Touched by His Call:
Commemorating the 4th Centenary of the Birth of Blessed Nicolas Barré The Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus in Singapore
Author: The Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus in Singapore Copyright © The Lady Superior of Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus, 2021 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission from the copyright holder. Cover: A stained glass window in the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Almería, Spain, depicting Blessed Nicolas Barré’s teaching that “Whoever welcomes a poor and abandoned child welcomes Jesus Christ doubly.” It was dedicated in 2018 to Blessed Nicolas Barré in recognition of the 25 years of Christian witness that the IJ Sisters had given there. Photo: Infant Jesus Sisters All names and information are accurate at the time of publication. Images that appear on the pages are courtesy of the respective schools. ISBN: 978-981-18-1829-5
Spiritual Letter of Blessed Nicolas Barré
IJ Board IJ Sisters
CHIJ Primary (Toa Payoh)
CHIJ Secondary School
CHIJ (Katong) Primary
CHIJ Katong Convent (Secondary)
CHIJ St Theresa’s Convent
CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School
CHIJ St Joseph’s Convent
CHIJ Our Lady Queen of Peace
CHIJ Our Lady of the Nativity
CHIJ Our Lady of Good Counsel
CHIJ Kellock Convent
Prayer of Abandonment
Preface I have many fun and joyous memories of my primary school years in CHIJ Bukit Timah. Yet one memory that stands out vividly, is of me terrified and shivering uncontrollably when I was tasked to present something in front of my schoolmates. I do not even recall what I was to present then. All I remember is that my legs shook like jelly and I just could not find my voice. What struck me most about that memory, is that there was absolutely no judgment and no jeering from my schoolmates who clearly witnessed my embarrassing and uncomfortable moment. I also recall the soft reassuring voice from my teacher telling me that it is okay and nudging me to carry on. And carry on I did. I somehow found my voice after that day. And I never stopped. I joined debates and oratorical competitions in secondary school, went on to Law School, and today have my career using my voice to advocate and speak up (in Court and out) for those who might be voiceless or otherwise unable to speak for themselves. I remember asking my mother why she, a non-Catholic back then, sent me to CHIJ. Her response was very simply, “I believed the nuns will teach you to speak well, and to live well.” I am eternally grateful for the many opportunities to encounter God and to be touched by His call whilst I was in CHIJ. That was when I knew that this is the God I want to follow for the rest of my life. I am blessed to be able to give back and serve on the CHIJ Board of Management. Who would have thought that the stuttering shivering girl would one day return to speak often at CHIJ school events and play a part in fostering an IJ community that continues the legacy of our founding father and pioneering IJ Sisters. Whenever we have brainstorming sessions on characteristics of an IJ girl, invariably someone will say - her voice. I am pretty sure they do not mean just the loud, often ear-splitting voices of IJ girls, especially when a group of excited IJ girls (no matter how old they are) get together, but also her ability to articulate and communicate, not just for herself but oftentimes for others, and for causes. It is therefore very apt that the compilation for the 400th anniversary of the birth of Blessed Nicholas Barré, the founder of the CHIJ schools, is titled “Touched by His Call: IJ Voices”. These 400 reflections from the IJ community share so much that is IJ. It is made possible because one man responded to God’s call to serve. Blessed Nicolas Barré has shown us what it means to live life in complete abandonment to God’s will, and to make Christ known and loved, through his courage and compassion in helping the disadvantaged in society. May the beautifully compiled articles, comprising the voices of our IJ family, serve to inspire you to be the voice for others. Ms Vivienne Lim Chairperson, CHIJ Board of Management
➧ Spiritual Letter of Blessed Nicolas Barré DEAR CHILD OF GOD, Let your life be characterised by WONDER, ADORATION, SILENCE, NOTHINGNESS, OBEDIENCE, HUMILITY AND LOVE. First of all, dwell on the WONDER, allowing yourself to be taken over by a sense of awe at the sight of God reaching out to you, as though you were the only one that mattered. Reflect on the mystery and wonder of being chosen to be God’s dwelling place. Bow down in ADORATION before God whose greatness exceeds all that we could ever imagine. May this sense of greatness so permeate you that it will be reflected in all that you do and say. Pay attention to inner SILENCE which means trying to quieten the thoughts, emotions or impulses which lead to anxiety. Too much inner activity and even multiplying acts of devotion, prevent us from hearing the gentle voice of God in the depths of our being. Enter into your own NOTHINGNESS before the immense greatness of God. Recognise your total dependence and be ready to let go to God’s desires. Ask for nothing more and desire nothing more. It is not enough to reach this stage in thought and desire; it calls for a response in OBEDIENCE to God’s will as it makes itself known. With humility, gentleness and discernment, be alert to the ways in which God reaches out to you through the people with whom you live and work. Seek to live your life in a true spirit of HUMILITY. Pray for the grace to be able to say thanks when you are not offered the first place or recognised for what you have done. Jesus has gone this road before you. Above all, reflect on the immensity of God’s unique and personal LOVE for you. Listen to the invitation: “COME THEN, MY BELOVED, MY LOVELY ONE, COME.” The real mystery is in God’s love for us rather than in our love for God. “My beloved is mine and I belong to the beloved”. (Letter 36) 3
➧ IJ Board IJ Sisters Father Barré’s vision made him sensitive to the poor and the value of education. He was able to inspire like-minded young lay women to commit themselves totally to the same mission. His legacy has extended from France to several countries and the IJ mission grew rapidly, with the service of other sisters from Spain, Italy, England and Ireland. We now have 12 CHIJ schools in Singapore. Established alongside the IJ schools, we had an orphanage and centres for children at risk or who required special attention. These residences have morphed into the current Infant Jesus Homes and Children’s Centres (IJHCC), the social mission arm of the IJ sisters. The IJ mission would not be possible without the collaboration of lay people, in their affiliation as Friends (well-wishers and supporters in various ways), Collaborators (drawn to our charism and desire to live their call in the spirit and make a formal annual commitment) and Associates (Catholics who officially make a life-long commitment to live our spirituality and charism as their way of life). The legacy of Blessed Nicolas Barré continues to enrich and inspire us to grow and respond to God’s call and the call of the poor. http://chij-sisters.org/ https://ijhcc.org/
“God’s excessive love – our only security.” “Believe God truly loves you.” These words of Blessed Nicolas Barré resonate with me and give me the anchor and depth in my life. Like our founder I pray, ‘’Lord, I want nothing more. It is enough for me that you hold me in your presence, that you take care of everything, that you watch over all my concerns, all that happens to me and that nothing escapes your adorable guidance of my life.” “Whatever happens, remain always at peace and trust in God”. As I respond to God’s call at different stages of my life, I am faced with challenges and difficulties but I am inspired to trust in God’s Providence. I have learnt that God is never outdone in generosity, and for me, generosity breeds generosity. The more I share generously of myself with others, the more I recognise that God will provide. May I continue to reflect on the immensity of God’s unique and personal love for me and grow in gratefulness to God, His creation and the persons whom I encounter. May I pay attention to inner silence, enter into my nothingness and in humility, listen to His call and respond with generosity. As I encounter persons of diverse backgrounds, may I appreciate diversity as a gift working in unity of purpose in an inclusive environment. Sr Maria (IJ Sister)
I surfed the web to reach Singapore. On almost every page there was a mention of excellence: in education and business, in technology and sciences, and again and again. The human cost of these competitions is high… To the teachers of IJ convent schools Nicolas Barré speaks of excellence: the excellence of their vocation. excellence in loving respect for the weakest, excellence in patience, gentleness and humility, excellence in discerning each other's talents… Then they will succeed, their skills will be at the service of people's human growth, then they will know and communicate true happiness even if sometimes the IJ excellence is not that of the society that surrounds them. Sr Brigitte Flourez (Superior General) Mother General of IJ Sisters (worldwide)
➧ Introduction Nicolas Barré lived his whole life with absolute trust in God’s divine providence, confident that he was being led, step by step, to whatever God wanted for him. He only had to remain open and free in his mind and heart and be alert to what was going on around him. In this way God would nudge him and lead him forward. He looked, listened and noticed, taking all he observed back to God in prayer. As he walked around the local streets he saw that the children were running wild. He became aware that education would enable them to reach their full potential. He decided to set up some ‘little schools’ with a few like-minded women, which eventually led to the birth of the Institute of the Infant Jesus sisters. He simply followed God’s promptings, trusting that God was with him every step of the way.
IJ Board IJ Sisters
TRUST IN DIVINE PROVIDENCE
May we open our minds and hearts to wherever God may lead each one of us, trusting that we will never be asked to do more than we are able. May we have the courage to take the first steps as we follow God’s gentle promptings, even if we don’t know exactly where they will lead. Reflection 1
“I will lead the blind by a road they do not know, by paths they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I will do, and I will not forsake them.” (Is. 42:16) Reflection 2
“Close your eyes, throw yourself into my arms, act only through me. Let your one concern be to obey me and follow me in everything and through everything.” (Letter 13) Prayer God our Father, may we, like Nicolas Barré, entrust our journey through life to your divine providence, without knowing exactly where you will lead us. Help us to trust and believe that whatever you ask of us will be no more that we can achieve. May we recognise the gifts that you have given us and use them for your glory and the good of our neighbour. Blessing: May God’s providence guide us on every step of our journey through life. Sr Marie Pitcher (IJ Sister)
Dear Blessed Nicolas Barré, Long before I knew you, your spirit of daring courage, abandonment and zeal, so evident in the lives of the early missionaries captivated me! And I joined the IJ Sisters. Delving deep into your Foundational Documents opened my eyes to the gems - treasures of your heart and spirit. I appreciate your practical advice: ‘It is a good thing to fill one’s mind with God and to desire to love Him alone. It is not the whole Gospel. Jesus was not satisfied with this. He emptied himself, suffered and died to Himself in His own death. He worked miracles, preached, taught and talked with and cured people. There was no limit to what he did for His neighbour.’ FD 244.3 Please give me the grace not to be afraid of the Cross as I walk the talk. And help me to inspire others by sharing your life. Sr Celine Low (IJ Sister)
The IJ Catechist Fr Barré was committed to the catechetical renewal promoted by the Council of Trent (1563). “There would be no difficulty placing Fr Barré among the most outstanding catechists of the time” (Positio). Even so, when he invited some young women to be catechists his work met with great opposition. It soon became apparent, however, that these young women were gifted, well prepared catechists and they became the first sisters of the Institute. The Superior of a seminary wrote at that time to his friend: “I am fully aware of the marvellous fruits produced by the Institute of the Sisters of Instruction. It seems to me to be one of the greatest graces of this century”. They did not confine their catechesis to children. On Sundays and Holy Days they gave instruction to adults on the central mysteries of the Christian Faith and Marguerite Lestocq, one of the founding sisters, remembered that: “so many people came that we had to take away partitions and enlarge the rooms in order to make space for them”. Fr Barré trained these catechists himself and we have his “Recommendations for the Teaching of Catechism” which are still valid today. The teaching of catechism is a mission which requires humility, disinterestedness and especially openness to the Holy Spirit who is active both in the catechists and in the hearts of those who listen to them. Wherever the Institute is planted the work of catechesis takes pride of place. Many pupils and teaches of the IJ Schools owe their Christian faith and formation to this holy and noble ministry. “Their voice goes out to the ends of the earth.” (Ps 19) Sr Georgina Clarson (IJ Sister, Czech Republic) Artwork by Meenal Nandhini Murugappan (Secondary 3/1, CHIJ Secondary)
➧ In these images, Father Barré manifests his sense of the concrete, his spirit of observation and at the same time his pedagogical sense and spiritual depth. Here are a few examples from “Maxims for All People”.
133:61 The mature Christian should be like the weather-cock on the church belfry, which turns with every wind without leaving its position on the cross.
IJ Board IJ Sisters
Some Interesting Imagery Used by Father Barré in his Writings
137:79 As far as insults are concerned, it is best to act as if caught in a downpour. We look for shelter, stand under a tree, let the storm pass without saying anything. Then we resume our journey or our work, as if nothing had happened.
145:111 We should approach afflictions, inner and external trials and temptations, in the same way as we would approach a cannon. If one faces it, it kills: but if one lies on the ground, the cannon ball passes overhead without doing any harm apart from the shock and the noise. (110) 145:113 The beauty of the world consists of many different kinds of beauty. If a tree wanted to glow with the brilliance of gold and if gold took on the green of the leaves, the flowers or the fruits of the tree, the whole of nature would be in disorder. So it is with the spiritual life: you must not try to follow the path that is right for another or lay claim to the same graces. This would lead to the ruination of everything, including oneself. It can be truly said of every saint : ‘there truly has been no other person like this one.’ (113) 146:116 If we are walking by night with the light of a small lantern and meet someone carrying a large torch, we take advantage of the torch while it lasts, but we do not extinguish our own lantern because we know we shall need it again once the torch-bearer has turned into another street. If God bestows some extraordinary grace on us at prayer, we must beware of saying : ‘From now onwards, I shall have no need of meditation methods or books.’ As soon as we meet the first difficulty we shall have to turn to them again. (114)
Sr Teresa Lee (IJ Sister)
AFTER A STORM COMES A CALM
Whatever happens, be always at peace and trust in God ~ Blessed Nicolas Barré
Sometimes there are storms that darken the way, Sometimes there are burdens that are hard to carry. Other times, there are sorrows and troubles that seem to hide the face of the Lord from us, but do not be deceived into thinking that the Lord doesn’t know or that He doesn’t care. When we are in the valley of darkness, we need a fresh encounter with the Lord. Pray when God says, “Yes!” Pray when God says, “No, I have a better way!” Pray when God says, “Wait!” Pray! Our duty is to trust Him in spite of what we do not know, or what we cannot see! Heavenly Father, thank you for your unconditional and abundant love. Thank you for being by my side always. I confess that at times I don’t understand why things happen the way they do, but I do know that you walk every path of life with me. I pray for patience, compassion and strength Lord, as I care for the people you placed in my path. Thank you once again that you never leave me and that you never forsake any one of us and you love us deeply. I love and trust you, and pray this in your Holy name. Amen.” Sr Elizabeth Moey (IJ Sister)
➧ Searched, Among many founders... All a library of works: Inspired Fr. Barré Written little Too few written about... Where is your library? 400 years Including my 30; Learning to write just by 3 maxims Desire only Lord's desire; Allow the Holy Spirit; Be a pen in God's hand. It takes many life times 24/7, 365 days, To date 400 years. Is it worth selling all? Worth it! Every minute of it!
Teacher, I am Special…
IJ Board IJ Sisters
400 YEARS IN A MOMENT Teary-eyed and desolate, often scolded by teachers and parents, a nine-year-old boy curled up in pouting silence. Why do adults shower me with daily curses! I think I am born to play and I am most happy to forget about studying, homework and tuition. I only like recess time in school. Nothing else matters! Homework not done! Exams coming! No problem for me. “Boy, sit down,” “Focus,” “Don’t write the ‘b’ like a ‘d’.” Teacher, you know I am special, help me, please! Fr Nicolas Barré said, “Whoever receives a poor abandoned child, doubly welcomes Jesus Christ.” This is the first and most important aim of the Institute of the IJ Sisters. (S.R. 1:2) Sr Agnes Lee (IJ Sister)
Sr Julia Ong (IJ Sister)
The 2nd Joyful Mystery – The Visitation Mary enters the house of her cousin Elizabeth. At the sound of her greeting, the infant leaps in Elizabeth’s womb. Elizabeth says to Mary: “Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” I am always inspired not only by Mary’s humility but by her absolute trust that what the Lord promised would indeed come about. Another awesome realization is “nothing is impossible to God” for He gave Elizabeth a child when Elizabeth was beyond her childbearing age. Absolute trust in the Lord – this is what I struggle with whenever I face problems in my daily life. I pray, I ask God to show me the way, and to grant my intentions, but it is merely words of begging God to answer my prayers. All I want is for God to answer my each and every prayer, I know deep down it is my own human thinking and not what God wants for me. Yet, I still continue to ask God to answer my prayers even though at the back of my mind, I know it is not God’s will and not the time for Him to answer my prayer. I had been married a few years and my husband and I had been praying for a child. I was disappointed in God for not answering my prayers. Even though I kept praying, I was losing my faith and confidence in God. One day, my friend spoke to me about how to pray. She said we should speak to the Lord what our intentions are and at the end of each intention we should pray, “if this intention is in accordance to your will O Lord, please grant it in Jesus’ name”. This was an inspiring and awakening call to me – I should not be relying on my human thinking but I should have total faith and trust in the Lord. I should be like Mary – I must believe in the power of prayers, be humble and fully trust and hope in the Lord. I must follow and do in accordance to His will. It is not easy to know what is God’s will, but I have to surrender to God. I must believe that God will answer my prayers in His time. Praise God – He blessed me and my husband with a child after 6 years of marriage. God is always with us and in us, so believe and trust in God for nothing is impossible to Him. Mrs Doreen Tan CHIJ Board of Management
“Whatever happens, be always at peace and trust in God.” (Letter 61) is the quotation of Blessed Nicolas Barré that
continues to inspire me.
As I go through my life especially after my being a lay partner with the IJ Sisters, encountering them, and having studied the writings of Blessed Nicolas Barré in depth with them and the Associates, I have become more convinced of God’s unconditional love for me. Recognising His Providence to hold me safe and guide every step of my life, I can let go of my anxious need to know what the future brings and thus live in peace. Ms Rosa Lau (IJ Associate)
➧ Blessed Nicolas Barré looks serious and austere in the different graphic representations of him. Behind this facade is a man with a vision that is still relevant after 400 years and more. During these four decades countless women, religious and lay, have been inspired to follow Jesus’ footsteps through his maxims and the story of his life. As an educator I am intrigued by Blessed Nicolas Barré’s comprehensive guidelines for education.
IJ Board IJ Sisters
“All are to be welcomed without prejudice or any distinction based on the capacities of the young people”. It is no wonder IJ exemplifies inclusiveness. Blessed Nicolas Barré lived the Prayer of Abandonment. This legacy of his has paved the way for many, including me, to live our lives. Mrs Mathews Shuquo (IJ Associate)
I am deeply grateful to God for guiding my parents to enrol me in the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus, Klang. With selfless devotion to their call, our IJ Sisters provided a nurturing environment to instil the IJ values in our hearts and equip us with a sound moral compass. Student initiatives were encouraged throughout my student life and we felt involved in our own education. I thank God for bringing me back to our IJ Family in 2005 … a joyous homecoming after 34 years – to lead CHIJ Katong Convent. Following the vision of Fr Barré and the values he taught, I have tried to give every student the opportunity to explore, discover and develop her God-given talents to become self-confident, humble and compassionate women who may become future leaders in our society. Artwork by Chloe Lin Jing Xi (Secondary 2/3, CHIJ Secondary)
Ms Lam Ai-Leen (IJ Associate)
Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go. ~ Genesis 28:15 Christmas came early for me in 2020. In October that year, I made a commitment to be an IJ Associate. It was like Christmas as with this step I took, I was filled (and still am) with great awe and gifts of blessings. I felt the growing and assuring presence of God in my life. His being is so real and eminent that it gave me a renewed and purposeful perspective on life. With that, came new hope and energy and the obstacles and pains I felt seemed to diminish and dim away as they served as opportunities for me to draw closer to our Father. What has touched me most is that God does not exclude. He calls anyone, even the broken and downcast and at any time. For all the above, I’m truly grateful that I’m called back to the IJ community to serve, years after I’ve finished my education at CHIJ St Joseph’s Convent. My journey has not been as I expected and the road ahead is an uphill one but I’m not daunted as I know I am never alone. I continue to pray that I be used as His instrument to share His goodness and I trust He will grant me the strength and courage to persevere. A life inspired and drawn closer to God by the Blessed Nicolas Barré, the IJ Sisters (of past and present) and all who played a part in building the IJ community Ms Pauline Chan (IJ Associate)
IJ Chestnut Drive/Bukit Timah (1958–67) School, the precursor of IJ Our Lady of Peace, was stimulating and fun. We had Miss Tay Siew Eng as our Primary 1 teacher. Our redoubtable principal was Miss Ursula Khow who would glide in quietly at the back door of our class to check on us, or tick us off at recess time for leaning against the wall or pillar. All the teaching staff were lay members and we only saw a nun, Reverend Mother/Mother Superior, once a year when she visited. There was a play and other events laid on for her visit. We had wonderful teachers in Miss Ngui for maths, Mrs de Souza for literature, Mrs Loh for Chinese, among others. In my final year (Secondary 4), a nun came to teach us. Sr Francis literally breezed in – bursting into song, dancing an Irish jig, laughing rather than finger wagging at our hilarious errors. Ms Pauline Khng, IJ Bukit Timah
➧ IJ Board IJ Sisters We, the community at IJHCC draw our inspiration from great people –
“Every child is unique. Nurture each child to develop his/her full potential; I will try to desire, to act and follow you in everything and everywhere without reserve or limit.” ~ Blessed Nicolas Barré
"Courage is the most important of all the virtues because, without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently" (Maya Angelou); "Joy, collected over time, fuels resilience – ensuring we'll have reservoirs of emotional strength when hard things do happen" (Brene Brown). It has been a privilege to serve in IJHCC. The journey has been both fulfilling and enriching. We thank the IJ Sisters for the opportunity given, for their love, protection and care all these years. We are indeed blessed and grateful to them. We are able to carry out Blessed Nicholas Barré’s vision of helping children from diverse racial groups and religions and from different family backgrounds to nurture, inspire and inculcate them with the right values and build their potential to become responsible and loveable children. We remain steadfast in making the word of God known to little ones. Tan Lay Hoon – Chairperson, IJHCC Management Committee (MC), Francis Yip – (Member, MC), Eunice Boey – (Member, MC), Gerard Goh (P&S Executive), Bu Su Xian – Administrator, Sophie Tan, Rebecca Ng, Marcia Dragon and Cindy Poh, Student Mentors.
