Participants of the Office for Young People’s School of Witness programme pose for a photo with Archbishop William Goh after the Mass marking the end of their eight-week programme.

Christabel Claire Fernandez

To mark the end of this year’s School of Witness (SOW) programme, 41 participants were commissioned during a Mass celebrated by Archbishop William Goh on March 3 in the presence of family, friends and SOW alumni.

SOW is an eight-week school of Christian discipleship organised by the Office for Young People (OYP). It aims to deepen the faith of young people through coming to know Christ and discovering themselves and their identity in God.

Most of the participants are currently experiencing transitions in their lives. Some are waiting to enter the army, while others are waiting to enter university and to begin a new career path.

During the Mass, Archbishop Goh highlighted the need to be joyful when called to love and serve others, for it is in this joy that one can give wholeheartedly without worry or calculativeness.

The commissioning Mass was followed by a showcase of various creative pieces by the SOW participants as well as testimonies by three young people who shared how their personal experience of God’s love had empowered them.

Participants deep in prayer.

This year’s SOW, centred around the theme “I was once blind, but now I see” (John 9:25), saw participants aged 19-33 journeying together in a live-in community setting. Discipline and respect were stressed as part of character building and this was encouraged through daily reflections on a particular virtue.

The school was run under the spiritual direction of OYP chaplains Fr Brian D’Souza and Fr Jude David together with OYP staff.

The school was divided into two sections. In the first four weeks, participants concentrated on growing in their faith through sessions on the Trinity and their identity in Christ, studying topics like Theology of the Body and the sacraments, and learning to evangelise.

Young people put on a dance at the Church of St Vincent de Paul as part of their outreach programme.

Participants were placed into groups of four under the care of a group leader. They were also grouped according to gender which made it more conducive for sharing and growth.

The second half of SOW saw participants preparing for outreach through creative expressions of the Gospel, writing and presenting their personal testimonies as well as learning to lead praise-and-worship sessions.

Participants then reached out to junior college students, universities, various parishes and the Nox Gaudii event at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd.

Participants hold a worship session with Singapore Management University students.

Mr Leonard Teo, 21, commented on his experience of living in community, “We have stumbled and fallen in these eight weeks but our community of SOWers picked each other up and continued walking towards Jesus. We entered as strangers, we left as family in Christ.”

Mr Marcus Yee, 21, shared that his “life as a Catholic had been one that was fickle and underdeveloped. I never thought of God in my life and only prayed when I was in need of divine intervention or due to obligation. I’ve come to understand the need to build a personal relationship with God and I’m beginning to understand the depth of my faith and what is required of me to live a life for Christ.”

Sports and games were also part of the activities at the School of Witness live-in programme.

If you are between the ages of 16 (post-confirmation) to 35 and wish to find out more about OYP, visit, write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. like its Facebook page or follow it on Instagram:

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