Catholic Education Conference 2013

Keynote Address: An Abstract




Traditional Church teaching insists that all cultures need to be regenerated by an encounter with the Gospel. This assumes that the Gospel is to be proclaimed above all by witness. The Gospel, however, needs to be inculturated in the social reality of the pluralist and multi-religious society of Singapore in which Christians are a minority. Witness, therefore, takes both active and passive forms especially through the Church’s insistence through the Second Vatican Council on the primacy of dialogue with the modern world.

Among the four forms of this Dialogue, the two most related to witness are the dialogue of shared prayer and the dialogue of everyday life. All Christians who receive the gift of faith (donum Dei) through baptism have to actualise this gift progressively from their initial socialisation into religious practice to the maturing of their faith through good works.

To achieve this, young and old need the active support of a faith community to guide and sustain them. As anthropologist Mary Douglas has shown, a community retains its vitality and openness to change through the strength of both its ‘grid’[SHARED VALUES] and ‘group’ [STRONG COMMUNITY] for no one makes the journey of faith alone.

Such a faith community in Singapore contributes to the shared values of Singapore society through its openness to dialogue with others and through its witness to Gospel values through its good works.


Day 1 (Fri, 13 Sep)

08.30 Morning Prayer led by Sr Maria Lau
08.40 Welcome and introduction by Prof Tan Cheng Han
09.20 Keynote Address (Part 1) by Bro Gerard Rummery – “You are to be My Witnesses” (with open discussion and clarifications)
11.00 Tea Break
11.30 Responses to the keynote on Singapore’s Catholic education ministry
12.15 Small Group Discussion on Catholic education needs in Singapore (with Lunch)
14.45 Group reporting and interaction
15.30 Tea Break
16.30 Eucharistic Celebration with Archbishop William Goh
17.30 Tea reception and networking


Day 2 (Sat, 14 Sep)

08.30 Morning Prayer led by Ms Genevieve Chye
08.40 Recap of previous day by Bro Dominic Yeo-Koh
09.00 Keynote Address (Part 2) by Bro Gerard Rummery – “Catholic education as ministry of the Church”
10.30 Tea Break
11.00 Panel – Value of Catholic education / Dialogue on Catholic education in Singapore
11.45 Conclusion by Prof Tan Cheng Han (ACCS Chairman)
12.00 Closing hymn led by choir of CHIJ Toa Payoh Sec
12.15 Prayer and blessings

Keynote Speaker

Brother Gerard Rummery BA Dip.Ed (Melbourne) M.Ed (Sydney) MA (London) Ph.D (Lancaster) Brother Gerard Rummery taught in secondary education in Australia before continuing post-graduate studies in Moral Education and Religious Education in Europe 1969-1972. He completed doctoral studies under the late Ninian Smart at Lancaster University with research in the principal catechetical centres in London (Corpus Christi), France (Catechetical and Pastoral Centre of the Catholic University Paris) , Belgium (Lumen Vitae), and in the Higher Catechetical Institutes in Nijmegen (Holland) and Munich (Germany). His doctoral thesis – Catechesis and Religious Education in a Pluralist Society – was the basis for a book of the same name, published E.J. Dwyer (Sydney) 1975 and by My Family Visitor (USA) where it won the prize for Religious Book of the Year. He was editor of the Australian Catechetical Journal Our Apostolate, subsequently Word in Life and now the Religious Education Journal of the Australian Catholic University of which he was an Adjunct Professor. He has conducted national catechetical workshops in England, Ireland, Philippines, USA and Australia.


We are thankful for the sponsors who have helped to fund this event:

  • Shelton International College
  • CJC
  • Assumption English School
  • Focal Print N Pack
  • Canossian Schools
  • CHIJ Schools
  • SJI International
  • Serra Club of Singapore
  • Serra Club of Singapore
  • Montfort Junior
  • Montfort Sec
  • SJI Junior
  • De La Salle Primary
  • Catholic High School
  • CHIJ Secondary
  • St Gabriel’s Primary
  • St Gabriel’s Secondary
  • Assumption Pathway
  • Hai Sing Catholic School
  • CHIJ St Theresa’s Convent
  • Holy Trinity Kindergarten
  • Marymount Kindergarten
  • Canossian School
  • St Patrick’s School
  • Agape Village
  • Jessica Tan
  • Joy Catholic Store