossian School (Hearing Impaired) and Magdalene’s Kindergarten – to visit the Canossian educational institutes in Italy and experience their works and spirit.

It also enabled them to walk in the footsteps of St Magdalene, the Italian founder of the Canossian order, and to experience the faith of St Josephine Bakhita, a Sudanese-born former slave who became a Canossian Sister in Italy.

Participants visited Canossian schools in Brescia, northern Italy, and spent time networking, interacting and learning from their educator counterparts working in Canossian kindergartens, and primary, secondary, special needs and vocational schools.

The visitors also realised how similar the Canossian schools in Italy and Singapore were. In both countries the schools regard the “formation of the heart” as key to what makes the Canossian brand of education special.

During the school visits, the group reflected on their role as Canossian educators, deepening their understanding of the Canossian charism in schools as they saw how it is still lived out in the Canossian schools in Italy.

Throughout the trip, the group was also privileged to meet with the Italian Canossian Sisters in the schools and convents.
In addition, the group visited places of significance to the founding of the order such as Santo Lorenzo Church in Verona where St Magdalene was baptised, Canossa Palace, St Magdalene’s Museum, her room and the chapel.

The group also visited Schio to learn about the life of St Bakhita. They visited the chapel there, her room and the St Bakhita museum.

As the Canossian Order in Singapore belongs to the Province of St Anthony’s, the group spent some time in Padua learning about the saint and attending Mass at the basilica dedicated to him.

The group also spent three days in Assisi being inspired by the life of St Francis of Assisi before making their way to Rome where they attended a Wednesday audience with Pope Francis and visited the Vatican.