Truth, Justice, Freedom & Love by IJG Children
➧ CHIJ Primary (Toa Payoh) CHIJ Primary offers a holistic education to develop the whole person according to her God-given talents. Our Catholic faith, identity and ethos permeate the life of the school. Within the context of a safe and nurturing environment, all are encouraged to reach their potential. CHIJ is a place to encounter God in Jesus and to learn of His great and transforming love for each person. Staff, parents and students are encouraged to be witnesses of God’s love to one another by living out the Gospel values. The school creates opportunities for the students to participate and grow in their faith through prayers, rosary recitations, novenas and the celebration of the liturgical feasts and masses. All are welcome to join in these activities. The students learn to radiate the love of Christ to others through works of mercy expressed in acts of kindness. The growth of spirituality for the staff and students anchor on the premise that we, professing any faith, share the desire to grow in our faith to become better persons for others. https://www.chijpritoapayoh.moe.edu.sg/
Drawn by the Lord to make Christ known and loved… “How much hangs in the balance when one person responds generously to God’s Call!” Entering a monastery at the age of 19… would you have thought of it? Blessed Nicolas Barré with his exceptional intellectual capacity coupled with spiritual gifts answered God’s call to give his life for His people. His prayer, “Lord it is enough for me that you hold me in your presence; That you take care of everything; That You watch over all my concerns, all that happens to me, and that nothing escapes your adorable guidance of my life.” guides and comforts me as I place my trust in the Lord. I ask only for the gift of discernment, the daring spirituality to push me into the depths of God’s love. Moving forward, I hope to evangelise this love of God for humanity through words and works of mercy and compassion so as to be drawn to God’s ways to bring many rays of hope to the young and the less advantaged. Help me to keep my eyes on you and to emulate you in my life. Dr Margaret Lee Principal
➧ CHIJ Primary (Toa Payoh)
Blessed Nicholas Barré inspired others to follow him in reaching out to the poor children. His conviction and dedication for the poor inspired and influenced others to do the same. Mrs Charmaine Lee Vice-Principal (Curriculum)
I am inspired by Blessed Nicolas Barré as he was the one who believed in the sisters and empowered them to dream and live out God's dream. Like him, I want to live a life of obedience to God's call and be of service to all I meet. Mrs Yvonne Tan Vice-Principal (Administration)
I am inspired by his zeal to help the little children especially the poor and disadvantaged. His deep passion helped inspire others to begin schools in Asia.
Ms Ho Choy Ling Administration Manager 20
➧ CHIJ Primary (Toa Payoh)
Blessed Nicholas Barré's thoughts and actions have influenced me to be more aware of the disadvantaged among my students. As an educator, I am moved to help and to respond to their needs, regardless of race or religion. I will continue to love and care for each one; the last, the least and the lost. Ms Azliana Abu Bakar Subject Head / Malay and Tamil Languages
Father's Barré unwavering love and trust in God to make Christ known and loved by all is very inspirational. His faith and determination to keep doing God's work and to help the less fortunate draw close to God is something that we can all aspire to. Education should not simply be a privilege for the rich but should be made available for all. The less fortunate really need us to help and guide them and by being caring and loving, we can also show them what it is like to be a child of God. Like Father Barré, I want to also be able to care for others and bring them closer to God through my words and deeds.
Ms Andrea Ni Teacher 22
➧ CHIJ Primary (Toa Payoh)
Jaydia Goh Xuan Le (Primary 1 Hibiscus)
Gwen Erica Susilo (Primary 1 Lily)
Meredith Anne Choo Ying Rui (Primary 1 Ixora) 23
Gianna Tham Jia En (Primary 1 Ixora)
Janessa Kang Hsin Ying (Primary 1 Orchid) 24
Tan Hui Ru Amanda (Primary 2 Ixora)
➧ CHIJ Primary (Toa Payoh)
“Your vision to enable the girls to become literate and teach them to earn a living made a significant difference to the lives of many. Many girls like me, now have a chance to study in an IJ school in Singapore and many parts of the world because of the pioneering work that you have done for us.” Riko Joy Foo Rui En (Primary 2 Orchid)
Dear Father Barré, I am very honoured to be an IJ girl. Thank you for giving the girls the opportunities to receive education. You have inspired me to be a person who thinks of others first before myself. You are my role-model whom I will always look up to. A big thank you to you.
Kylie Rae Lim Si Xuan (Primary 2 Hibiscus) 25
Pang Xin Le Mabel (Primary 2 Hibiscus)
Summer Levin Su (Primary 2 Ixora) 26
Estelle Wong Yun Si (Primary 2 Lily)
➧ CHIJ Primary (Toa Payoh)
Caryn Danielle Alexander (Primary 2 Hibiscus)
Nice and Inspiring, Caring and Humble, Openhearted and Loving, Always ready to Serve. Blessed and Admirable, Respectful and Resilience, Everybody’s role model. Thank you, Blessed Nicholas Barré!
Elyse Goh (Primary 3 Orchid)
Germaine Tham Jia Min (Primary 3 Rose) 27
B enevolent L oving E mpathetic S teadfast S incere E ncouraging D etermined N oble I ntegrity C aring O ptimistic L eader A wesome S elfless
Arya Camilla Morales (Primary 3 Orchid)
B ig-Hearted A ffectionate R eassuring R esponsible E thical Tay Wen Yi, Chevelle (Primary 3 Ixora) 28
Audrey Chua (Primary 3 Rose)
CHIJ Primary (Toa Payoh)
Joey Odilia Lam Yu Xuan (Primary 3 Ixora)
Kayla Chong Hui Xin (Primary 4 Orchid) 29
HE MADE A CHANGE, SO CAN WE! Lim Jia Le Gernelle (Primary 4 Hibiscus)
Wang Le Xuan Hailey (Primary 4 Rose)
➧ CHIJ Primary (Toa Payoh)
Caelyn Tan (Primary 5 Ixora) 31
Lu Qingchuan (Primary 5 Daisy)
TOUCHED BY HIS CALL When I grow up, I want to be a civil rights lawyer and uphold justice especially for those who have been victimised by discrimination and harassment. All IJ girls are called to act justly with courage and compassion in their lives with a priority to helping the disadvantaged in society. Celine Phoebe Chua (Primary 6 Daisy) 32
➧ CHIJ Primary (Toa Payoh)
Clarabel Sng Xin En (Primary 5 Daisy)
Rachel Ng (Primary 6 Hibiscus)
➧ CHIJ Secondary School The oldest Catholic girls’ school and the mother school of all the CHIJ schools in Singapore, the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (CHIJ) was established in 1854 by the Infant Jesus Sisters at the corner of Bras Basah Road and Victoria Street. After being a full school for 110 years, CHIJ separated into primary and secondary schools in 1964 and in December 1983, relocated from Victoria Street to Toa Payoh. In 1985, CHIJ became one of the few secondary schools offering the Art Elective Programme. The school achieved autonomous status in 1994. It was named the South Zone Centre of Excellence for Language and the Arts in 2007, and attained the School Distinction Award in 2008 and the Singapore Quality Class in 2009. 167 years since her founding, CHIJ Secondary continues to reflect the legacy of Blessed Nicolas Barré as IJ girls live out the school motto of being Simple in Virtue, Steadfast in Duty. https://www.chijsec.edu.sg/
Artwork by National Education Committee 2021
➧ I Firstfruit before four sisters At Rouen in October 1621. When dusk descended on one From Him he drew dawn, Then tended the lowly While braving plagues and storms. Discerning sage at Paris in mid-17th, Met the learned the famed the destitute Till frail he thither home To restore, to carry on. As battles fought on paths divine crossed, Lay sisters joined to lift some more Though without Barré at 64. But still Infant Jesus grew Set sight and sail for further shores On La Julie with Beurel in mid-19th century. Alas, pulley and fever Fell two, One later left The last unready at Singapore. Thence four others set forth This time overland through Egypt Before arriving at Penang Followed by even more. At last in 1854 were sisters at Caldwell House All thanks to Matilde’s lead, Beurel’s francs And Father above all.
At lower primary we stare longingly the staircase That spiral to upstairs. After P6, we walk over to the other building To start our secondary. At the gallery where a gong stands as all assemble We salute Head and Vice-head girls Who lead us with their mikes In anthem hymn and prayers. In Town Convent at Victoria Street Steadfastly we learn and become Because of PE in bloomers and blouses and The love care dignity compassion we show one another. With fellow sisters in am or pm we listen to Ms Lam Miss Tok Mrs Smith Mrs Sim and also Mrs Choo Some in cheongsams tight and rulers in hand May rile and toss our work outside. Sometimes their voices mellowed Synced as if from heaven as we Stride towards the Chapel Where tunes and art mingle, uniting body and soul, the dead and living When nuns lie in wooden coffins. Other holy sisters continue daily masses On wheelchairs and in fewer numbers as time passes.
Young ladies, where do you think you are going?
Memories like these and more are shared With St Nick’s and next-door SJI All close to National Library and Red House at the side. When the time to leave nears we begin lingering: Needlework Room where we learn many pleats And stitch from pencil cases to miniature blouses Cookery Room where aromas of Rock Buns stay Or lighting gas stoves may cause singed hair and eyelashes.
So we don starched uniforms too With buttoned collars and belts snug Round waists of whatever shapes and sizes And when kneeling skirts must also kiss the floor. For our garbs are stitched with pains and pride In uniform rooms at corridors That’s as close to the Cloister as we may venture Sniffing fresh cotton and hearing Singers chuka.
After 129 years in 1983 We’re leaving Vic Street. Bye to Loft, a haunt for chatting Bye to labs with specimens scary Bye to creepy spots and creaky stairs to Attic Bye to Gate of Hope, and every fond nook and corner, without and within We shall pack pre-WWII notes, crockery, utensils and other treasures Before heading to Toa Payoh together.
II We flutter at towering shadows Observe black socks lace-shoes hefty rosaries While minding hidden hairs and wings On air or across buildings. Latecomers will hurry past Caldwell, only to dither at In full starched habits these mysterious vestals emerge At wee hours every morning.
CHIJ Secondary School
Mrs Geralyn Vincent (Class of 1980), Mrs Magdalen Low (Class of 1976), Ms Madhu Sakhrani and arranged by Dr Teo Bee Lan English Language & Literature Department 2021 Photo Source: CHIJ Secondary Yearbook 1970
➧ CHIJ Secondary School Text by Dr Claire Ang Artwork by Ms Ada Ee CHIJ Alumni Association 2021
Halcyon Days of my Youth Most of my life has been associated with Catholic education – as a student and as a teacher. I began my education at CHIJ on Victoria Street in 1960 when I was six years old. There were two kindergarten classes and I was fortunate to be in the one with the gentler teacher – Mrs Chan. Struck by separation anxiety, I used to run crazily after my eldest sister who dropped me off before going to the secondary school. This was the campus where I spent 11 years of my education, before leaving to continue my education in another all-girls school with a totally different culture from the one I had left. Until then, I never realized that my education in CHIJ was quite different from that of other schools in the country. In the former, my friends and I played together, prayed together, quarreled and then made up. We were cocooned in a safe environment, unaware of the world outside us. I was fortunate that in the 1960s, my schoolmates and I were the beneficiaries of Fr Barré’s foresight – a pedagogy that promoted the importance of treating each child with respect, recognising that ‘even the least is in the image of God’. Hence, we received a holistic education which required no government decree. How was this done? The school provided many opportunities for us to mould our character.
We were entrepreneurs. As early as primary school, we had the initiative to raise money through raffles, and the sale of craft (done by the girls themselves or their mothers) and food. In secondary school, the seniors organised concerts, invited popular bands and sold tickets to raise funds. We also held fun fairs, independently. Teachers were advisors.
Our confidence was boosted through school events. No school year was complete without a concert. Students were emcees, they sang and danced. A concert was a veritable showcase of international cultures. Besides the Chinese, Malay and Indian dance, we encountered the Filipino Tinikling, Spanish Flamenco and other European performances.
We honed honedour ourcreativity. creativity. acted in plays, WeWe acted in plays, fromfrom primary to primary secondary school.introduced Besidesto being secondaryto school. Besides being classics, introduced to classics, like The Barrétts of Wimpole like The Barrétts of Wimpole Street and Lady Precious Stream, we were also encouraged to memorise and write poems.
We learnt to serve others. Selling flags was mandatory and we learnt, from young, how to take rejection with a smile. As a member of the Interact Club, my friends and I had to help with the chores at the nursing homes that we visited.
My mother was a convent girl, my sisters and I were convent girls, so were my daughters and now my granddaughters are convent girls. We speak a common language that communicates the IJ values, most importantly the school motto – Simple in Virtue, Steadfast in Duty. I am proud to say that we have all benefitted from a remarkable holistic education that has provided us with a moral compass to face this volatile world we live in. Mrs Vimala Alexander Class of 1970, Teacher Artwork by Pang Imm Choo Teri (Secondary 3/9)
➧ As I sift through the memories of the ten years I have spent at IJ, I find myself holding handfuls of soil and sky. The soil is a blessing. It is a soft landing grown thick with newfound wisdom, a place to spread my roots and grow. It is a garden to bear the weight of unspoken dreams, and a grove to grow to the fruits of my labour, for now I know how best to tend to them.
CHIJ Secondary School
What it Means to be an IJ Girl
The sky is a promise. It is a future of possibilities, the endless wonder of creation. It reminds me that I have the space I need to branch out and breathe, to bloom flowers out of broken boughs, to bring life to places where there are none. The sky makes room for everyone – always. Perhaps this is what it means to be a student of IJ. To be sky and soil for all the people around me. To be a person with everything to lose, and nothing to gain. To offer comfort, and counsel freely to those who ask, and those who don’t. To be deserving of all the good gifts I have been given. It is at times like these that I am so, so proud to be an IJ girl. Calista Nadine Chang (Secondary 4/2)
Artwork by Rae-Ann Lee (Secondary 4/2)
Walk in the truth for truth provides the path with clarity
Walk in justice so that we may lift the spirits of those we meet along the way
Walk in freedom as we discern the light from the shadows of self-interest
Walk with love and be perfect
THE GATE OF HOPE OPENED ITS DOORS TO ALL Intertwined The thing I want to tell you is kind of personal to me because I never told anyone about this It’s actually a secret I was saved thrice He took care of me since I was 4 years old And all our memories will stay in my heart for a lifetime When he saw my mother, his eyes started to tear up I did not want to wake her so I quietly went down the bed I guess it was in a really deep hole and she couldn’t find it That was one of the days I would not forget I am still fighting and I won’t give up I will hug it everyday My grandmother is the reason why She has that one friend I have two friends We went to the scariest rides that we didn’t have the guts to go alone Playful. There is this water thingy where we can enjoy walking on Somerset has a skate shop We spend every holiday together and go out or, just like the introverts we are, stay in We can literally sit and do nothing and we would start laughing It is our collective stories that keep us whole (Secondary 2/8, 2020)
It’s actually not a nice thing to say because words are sharper than a knife We really drifted a lot I don’t like to go alone Though we always had fights at home, it was still my favourite place, because we were all together I want to visit and ride my favourite ride again I would really love to go there one day I love food like hawker food That video was what made me decide to become an artist I love to drink milk tea I want to walk on the runway And at midnight around 2am, I will eat ice-cream There’s such a nice sunset I like my own company I could still watch the children build them with their families I will always try to help people even if I do not really know them And we will teach our grandma how to dance I finally found my happiness When given the choice to be right or kind, choose kind You can always heal yourself when you want to All the cheerfulness you see now is real
➧ 2021 The year the world struggled to stay afloat amidst the coronavirus pandemic Heightened alert Strict rules No learning journeys to CHIJMES and Caldwell House Virtual tours, Zoom lessons, safe distancing Daily temperature checks All the challenges do not make our IJ experience less rich and meaningful. Our teachers continue to inculcate in us the values of truth, justice, freedom and love. At first, everything was unfamiliar because I was new. But the warmth and love of my IJ family helped me to fit in. Despite the pandemic, this year has been great. May your time here at CHIJ be just as meaningful and memorable! With love, From your IJ sister. Esta Peh Ee Woon (Secondary 1/3)
Dear future IJ sister, It is indeed a privilege to study in this wonderful school, CHIJ. This school not only provides excellent educational opportunities, but also allows us to develop good virtues, such as humility, integrity, compassion and steadfastness in duty. CHIJ was founded by Blessed Nicolas Barré, a man who chose to answer God's calling for him to build a school and provide free education for poor, orphaned children. During my first days in CHIJ, I felt lost and unfamiliar with the new environment. However my teachers were always there to encourage me, and the Peer Support Leaders (PSL) who befriended me made me feel welcomed. Many girls have made wonderful memories here in CHIJ, which is more than enough proof that it is truly a house, a heart, and a home! I really hope that you will have a fruitful, enjoyable time during your journey in CHIJ! Remember that your friends and teachers will always be there for you whenever you need them. Whenever you are struggling with any challenges, remember Blessed Nicolas Barré’s words to ‘be always at peace and trust in God!’ From your senior, Selene Joan Tey (Secondary 1/1)
S teadfast I ntegrity Make friends P eace L ove E thics
CHIJ Secondary School
Congratulations on being enrolled at CHIJ Secondary! You are about to embark on an exciting journey. Are you ready? My experience, humbly I shall share with thee.
I nitiative N oble Volunteer I ’m sorry R esilience T rust U nity E nriched learning S teady T ender loving care E mpower A pologise D on’t give up F aith A mbitious S top. Think. Go T houghtful I care about you N urturing D uty U&I Teach Youthful Text by Clara Toh Yun Ying (Secondary 1/5)
Artwork by Er Yen Ning Yenee (Secondary 1/4)
Dear CHIJ students of 2060,
IJ Spirit Burning Bright The spark of passion ignites in his mind, the twinkle in his eye. A vision for the world to see, to achieve equality. The spark, oh so bright, it shines from France to Singapore. He brought warmth and hope to everyone and lifted the frowns of those who were torn, broken and distraught. For those who were unwanted, sick, disabled, he provided them with a new life− a life they deserved. Celebrating these 167 years of his spirit, his smile, his warmth, his love. Olivia Faith Yee Min Hui (Secondary 1/3)
It’s Quiet in the Morning It’s quiet in the morning when The sun has yet to rise when its Still dark and ashy outside I Sit at my table anxiously trying To finish my homework it won’t be Long till the other girls come Till the room’ll be filled with Chatter and talk and whispers not Too loud but too sharp for Morning Laughter rings quieter now Through the buzz of a virus not Yet gone like a damper on Our song a clamp to shut and Close the only thing that kept us Close a virus we barely feel but has Effects so real But over the phone staring at black Boxes of cameras switched off I Find we aren’t too different from Before our songs haven’t lost their Tune merely changed their melody we Don’t laugh less we laugh in secrecy of Jokes only we understand of words Only we comprehend Our voice isn’t gone not bottled Up not torn we still have It in us that Soft buzz of Us: the drive to keep Pushing the want to keep moving we Haven’t stopped Moving Focuses change and we’ve had to Reframe what it means to be Spirited what it means to be IJ it Isn’t the volume the tempo but the Heart the wish the honest belief that We won’t fall that we won’t break because Change is inevitable. We haven’t Veered from our motto: Simple in Virtue, Steadfast in Duty The IJ Spirit will live on it Won’t die it won’t perish and though it May change it will remain in Each of us for ever.
