An art-making session during the programme.

By Karen Tan S. E.

A hundred and ten educators, including teachers, principals and school board members, learnt what it meant to be a “courageous” Christian educator at a recent faith formation programme.

The Aug 25 and 26 programme, held at Catholic Junior College, was organised by the Archdiocesan Commission for Catholic Schools (ACCS) and Australia’s Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) Office.

Senior staff from BCE Office presented the programme to the 70 local teachers who attended the Aug 25 session, and the 40 principals, vice-principals and school board members who attended the Aug 26 one.

The programme was to help participants find courage in meeting the challenges they face in school by reflecting on Gospel stories, and through insights from spiritual writings, music, and arts and crafts.

One memorable activity for participants was using dot-style painting to express their connection with the courage of the cross.

Another significant topic that resonated with the educators was the call to build a community based on Gospel values.

An activity that reflected this was the making of a “lion of clay”. Here, participants experimented with acrylics of different colours in building their “lion”, in an effort to articulate how they can bring about their vision of a Gospel community in their schools.

Participants doing dot-style painting on wooden crosses.

One participant, Mr Gerald Kong, said he could relate this activity to the courage that St Paul manifested in labouring to build church communities in the face of adversity.

“The symbol of the lion is a reminder from 2 Tim 4:17 that our strength in the midst of adversities is always from God and that our doorway to accessing that is humility and surrender to Him,” said Mr Kong.

The faith formation programme culminated another BCE-ACCS partnership project – the Literacy Education Access Programme (LEAP).

This was a five-day programme for Catholic Australian senior-level teachers to observe the academic and religion lessons in eight Catholic schools here.

The visitors also participated in sharing sessions with the teachers, principals and vice-principals of the Singapore schools.