Students participating in an online Legion of Mary session. Photo: St Joseph’s Institution

Edward Thomas Patani

The current Circuit Breaker measures have seen schools shifting towards full Home-Based Learning. And, at St Joseph’s Institution, it raises the question of how we could keep the Catholic spirit alive among our students.

As its Principal, Father Adrian Danker, in his online address to the school community said that the suspension of school activities would be a test of our resilience as a school community. “Through this testing, we will either grow stronger or weaker as a community.  Stronger because we are indeed a community that cares or weaker because we are really not a community, only individuals with individualistic characters,” said Fr Danker.

As with the other co-curricular activities (CCA), it also meant that the meetings for the various Legion of Mary praesidiums were suspended. Initially, there was apprehension among a few Catholic society leaders as they feared that the students would drift further away from God and from prayer due to the absence of our daily morning prayer sessions and weekly meetings.

These leaders then took the initiative to rally the Catholic community together by moving the weekly Legion of Mary meetings online. During these sessions, members would come together to participate in video calls to recite the rosary, pray, report on their weekly spiritual development and to also share the Word of God with one another.

Adriel Lee, a Year 3 student shared “The Legion meetings have managed to connect our community in this time of isolation and it has given me the opportunity to share how I am doing with my friends.”

Similarly, for Christopher Singh, a Year 4 student, he said that “The community at the Legion meetings has given me hope to thrive, allowing me to cope with the demands of these uncertain times.”

Additionally, daily reflection questions were also sent via WhatsApp chat groups. Daily morning prayers were likewise organised online through a YouTube livestream for the Catholic community.

Said Lynuz Rham a Year 3 student, “Although the livestream morning prayers are not the same as our usual morning prayers in school, it motivates me to live more positively as we go through these relatively gloomy times.”

I am glad that as part of the Catholic student community in SJI, we have managed to rise to the challenges during this nationwide Circuit Breaker measures. We are proud to be keeping the Catholic faith in SJI alive using various innovative platforms. I am confident that we would be able to stay united spiritually as one community during such times and still keep our spiritual flames alive.