Artwork by Daphne Koh Yi Xin (Secondary 3/3)
Chak Yeng Kay, Jaina Lucretia (Secondary 3/3)
➧ When I was lost, You held out your hand, And led back on track. When I fell down, You cheered me on, Until I got back up again
This is a sea of blue, Filled with dreams and memories A sea of blue, A wave filled with feelings That no one can take away From us
You didn’t care About what others said, You followed your heart. You created dreams for you and me And this made us who we are.
We face our fears together No matter big or small With our hearts connected We’ll get through it all
This is a sea of blue, Filled with dreams and memories A sea of blue, A wave filled with feelings That no one can take away From us In the blue skies above, You were the ray of my day. Waiting for dawn, In an anticipating way. A friend hand in hand, Joyously facing our days You didn’t care About what others said, You followed your heart. You created dreams for you and me And this made us who we are
CHIJ Secondary School
Artwork by Dayna Lu En (Secondary 3/1), Isabella Foo & Shelby Teo Qi En (Secondary 3/5)
Sea of Blue
This is a sea of blue, Filled with dreams and memories A sea of blue, A wave filled with feelings This is a sea of blue, Filled with dreams and memories A sea of blue, A wave filled with feelings That no one can take away From us This is our sea of blue Lim Si En, Shannen (Secondary 3/1)
A tribute to our founder Blessed Nicholas Barré, to thank him for giving us the opportunity to study, to receive an education. It is about a fatherly figure and a child - it is about how, slowly, where dreams and memories are made, a family is formed.
Dear Father Barré, We are about to enter another lockdown, similar to the one last year. Two more days before we stop going to school and start home-based learning. How would you have dealt with this situation? What would you have done? The first major outbreak of the coronavirus occurred in Wuhan, China in the year 2019. Since then, there have been over 3.5 million deaths all over the world. But you will be pleased to know that the 11 schools, among all others in Singapore, never stopped educating their students. Our teachers connected with us through what would have been unimaginable in your time - computers, devices, applications, live conferencing. You once said, “The darkness of this night, wherein one sees nothing, yet sees everything, knows nothing, yet knows everything, fears nothing, yet possesses everything, is far better than light.” There was plague in your time, in the 1600s, and mankind survived. A few hundred years today, we are battling the mysterious coronavirus which is more than one-and-a-half years old. A once-in-a-lifetime experience I suppose, a story to tell when we are old and worn. Trying to describe being in an IJ school is challenging. Some might say we are like a galaxy, each girl one of thousands of stars, each one unique. But what holds the stars together? Stars are not individually recognised. We give names to the shapes that they make together, the lines that we draw in our minds. Constellations are formed because the stars are apart. Perhaps, there is a flowing, thrumming undercurrent, an intangible thread that binds us. Perhaps, there is nothing there at all. Perhaps, if you stop looking so closely, if you take a step back and look at us as we are, not as individuals, but millions of lives interconnected, not by any force, but simply because we drew lines… Perhaps, you might find something like family. It has been 335 years since you passed away. 335 years and your legacy lives on. Yours sincerely, An IJ girl Text by Emily Yip Li Ming (Secondary 3/2) Artwork by Rachel Chua Cheng Yan (Secondary 3/3)
Artwork by Wong Shu Yi, Clara (Secondary 3/6)
➧ CHIJ Secondary School
CHIJMES C lose bonds are created H appiness is evoked I n these few years J oy you will feel Moments you should treasure E specially because these times are not forever S oon in a flash they will be over Nicole Isabel Liu En Xuan (Secondary 1/2)
Dear Father Barré, Thank you for contributing so much to our IJ schools and growing the IJ family. Right now, we all still remember you for what you have done for us and thank you every time in our prayers. Our school has grown from strength to strength since its humble start and we all greatly enjoy coming there, as it has a friendly and welcoming community. Despite the challenges we face, the IJ spirit lives on and will remain in each of us long after we graduate. Chloe Teong Kai En (Secondary 1/2)
Thank you for establishing CHIJ schools and providing girls with the privilege of education. Now, in the year 2021, there are 11 IJ schools in Singapore. In the past, educating the poor, especially girls, was almost unheard of. You believed that each child has potential and is unique. Your passion for serving the community has continued to be an inspiration; more CHIJ schools have multiplied across the world including Japan, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. We are inspired by your actions to act justly, live humbly and love the disadvantaged. Again, we really appreciate all your contributions. Thank you! Alyssa Lim Ern Tong (Secondary 1/2)
Photos contributed by CHIJ Secondary
Dear Blessed Nicolas Barré,
Since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the shores of Singapore in early 2020, students in schools all over the country experienced disruptions to their routine. Notwithstanding the circumstances, our school adapted to a new normal and carried out various programmes by modifying our events. This video is a summary of school life during the pandemic from June 2020 to July 2021. It shows our resilience as an IJ community, our faith in God and our desire to serve Him. As a community, we strive to demonstrate what Jesus said about faith in the Gospel of Matthew 17:20 “If you have
faith as small as a mustard seed, nothing will be impossible for you”.
Artwork by Sara Jane Sim Le Xi (Secondary 1/4)
Joie de Vivre: A Year in the Life of an IJ Girl Scan / click to access the video
IJ Girl mascot and WhatsApp stickers by Secondary 3 AEP students These stickers display some of many emotions we as IJ girls feel and the joie di vivre of being part of the IJ family. They are a manner in which we can proudly express ourselves to our community and friends.
Scan / click to download the stickers
➧ CHIJ Secondary School
Blessed Nicolas Barré’s 4th Centenary Dear Father Barré We thank you for your courage to help us see the world in a new light We pray that more people will be inspired and follow in your ways Dear Father Barré Guide us in our path to be discerning and always humble and through your guidance With hope and love We can achieve so much more Composed and sung by Angelene Kho Kar Yi (Secondary 3/3) and Bernadette Chin Shek Ting (Secondary 3/4)
QR Code for score
QR Code for recording
Scan / click to access the score
Scan / click to watch the video
Artwork by Lim Xin Rui, Charmaine (Secondary 1/1)
Dear Father Barré, Thank you for providing an education for children and young people, especially the girls in your time. When you felt that a holistic education was the way to lift them from poverty and restore their self-esteem and dignity, giving them meaning in life, you decided to set up a school. Despite experiencing misunderstanding, rejection and difficulties, you were so secure in God's unconditional love for you that you rose to challenges to fulfil your mission and purpose in life. You had great courage and fulfilled your deepest aspiration to want all children and people to know that God loves each person and that he sent his only son, Jesus, to show us the way to salvation. You once famously said, “Fidelity to our mission, while bringing joy and hope, will also bring its trials. What appears to destroy it is precisely what will strengthen it. Hence it is necessary to live always in a spirit of abandonment to God, trusting in Him for all our needs.” You showed us that no matter what we may face in our journey to bring joy and happiness to the world, we have to face our problems with resilience and integrity to uphold our values and to trust in God.
“The IJ mission would not be possible without the collaboration of lay people.” ~ Infant Jesus Sisters, Catholic News, 2020 Photo contributed by Parent Support Group 2021
Father Barré, the greatest appreciation we can show you is how we live our lives as IJ girls, upholding values of compassion, humility, integrity, perseverance and faith. Yours sincerely, Hui Hui and Mei-Lin Koh Hui Hui and Mei-Lin Amelie Attard (Secondary 3/9)
Artwork by Ong En Xi (Secondary 1/5)
➧ CHIJ Secondary School Photos contributed by House Committee 2021
QR Code for video Scan / click to access Home@IJ video by House Committee 2020
Leave this page blank – Stained glass façade will be placed here
➧ CHIJ (Katong) Primary Katong Convent was established in 1930 as a private Primary English School with an enrolment of 197 students. In order to cope with the growing demand for places in the school, a branch was set up in Opera Estate in 1958 and a few of the primary school staff were transferred to the new convent which was named CHIJ Opera Estate. In 1988, work on the project to build a “new school” at Marine Terrace began. CHIJ Opera Estate was relocated to Katong in 1990. It merged with the primary section of Katong Convent and adopted the name CHIJ (Katong) Primary. The ceremony to bless the school by Archbishop Gregory Yong took place on 16 November 1990. The school has obtained two Best Practice Awards in Character and Citizen Education and in Partnership. https://www.chijkcp.moe.edu.sg/
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CHIJ (Katong) Primary
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Dear Lord, Thank you for the gift of Blessed Nicola s Barré, whos e vision and dre am have brought us tog ether. We celebrate his s pirit that continues to li ve in each and every one of u s in our schoo l. May the IJ spir it shine in our lives with love and gratitude. Amen. Prayer by Class of Prima ry
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➧ h Love
CHIJ (Katong) Primary
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CERISE FOUR Every week we ha ve a different budd y We think it is kind of funny With pencils and pe ns, we work as frie With wonderful te nds achers and joyful fr iends In Cerise Four, we w We believe it is ou ill study in harmony r destiny Together we stand hand in hand To be friends to th e end! Poem by Aishwar
ya Lingem, Chariss e Heng Yu Hsuan, Kyla Yoong & Jaze l Lim (Primary 4 C erise) 58
➧ Nicolas Ba
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CHIJ (Katong) Primary
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My mother (a former CHIJ girl) and I drew the CHIJ emblem as we are both proud and blessed to be part of the IJ family. Grateful to Blessed Nicolas Barré for founding CHIJ, where we all grow from girls to women of grace and substance. Thank you Blessed Nicolas Barré for founding this wonderful school! Picture and text by Lim Qiao Rong Clarabelle (Primary 4 Jonquil) 59
THICK AND THIN Through thick and thin we work together excited as we learn united as one. When we fall, we rise together We start afresh With love All things are possible Sadness or happiness, we share our lives We care, we help, we show respect to one another When challenges come, we fret and cry But in the end, we work it out, we try Joy fills our hearts, we love one another. Through thick and thin, we are IJ friends forever.
Artwork by Shanice Teng (Primary 4 Burgundy)
Poem by Ritika Mantri, Nattalya Nico Alvinur & Adele Foo Rae Le (Primary 4 Cerise)
➧ CHIJ (Katong) Primary
It has been 400 years since Blessed Nicolas Barré was born, 359 years since his first school for girls was founded in France, and 167 years since the CHIJ school was set up in Singapore by pioneering sisters spreading his work. I have always been awed by his insight in identifying the root cause of all social evils back then, which was the disparity in opportunities for education between the rich and the poor, and between men and women. He devoted his life to establishing education institutes and providing opportunities for girls of different backgrounds, especially those from poorer families. Hundreds of years have passed, the pursuit of gender equality still remains elusive. In some developing countries, girls of my age have been forced into child marriage, depriving them from fulfilled lives. Even in developed countries, women are struggling with invisible barriers associated with the traditional mindset of gender roles. I feel fortunate that our CHIJ schools cultivate the values of self-respect and compassion to us. We shall continuously understand and appreciate ourselves as girls, having both the awareness and wisdom in making the right decisions, not just for ourselves but also extending love and help to the needs of persons who are disadvantaged in any way, just like Blessed Nicolas Barré. Text by Meng Xiaohan (Primary 5 Amethyst)
IJ Spirit Burning in CE5 IJ Spirit burning bright in every soul of CE5 Full of life, full of zest Always there for one another Supporting one another in times of need IJ Spirit burning bright in every soul of CE5 Pure souls with hearts of gold Always willing to stand up for the truth
IJ Spirit IJ Girls are friends for life Spirits always burning bright Every laughter tells a tale Tears that fall teach a lesson The memories here will last for life Each and every smile to remind you of the lovely times We owe great thanks to Father Nicolas Barré for giving us our second home.
IJ friends are friends for life Poem by Class of Primary 5 Cerise
Poem by Nicolette Chan & Ariel Wong (Primary 5 Jonquil)
; d us every year Teachers remin ade clear; ol’s founder m ho sc r ou w ho f O be done! anything could e m na ’s od G That in d and in the courtyar ay pl to us ed How he allow have fun. ed, Barré has pass as ol ic N ed ss Though Ble sts. his heart still la in ve lo d an The care we learn in ilt this school bu ho w , he r Fo far away; y more, some an m d an , ay everyd by say: od so we here G in t us tr ilt bu ntenary!’’ Barré’s 4th ce as ol ic N ed ss “It’s Ble n r Faith Lai Shiyi Poem by Ambe gundy) (Primary 6 Bur
Image by Han iB (Primary 6 Cer inte Hanafiah ise)
IJ Teachers Caring, Nurturing The beautiful innocence Through values of grace Haiku by Mrs Macrina Fernandez, Teacher (IJ Girl 1983 – 1992)
➧ When I first stepped into school, I was greeted by warm smiles of my fellow schoolmates and teachers. At first, I was scared, timid and wanted to stay with my mum. But a girl stepped up to me with a bright smile that I would never forget. Her comforting voice made me feel at peace and she even showed me a few of her favourite places at school. I also got lost a few times but my schoolmates never failed to help me.
CHIJ (Katong) Primary
My IJ Spirit
Over the years, I made a lot of friends. They were with me through thick and thin. We always had one another’s back and we created lots of good memories. When exams came and stress came, we never failed to help one another. Through my years in school, I finally understood what it means to have true friends. I would never forget the times I spent with my friends. I am confident that the IJ spirit in me will never die. After all, it means unity and treating one another like family. No matter how different, the IJ spirit in us will still allow us to be there for each other. As the saying goes: IJ friends are friends for life. Text by Emilyn Yeo and Bridget Ang (Primary 6 Amethyst)
Poem by M rs Joseph ine Kua Teacher (I J Girl 1970 – 1979) 63
trust and t fondness the mutual ea gr th wi ll ca re I t, en a humble tong Conv chers. I was raised in tea As an ex-student of Ka d an nts de stu g ogressed ared amon t programmes but I pr en hm friendship that was sh ric en for s an me d went the had little nurturing and caring an d Music re family background and we s er ch tea my theless as our annual ‘Book an well academically none ll with great fondness ca re e school o als I . me t or pp us genres of arts. Th rio va extra mile to su in t es er int seeds ng the t my life-lo hool tha Week’, which sparkedthe spirit, and it was also during my time in sc es and pastoral tion of Mass embraced the fruits of as I found the celebra me in d to leave the nte pla re we en I made up my mind out coming of Catholicsm wh er lat s ar Ye . ful aning ice ab programmes deeply me my calling to be a teacher, I never thought tw r generation of ue ge rs un pu yo to the rld uld love for corporate wo wo I as ch tea to y ar Prim up with that made back to CHIJ (Katong) education that I grew of d’ an br ‘IJ me sa e the students to experienc pact on my life. im ive sit po such a huge matics Mrs Cindy Ng, HOD Mathe (IJ Girl 1991-1994)
It is all God’s plan. My mother is an ex-Katong Convent stud be a convent ent and so am girl too. I. If I had a da As an IJ stu ughter, she w dent, what I ould remember fo friends whom n dly are the I still keep in caring teache touch with ti sessions with rs and wonde ll this day. I Sister Joseph rful enjoyed all th ine in the hall Book and Mu e hymn-singin and the skits sic Week. I tre g that we would asure those 10 close to my h put up during years of my li eart. fe and hold all I feel that it those memori is God’s plan es for me to be (Katong) Prim back here to ary. This is w serve Him an here I can live As an IJ educa d others in C out my faith. tor, what is im HIJ p o rt hands is imp a n t to m e is that every ortant and sp child that pass ecial and she always tell m es through m must know th y students th y at she is love at working ha being a perso d and valued rd and gettin n of good cha . g good grade I racter is equa Nicolas Barr s is importan lly important. é started and t b u I t h o se p e rv accepted. Bein to continue w e in this Chri hat Blessed st-centred co g a student a nd now a teach mmunity whe life is indeed re everyone is er in the IJ fa God’s plan. mily for almo st 40 years of my Mrs Jacinta L ee, Teacher (I J Girl 1977-198 6)
➧ CHIJ (Katong) Primary
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Embroider y on
Canvas by Ms Pamela Teacher (I Tan J Girl 1999 -2004)
life. s of one’sd the y a d t s ie e happ ome an ys are thchild’s second h a d l o o h c s a hear that school is nt, We often en say that the ng Conve g . v to r e a e K e th d o m n o m a in S Estate ys look her foster HIJ Opera. I remember alwa friends of C teacher, in s r a e my ary 4 rful y hard with to Second en wonde e fault I had elev ergarten, right up would really play potentially divisiv ds, so from Kindto recess when I gion and today’s vocabulary or min Those forward ulture, Race, Reli was never in our sion and vision. orldly is C e w different s Divide . Prejudic arré’s intended m Free from all the B s . la s icola my life line, C lessed N t days in true to B definitely the bes of an adult. uch like ld very m imbibe u o w I days wereilities and worries , 3 ince 199 had, to responsib a mater s experience as I to impress on lm a y m d this same teacher in d with an hould Now as a ts I teach, to have that I was imbue int in life, they s s o n . e p e k lu c d y at an ing ba the stu race the good va stumble ever look and emb should they ever off and move on, n UP IS t t AND GETS S L L A them tha t up, brush the dir F E WHO simply ge id, THE ON O NEVER FELL. a s y tl p a H so HE ONE W T Bennett – 1974) Like Roy TRONGER THAN T J Girl 1964 (I r e h S c a H e T SO MUC nia Chan, Mrs Euge I I can fondly recall steppin g past the h Primary 1 an uge main ga d feeling very tes of CHIJ proud in my awe at the Victoria Stre newly-starc huge buildin et at hed uniform g comprisin kindergarten . I was in to , Town Conv g Sisters’ tal House, a B ent Primary and ,Second a b y H ous e and Second ary. ary and St N a My fondest icholas’ Prim memories a a ry t IJ Town Conve by IJ sisters nt are the nu and the ma merous hym sses in the Primary Sch n practices le c h a ool days and pel. I learnt d so many hym was so insp life was to ir ed to be like ns during m be a nun. Th y th e ro secondary s IJ sisters tha ughout my chool, I hav t my g growing ye e made man a rs contact. It is from kinderg oal in y friends an indeed apt to arten to d till today, say “ IJ frien most of us ds are friend Mrs Angela are in s for life”. Loy, HOD Sc ience (IJ Gir l 1978 – 1987 )
➧ ol is a must A Catholic scho t placed our trus In IJ Katong we d be on we hope she’ A confident pers ty , Steadfast in du Simple in virtue t rs we would wan A heart for othe ould grant opportunities w We believe the r guide With Jesus as he by her side We too, would be making An IJ girl in the ing it and not forsak True to the spir s good and true Build friendship grow in you Let the IJ spirit siree Ang ) Poem by Mrs De 1987 – 1992 rl Gi (IJ Year Head
I entered the CHIJ Katong C onvent family as a w ide-eyed and e ager primary one st udent and pra ctically never left. It h as been an in credible journey for m e, first as a st udent and later as a tea cher. “Once an IJ gir l, always an IJ girl.” This saying truly re sonates with me. The community of CHIJ has shap ed my beliefs and m oulded me into the person that I am toda y. As a student, I remembered that I was always excite d to be in sch o o l. The teaching of vi rtues was inte grated into every part of school life. W e were enveloped in the arms of th e school and experienced m uch warmth a nd love. As a teacher, I feel honoure d to be working along side my form er teachers and my stude nts who are n o w teachers themselves. The most imp ortant things that CHIJ has taught me , is the courag e to stand up for what I believe in and a respect for others. I enrolled my daughter in C HIJ because I truly believe in the IJ bran d of education and I want her to experience the joy and exc itement that I did as an IJ girl. Most im portantly, I am reassured that she will b e taught the IJ values that matter most in life.
CHIJ (Katong) Primary
st! Choosing the Be oaches registration appr The time for P1 choices What were our ld be IJ Katong it wou r number three A bright start fo
Ms Christina Lie, HOD/Aest hetics (IJ Girl 1978 – 1987)
Choosing CHIJ (Katong) Just as we enter a church to encounter Christ, my wife Geraldine and I decided to enrol our daughters into CHIJ (Katong) Primary to experience and encounter God along their education journey. But little did we know the voyage would include ourselves, as over the years, we were invited to volunteer our time in various roles which allowed us to meet like-minded parents too! Through the volunteering programme, we managed to build a deeper bond with our daughters and develop a better understanding of the tremendous efforts the school puts in to educate our girls in a holistic manner, looking into their spiritual growth and needs as well. With COVID-19 putting a dampener to most volunteering activities, we pray that the situation will improve so parents can be invited back into school again for a reunion of sorts because we are after all, a family.
