The first class in the Catechesis on Marriage and Family was held on Nov 4 at CANA – The Catholic Centre.

A new adult formation course titled A Catechesis on Marriage and Family was launched on Nov 4 as a collaboration between the Singapore archdiocese and the Maryvale Institute in the UK.

It aims to help students deepen their understanding of Catholic teachings on marriage and family so that students may participate more fruitfully in the Church’s mission of the New Evangelisation.

Fifty-five students signed up for the six-month distance-learning course. It includes a combination of study days, self-study and personal reflections, with added guidance from tutors at the Maryvale Institute. Participants will receive a
Maryvale Certificate upon completion of the course.

The first class at CANA – The Catholic Centre, held during the launch, was conducted by Ms Mary Killeen, director of the Marriage and Family Life Programmes at the Maryvale Institute.

Before the class began, a message by Archbishop William Goh was delivered. “I thank God for your generous response as this is a necessary step towards the strengthening of marriages and families as well as marriage and family ministries in the archdiocese,” he said.

The message also described the challenges faced by Singaporean families, where long working hours and frequent travels thwart the building of a “communion of persons”. Archbishop Goh added that “more than ever before, a robust formation in the Church’s teaching on marriage and family is needed in order to live out God’s plan of love.”

During the class, Ms Killeen explained how crises experienced in marriages and families today are rooted in the crisis of faith and the loss of God’s plan of love. She invited the students to undertake their studies as a form of retreat; to enter a deeper experience of God’s love for them and their love for one another.

Like many of the students, Julie and Corey Ang, married 18 years with three kids, signed up as a couple to learn more about the teachings of the Church so as to enhance their ministry in the Couple Empowerment Programme (CEP).

Ms Lilly Phang, a coordinator of Catholic Engaged Encounter, shared that she signed up because the fundamental truths
of the faith resonated with her.

Maryvale’s director, Fr Edward Clare, who was in town for a separate study weekend, also attended the launch of the course.

Archbishop William Goh is seen here with Maryvale Institute’s director, Fr Edward Clare, and Ms Mary Killeen, director of the institute’s Marriage and Family Life Programmes.

Bernard and Ying Thio, married for 30 years with six kids, undertook the distance learning course – The Master of Arts in Catholic Pastoral and Educational Studies, (MACPES) Marriage and Family Pathway – at the Maryvale Institute in 2011.

“Our work with young married couples led us to see first-hand the real threats to marriages in their early phases when couples feel overwhelmed by the demands of work and family commitments relating to one another,” they said. “We were convinced that there was a need to equip ourselves with sound theological formation in marriage and family, whilst deepening our own faith experience.”

To find out more about the course, visit