It was a time of joy and celebration as Maris Stella High School marked its 60th anniversary with a Mass celebrated by Archbishop William Goh.
The warm weather failed to dampen spirits as students, teachers and staff were in full voice as they sang hymns during the outdoor Eucharistic celebration.
The July 26 celebration was all the more special as it was the first time that primary and secondary students attended Mass together in the school.
Frs Henry Siew, John Sim and Terence Kesavan – all Maris Stella alumni – were among those who concelebrated the Mass.
Others who attended included the Marist Brothers and parents.
Archbishop Goh, in his homily, spoke about the difference between a secular and Catholic education.
Catholic education seeks to “form students to live a life based on truth and love,” he said.
With the skills learned in school, “use your life for the service and good of humanity and country,” he urged students.
He reminded them not to seek material wealth and power but to lead “meaningful, purposeful and happy lives by serving others with love and compassion.”
To teachers, Archbishop Goh said that it was their responsibility to “form students in life, character and virtues.”
Doing so requires you to lead by example, he said.
“Young people today are not interested in words, they want examples,” he stressed.
After Mass, all present sang a birthday song followed by the cutting of the 60th anniversary cake.
The Mass was just one event in a series held this year to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the school. Other events included:
– A Homecoming Fiesta on March 10 attended by past and present students. The highlights of the fiesta included carnival rides, games, food and magic shows.
– A June 30 concert, titled Stellar Marist!, held at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. The audience was treated to an evening of familiar tunes and favourites by the school’s Symphonic Band, Chinese Orchestra and String Ensemble.
– On July 27, the school celebrated its Founder’s Day which included a special commemoration of the life of Marist Br Joche Chanel, who founded the school in 1958. The event featured wushu, calligraphy and dance performances as well as a video tribute to three generations of Marists.
Marist Br Joche Chanel founded Maris Stella High School in 1958.
It started with four Pri 1 classes, four Sec 1 classes and a staff of 10 including Br Chanel as principal.
At that time, classes functioned in the afternoon at St Stephen’s Primary School in Siglap.
In the pursuit of having their own school premises, Br Chanel worked tirelessly to raise funds.
A new phase in the history of Maris Stella High School began in 1967 when it moved to its own school compound at Mount Vernon Road.
Br Chanel decided to proceed with the next project – a five-storey building for the primary section. Construction began and the building was completed by the end of October 1975. This new building was officially declared open on Sept 11, 1976.