Mr Benjamin Poon, CPC Member / Chaplaincy Team Member
➧ CHIJ (Katong) Primary
CHIJ (Katong) We played together under the tree In the vast green field of our school at OE We danced on stage on Teachers’ Day Or sang or acted, did things our way Bought drinks from Peter, keropok from Mary Listened to our teachers, grew in grace and humility We grew taller, went to KC Expanded our knowledge and skills Our teachers nurtured, scolded but our enthusiasm they never killed Because our school was more than just a place to learn We were nurtured to be good people with passion that burns Passion to make a difference in whatever we do To be valuable and an asset to our communities too Because it’s never about just Math or Science or English or History About also being kind and choosing what’s right – it’s not a mystery So when I had a daughter and P1 selection came around Without a doubt I said, “KC!” even though many choices abound You see, it’s not strange although many years have passed That the memories of IJ continue to last The teachers, the experiences, the friends that were made Are seared into my heart and never will fade Some of my best friends still continue to be The girls who played under that tree in OE
Poem by Ms Simone Consigliere (IJ Girl 1974 – 1985)
IJ friends are friends for life – it’s so true And I’m so proud to have worn that beautiful uniform of blue 69
➧ CHIJ Katong Convent (Secondary) CHIJ Katong Convent was established in 1930 to cater to the educational needs of girls in the fast-growing population of Katong and the surrounding east coast area. Embracing change with courage and an openness to God’s providential guidance has been the spirit and path adopted by Nicolas Barré and the IJ community since its founding. The special attention given to character and language development by the IJ sisters and teachers paved the way for KC’s emerging brand of education built on sound values and a love for the arts. KC gained a strong reputation for creative writing, choral speaking and stage performances of Shakespearean plays. Together with the annual Book and Music Week (BMW), these cultural traditions have become part of the school’s identity and heritage. Currently standing in Marine Terrace, the next chapter of the CHIJ KC mission-school story of transforming lives continues with the current students and staff whose challenge is to find radical and creative ways to grow and to use their God-given giftedness in service of others. https://www.chijkatongconvent.moe.edu.sg/
Artwork by Kwok Shin Hua (1964)
"Walk in freedom as we discern the light from the shadows of self-interest“ Blessed Nicolas Barré Blessed Nicolas Barré, our Beacon Nicolas Barré was an ordinary man born into an upper middle class family and was educated by the Jesuits. He also had a deep faith and trust in God and sensitivity to the poor. Thus, he responded when God called him to the religious life, but instead of choosing more recognised religious congregations, he chose to join a relatively unknown religious order which focused on living simple lives committed to work and prayer. However, his innate talents were recognised by his superiors and he was tasked to preach to and to serve the rich instead. So this ordinary man, who only wanted to live for the poor, felt a deep sense of conflict between his desires and his assigned work. He suffered his darkest moments and harboured real doubts. It was then, in sheer desperation and despair, did he surrender himself in complete abandonment to the will of God. He was willing to sit it out and see what the good Lord had planned for him. And it was in this moment of complete surrender that he experienced complete freedom. When he was devoid of his own desires and willing to do nothing more than God’s will, God showed him the way. Filled with God’s desires, and armed with deep faith and trust in God’s providence, he ventured to create something out of nothing. He reached out to the poor, and from one city to several countries, from just five teachers to thousands, from a handful of street kids to millions of beneficiaries throughout the world, all these over a period of over 340 years, made possible by God’s design and an ordinary man’s response to life’s challenges. How many times have we asked for God’s help in something, without realising that he already has a plan for us, and we are but a small part in the greater scheme of things? Sometimes what we desire may not be the best for us, it may not be what God has in mind for us. It takes great courage to abandon ourselves, and our desires, to God’s will. But only in doing that, can we truly lead the fulfilling lives we are meant to lead. Priscilla Humphries (1997)
sinful grip of greed dispelled by our devout saint love will set us free Oh Elizabeth Johanna (Secondary 205)
➧ Father Barré had a compassionate heart and was moved by the suffering and anguish of the poor people he met in Rouen, especially the children and younger people. His faith convinced him to set up ‘little schools’ as a way to uplift the lives of women and children. Despite succumbing to frequent bouts of serious illness that restricted him, Father Barré persevered and worked hard to inspire like-minded people to come forward and to work with him to help the poor live their lives with dignity. Father Barré’s complete faith in God helped him overcome his doubts about leading the community despite his frail health. He has been quoted saying “God’s excessive love is my only security.” Father Barré lived a life that exemplified faithfulness and obedience.
CHIJ Katong Convent (Secondary)
Father Barré was a brilliant student, gifted in humanities and showed lively interest in science and technology. He was taught by the Jesuits where he was formed not only intellectually but also spiritually which opened his heart to God’s call. God took the initiative and told him, "You did not choose me but I chose you." (John 15:16). Father Barré heeded God’s call and joined the minims of St Francis of Paola and became a priest.
As we enter into prayer - imagine what our lives would be like if we, like Father Barré, lived a life of faithfulness and complete obedience to God. “No feather drifting in the wind moves with such grace and freedom as they, who allow themselves to be receptive to the Spirit without resisting. Lee Pei Qi, Faith (Secondary 404)
And you think to yourself, this is it. This is what you were meant to do. It looks like this: the day is still early. Girls sit in a small school, learning together as they chatter brightly. There’s been no shortage of students and every day you thank God for the chance to help these precious lives. While your health has been better, you wouldn’t want to trade this for anything else. Sometimes you worry about what would happen, if something happens to you. would the girls still be able to receive an education? It scares you to think about it — the possibility that your life’s work truly only extends till the end of your life, that after you leave the school will close.
Dear Lord, We thank you for the gift of Father Barré, whose vision and dream brought us together. Please guide us to be like Father Barré, putting our faith into action. We pray that Father Barré will continue to inspire us especially during this Covid-19 pandemic to keep the faith and be open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit in these unpredictable times. Leow En Li, Adriel & Wong Chu Yi Bridget (Secondary 301)
That the little orphan girl with brown hair will again be left to beg for scraps on the corner of the streets. But death is fickle and God is eternal. He promises to protect His children, and all of the young ones belong to Him. So you worry not over the future and trust in God as your provider and your saviour. Your trust is not misplaced. (Though you may not see it, your life’s work creates a legacy that lasts over a hundred years. Your work spreads across continents, raising girls that grow in faith and studies. And this, this is what you were meant to do.) Trinity Ming Lim (Secondary 401)
"If you place yourself like this in the hand of God, or rather, if you allow Him to take possession of you for His work, you will find yourself able to harmonise the active and the contemplative life." Blessed Nicolas Barré
“LORD, I want nothing more, I desire nothing more, only to be ready to desire what you desire and as you desire it.” [Prayer of Abandonment] We desire many things in this life. But what does God desire for each and every one of us? He desires us to receive eternal life. God desires this so much for us that He sent His only son to die for us. The world on the other hand, in their need for instant gratification, desires a whole set of other values and precepts and every day, we are bombarded with how we should accept ‘new’ ways of living and of being. Most of my adult life, I felt like I needed to hold things together lest it all fall apart. I understood that I needed to hold on to God so that there was some measure of control in the situations and circumstances in my life. I was wrong. For God is and has always been holding onto me and He desires better for me than I could ever desire for myself. If only I could trust in God’s timing in my life, what joy I would live in. Finally, to be set free to see that I am who God says I am. I want my life to be as God sees it to be and that I need nothing more.
Anwen Wong Shu Min (Secondary 403) "Walk with love and be perfect" Perfection: impossible But loving is effortless So, how can we do it? Abadiano Anika Julia Macabata (Secondary 304) 74
Father God, you who created me in Your image and likeness, hold me always in Your steadfast love and teach my heart to wait upon You. Teach me to trust You more, to see myself through Your eyes. I want nothing more, I desire nothing more, only to be ready to desire what You desire and as You desire it. For from You, flows all the beauty and joy my life can hold. Amen Michelle Sara-Joy Ang (1988)
➧ It’s been a few weeks since we left home, arrived on this island and moved into our dwelling. I’ve been teaching the girls how to read the alphabet in English. After the daily prayer today, I heard a noise at the door during lunch and opened it to see a baby swathed in white swaddling clothes, peacefully sleeping on the doorstep of our house. My heart ached for her; just recently come into the world and yet already abandoned. How fortunate that she can now join us, where she can be educated, cared for, and loved.
CHIJ Katong Convent (Secondary)
Dear IJ Sisters
“There is an importance of treating each child with respect, recognising that even the least is in the image of God,” Father Barré had said to our fellow sisters when they started this mission. That is why the sisters and I will welcome every child with open arms, no matter if they have a home, if we found them on the street or if they simply want an education. Every child deserves a home, an education and love just as much as every other. I am certain this is my calling, to be helping those who deserve a chance. I will continue my mission. Yours in service, Sister Mathilde
Chew En Yu Kimi (Secondary 404)
Annabel Lin Pei Xuan (Secondary 203)
“Love…It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:8 75
“God’s love leads us to do whatever we can, to give whatever we can and to undertake whatever we can for the good of the other, without distinction and forgetting our own concerns.” Blessed Nicolas Barré upholder // undertaker Unchanging, unmoving in the wake of subsided waves I, as a people, remain stoic Gaze fixed on a faraway ( to some, imaginary ) End of all pain. I, as a people, remain stoic A strong force of sheer passion is what keeps me rooted in the pursuit of excellence, and in the process, A somewhat sense of respect for the heavy Burden I carry, the weight of the world and its lack of good. I, as a people, remain stoic ( though not for much longer, I fear ) I will be taken away at some point but never by the roots; for they’ve been embedded into the very heart Of the soul. He is in us. The drive for the pursuit for others And the strength for ourselves You, as a people, must Remain stoic. Carrie-Anne Lee (Secondary 402)
Chan Wen Xin Joan (Secondary 404, 2021)
Shall I? 'Shall I?' Truth! It is a choice Shall I? Shall I not As I shall An honest and genuine quest Guides me As I grow With an appreciation of values And
I shall! Shall I become a critical thinker? Learning is a value I shall Be guided Appreciating it And I shall Foster its desire to pursue Truth! I shall. Gabrielle Goana Tian En (Secondary 201)
➧ CHIJ Katong Convent (Secondary)
“All things of the world are gifts from God” Blessed Nicolas Barré
Lindy Poh (Secondary 4 Arts 1, 1985)
The nun’s sea-front home Generously offered to the cause. Girls welcomed and loved began wondering the hallways and gardens. Growing to house the teachers, toddlers and the Kitchen; Then flanked by classrooms, the hall, labs & the Library. Standing firm with arches and tiles, saloon swing doors and wooden shutters upstairs; Companioned by the Well at her side. Finbarr House, the seed from which grew into The Convent by the Sea, KC. Debra Scully (1977) 77
Ascension (2018) This sculptural triptych is made with the original lattice salvaged from the CHIJ Katong Convent school building built in 1986, to commemorate the official opening of the new school campus in 2018.
mirrors the journey of a Katong Convent student with the CHIJ community, and as the title suggests in astronomical terms, akin to the movement of a star rising above the horizon, blooming where she is planted, with the IJ values of Truth, Freedom, Justice and Love to guide her.
Ascension is the play of a modular system where individual units contribute to a larger whole. The sculptural triptych of escalating forms suggest growth, metamorphoses, and succession through its rhythmic dimensions.
This monument was created by the artistalumni in collaboration with students from 2015, involving them in the design and manifestation of the artwork through a series of creative workshops. Artwork by Daysor (1998)
"It is important that we have freedom for genuine authentic relationships in every aspect of our lives, freedom to respond to God's call and love, to respond to the needs of the people with availability and flexibility." Blessed Nicolas Barré
➧ The 11 Turk’s Cap Lilies on the right represent the 11 IJ schools in Singapore. Like the plant which becomes more floriferous as it matures, may our IJ students and teachers remember and keep the legacy of Father Barré alive, wherever life takes them. Louisa Tan
CHIJ Katong Convent (Secondary)
“Whatever is done to one of the least, the poorest, the most despised is done to Himself. It follows that whoever receives a poor abandoned child doubly welcomes Jesus Christ.” Blessed Nicolas Barré
Value of Freedom
As part of the IJ mission, the promotion of freedom refers to the ‘freeing of oneself’ from self-interest, from selfishness, from addictions that render us unable to reach out in sincerity and honesty to others, particularly the less able and more vulnerable. What addictions are these? In today’s context, it could be the addictions to ourselves - our wants, our desires, our preferences, our quest for perfection. Sometimes this pursuit of perfection can blind us from the truth and prevent us from being as Jesus wants us to be, his disciples and in service to others. Galatians 5:1 says “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” With the expectations and pressures we constantly find ourselves facing, be it from peers or the media, many of us lose sight of ourselves trying to be someone we’re not. However Jesus has blessed each one of us and made us in His image. It is only when we know ourselves as Jesus knows us, we become aware that we are no less important or beautiful than our favourite celebrities or peers, yet much more loved and filled with important gifts to share with others than we give ourselves credit for. Believing in ourselves and having faith in God’s plan for us frees us from focussing on ourselves to focussing on others. When we are comfortable on the inside, we can make a positive difference on the outside. When we can see the beauty God has put in each one of us, we can also see the beauty in His creations, from serving the needy to being stewards of our environment. Have we been focussing only on ourselves and not seeing others? and has our faith set us free to serve others? Lord, help us to see and acknowledge our self-worth. Lift the blindness that societal and peer pressures place on us so we can see that you are the truth and the light. Grant us the grace to turn our hearts back to you when we lose our way, and to use your gifts to serve those most in need. Eleanor Claire Leong Shi Hui & Goh Astrid Jing Ying (Secondary 404)
Artwork by Chan Wen Xin Joan (Secondary 404, 2021)
To me, love is the most important yet most difficult emotion of all. As Corinthians 13: 4-8 says,” love is patient, love is kind, it does not boast, it is not proud, it does not dishonor others, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres, love never fails”. To love is to do so much and be so much, which is why the second commandment given to us by God is for us to love one another just as God loves us. So how do we experience and enact this perfect love in our lives? Firstly, let’s look at experiencing love. Love is a burning spirit that cheers you on when you are down, and supports you in your journey of life. When you are loved by someone, you know that no matter what happens, you have that someone to count on. You can trust the person you love and be comfortable around them. As a student, we face challenges in our everyday lives, from stress in school to friendship problems. However, the love from the people around us, be it our teachers, our family or our friends gets us through these difficult times. Their love may not always be obvious but you will be able to sense it from the little actions that they do. It could be simply lending a listening ear or giving you advice when you are stuck. You can be assured that their actions come with the best intentions. Next let’s look at enacting love. Doing the positive things associated with love is relatively easy such as showering those you love with gifts, sharing words of praise and concern, and spending quality time together. However, there are more difficult actions associated with love, such as forgiving the one who hurt you or accepting the challenges the person you love brings you. For instance, when you get into an argument with either your friends or family members, it is usually because you have differences in opinions which then makes you angry or disappointed. If we truly love the person we are fighting with, as Christians, we have to first learn to accept the differences in opinion. Perhaps try to understand their point of view and see that they may be coming from a perspective of love for you too. Take the first step to apologise for arguing and work out the issue together. It may not be easy but, try it. Let love guide us rather than anger. If we can practise this constantly in our lives, we can truly be blessed with love, from those around us and from God. After all, as Corinthians 13:7 says “love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things.” So remember, we all want to be loved and so we should learn to love others too. Let all that we do be done in love. Loving God, let Your love guide me in all I do. Make love my first and last thoughts when I interact with others. Instil in me a spirit of joy, happiness, and love for both my friends and my enemies so that I can love as abundantly as you have loved me. In difficult times, grant me the patient and humble love to endure the challenges so that I can emerge stronger. We want to pray also for the many out there who are unloved or have not felt love. May they find an angel in their lives so that they can experience the comfort of Your love. Watch over them, Lord. Koh Mui Teng Jenna & Natalia Tan Yu Xuan (Secondary 405)
➧ Crossing time and space, a school of fish was on an important mission, one that would change the future forever. And this mission was to lay a very important egg. To begin with, this egg was much, much bigger than any other egg, and when the light caught it, it turned an ethereal golden colour. The fish made sure to guard their precious cargo as they carried it to Katong beach and laid it snugly amongst the corals and seaweed. The first fish, donning aviator goggles, practically flew over to the egg. “This child,” she began, her voice high-pitched, as though she had inhaled helium, “shall be blessed with determination and hardiness. May she grow to be a high flyer, and soar past all her problems and troubles with ease.” With this, she lay down not far from the egg, her goggles bobbing gently with the current.
CHIJ CHIJ Katong Katong Convent Convent (Secondary) (Secondary)
Artwork by Kwok Shin Hua (1964)
Much Ado about Katong Salmon
The second fish moved slower than the first, but her movements were steady and purposeful, as if all of time were on her side. Placing a shaking fin over the egg, she intoned,”This young child will be deeply loved and highly favoured. May she use these gifts to show compassion to all who need it, and may she love all and serve all, as our Lord above the waters and the skies did.” She smiled warmly at the egg, and swam under some seaweed to rest. The third fish had her fins full with a special book, eyes shining with mirth as she made her way to where the egg lay fidgeting every so often. “But soft!” she recited, as she sped towards the shining egg. “What light through yonder egg- I mean, window breaks?” This babe shall henceforth be blest with a curious mind ever willing to learn, and a love for all good literature. May the spirits of the Bard, Tolkien, and Wodehouse always go with her in her many endeavours.” Then she too left to rest, but the musky scent of the book lingered by the egg. Now it was time for the last fish to give her blessing. She smiled prettily, and lay a bouquet of fragrant narra around the egg. “This child will be an inspiration to her peers and the people around her,” she declared. “She will speak the words that no one else dares to say, and make a difference to her nation and even the world, as many of us have done.” And with this, she gave the egg one final pat, and moved off to join the rest of her companions. With all these blessings within her, the little child went out into the world with a spring in her step and joy in her heart, determined to help and to heal, to inspire and to teach and most importantly, to change the world. Amelia Earhart, Mother Teresa, Marie Bong, and Aung San Suu Kyi, together with countless other women, have all been agents of change in this world, and in their countries and communities as well. In fact, they are also personal agents of change, touching our lives deeply. Like salmon, they swim upstream to spawn, not eggs, but a dream. They go against the currents to bestow on us, the future generation, the strength, courage, and resilience to learn from them. As IJ girls, we in turn receive this DNA of change, and now, we challenge you to bravely journey with us as we travel upstream once more to spawn our new dreams for the future. Text by Daryl-Ann Jansen (2013) With input from Debra Scully (1977) and class of 2013 (Ria Malaney, Chan Li Ying, Shivani Singapuri, Nattasha Nina Alvinur, Jamie See, Daryl-Ann Jansen, Nur Iffah Batrisyia, Samantha Lim, Erica Wibowo, Melissa Khoo, Priscilla Tan, Rachel Tan KM, Mika Alano, Tia Bhaskar, Quinn Aldrich, Christie Ko, Etasha)
At 6 years old, I walked into the “convent by the sea”. It was 1949. The school was unique. It had the sea right on its doorstep, and was the beach resort for the nuns during the school holidays. I sometimes spotted the ladies, modestly clothed in white tunics and frilled caps, having an evening swim. Today, the property is CHIJ (Katong) Primary, and Katong Convent is the secondary school a stone’s throw away, on reclaimed land. Blessed Nicolas Barré established the IJ Sisters to give girls a holistic education, and I had that. Education encompassed moral behaviour (catechism classes) modesty (hemline below the knees) and good speech. “Noblesse Oblige” was instilled by the then principal Sr. Finbarr. Music and drama were encouraged. Crammed cross-legged on the floor of the school hall, we watched our friends in action on stage.
É Melody Xiao Yan Meewes (Secondary 302)
An emblem of the KC Graduate, this brooch design features the marguerite, which speaks of simplicity, symbolising the first part of our motto “Simple in Virtue”. The key blade, shaped like the school’s lattice-work – a reminder of her alma mater – speaks of that which is crucial to one’s successes, embodying the second part of our motto “Steadfast in Duty”. Together, this emblem represents the key to the KC Graduate overcoming much and succeeding in her life’s journey.
