By Joyce Gan

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SINGAPORE - Archbishop Nicholas Chia ushered in the first day of the 2007 school year at Catholic High School by blessing the school on Jan 3.

Since March 2005, the school has been operating from its Bishan premises which had undergone PRIME (Programme for Rebuilding and IMproving Existing Schools) but the new buildings had not been blessed until now. 

Right, Archbishop Nicholas Chia opens the new school year at Catholic High with a Mass and blessing of the school. Here, he is making his way around the school to bless the offices and classrooms, accompanied by Catholic High teachers.

The School Management Committee and members of the Catholic High Alumni have, in the meantime, placed a crucifix in every classroom and made other improvements to the school's infrastructure from funds raised through fairs and donations.

"The school now boasts a beautiful Catholic environment where a grotto, crucifixes and Bible verses adorn the halls and gardens," said Mary Victor, a teacher in charge of Catholic activities  programmes. "We really wanted everything in place before the blessing."

Archbishop Chia observed in his homily at a Mass celebrated at the school that a lot of effort has been put in to build the school, not merely in its physical structures, "but in nurturing students as well". He called on the teachers to keep in mind Catholic High's mission and vision "to be a forerunner and beacon in Christian values … [and to inculcate] passion in life to serve others".

"You must help these children put this mission and vision into action," he reminded them. "Gospel values are human values and they are good for everyone so we should implant these in all."

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