Two years after Sir Stamford Raffles founded Singapore in 1819, Saint Laurent Marie Joseph Imbert stepped foot on our shores to mark the beginning of Catholic outreach to our country.

When he arrived on December 11, 1821, he was then a priest from MEP (Société des Missions étrangères de Paris) and played a significant role in bringing Catholicism to Singapore in the 19th century.

He was martyred on September 21, 1839 in Saenamteo, Korea, for refusing to reveal the whereabouts of other foreign missionaries during a time of Christian persecution in the country. He was canonised by Pope John Paul II in Seoul on May 6, 1984.

It is, therefore, with great joy and excitement that the Archdiocese of Singapore will be commemorating its 200th anniversary in 2021.

His Grace, Archbishop William Goh, said that this historic milestone would be an opportunity to galvanise Catholics for the past, present, and future.

“We want to celebrate with gratitude and thanksgiving how far we have come. We must empower our Catholics today to be vibrant in their faith and evangelise. And we should inspire all to work for a future when humanity and creation find completion in God.”

The bicentennial celebration will be a year-long series of coordinated activities and initiatives that will culminate in a grand bicentennial celebration towards the end of

An Archdiocesan committee has been formed to plan for the celebrations. Father Stephen Yim, the co-chair of the committee, said: “We want to involve all Catholics, all parishes, all church groups.”

With this in mind, the committee is reaching out to the community for ideas and suggestions so that this becomes a celebration
for all:

• Share your big ideas for initiatives and activities that can ignite the faithful through this celebration to be vibrant, evangelistic, and missionary. Submit your thoughts to: [email protected] by April 30, 2020.

• Get involved as a group. Let the committee know if your group (parish, group within the parish, Archdiocesan organisation, movements, Catholic schools, Catholic institutions, etc) is interested in organising a major programme, event or activity inspired or linked to the bicentennial. The committee is keen to partner with as many groups as possible so that this celebration can reach everyone. Email the name of your group and what you have in mind to: [email protected] by May 30, 2020.

• Volunteer. Be part of the action to promote, facilitate or help out at events and initiatives. Please submit your name, contact information and area of interest and expertise to help out to: [email protected]

Stay tuned for plans for the biggest birthday party ever in the Archdiocese.