Blessed Father Barré preached that “Whoever welcomes a poor and abandoned child welcomes Jesus Christ doubly”. In third-world Singapore, a new-born could be just another mouth to feed; many baby girls were left at the school gate on Victoria Street, for the nuns to educate until the girls were grown. We KC girls had little opportunity to engage with these children, but we did pound the streets on “flag days” for them. It was all about service and sharing. I remember, too, the festive fund-raising funfairs, sometimes to help build a sister convent. Lifetime friendships were forged. In 2019, a bunch of us, friends since Primary 1, showed up at Katong Convent School Alumnae Association’s anniversary lunch, bedecked in over-the-top fake “bling”, to celebrate our “diamond” year of graduation. I, my two daughters, and currently, my two granddaughters are proud to fly the KC flag. Thank you, Blessed Father Barré, for your vision. Maureen Koh-Lim (1959) Rahayu Agustina (Teacher, 2010)
➧ CHIJ Katong Convent (Secondary)
“Do not wander far from the crib of Jesus; retain simplicity in everything” ~ Blessed Nicolas Barré Kwok Shin Hua (1964) SIMPLE IN VIRTUE (A poem inspired by our school song) Simple in Virtue Is into what I have grown Steadfast in Duty Is what I have shown Blessed be the God He has charted my way Blessed be the God Walking in His Ways My days in blue and white True friends have I made My days in blue and white These friends have graced my days In my younger days I strove hard to build my future bright By our motto bound My guiding ground As I grow each day Wisdom I have found
Through strength and courage I follow that sound Bravely I have fought Noble I aim to be Success is not Unless I am true in thought, word and deed. Solidly united I stand With God, my Family Humility and Service to Others Love for my Community I live my dreams daily I hope for peace and joy each day I found the truth to be That love starts with me I hope these noble virtues will light The future girls in blue and white The wisdom of the journey The motto that flamed this journey bright Francine Koh (1979) 83
Walking that lonely road, not knowing why Chasing another’s dream, living a lie You were the mirror into my soul Wisdom and courage, more precious than gold Without you, how could I have come so far Without you, how could I have learnt to fly Now I am soaring, bravely exploring Dancing on rainbows, painting the sky Yes, I am flying, keeping my dreams alive And I just want to say Thank you for showing the way O, I just want to say I wouldn’t be what I am today Without you Once I had fought against all kinds of ties Wanting my liberty, ignoring the signs Unending freedom has its own price Rooted in you I have scaled the heights Standing at centre stage, taking a bow Your tears are all I see, somewhere in the crowd Words left unsaid, they don’t matter now This moment’s wonder with you I share Without you, how could I have come so far Without you, how could I have learnt to fly Now I am soaring, bravely exploring Dancing on rainbows, painting the sky Yes, I am flying, keeping my dreams alive And I just want to say Thank you for showing the way O, I just want to say I wouldn’t be what I am today… And though I’m not always by your side You know my heart will never be far away Every smile etched within my mind I will carry this love, I will carry this love Final Chorus Song performed by: Student Singers : Julia Emma D’Cruz, Eugenia Ang. Ainsley Lim-Urquhart, Sarah Wei, Kathleen Thur, Melody See (2013) Alumnae Singers: Sr Wendy Ooi, Soo You-Mei, Wendy Chin ©2013 Julie Sim & Trevor Nerva. All rights reserved.
Artwork by Debra Scully (1977)
WITHOUT YOU (how could I’ve come so far?) Who would have thought I’d be unafraid now Do you remember my wavering start Trembling fingers and quivering heart
➧ IJ Girls As IJ girls, we are nurtured and shaped to be respectful leaders of the world - to bring those around us to greater heights.
CHIJ Katong Convent (Secondary)
Artwork by Rahayu Agustina (Teacher, 2010)
The importance of treating each child with respect, recognising that “even the least is in the image of God.” Blessed Nicolas Barré
As IJ girls, we are taught to treat others with the utmost respect - to treat others the way we would like to be treated. As IJ girls, we learn to embrace our differences. In God's eyes we are all worthy. We are special and unique to him. Not a single human being is undeserving of respect. Sophie Andrea Binte Adam Fiezan (Secondary 306) I was in CHIJ Opera Estate Convent from Primary 1 – 4. I came over to CHIJ Katong Convent at Martia Road from Primary 5 until I completed my GCE ‘A’ Levels in 1973. Hence, I spent 12 years enjoying the IJ education and growing in an environment that taught me love, respect and dignity. I did not exercise my full academic potential when I was in school – but I have no regrets because I was probably busy developing other important skills such as public speaking, public relations and creative thinking which helped me throughout my working life. What I remember of my education at Katong Convent are the wonderful teachers who saw me as I am. Yes, I did excel in a few subjects but my Maths, Science and Chinese were not my favourite subjects but my teachers loved me all the same. I think I brought tears to my Maths teachers since I was in Primary 3 – I had this blank look on my face when they explained fractions. By the time we got to algebra, I was the quietest student in the class. But I was never ridiculed or made to feel ashamed. They did not forget me – rather, they probably prayed hard for me to understand. My Chinese teachers also shook their heads at my compositions as they were literal translations from English with no flow or attention to use of vocabulary. I barely scraped through all my Chinese examinations. But I was still loved. Katong Convent is the place where I found good friends for life but I will always remember the teachers who made my school years the best years of my childhood and youth. They taught me values that are precious to this day. Kwok Sian Yee (last batch taking GCE ‘A’ Levels at CHIJ Katong Convent, 1973)
•Artwork by Escudero Adrienne Tiffany Kalaw (Secondary 403, 2021)
My 10 years in Katong Convent (KC) were extremely formative for me. Together with thousands of other IJ girls over the years, I am blessed to have received a fulfilling education thanks to the legacy of Blessed Nicholas Barré, who believed in uplifting and educating youths from all walks of life - especially girls. In our KC days, we carried our own chairs during assembly, saw fellow girls who were the best in sports, learnt from those who topped the class in math and science, and D&T and home economics were done with equal fervor as both skills were required. There were no stereotypes, and no such thing as being the “weaker” gender. If something needed to be done - we just did it. While the world has made great strides towards gender equality over the years, we live in a time where among us are women who still face misogynistic comments, carry the mental load at home, face the gender pay gap, struggle to find their own voice under societal expectations, and have only in more recent times been able to see more diverse representation in positions of leadership such as in the boardroom and politics. While KC taught me the values of servant leadership and putting others before self, I never thought I would serve in politics. Prior to this current group of politicians, there had been a total of 4 Malay women in parliament since independence and I thought that politics was for other people. During the swearing in ceremony of the 14th parliament which had a record number of 28 women, I thought about all the younger girls out there and prayed that I will be able to use my voice in a way that counts for our community and country. I have a lot to learn from the unwavering commitment of Blessed Nicholas Barré and other leaders who have been part of our IJ history. He believed in change, set about to find collaborators, and pursued this path relentlessly - putting the cause and the bigger picture beyond himself. To my alma mater, teachers and friends - thank you for the kindness you have shown to me as a daughter of the Convent by the Sea. I have much to learn, but I will continue to be steadfast in duty. Nadia A Samdin (2006)
➧ Blessed Nicolas Barré she is light shining in the darkness yet drifting through soft zephyrs led by the sails of His grace illuminating the gloom with the glow of her thoughts ever so inspiring place her trust within her soul a parting in the skies streaks shimmer through alive, she feels alive she speaks, they stand rapt in attention allowing themselves to be guided by the torch of His glory
CHIJ Katong Convent (Secondary)
“Be faithful in allowing yourself to be led by the Spirit, like a feather drifting in the wind, receptive to His inspirations and obedient to what draws you to Him.“
Victoria Maxim Tan Shu Hui (Secondary 403)
as one travels to and back, righteousness is ours with a smile in hand Anya Celeste D'nacio (Secondary 306) Cheong Kai Ling Caelyn (Secondary 404)
➧ CHIJ St. Theresa’s Convent Founded in 1933, CHIJ St. Theresa’s Convent (STC) was started in response to an urgent need to educate the daughters of stevedores working in the Tanjong Pagar docks. The IJ sisters leased Hood Lodge next to the Church of St. Teresa, and started STC as a parish school. The far-sightedness of Rev Mother St. Charles led her to purchase 12 acres of land on Radin Mas Hill, the present site of STC. The long walk from the bottom of the hill to the school on top was not easy, especially on rainy days. Yet the girls who were keen on receiving education willingly made the sacrifice. In the 1950s, the lighted school building on the Hill became the sole source of light after nightfall for the villagers in the vicinity. Since then, STC has been known as ‘The Light on the Hill’. https://chijsttheresasconvent.moe.edu.sg/
“Having reached out to others with gentleness and humility, you must follow through with warmth and enthusiasm inspired by love.” ~ Blessed Nicolas Barré We are called to be like the Infant Jesus in His crib, to be gentle and humble in our love for one another. Our IJ spirit is about reaching out to others in Love, and being of service to those who are disadvantaged and in need. Just as we have received many of Life’s blessings, we strive to also bless others around us in word and deed. Together with our IJ educators, I would like to continue to grow our Theresian students to be a Light to Others, and I am honoured to be in such a loving IJ family.
“During the exercise of our mission, we often experience the presence of God and interior consolation. Here God enriches us with divine favours, so as to show us that this is where we are wanted.” ~ Blessed Nicolas Barré The IJ mission is so all-encompassing that it has become my personal mission in life. It has led me to the truth that each of us is born with infinite dignity, made in the image and likeness of God, and deeply loved by Him. As such, my ultimate purpose in life must include the common good of others. In short, each day, I strive to be a person for God and for others. Mrs Pauline Wong STC Principal (2008-2019)
Mrs Jenny Leong STC Principal (2020-present) The lit candle near the chest of this Theresian student signifies how a small light can warm someone’s heart greatly. At our graduation ceremony, all Theresians hold a lit candle. This reminds us that no matter where we go, we will always be a light for ourselves and others. Text & artwork by Layla Nicole Chan Ling & Lim Bai-He Lauren (Secondary 3C)
➧ Text & artwork by Yu Jiaxue (Secondary 3C)
My most memorable memory of my time as an IJ girl is walking into the school foyer to be greeted by our school values. Each morning I ponder upon what these values mean to me; Love, Truth, Justice & Freedom and how I can continue to display them as a Learner, Leader and Lady. Being an IJ girl is to constantly reflect on the values we hold firmly in our hearts, and to strive to lead and serve others in our community, especially those who are disadvantaged. This identity of an IJ girl has followed me as I transitioned into JC. I continue my journey as a servant leader, tutoring children from low-income families as well as raising awareness for autism through fundraising campaigns.
CHIJ St. Theresa’s Convent
As Theresian ladies, we possess IJ values – Love, Truth, Justice and Freedom. The House system with six different mascots (as seen in artwork below) promotes the Theresian spirit, building a sense of belonging to the school and a heart of service to the community.
Text & photo contributed by Iva Idris (1st row, 4th from left) Student Council President 2018-2019
Having served for 44 years, I have seen many girls pass through the school gates. I am thankful to be able to play a small part, together with my colleagues, in their educational journey to watch them fulfil their potential, to guide their young minds and hearts at CHIJ STC. This mission has kept me committed to my work all these years. Text by Mdm Norelliah Binte Omar, STC staff (1977-present) 91
As a parent, while I want to see my child succeed academically, what is equally important is to see her being nurtured as a good person who is caring and respectful towards others. I see evidence of this as she grows in STC. The school values instilled in my daughter, to constantly better herself in service of others, and to appreciate how blessed she is instead of taking things for granted, remind me that the IJ education is the right choice we have made. A resilient attitude to not throw in the towel when things get tough which I see in her today, will go a long way with her. I am thankful for the IJ mission. Text & photo contributed by Mrs Christine Kawamura The large clock in the background (with daughter Noelle) represents the amount of stress and PSG Chairperson pressure that can be put on students. (2020-present) However, this can also motivate us to do our work quickly and efficiently. In addition, the Rubik’s Cube on the head symbolises that students are always I believe that an IJ education will figuring things out in school; it shows that prepare my girl to be a confident woman the students’ mindset can constantly with compassion, which is why together, change as we try to understand things we we confidently chose STC to be her learn. The numerous colours on the cube secondary school. also represent the joys of being in school, such as being with our peers and bonding Text & photo contributed by Mdm Kwan with them, which makes our STC Mei Gee (with daughter Yu Huey) experience much more enjoyable. STC alumna 1991 Text & artwork by Nethaniah Doctor Piamonte (Secondary 2B)
➧ I may have entered STC by chance, but by choice, I enrolled my daughter here. I know she will have the most vibrant student life like I did, doing things like participating in the annual Education For Life programme, painting murals in 1999, and forming lifelong friendships with her peers.
CHIJ St. Theresa’s Convent
To be an IJ girl is to be confident. Visually, she is like a tree rooted deep into the ground and not easily shaken. When people see me, they see an IJ girl because they see the evidence of “IJ friends are friends for life” in my life. Up till today, I’m still surrounded by STC friends who journey through life with me. The most valuable thing I learnt as an IJ girl is to never let the fear of failure stop me from doing what I want to do.
Text & photo contributed by Mrs Ivy Pay-Ng (with daughter Natasha) STC alumna 2001
Text & photo contributed by Anna Tan Xuan (1st row, 5th from left) Student Council President (2016-2017) As the saying goes, IJ friends are friends for life. In STC, I have found some of my closest friends for life with tons of memories like Education for Life and CCA sessions to remember school days by. Love, Truth, Justice and Freedom are the IJ values that I hold true to my heart through my teenage years till now as a teacher. The motto “Simple in virtue, steadfast in duty" resonates strongly with me even till today. It reminds me to do little things with great love. As a teacher in my alma mater, I hope to inspire the next generations of IJ girls to experience the rich IJ culture and heritage. Let us continue the great work of Blessed Nicolas Barré and spread the IJ love! Miss Cassandra Lee, STC alumna 2006, STC teacher (2014-2021) 93
Each morning, I take the school bus and reach school just in time to see the sun rise. The feeling of being able to witness the sunrise (in all its glorious colours) in a place that is not my home, is mesmerising to me. It gives me a sense of freedom, which is also one of the school values.
Text & artwork by Poh Yi Xuan Vera (Secondary 2C)
There have been times in my life when I wondered why it was so important for me to be speak up for the voiceless, to defend the weak, to champion the truth and to fight for what is just. Returning to serve as a staff in IJ has reminded me that it is the IJ mission that has shaped me through my formative years, and it calls me today still, to live out Love, Truth, Justice and Freedom every day, with the gifts God has given me. Ms Felicia Kuo STC alumna 1997, STC Vice Principal (2019present) 94
I always look forward to meeting up with my IJ friends, as we often reminisce on our school days. From major school events to the smallest little details, there is always something to smile and laugh about. I treasure these memories and experiences, like listening in class, running around during leadership events or even just eating with my friends in the canteen because these are what made my IJ journey invaluable. I hope that every past, present and future IJ girl will share my sentiments! Text & photo contributed by Tessa Kwan (2nd from left) Student Council President (2017-2018)
➧ Text & artwork by Valerie Danielle Choo Sze Yong (Secondary 3J)
My most memorable memory of my time in STC is planning the 2020 Secondary 1 Orientation. It was extremely rewarding not only because we were able to pass on the school spirit to the new Secondary Ones, but because we were able to cheer and carry out many fun activities as a student body. It was an event that really reminded me of the beginning of my own journey in STC when I first entered the school and I am still extremely proud to have been part of the team that started the STC journey for the Secondary Ones that year.
CHIJ St. Theresa’s Convent
As an IJ Girl, I learnt that friendships are extremely important. Trusting and loving my friends means a lot to me, as every friendship is special. Blessed Nicolas Barré has created the IJ mission to help us grow into the educated ladies that we are called to be. Being in an IJ school has taught me that you are who you want to be and your friends will be there for you through rain or shine. Borrowing a saying from Doctor Luis Alexandre Ribeiro Branco: “Friendship has no colour, nationality, race and social level, friendship knows no age and gender, friendship knows no distance.” This is what being an IJ friend means to me.
Text & photo contributed by Deborah Ng (1st row, middle in IJ blue) Student Council President (20192020)
My artwork is a representation of my experience in STC – my CCA, the teachers, friends made and bonds formed. The reason I enjoy being in STC is all because of the people I befriended from CCA and class, the school events that gave me amazing memories, and the teachers who taught me valuable lessons and made learning enjoyable. My experience in STC so far has been epic, it's like I'm in a movie and I'm the main character, thus the film reel in the artpiece. Since I have two more years in STC, I cannot wait to see what remains in store for my friends and I !
I had many wonderful memories in STC and I knew that, like me, my 3 daughters would enjoy their time in STC because of the love, care and support they will receive from the school and the teachers.
Text & artwork by Clarissa Tay Ming Hwee (Secondary 2D)
Text & photo contributed by Mdm Vanessa Lum (with STC alumna daughter Rachel, & two daughters who are currently STC students Carmel & Mariel) STC alumna 1983
To me, being a Catholic in STC means being able to get closer to God every day. The daily prayers, weekly discussion sessions and weekly Masses have definitely brought me closer to God as I gained a deeper understanding of my faith. This has enabled me to be a living witness of God’s love as I strive to love others as He loves us. I am thankful to have these God-filled moments in STC. Andrea Chye (Catholic Student Leader, Secondary 4A) 96
➧ The friends I have made in STC so far have been really kind and accepting of me. I feel at peace when I’m in school, which allows me the freedom to bloom freely into the person I’m meant to be, despite any obstacles that may come my way.
CHIJ St. Theresa’s Convent
Having served in STC for 44 years, I can say without a doubt that the vision and mission of Blessed Nicolas Barré is lived here. Our unwavering focus on the character formation of students is anchored on strong Christian values which we share with all students, regardless of their faith. Theresian teachers love and give the best of ourselves to our students. Theresian students respond in gratitude to the love that they receive as they are encouraged to achieve their dreams every single day. Words cannot begin to describe how thankful I am to have been part of this Theresian family, having lived and breathed the IJ values for more than 4 decades. Mrs Philomina Angelus Gomez STC teacher (1977-present)
Text & artwork by Janani Vijayanthiran (Secondary 2R) My most precious memory of my time in STC as a Catholic is attending the Wednesday sharing sessions held at the Lighthouse, where topics of interest related to our faith were discussed. These sessions not only allowed me to have a better understanding of my faith but also gave me the opportunity to bond with my peers. I appreciate the opportunities to grow in my faith with my peers at STC. Ashley Tan (Catholic Student Leader, Secondary 4C) 97
The rose at the very center represents St Theresa’s Convent, our beloved school. Here, students of all races can come together equally and embrace the rose, which is our school flower. This shows how we are inclusive and caring towards one another. The certificates and medals flying around the students represent the different CCAs which reflect how we each have a different God-given talent which we are encouraged to nurture here in STC. Being an IJ Girl has taught me that we are all different but we can be one in unity and inclusivity. Text & artwork by Mabel Tan Xuan Yun (Secondary 3J)
Being part of the Catholic community in STC has shown me that as an educator, I am but an instrument of God’s love. In my eight years at STC, I am constantly reminded to be ‘The Light on the Hill’, to spread God’s love to all I meet, especially to those who are disadvantaged. It is God who fills me with the Holy Spirit, and working through me, He helps me spread His tender loving care to those around me. Contributing to the Catholic ethos through various programmes like Masses, RE lessons has also strengthened my relationship with God. Mrs Brenda Tan CHIJ Town Convent alumna 1978, Year Head Sec. 3 & Head Pastoral Care at STC (2014present)
I learnt values such as compassion, courage and commitment in my schooling years at STC, and hope my daughter will learn the same, and grow in self-discipline so that she is a dependable person as well. Text & photo contributed by Mdm Rosalind Mary (with daughter Leancy Christina) Alumna 1988
➧ CHIJ St. Theresa’s Convent
I can be forgetful. However, I can vividly remember my Secondary 2 EFL Camp which was held in Kota Tinggi. To be very frank, when I first heard about this camp, I felt very intimidated. I knew I was going to be extremely uncomfortable. Little did I know, this camp would be one of the experiences that I will forever carry with me. My friends and I found ourselves getting involved in activities we would never do on our own - kayaking, rafting and funnily, a game called “Indiana Jones”, where we had to stand in a surfing stance trying to balance on wooden planks. Not only were the activities exceptionally enjoyable, they also brought my friends and I closer together. I am 99.9% sure that if we did not go through that camp, we would never be as close as we are now. And hence, I thank STC for making the sometimes tiring days so worthwhile. Text & photo contributed by Charissa Lim Student Council President (2020-2021)
This artwork draws inspiration from the House system in CHIJ St Theresa's Convent. Each House is represented by a different mascot, which allows us all to be united despite being in different classes and levels. We compete fairly, stay committed to our Houses yet work together with other Houses when there are opportunities. We all carry the IJ spirit and oh, how brightly it shines! Text & artwork by Dervynn Seah Xinyi (Secondary 3C) 99
Whenever I hear my niece Jovita playing the piano, I am reminded of my own musical learning, especially in my primary school, St. Theresa’s Convent. I am referring specifically here about Madam Ng, whom many of us from the 1980s would remember very well as our school’s choir mistress. I had never encountered a teacher who did not have the title of Miss or Mrs – but we were told, in no uncertain terms, that Madam was what we would need to use to address her. She was a rather fiery character compared to many of our other teachers, which made some pupils tremble slightly at the sight of her. One day, she marched into our Primary 4 classroom and brought in a tape recorder with a cassette. She ordered us all to sit down on the floor and to listen carefully to the piece she was going to play. Our final instruction before she started the music was to close our eyes. What we heard subsequently was the most beautiful melody, full of hope and inspiration. Everyone stayed silent and serene until the end, then Madam Ng began her lesson. She told us the composer was a Norwegian named Edvard Grieg, and that this was one of the movements from his famous work Peer Gynt, called “Morning”. We were all completely entranced and could not stop talking about this experience for a long time after. How magical was it to have had a seemingly ordinary school day enlivened by this passionate interlude, a scenario more likely to be encountered in a concert hall instead of a classroom. In one afternoon, we 10-year olds were been given an opportunity to explore a much bigger and bolder world. I will always be grateful to my teachers at STC, who had given my sister Felicia and I many memorable and vibrant lessons like this one. Jovita, Felicia’s daughter who is now also an IJ girl, will now be able to share similar stories from inside and outside its borders. Dr Freda Sundram STC alumna 1989 Illustration by Jovita Kumar Dr Freda Sundram’s niece, CHIJ Kellock, Primary 3 100
➧ CHIJ St. Theresa’s Convent
Every chapter, every page is a new beginning. We may not always know what lies ahead, but with courage, we can fight through any adversity and take flight to greater heights. With courage, we can flip the page and start again. Every day is an opportunity for new beginnings, to shine and be a Light to others. Text & artwork by Jann Ong (Secondary 3C, 2019)
Teaching at my alma mater feels like being home. There is a warm nostalgia wherever I go in school and whenever my students’ school experience reminds me of my own. Miss Donna Koh HOD English Language, STC alumna 2000, STC teacher (2008-present) As we graduate, we shed the black veil of past mistakes. We prepare to spread our wings and take flight for new skies, with our identity as a Theresian learner, leader and lady ever-present in our hearts. Text & artwork by Anna Lee & Ruth Lee (Secondary 3D, 2016) 101
➧ CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School is a full school with both the primary and secondary sections. Established in 1933, it started off as a Chinese-medium school in the compound shared with Town Convent in Victoria Street. Subsequently, the secondary section was selected as a Special Assistance Plan (SAP) school in 1979. In 1985, the school moved to the current site in Ang Mo Kio. The Catholic values, IJ ethos and the rich heritage of sisterly love and gratitude have nurtured in our girls a spirit of love and charity. As we give of ourselves to others within school and beyond, we enable the seeds of faith and love to grow and flourish, reflecting God’s presence and Father Barré’s legacy. https://chijstnicholasgirls.moe.edu.sg/
Achieving the Extraordinary through the Ordinary It’s amazing how God’s extraordinary work is often achieved through ordinary people and through seemingly small steps. He chose a simple couple, Mary and Joseph, to be the parents of his Son, our Saviour. Christ’s ministry began with 12 humble men. 400 years ago, Blessed Nicolas Barré and a group of young women set up ‘little schools’ which have now spread across the world, transforming the lives of millions of girls. Oftentimes, God prompts us unknowingly to His bidding. It could just be giving a smile to others, sharing a piece of cake, extending a listening ear or giving a helping hand. More often than not, we, too, are the recipients of such kind actions. If we can take a moment and remember that we are always in the divine presence of God, we will recognise God’s amazing grace and appreciate how extraordinary our ordinary lives are. Mrs Fiona Tan Principal (2017 – Present)
I have heard many people say they can tell who the IJ, St Nicholas girls are in their communities and workplaces. They may not be able to explain why, but I know exactly what they mean. Those of us who are blessed to have received an IJ education are nurtured to be simple in virtue, steadfast in duty, grateful, humble and ever serving – that is what shapes us, as IJ girls. I see it as a great privilege to have been a student, a parent and a principal at St Nicks. Over these years, I have held many cherished IJ moments, including how our alumni, staff, parents and students endeavoured together to make our upgraded campus a homely place for our girls. We took the milestone to develop our new vision, Girls of Grace ° Women of Strength° Leaders with Heart, as a refreshed appreciation and understanding of our St Nicks and IJ values. I hope these words will continue to inspire and guide generations of students to come. Ms Soh Wai Lan Principal (2012 – 2016) Class of 1983
➧ I am proud to be part of the worldwide IJ family. It is with great gratitude that, with the guidance and prayers of the IJ Sisters, I was able to play a small part in helping to fulfil Father Nicolas Barré’s vision of teaching young girls to perform meaningful roles in the world while teaching them to act justly with courage and compassion. These girls, like those from all the IJ schools, have extended these lessons of love to their families as mothers, sisters and daughters. Many have also made outstanding contributions to society
CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School
To Serve, To Mould & To Cultivate ~Father Nicolas Barré
as leaders, nuns, teachers, doctors, nurses, entrepreneurs, social workers, scientists, chefs, journalists and so much more. They exemplify the meaning of being “Simple in virtue, Steadfast in duty” as they reach out with their hands and hearts to touch the lives of so many others. I am truly grateful for the support of our IJ Sisters, teachers, alumni, parents, community and church for making a difference in the lives of these precious souls. Mrs Hwang-Lee Poh See Principal (1972 – 2000)
Primary 2 Charity, Primary 2 Faith & Primary 2 Grace 105
“If you dare nothing, then when the day is over, nothing is all you will have gained.” ― Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book Before I entered SNGS at age 13, I was an obedient and diligent child who loved reading and eating. Easy to raise, but frankly, somewhat bland. SNGS changed that. In the spacious campus where girls were encouraged to explore passions, push the limits, and grow into well-rounded individuals able to “出得厅堂，入得厨房” (not that I can cook well now, but I can make a decent medium-rare steak and al dente pasta), I learnt that if we never step out of our comfort zone and undertake difficult journeys to reap the potential elation despite the risks, then we have not really made use of the precious gift of life. Carpe Diem. Ms Jamie Lim, Class of 1992, SNGSAA President 2021 How poignant that the Jubilee year of the 4th centenary of the birth of Blessed Nicolas Barré, who made the education of many IJ girls possible, falls on the year of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the gloom of the pandemic has dampened the mood of this memorable occasion, it is also a reminder of what Blessed Nicolas Barré stands for and cared about. When COVID-19 first reached the shore of Singapore, I had an idea to rally my colleagues in the Medical Humanities team to address the issue of isolation and anxiety in patients who were infected, then, by the unknown virus. At the peak of the stringent circuit breaker period, we were frantically devising new solutions to address the emotional and spiritual (it was Ramadan then) needs of many affected foreign workers. The language differences instead of being language barriers, gave us the impetus to do more to comfort them, behind our protective gowns and masks, speaking in a language foreign to them. Thanks to technology, we created virtual peer support groups in their native languages over Zoom! Having seen me involved in similar activities, I had been asked many times if I am a Christian – well, I am not; but I spent 10 years in CHIJ St Nicholas. Catholic or not, I think every any girl who has walked through the doors of the school, inspired by many of the selfless nuns and teachers whom we have encountered; instilled with the IJ values of truth, justice, freedom, and love; and reciting the IJ motto through our years of education; would be touched and instinctively know the right thing to do at the right time. Indeed, I am not alone. I am aware of many of my fellow alumnae lending a helping hand, in their own ways, to those who are suffering during this difficult time. Blessed Nicolas Barré has not only built an institution of learning but one of love and humanity. Ms Chow Wan Cheng, Class of 1977 106
the IJ mission. Father Barré, who had a
I love my classmates.
vision of God, followed the footsteps of Jesus Christ by obeying God’s calling. Being a vessel and steward of God, he
They are like sisters to me.
made great impact and many have been
They laugh at my jokes,
touched by his work. He is truly an
Cry with me when I’m down.
Together, we make memories.
Let this fire to serve God continue from generation to generation, as God leads
Years will pass us by
and guides us, His vessels and stewards,
As we go on different pathways
by granting us the joy and wisdom in
I will never forget my St Nicks sisters
nurturing and grooming girls who are
We went through thick and thin together.
rooted in the Word of God. These girls will continue to spread the fire as they abide by the Word of God, grow in grace,
CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School
The life of Father Barré is exemplary of
Ashley Chan (Primary 5 Hope)
wisdom and strength; always reaching out to make a difference in the lives of others, wherever they are. Ms Cindy Ng, HOD (Primary)
isterly love widely practised
I joined the IJ School in Victoria Street in the 1970s. The school
raditional values deeply rooted
shared the same compound with the nuns and children from the orphanage. I had the opportunity
urturing effective bilinguals nculcating self-driven individuals aring teachers are abound olistic educators easily found
to interact with them. These first-hand experiences gave me deeper understanding of Nicolas Barré’s vision of providing education for the poor and disadvantaged.
utstanding pupils in many ways eading others with a heart nchored in sound principles
I believe the IJ spirit will continue to inspire many more generations of IJ girls for the next 400 years.
trong in the face of setbacks Mdm Suelsa Zainudin, Teacher (Primary)
Mr Lui Yenn Kai, Teacher (Primary)
➧ depicts a Heartleaf Philodendron growing on a wooden structure. This plant is known for being hardy, symbolising the resilience of Father Barré and the sisters in overcoming obstacles to fulfil their mission. Their passion for their work was fueled by their love
CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School
This drawing entitled "Plant on Wooden Structure“
for mankind and is represented by the heart-shaped leaves of the plant. The vine of the plant, together with the wooden structure, form the word "Caritas", served as the motto for their mission. The wooden structure with protruding splinters and a nail right in the centre is a reminder of the great sacrifice that Jesus had made for us on the cross. Mr Chia Eng Lee, Teacher (Primary)
Growing up with a school philosophy that nothing is impossible with God and love, I embarked on my adulthood with confidence. Having been in St Nicholas as a student, and later on, as a parent and a teacher, I have embraced the faith and love in my endeavours to live life purposefully. The many opportunities provided for the students and teachers during my school days, as well as my teaching days, to find and realise our potential, have always been key to building our confidence to dream, dare and do. That’s love and freedom. It is indeed by God’s grace that I still have the IJ spirit flowing in me. With the knowledge that love drives out fear, I made ‘serving with a cheerful heart’ my motto. Ms Agnes Lee, Year Head (Primary) 109
Proud to be IJ Girls Simple in virtue, steadfast in duty. Our school motto, in my mind, crystal clear. With smiles as big as I can remember, We sing our school song with much pleasure. Many school values we uphold, Thousands of stories yet to be told. As I look up at the many levels above, I think of the most important value, love. What is sisterly love or 姐妹同心 , Some may question. Caring for others, Helping one another. Truth, justice, freedom and love, Remain deep in our hearts. Back and forth, With bubbly spirits. St Nicks, my second home, Over the years, you and I have grown. Girls of grace, women of strength, leaders with heart, These school values we know. We stand tall in our navy blue pinafores, Proud to be IJ girls. Hannah de Lang-Ho (Primary 5 Grace) 110
Freedom Freedom is not just about being free. It is about being what we want to be. In the world, there would be people who look down on you, but they can’t affect you if you don’t let them. Just look at the birds flying freely in the sky. No one can stop them. Likewise, we should learn from birds, stand tall and fly high. If Father Barré can establish schools to help girls like us, then why can’t we be free to help others? Sarah Leanne Chin Yan Yun (Primary 6 Faith)
➧ CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School
What is Justice? I am an average twelve-year-old. I cannot be like a judge assessing wrongs, nor a famous figure influencing people about being fair and just. I am not as brave as the protesters on the streets standing up for what they strongly believe is right. Instead of complaining about the things I can’t control or do as yet, I am
Freedom I am free to believe and free to dream, I think differently,
sure I can make a small difference in
still maintaining my self-esteem.
my school. I can always do my fair
Always refusing to ride with the tide.
share of work for school projects, and
Whether I am right or wrong,
assign everyone an equal part of the
I know I have tried.
workload. That is also upholding justice in my daily life. I do not need to be someone who is high and mighty to uphold justice. On the contrary, I can actually be fair to others even through the smallest acts every day. Vera Yau Yan Qing (Primary 6 Hope)
Every decision is a fork in the road, Each path I take will be confidently strode. I choose to be the unique, perfectly imperfect me, Because I can be what I want to be, I am free. Chia Jia-En Isabelle Gemma (Primary 6 Charity) 111
Simple in virtue, Steadfast in duty Every teacher has a story. For me, being a convent girl since my primary school days, I learnt that we should look to the virtues in God, Mother Mary and all the Saints. We have a duty to fulfil our roles, like how Father Barré has served the people. The motto “Simple in virtue, steadfast in duty” has left a mark in my life. To be Simple in Virtue is to go to God in full confidence and love. To be Steadfast in Duty means having an awareness of our duty to be of service to others. By God’s will, I was posted to our school. All my memories of the values, motto and mission of IJ schools returned. Having received so much, I have now learnt to focus on what I can give, rather than what I receive. Mrs Sheon Wee, Teacher (Primary)
I had the honour of joining the St Nicks family as a School Attendant in 1989 and was converted to Operations Support Officer sometime in 2005. I have had my fair share of promotions and awards in St Nicks. Previously, we not only took care of the cleanliness of the school premises in the day but also doubled up as guards during the night. We also watch out for the well-being and safety of the students during arrival and dismissal. Our jobs are tough but we take pleasure in them. I am happy that I’m able to be with the St Nicks family for the past 32 years, as we have good School Leaders and colleagues who help and take care of each other. Cheers to St Nicks! 112
V. Dhanaraj, Operations Support Officer (Primary) 112
➧ Freedom Love –
I want to be free to dream and be happy. But not everyone can be, my heart told me. Until one day, I was totally convinced that freedom can be given and taken as you please. But as I grew up, I learnt that freedom has to be earned like trust, respect and equality,
The feeling when you lend others a helping hand
CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School
Or when you play your favourite instrument. It is what you give to those who are sad, Or being in the place that you call home.
Love – The feeling when you give someone a gift, Or what your family and friends give to you. It is showing encouragement to someone who needs it, Or offering help to your neighbour.
And that to have freedom is to be truly happy. Libby Seowseet (Primary 6 Grace)
Love – It is the best value a CHIJ girl can have. Saige Tan (Primary 5 Charity)
How do you make great coffee for close to four decades and counting? Some may say it is all about the recipe but in St Nick’s, we are all about the ingredients. The seeds of these drinks were first planted with Diligence and Love from past generations. The roots of our drinks stall began in 1982 when my uncle – known by all as “Uncle Mobeen” – was offered the opportunity to to sell food and drinks to contractors building our Ang Mo Kio St. 13 school. Our then-principal Mrs Hwang-Lee Poh See extended the offer to Uncle Mobeen to continue operating the stall after the building was ready in 1984. He was also given the night patrol duty. St Nicks soon became our home. We feel a sense of responsibility and belonging here. Our girls from across generations are like our own daughters, sisters and aunts. Many are now mothers and grandmothers and they continue to come back to visit our school. When we go through dark patches, values like Family Togetherness and Compassion keep us together. These are all part of the IJ spirit and they still ring true today. So how do we make great coffee in CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School after so many years? It boils down to how we treat each other with Care and Concern, and our belief in one another. Mr Abdul Azeem Bin Mustakin, “Uncle Mobeen” Stall
Kyra Eve Goh Si Yi (Primary 3 Hope) 114
➧ Taoist, yet they chose to send their daughters to convent schools. Free uniforms. Free schooling. Free school books. Free food. Amazed by the
CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School
My grandparents grew up
generous spirit of the Catholic nuns in Singapore, my grandfather asked, “What kind of God do they believe in that makes them give and not ask for anything in return?” So moved by the generosity of the Sisters, he brought his whole family to be baptised as Roman Catholics. Three generations of IJ girls later, this story still holds as a reminder that spreading the burning light of God is done through compassion, love, and generosity. Tory Chow Min Lee (Primary 3 Justice)
Ms Stephanie Choo, Parent (Primary) 115
are, Compassion and Love I See ope, Peace and Serenity n this place, like Heaven on Earth oyful Soul has a place to Berth imple in Virtue, Steadfast in Duty ow that must mean a real true Beauty irls of Grace, Women of Strength, Leaders with Heart t Nicholas Girls’ School - You have surely won my Heart Ms Roseline Ter Chiew Ping, Parent (Primary) 116
Primary 1 Charity, Primary 1 Faith & Primary 1 Grace
➧ CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School
Bring Her In Don’t ask me why I left my home Of autumn reds and summer blooms Don’t tell me that the way is long He’ll help me bear what must be borne Just show me where the children roam I’ll tell you where I’ll make my home Chorus: Is there a cry outside the gate? Is that another helpless babe? Bring her in, we’ll wash and clothe her Sing her songs of love and teach her Bring her in Oh, bring her in Don’t ask me if I miss my home Of clear spring skies and winter snows Don’t ask me if I’ll leave or stay There’s work to do and much to pray Just show me where the children roam I’ll tell you where I’ll make my home
Primary 1 Hope, Primary 1 Justice, Primary 1 Purity & Primary 1 Wisdom
The persona in the song could be Mother Mathilde or any of the other pioneering IJ sisters who made the perilous five-month-long journey from France to Penang in 1852. They eventually set up the first CHIJ school in Singapore in 1854. Her strong faith and selfless love for children (many of whom are poor and/or homeless; some are babies left at the Gate of Hope, which is referenced in the song) helped her to overcome her nostalgia for her homeland and the many hardships of missionary work in a foreign land. Lyricist of the song: Ms Low Ying Ping (Class of 1993) Music composed by Chan Sher Wern, Phoebe, Class of 2020, Sung by Dawn Yam Yen (Class of 2021) 117
Many of my closest friends are from
Every day, there are jobs to do To carry out the responsibilities of me and you.
School. We have remained close friends for more than half a century and we have supported each other through the vagaries of life.
Our hands we wash and our teeth we brush,
A few years ago, I reconnected
When we go to the toilet, we remember to
with a primary school classmate.
She related to me how the Sisters
When eating our food, we keep tidy and clean. and some of the teachers went the This keeps us healthy, neat and keen. We do all work without a fight
extra mile to help her in many ways to ease the pain of growing up
household with an irresponsible
And try and try with all our might.
father and a frustrated mother.
We go to bed when the clock strikes eight,
Her story touched me deeply. The
And wake up early so we won’t be late.
action of the Sisters and the teachers were done in the spirit of
Every day, there are jobs to do
the IJ mission. They did it without fanfare.
To fulfil the responsibilities of me and you.
kindness continues to linger.
Amanda Cheong Yu Xuan (Primary 4 Justice)
Ms Lee Yuan Yu, SNGS Pre-U 1973
➧ touches me deeply is, the Prayer of Abandonment. I love the prayer because it encompasses a total surrender of oneself to God, with complete trust in God, choosing only God’s Love above all human reasoning and desire. As a teacher of 40 years in CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School, I take it upon myself to translate Father Barré’s quotes into Chinese so that more people can appreciate them. I constantly pray to God to hold my hand in accomplishing the task that I have set upon myself. 神圣的舍弃
CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School
Prayer of Abandonment I have memorised many quotes left behind by Blessed Father Barré. Among all the quotes, one that
上主，我别无需求， 我也别无渴望, 在祢的时间内，接受祢所意愿的，是我心所愿。 能够在你跟前侍奉，我心足矣。 祢照顾我，祢为我松解了一切纠结, 我的所思所行，全入祢的法眼， 我的生命被祢的爱所围绕。 耶稣我的挚爱。 祢是我的上主，我的核心。祢是深遂、完美及伟大的！ 祢的意愿必达，祢是永存的耶稣！ 我也别无渴望！ 请选择我来施行祢的意愿吧！ 我奉行祢的旨意，祢定下的计划，祢所有的安排，我完成祢所心悦的事。 我所做的、我渴望的、不论是何事何处，我都跟随祢，毫无保留，也没 有界限。 我要完完全全地属于祢，没有计算及分割，无论是活着或死亡，在悲伤 时或喜悦时， 在地上或天上。 我挚爱的，祢是我的全部，我也永远属于祢！ 耶稣！我的真爱！ 尼古拉 巴雷神父 陈蕴梅译
Mrs Alice Cheong-Chan Wan Mui, Vice-Principal (1969 – 2009)
Primary 2 Hope, Primary 2 Justice, Primary 2 Purity & Primary 2 Wisdom
My “First” Love
Wong Yi Xim Andrea (Primary 3 Justice)
1972: Mrs Hwang-Lee Poh See became the first lay principal of CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School. I became the firstborn to working class parents. 1985: The school moved into its colossal campus at Ang Mo Kio for the first time. I stepped into CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School to start my secondary education. This series of “firsts” might have been purely coincidental, but I have no doubt that CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School continues to break new ground in its mission and work for girls. Who would have thought that four short years in St Nicholas would produce so many life-changing moments? For the first time, I was told that I could be anything - anyone - I wanted. The sky was, and still is, the limit. For the first time, I learnt that a woman can, in fact, should, 进得了厨房，出得了厅堂 (to be equally confident (adept) in the kitchen and outside of the house). For the first time, I was awoken to the knowledge that grace can be a powerful force. Ms Diana Ser, Class of 1988 120
➧ I enjoy helping others; Lending a helping hand Can brighten someone’s day!
Justice, please teach them. Teach them to be just and fair,
CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School
for justice to thrive. Just a simple act of kindness, Reaching out to others Can go a long way.
If they do not learn, let them know the pain and hurt
When helping others,
suffered by countless.
The happiness I feel Truly makes my day! Help the innocent, I help others in need, And you should too. That would make our world a much
Aid the discriminated, Teach the unjust.
better place! Chi Shing Yee (Primary 6 Justice)
Alicia Chua Xin Jie (Primary 6 Purity)
How did a birth 400 years unearth women’s worth? A story of voyages Rouen to Penang Malaya to Victoria Memoria of warriors A mission on a mission with a vision; a decision feeding girls with malnutrition, nourish with education
As we stand at the Barré reflecting on our reflection remember the journeys voyages people on a mission safe spaces that unearthed our worth. Ms Jacqueline Lim, Teacher (Secondary)
A great picture and moment to behold! I never thought I would have this picture taken with Sister Joan at an event held at St Nicholas Girls’ School. Sister Joan was my primary school Principal at CHIJ (Bukit Timah) in the early 70s. She is still ever seeking and ever serving with a
surrounded by the IJ sisters who lived in the
solace regardless of changes providing safe spaces community for refuge
me to continue to live up to the IJ motto –
girls mothers teachers
big smile. Growing up
Celebrate these women steadfast sisters singing songs of
convent behind the school then and taught us catechism had laid the strong foundation for
Simple in Virtue; Steadfast in Duty as a teacher in an IJ school. May God continue to bless the IJ Sisters and the IJ family abundantly in its mission. Amen! Ms Susan Lim, HOD (Secondary)
➧ 也很庆幸在我的学习生涯里，遇到 了许多位让我得到很多启发的老师， 尤其是在圣尼格拉。有激发我对化 学的兴趣的老师，有孜孜不倦，愿
CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School
意花私人时间给我们恶补的老师， 有像妈妈一样呵护我们的老师，也 有愿意聆听我们，给我们无限鼓励 的老师。现在我如愿当了老师，可 以回到母校教书，为教育下一代做 出贡献，我觉得很幸运！ 李若宁高级老师 Being able to serve in CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' School for more than ten years has allowed me to immerse myself in the school's culture and beliefs. Watching the students grow and leave the school with the correct values and strong virtues is the most fulfilling gift for me as an educator. The watercolour painting is dedicated to everyone in the IJ family who has tirelessly kept the IJ spirit going. Do take a moment to pause and look at your reflection, and remind ourselves that "Our task is to serve, to mould and to cultivate those who are entrusted to us irrespective of their background." - Blessed Nicolas Barré. Mr Muhammad Razali Puasa, AYH (Secondary)
彭叔叔在圣尼各拉搬到宏茂桥校舍后就开始在 我校服务，他记得当时学校还附设启蒙班。虽 然家住碧山，离宏茂桥不远，但彭叔叔每天都 得在凌晨三、四点起床准备食材，然后赶在早 上五点乘搭德士到学校开档。“每天要赶，赶 到半死。很累！每天赶，每天站十多个钟头， 站到脚痛，怎么会不累。” 但是秉持着对工 作的热忱，他每天依然尽心尽力为学生和老师 们准备健康又好吃的食物。而为了迎合学生们 的味蕾，他也不断改良自己的烹调方法。再累， 他还是要尽自己最大的努力。 在圣尼各拉经营摊位超过30年的彭亚财叔叔说 道：“这里很好，小学生、中学生都很可爱， 有时搭巴士远远看到我会‘uncle, uncle’地 叫！也有学生毕业后回来，要跟我拍照，有的 还带她们的孩子回来吃我的东西。“ Uncle Pang, “Orange Bowl” stall
I am glad to be in CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School from July 2000 – a 21 year journey with the IJ family and today being able to witness the IJ 400 years of achievement in contributing excellent education programme for our young generations. Working in St Nicks is a privilege as we have supportive IJ Board members, School Leaders, School Staff, Alumni, Parent Support Group and Students. The welfare of our stakeholders is always well-taken care in various ways such as ‘makan’ sessions and festive celebrations. One year, during Chinese New Year celebration, I was asked to dress up as ‘God of Fortune’ – something that I will never forget! Other unforgettable memories include working closely with Mr Robert (exprimary OM) to assist in St Nicks Qigong Breakfast Club and organising activities for the Senior Citizens. Last but not least, we give our best to support our teachers in all logistics and maintenance. It has been a wonderful journey thus far. God Bless. Mr Foo Khee Tong Operations Manager (Secondary)
➧ CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School Never easy to capture my two girls together in an IJ uniform as they’re 10 years apart and this was the only instance I managed to capture this memorable picture in 2017. I’d always wanted my daughters to be in a catholic missionary school to follow the tradition of my female cousins, sister and nieces who all studied in CHIJ. Besides tradition, more important is the Catholic values such as their motto “Simple in Virtue and Steadfast in Duty” that inculcate the students to exhibit gratitude (饮水思源) throughout their lives. It was a privilege to be part of a small PSG Exco since joining in 2017 as I learnt Ms Vanessa Tay, Parent Support Group
and experienced from ex-SN’s mums for their dedication, efficiency, tenacity and creativity. Blessed Nicholas Barré and Mother Mathilde being a great pillar and founder for the IJ schools will always be remembered for their love, sacrifice and dedication. Mr Benedict Ng Swee Liang, Parent Support Group 125
毕业后有一回我在整理学校的历史资料时，想起在学校（宏茂桥校舍）时，李宝丝校 长为了教育我们，打造了一座 Father Barré 的巨大铜像，就放在一进入校门 upper concourse 和 lower concourse 之间。我们每天都会从他身边经过。 有时候，我们以为今天所得的， 与那数百年前的人没有关系，但正是在我们都无法想 象是怎样一种光景的三四百年前，Father Barré 召集了一群年轻妇女，为贫困的小女生提供免费教育， 开启了圣婴修道院的传统。将近170年前，再由几位修女漂洋过海，从巴黎来到新马一带，接收孤儿， 教育女童。后面，才有了一所一所圣婴修道院系的学校。到我们入学，一切都那么理所当然，很容易就 忘记了那背后有数百年前的艰难，有数百年来的传统和精神。 有时候，我们以为今天所做的，与别人毫无关系，更不可能会影响若干年后的人们。 但是我们不知道，Father Barré 和圣婴修道院的修女们教我们的，除了善心与博爱，还有一种我们可 能不会想到的承前启后的关系。教我们要想想前人，要惠及后代。 李慧玲, 1987年毕业班
Dear God, By the end of secondary school, I would have journeyed 10 years in an IJ school. Indeed, I have already come a long way – attending the weekly Friday masses in primary school, singing the hymn to Father Nicolas Barré in French and English numerous times and experiencing the community spirit we have as an IJ school. It is surprising how fast time passes, but as everything builds up momentarily, it has most certainly been an enriching spiritual journey that has helped me to grow closer to You. Therefore, I am truly thankful and grateful for the many opportunities that the IJ school has given me and will continue to appreciate these opportunities by strengthening my faith in You, even after I graduate. I pray to You for more spiritual encounters and for me to never lose faith in You. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen. Isabelle Amanda Chua Hui Xuan (Secondary 3 Wisdom)
➧ A feeble man met his aid – the neighbour who cared.
In my journey as an IJ girl I’ve learnt to say thank you for the blessings that came the ability to pursue
Rebecca Kui (Secondary 2 Unity)
the support to sail through.
CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School
I’ve learnt to see the good in the blue CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School has played a
with the friends that have stayed true.
significant role in my family history. My
I’ve gained the courage to pull through
grandmother enrolled my mother and aunt
any challenge or obstacle that life threw.
in St Nicks as she wanted a good education for them. To date, my mother’s closest friends are the ones she made in St Nicks. The sisterly love that St Nicks fosters forges unbreakable friendships. My godmother and god sisters were students
I’ve learnt to act with courage to act with gratitude to act with tenacity.
from St Nicks as well, and my little sister will be joining the St Nicks family next year
Toh En Qi, Michelle (Secondary 4 Diligence)
after I graduate. The 10 years I have spent here have blessed me with wonderful friendships and a kindred spirit. I will
forever be grateful to St Nicks for the
Let his legacy fly free
value and lessons I have learnt from this
Like the great eagle.’
school. Ashley Sia Yuxin (Secondary 4 Unity)
Rebecca Yap Jia Xin (Secondary 4 Unity)
I have been an IJ GIRL for 10 YEARS, and it was nothing short of an AMAZING experience! Being in an IJ school for so long has given me so much. It has given me a WONDERFUL EDUCATION and has taught me the importance of values such as TRUTH, JUSTICE, FREEDOM and LOVE. Throughout these 10 years, I have been inspired by many and hope to learn from them. This IJ environment
Shaped by TRUTH
has blessed me with AMAZING PALS!
we lead with integrity
I am thankful for the countless FRIENDSHIPS forged and the unforgettable MEMORIES I have come to cherish. The IJ environment is such a SUPPORTIVE and LOVING one, which I am extremely grateful for as it has helped me come so far. IJ FRIENDS ARE TRULY FRIENDS FOR LIFE, and I hope that everyone has had an amazing #IJ JOURNEY
Fighting for JUSTICE to stand up for the innocent Yearning for FREEDOM to make the right choices Bonded by LOVE we unite as one
Koh Sze Teng Tricia (Secondary 4 Diligence)
Felicia Duwana (Secondary 3 Loyalty)
➧ O Nicolas born in Amiens
Just then, the Holy Spirit whispered in his ear
Love pouring out of your heart
Go and help these people to be a light to the hopeless.
Rich in knowledge and compassion
So he went.
He built something out of nothing to give these children
The innocent children with nothing but clothes on their backs.
A place to learn.
The books he read they can’t read.
A place to meet God and grow in their faith.
The shoes he walked in they can’t walk in. The places he has gone they can’t visit. He saw The women on the street with a strong faith in God. He saw The poverty of his country. The privilege he had that they didn’t have.
CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School
A place to get what they deserved.
Inspired, I shall do my part Just as he did. For the people around me For the benefits they may reap Never forgetting the values imparted in me My IJ school.
Yeo Jia-En, Jenevieve (Secondary 2 Faith)
Fratelli Tutti – Inspired by Lent Retreat
One man, five women and a handful of street children,
when I fell, crying
calls us to be brothers and sisters
on the way to class,
despite our differences despite our faith
stressed, exhausted, alone
now millions of beneficiaries around the world,
she picked me up,
with the same vision and view.
sat with me, talked to me,
Blessed Nicholas Barré
cared for me
is whom we have to thank,
despite our race despite our culture despite our religion we are all related, and are obliged to live in Peace with our neighbours
for he found no interest in anything, it didn't matter to her that she was more tired than I was that she had more things to do than I had that she was oh so much older than me
my very own !!" understand this with no problem
she knew I needed her
they love all their ##"
and extended her hand
with no judgment
lent me that kind heart of hers in the name
in St Nicks
though we aren't the same at all
but the call from up above.
Blessed Nicholas Barré, determined to be heard, started his small journey, which sprouted into love, towards God and our catholic faith, towards our IJ spirit. And now we stand together in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.
of Fratelli Tutti
my !!, though we have different opinions though we face different challenges
brought together by Christ and a school,
Erin Koh Tian Xin (Secondary 3 Justice)
Nicole Lim Zi Qing (Secondary 2 Justice)
➧ much fun and adventures with. You know how many people say that !"#$ is very evident in St Nicks? Indeed, it is this sisterly love that my friends and I share which makes me look forward to going to school and keeps me going every day. IJ schools are where lifelong friendships are forged and lasting memories formed. I never once regretted coming to St Nicks because if I had chosen otherwise, I would not have found the friends, the happiness and sisterly love that I have experienced here. Given the chance to choose again, I would still
CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School
St Nicks is my family and a special place where I made so many friends whom I have had so
chose to be an IJ girl. Ariel Grace Cheah Po Yi (Secondary 2 Wisdom)
Iva Soh (Secondary 1 Loyalty)
Helena Grace Ding Xing You (Secondary 4 Diligence) 132
➧ After spending so many years in an IJ
school, I can only say that I am
immensely grateful for all the love and
support that I had received through the years,
“让盛夏去贪玩 把残酷的未来 狂放到光年之
generously given to me and the many
opportunities that helped me to grow in
而现在 放弃规则 放纵去爱 放肆自己 放空 未来”——《盛夏光年》
CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School
ways I would have never imagined. On hindsight, the journey has been an
“而长野的天 依旧那么暖 风吹起了从前 我曾难自拔于世界之大 也沉溺于其中梦话 不得真假 不做挣扎 不惧笑话”——《起风了》 “我多么想和你见一面 不再去说从前 说一句
adventure. Thank you to the St Nicks family and for always making me feel
incredible one – filled with such joy and
secure. Wei Wei (Secondary 4 Diligence)
这四年陪伴着我的歌曲 说是心得也好 说是历程也好 它们。她们。圣尼各拉。 都是我青春的一部分。 美好且难以忘却。 谢谢圣尼各拉 我觉得自己重来多少遍都会有遗憾 但是，永远不会后悔。
陈惠 (中四勤班) 133
Being a St Nicholas Girl is not easy. I had to break through barriers of my own self-doubt and fear but soon, I realised that in my short time as a SN girl, I have helped countless people, believed in the things I wished to believe in and did the things that I knew were morally right. I have learnt about the Mission of SN and its values which both have been embedded in me through my journey in SN. My friends have played a big part in my understanding of the values, from little things such as saying hello to the cleaners, showing respect to one another and most of all, the strong bonds among the SN girls, no matter the age gap. I believe that every little bit of love I show, every time I am honest and every time I have the moral courage to speak up for the underprivileged or wronged, I am contributing to a better world. My actions can and will make a change in society. I am proud to be a SN girl because I can change the world and you can too. Woon Le Qing (Secondary 2 Grace) 134
➧ CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School Brielle Oh Xuan Yi (Secondary 4 Faith)
Caitlyn Kwong Tschi En (Secondary 2 Justice)
Tan Li Xin, Gemma (Secondary 3 Diligence) 135
➧ CHIJ St Joseph’s Convent CHIJ St. Joseph’s Convent (SJC), then known as Paya Lebar Convent, began as a private school in a rented house at Flower Road in 1938, with only 21 students under the care of one nun of the Order of the Holy Infant Jesus and two teachers. In 1945, the school moved to 11 Hillside Drive where a wooden building comprising four classrooms was erected. In 1946, Paya Lebar Convent was renamed St. Joseph’s Convent, in recognition of the protection the Saint had given the school through Sr. Theodora’s prayers. SJC became a full-fledged secondary school in 1974, and moved to its current site in Sengkang East Way in November 2000. The school has come a long way since its humble beginnings and it continues to nurture ‘Women of Integrity with a Passion to Pursue Excellence’. https://chijstjosephsconvent.moe.edu.sg/
Our IJ Story… 3 Generations of IJ Girls The unique brand of IJ education, deeply rooted in the Faith, Three generations of IJ girls, our family has raised. The ups and downs, the tears and joys we faced, Just like our blessed Nicolas Barré and IJ Sisters, we courageously embraced. In you, beloved IJ, we place our Trust. Continue to live up to our mission we must.
Blessed Nicolas Barré’s Life Blessed Nicolas Barré was born on 21 October 1621 in Amiens. He Loved to help the needy and provided Education to those who had none. His Sufferings and struggles brought him close to God and Soon, he truly understood the human spirit. Educated by the Jesuits, he was assured a brilliant future but Blessed Nicolas Barré Decided to become a priest instead. 138
Poem by Mdm Paggi Ng, Class of 1958 Mdm Margaret Goh, Class of 1986, Teacher in SJC since 2018 Eve Dana Ng, CHIJ Toa Payoh, Class of 2013 Joy Anna Ng, Class of 2017
Nurtured some young women, Inspired to educate children living in poverty. Courage and creativity led Blessed Nicolas Barré to invite the young women to live together as a community. On seeing their dedication, Blessed Nicolas Barré set up the Institute of the Infant Jesus in 1666 with their help. Living close to the ordinary people And not confined by the cloister as religious women, they reached out to those who Sought guidance, including those who were sick.
But he did not just stop there. He went on to Achieve much more. Relentlessly helping others despite poor health Resulted in the worsening of his medical condition. However, Blessed Nicolas Barré was selfless and put others before himself. Eventually, he put all in God’s hands and peacefully passed away on 31 May 1686 at the age of 64 in Paris.
Poem by Ginny Chan Jing Ying (Secondary 1E)
➧ My time in SJC can be summed up in one word, Love. I witnessed friends who accepted each other as equals despite disabilities. Love from teachers and principals who gave us a safe space to grow into young ladies. Most of all, an education that developed our love for God through daily reflections and rosary sessions. I thank God for this IJ education He has blessed so many of us with. Now that I am back at SJC as a teacher, I pray evermore so for the Holy Spirit to guide my colleagues and I as we nurture future generations of young ladies to have the love for God and zeal for life. I take confidence in knowing that it is God who has placed me and many others in this ministry, and he will inspire us as we follow in the footsteps of Blessed Nicolas Barré, in providing education to young girls.
CHIJ St Joseph’s Convent
SJC is Love
Ms Kathleen Ang, Class of 2006, Teacher in SJC since 2014
Refuge On the concrete lay a coffin where the children rest their crowns. Crying eyes and teeth that chatter wish for comfort from the clouds. The chill of France is cruel When clad in torn and tattered clothes. But no one stops to help the dying carcass on the stone.
That is, until, the charitable man. He constructed a home for ghosts that haunted unforgiving roads, the creative and the curious left to crumble in the cold. He constructed a class where the children learned of courage, of compassion. And centuries later, still lives the heart of his creation. Poem by Jade Nicole Guba Santillan (Secondary 3D)
Thank You, God, for Blessed Nicolas Barré I thank God for Blessed Nicolas Barré’s existence and appreciate everything the he has done for me. He is known for his charitable and kind character and that makes him unforgettable. Prayer by Nadeia Ramadhani Binte Bujang (Secondary 2A) 139
In God I trust It is a truth universally acknowledged, that any woman, in possession of a convent education must be in want of a mission. Though I did not fully appreciate the blessing of an IJ education at the time, who, having donned the blue and white, can deny that it infected us with an insatiable need to make the world better? From my encounters with the many IJ girls who are my friends or have crossed my path – the lawyers, doctors, journalists, educators, artists, entrepreneurs, homemakers, social workers, philanthropists and politicians – the mark of this legacy remains palpable. Unapologetically articulate, bold in their commentary, and armed with a wicked sense of humour, they stand strong and purposeful, always giving voice to those in the margins. This tribute to the 400-year IJ spirit would not be complete if I did not speak of the village that raised us: our beloved school custodians who would help us retrieve a book from a locked classroom, our canteen vendors who nourished us, and our very strict but loving teachers and principals who taught with their whole hearts. They were the embodiment of love in the simplest and most profound ways, and I will always be grateful for their lessons of love, service, and possibility. Aruna Johnson, Class of 1990, President SJC Alumnae
With God as My Conscience
Joan Loh Suan Ling Class of 2020 140
Afiqah Binte Abdul Rashid Class of 2020
Growing up in an IJ school has definitely shaped me into who I am today. Honest, passionate and God-centred. I went into LASALLE College of the Arts not expecting a huge culture shock. At first, I thought that I was too sheltered. As I went through my first year in college, I almost changed who I was just to fit in. Then I asked myself, ‘Is what I am doing making God happy?’ He created me to be me and I shouldn’t change who I am just to make others like me. And it was then that I realised that I was always putting God in the centre of my life in most things that I did, and I wouldn’t have done that if I had not been from an IJ school. I think it’s so instilled in us that we make the right choices based on what our conscience tells us, and my conscience is God. Beatrice Pung, Class of 2017
➧ I thank you for blessing us with the gift of Father Nicholas Barré, who served You dutifully throughout his life. I am grateful that his unwavering faith and love for You has united all of us to work towards a common vision. I pray that we, as beneficiaries of his charitable works, will continue to grow to become stewards of Your grace and love. May we also willingly accept Your call and use the talents that you have blessed us with to serve those around us. As we commemorate the 4th centenary of the birth of Blessed Nicholas Barré, remind us of how to respond to Your call to help those who are marginalised within our communities, just as Father Barré did. May you reveal to us how we can act as a bridge between You and the community around us.
CHIJ St Joseph’s Convent
I pray that we will learn from Father Barré’s life, to rightly represent Your character and love the people around us just as You have loved us. I pray that we will remain steadfast in our faith and trust in the plan that You have for us, even if the future may seem uncertain. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen. Prayer by Sara Renukha Rahim (Secondary 4D)
TO FATHER Barré Father Barré our founder, Our education we thank you. Without you the girls' wonder, CHIJ we thank God for you. Born on 21st October 1621, Four hundred years today. The education we girls' want, Blessed are we to this day. Poem by Darlyn Anne Yeo Fong (Secondary 1B)
Evangeline Chua Jia Xuan (Secondary 1E) 141
Blessed Nicolas Barré’s statue greets us every morning.
Forever Grateful Blessed Nicolas Barré devoted his life to God by following in his footsteps, serving others and spreading the Gospel of the Lord. He believed that everyone should get access to education in spite of their social status, wealth, gender or environment. His belief drove him to establish schools for those without educational opportunities in resemblance to God’s call to help others. His impact on history will not be forgotten and he has changed my life in numerous ways. Blessed Nicolas Barré’s founding of IJ schools around the world has given me the opportunity to be a student of CHIJ St Joseph’s Convent and an environment to develop my faith. Because I am blessed with the chance to attend an IJ school, my education has differed slightly from non IJ schools. For example, my school days start with prayers and reflections surrounding faith; school celebrations include mass; and 142
The friendships, memories and lessons from my IJ school education are the best years of my life and I am eternally grateful to Blessed Nicolas Barré. The virtues that have been instilled in me will continue to follow me throughout my life, and I hope that I will be able to respond to God’s call in the way that Blessed Nicolas Barré has. Though my work may never reach the magnitude of Blessed Nicolas Barré’s, I hope that small daily gestures of faith and service will impact others in my life. Jashinta Marcela Go (Secondary 4F) What does being an IJ girl mean to me? To be thankful and grateful to be wearing the blue pinafore and wearing my school crest proudly Friends who are always by my side, helping me through thick and thin, encouraging each other It means being in a family. I love it when all IJ girls come together to celebrate as an IJ family. I will never forget the 165th anniversary when a sea of blue flooded the stadium, singing in one voice. Being an IJ girl means to strive and do my best and to never give up. Reflection by Secondary 3 Altruism
➧ CHIJ St Joseph’s Convent
pengalaman yang menyeronokkan kerana sewaktu berlatih dengan rakan-rakan lain, kami dapat memperkayakan lagi kosa kata Walaupun saya merupakan seorang pelajar kami dengan makna kosa kata yang jarang dari CHIJ St Joseph's Convent yang mana kami dengar mahupun gunakan. Berbekalkan jumlah pelajar Melayu agak kecil berbanding pengalaman ini, saya turut diberi peluang sekolah sekular yang lain, saya berasa untuk menyertai peraduan Pena Emasku bertuah kerana semua Bahasa Ibunda yang mana saya berjaya merangkul termasuklah bahasa Melayu diberi kedudukan 10 teratas dalam pertandingan penekanan yang seimbang di sini. tersebut. Pengalaman ini begitu bermakna kerana saya mampu menghasilkan jalan Antara pengalaman yang tidak dapat saya cerita yang kreatif tanpa sebarang had atau lupakan adalah sewaktu saya dan rakankekangan peperiksaan. Hal ini berjaya rakan melibatkan diri dalam acara meningkatkan keyakinan dan minat saya Dwimingguan Bahasa yang mana pelbagai untuk terus berkarya dalam bahasa Melayu. bengkel yang bermanfaat lagi menyeronokkan diadakan untuk memperluas Lantas, pendedahan kepada pertandinganpertandingan in telah memberi nafas baharu pengetahuan dan pemahaman pelajar terhadap pandangan saya mengenai terhadap bahasa serta budaya Melayu. kegunaan dan kerelevanan bahasa Melayu. Antara bengkel yang diadakan adalah bengkel tarian Melayu, bengkel pengacaraan Natijahnya, melalui cara pendidikan yang dan bengkel wayang kulit. Contohnya, menarik serta penyediaan pengalaman sewaktu bengkel pengacaraan, saya pembelajaran bahasa Melayu yang meluas berupaya memperbaik keupayaan saya serta unik, saya dapat meraih sebuah bertutur dalam Bahasa Ibunda, berkat pengalaman yang membantu dalam bantuan guru-guru saya dan fasilitator menerapkan minat dan kebanggaan menjadi bengkel. Penekanan yang sama diberikan anak jati Melayu. terhadap pembelajaran bahasa serta budaya membantu saya menghargai asal usul serta Ditulis oleh. amalan orang Melayu dan dalam masa yang Balqystyna Binte Muhammad Bakhtiyar sama, melihat kerelevanan pengetahuan ini (Secondary 4G) dalam dunia semasa.
Sepanjang Jalan Kenangan
Selain itu, saya juga telah diberi pelbagai peluang untuk melibatkan diri dalam pelbagai jenis aktiviti yang telah membantu meningkatkan pemahaman saya terhadap Bahasa Ibunda saya. Misalnya, sewaktu saya Menengah 2, saya berkesempatan menyertai pertandingan Piala Cendekia Sahibba (Sekolah Menengah) bersama rakan-rakan sekelas saya. Walaupun kami tidak menjuarai pertandingan itu, ia tetap merupakan 143
Most gracious God, I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to commemorate the birth of our beloved founder, Blessed Nicolas Barré. His unfaltering faith and belief in You, has and still continues to inspire a multitude of young women. As the saying goes “IJ friends are friends for life.” Because of his benevolence, I have a school, where I can learn and forge friendships for life. I pray that as part of the IJ community that has profoundly benefitted from his altruism, SJCians will diligently follow in his footsteps and act justly with compassion and grace to serve the disadvantaged in society. Blessed Nicolas Barré saw the disparity in opportunities for education between the rich and poor and decided to give hope to the destitute girls. Therefore, as we celebrate the 4th centenary of the birth of Blessed Nicolas Barré, let us learn how to respond to Your call and spread Your word just as Blessed Nicolas Barré had. I pray that Father Barré’s work will live on to motivate generations of girls to contribute to society with much charity in their hearts. May You bless us with faith so strong that we can endure adversities and challenges that stand in our way. I pray that we will continue to learn from our founder and use our knowledge and capabilities to aid the needy. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen. Prayer by Arissa Lim (Secondary 3D)
Dear God, Thank you for sending Father Nicholas Barré who founded the IJ schools and his many contributions. I pray that on behalf of the school, that Father Nicholas Barré’s story will continue to inspire us to find our identity in you. Help us respond to the call you have given to us just like how Father Barré did. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen. Prayer by Hannah Ho (Secondary 2A) 144
Artwork by Danielle Wong Xi Ying (Secondary 1B)
➧ 拼贴画。我校的学生在班级和课外活动中都有机会被委 任为领导者，让她们有机会展示她们的领导能力。学生 圣婴女中（圣若瑟）坐落在盛港东路六十二号，就 建在圣亚纳教堂旁边。这间学府将在未来的四年承载我 的欢愉与失落、成功与失败，是我人生中的第二间母校。 圣婴女中（圣若瑟）是新加坡十一所圣婴耶稣修道 院学校之一。圣婴女中（圣若瑟）在一九三八年创办。 那里最初只有二十一位学生及三位教职员。如今，圣婴 女中（圣若瑟）己颇具规模，每年的入学人数超过三百 名新学生。我们和世界各地的圣婴耶稣修道院学校的学 生一样都戴着圣婴耶稣修道院学校的校徽；每个圣婴耶 稣修道院学校的学生以爱为基础，忠实地追求她们的理 想。这徽章象征国际团结，将来自不同国家的学生，特 别是来自新加坡，马来西亚，泰国和日本的圣婴耶稣修 道院学校的学生团结在一起。我校致力于培育学生良好 的品德，希望我们拥有真诚、正直、博爱和自由的价值 观，并懂得关爱社会中的弱势人士。
可以在学校担任许多领导角色，例如班长和科目代表。 在我的女子童军课外活动中，我们可以担任更多领导角 色，例如第一队长和第二队长。 身为一个刚升上中学的学生，我认为我在中学的几 个月过得非常充实、有趣，是令人兴奋的新体验。与小 学相比，中学的功课会更多，使我们感觉非常忙碌。但
CHIJ St Joseph’s Convent
是，在这几个月的中学生涯中，我交到了许多朋友，缓 解了在学习上遇到的的压力，并继续保持微笑。起初要 适应新环境比较困难，但如今我已逐渐适应，学校生涯 变得愉快多了。 我的中学是我的第二个家。我希望结交更多的朋友， 并且享受在这里的美好时光。 张瑷劼 (Secondary 1D)
我校同学有很多才华与特长。每个月，我们学校都 会放映一段展示出同学们在音乐和艺术的方面上的才能 的视频。在学校门厅的墙上，也展示了同学们艺术品的
Blessed Nicolas Barré Blessed Nicolas Barré was a great man whose contributions helped people from many lands He was caring and compassionate to people he didn't know. So we, too, should be daring and helpful when people are low He prayed to God and never shunned his challenges
I learnt a lot from his messages That he sent through his relentless actions Always looking out for us and guiding us when we go wrong After difficult times I learnt that we should celebrate with a song Looking out for people is what he always did So let’s take this opportunity to help the needy like he did. Poem by Mahee Rathore (Secondary 1G) 145
How Father Barré’s contributions Have Inspired Me Father Barré has contributed significantly to the less fortunate in his life. He has helped to make education accessible for the poor, especially girls and is the founder of IJ schools. Hence, without him, I might not be able to have access to education today. This makes me more appreciative of what I have. Father Barré is an inspiration to me as he has dedicated his life to helping the less fortunate. He inspires me to be more aware of my surroundings, care more about the people around me and lend a helping hand whenever I can. I am also proud of the historical background of IJ schools. This motivates me to work harder to live up to its name. Reflection by Lin Jiaxuan, Tricia (Secondary 3D) A PRAYER Our Father who art in heaven, hear us from heaven Together with Fr Barré, Sister Matilda and all the saints in heaven We thank you for 400 years of Infant Jesus (IJ) education in Singapore, France, Japan and all parts of the world. We are especially thankful for the three generations of IJ women in my family My mother and her sister who graduated from Malacca’s French Convent My mother-in-law and her two sisters, who are model mother-in-laws and aunties My daughters and myself who benefited from the IJ love for Jesus. Oh Infant Jesus touch us and heal us Give us eyes to see Ears to hear and faith to carry on the Mission of our founding fathers 146
Let us worship the Infant Jesus, through Mother Mary and St Joseph As we continue to impart education and bountiful love To the next generation of girls For the next 400 years May every girl, woman, sister, wife, grandmother, godmother, great grandmother who emerges from its gates. Touch lives and hearts and put our trust in your name Help us to see the face of Jesus in every face we meet. Benita Fong Class of 1985, PSG 1997, PSG 2021
➧ The IJ Motto beautifully encapsulates my journey through my IJ education. Even until today, the School’s Motto is a part of my life. I am Bernice Lee, an alumnus of CHIJ St. Joseph Convent. It was a privilege to have been in IJ schools for ten years because the lessons I took away were ones that I will hold onto for life.
cared taught me how to embrace challenges and overcome failures, and to see them as opportunities for growth.
I was blessed to be in a safe and loving community of teachers and friends who taught me what it means to be steadfast in my duty. My teachers were my role models who taught and showed me the importance of dedication, hard work and steadfastness. From studying together to planning various school events with my Simple in Virtue schoolmates, I recognised the importance of teamwork, commitment and love for others. SJC I learnt the importance of having values in SJC. My experiences there taught me to relate to taught me how to be faithful and committed to others with respect, sincerity and openness. The the tasks that I am called to do daily. values I learnt guided my thoughts and actions. I “God has not called me to be successful; He has have a distinct memory of my concert band trip. called me to be faithful.” ― Mother Teresa The days were filled with many activities. Yet what I remember most clearly was the nightly My IJ education showed me that my life was debrief and sharing sessions my teachers had meant to be lived in service of others. It led me to with us. We shared the things we had learnt and answer God’s call, which is to live a life of love the values that we had picked up each day. And for others. this was how values were taught and caught. Father Barré and the IJ Sisters gave their lives I am grateful to have received an education at a selflessly and unreservedly to the Mission that Catholic Mission School. As a cradle Catholic, my God planted in their hearts. Through their faith means a lot to me. It was through my courage, zeal and faithfulness, many lives were Catholic education that my faith deepened. I touched and changed. Through their obedience to remember a teacher lighting a candle before God, many received the gift of education. Yet, every examination and that brought me immense more importantly, many received the gift of faith. peace and strength. Through daily morning I am grateful for those who have come before me prayers, praying at the chapel and receiving the for they have sacrificed boldly, taught selflessly, Eucharist at school Masses, I drew nearer to and loved deeply. I pray that God would grant me God. the same courage to emulate them in living a life for others. I desire to make a difference in this Steadfast in Duty world through loving and caring for others. I In SJC, lessons went beyond textbooks. I came to desire to be bold yet humble to do the will of God. understand the importance of being committed I desire to be a woman of integrity and the light of Christ for others. and responsible. It was essential to give my best in all that I did, no matter how big or small the Bernice Lee Mei Hui, Class of 2014 task.
CHIJ St Joseph’s Convent
Simple in Virtue, Steadfast in Duty.
I remember, too, facing some challenges but my subject teacher gently encouraged me not to give up, and that taught me to pick myself up and to try again. Such encounters with teachers who 147
Once an IJ girl, always an IJ girl ‘Once an IJ girl, always an IJ girl’. This is something I have always heard, growing up in an IJ community. It speaks of the sense of belonging you get when you become a part of the IJ family. All of this would not have been possible without Father Nicholas Barré, the founder of our CHIJ schools. He answered God’s call and provided opportunities for the less fortunate, especially for girls from poor families. Growing up under his legacy is truly an unforgettable experience. The daily morning prayers and reflections that start off our day, serve as everyday reminders of all the blessings that God has given to us. Religious Education (RE) lessons has helped me to deepen and expand my knowledge of my faith. It is also another way for us to spread the word of God just like Father Barré did through his service. IJ education throughout the years has inspired me to continue his legacy through small acts. Following his footsteps; serving the community; and helping those in need; these acts are what being an IJ girl is all about. Reflection by Thea Maria De Silva (Secondary 4C)
The Legacy of Blessed Barré In a time of hardship and poverty, Blessed Barré took notice of bright young girls deprived of education. He gave them access to education to break their poverty cycle and raised them to be respectable independent women, with strong moral values. This led to the founding of the CHIJ schools. To this day, his legacy is passed on in the various IJ schools worldwide, with the shared motto: simple in virtue, steadfast in duty. This illustration depicts an IJ girl offering an umbrella to a child caught in the rain, despite being drenched herself. This is a representation of Blessed Barré’s legacy of putting others before self for over a hundred years and counting. Isabella Tan Yi Jing (Secondary 3D)
Artwork by Elisya Mirza Binte Feroz Marican (Secondary 3E)
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How I Love My Alma Mater
in front of a full church congregation. Mrs Chia later taught me how to sing from the diaphragm and To be sure, I did not put Saint Joseph’s Convent as heart rather than the lung and throat – no kidding. my first choice when I was in primary six. It was my Mom who commandeered my application and Of course, every CHIJ girl recalls the inexplicable changed it to SJC. She reasoned that all my aunties, debates among red, yellow, blue and green house cousins, everyone female and related to me (who teams in the good ol’ days. Having to switch from carried the surname ‘Khoo’), had received or are yellow to red was utterly traumatic. On hindsight, receiving their secondary school education there. why it did matter I will never be able to explain – Even my sister, a success story at SJC, had led in still. such a shining way that Mom felt following her footsteps was imperative for a positive impact on The irreplaceable joys of great friendships formed at SJC are another I am grateful for. Friends I have this somewhat awkward child. made, I can safely say. I cannot imagine living While I hated to admit it back then that Mom was without them. Despite not having met for a long right; there was a lot of wisdom in her choice. I was time and the people we have become today, we still reunited with quite a few of my old friends I had lost have that same “SJC way of talking” – exuberantly. contact with from my original primary school, Our It is one attribute we all share. Lady of Good Counsel. When I switched Convents to Punggol in Primary 4, a few of the lost friendships When my sister was on her deathbed at 41, we often were rekindled. Easing back into the CHIJ approach reminisced together all these good SJC days which of teaching and school values I was already helped her manage her physical pain. She said she accustomed to helped a lot as I negotiated my next would never forget them. Neither will I. While it couldn’t replace her eventual passing, one of the big education hurdle. most painful realities of my life, the fact that we are By the time I was accepted into SJC, Sis had connected by our alma mater and similar great graduated and I recalled a few senior teachers experiences there helped me get through those happily regarding me as “Magdeline’s little sister”, difficult times. Looking back, studying at SJC did even though I was secretly terrified of their help me find my passion in English, Literature and expectations. They were encouraging instead and Art. To write and express myself is who I am today did not try to pressure me into becoming her. There and who I truly want to be; in simple virtue of faith, I was one pursuit though in which I mirrored my support church activities and songs too. It is also sister – Netball. Willingly, I embraced the sport and why I am part of the SJC Alumnae chapter and still might I argue, a little more passionately than she meet up with some of the great teachers who are did. retired today. So thank you SJC, for the many good memories. Mom may have made me go but I stayed. Amidst the impatient storming of a teenage girl’s world, I’m grateful for the many great teachers I Monica Khoo, Class of 1990 had the privilege to learn from. Though there was Vice-President – SJC Alumnae one teacher I did not particularly like, there were many more who overshadowed this person. They are exceptional professionals who wore their hearts on their sleeves. One example was Mrs The Hallmarks of an IJ Education Neela Wyatt who stressed on etiquette, morals and a good command of English. Mrs Wendy Tan helped An IJ education is one that puts God at the centre of me pursue Literature ferociously. Always everything. It means to care for our students in all encouraging me was Mrs Kok who helped me excel areas of their lives. An IJ education also means in Biology. Mrs Freeman instilled in me that cooking providing an inclusive and loving community that is means cleaning well too. Of course, Miss Wee Eng safe for all, especially the disadvantaged, where Neo, I will never forget. She had the midas touch to values are taught and caught. tame an unruly girl like me. She gently guided me to the best scores for History and the courage to sing Reflection by SJC Catholic Teachers, 2021 150
➧ CHIJ St Joseph’s Convent
Vanessa Kang Xin Ya (Secondary 4H) The Birthday Wish This piece shows my appreciation of life. Every birthday indicates a small milestone accomplished, as we turn one year older every time we blow out the candles on a birthday cake. The meaning behind this artwork is gratitude, and how one ought to be grateful for the life God had blessed us with. As the theme is, “I will recount all Your wonders,” my main message for this piece of artwork is for everyone to realise that God will always be by their side, guiding them through their journey in life.
Goh Shai En Colette Maria (Secondary 4H) Bubbles of His Wonders This artwork depicts a young boy underwater surrounded by "wonder bubbles", which are mystical-like bubbles containing 3 of many of Jesus' miracles, specifically the story of Jonah and the Whale, Noah's Ark, and when He walked on Water. Inspired by David Hockney's joiner photographs, I overlapped the boy's face with different angles of himself to illustrate our imperfections, yet still a whole in the eyes of God. 151
Our IJ Voices Having been IJ girls for the past ten years has truly been an enriching and life-changing experience. We have learnt to grow into women of integrity with the passion to pursue excellence and devote our time and efforts to those in need. As IJ girls, we have not only learnt to devote our time and efforts to helping the disadvantaged but to care for those around us. Learning about Father Barré and the IJ Sisters, through the daily morning reflections by our teachers has inspired us to put our faith in God’s plan. We learnt to trust the plans He had for us, just like Blessed Nicolas Barré, and to believe in the things God has in store for us. St. Joseph, the patron saint of our school, was a man of deep spirituality. He had the wisdom to understand God’s intentions, and had the courage and faith to act on those insights. He was a man who always did what was right. Likewise, we strive to be like him, to do the will of God. Emma Mary Lim: My CCA, IJ Youth Mission (IJYM) has provided me with an enabling environment. My CCA mates and I to recognise and promote the dignity of human persons by reaching out to the less fortunate in our society. As the vice-president of IJYM, I have had many first-hand experiences where I got the chance to dedicate my time to help the disadvantaged. Some of these people are the elderly in old folks’ homes and foreign domestic workers at Humanitarian Organisation ofr Migration Economics (H.O.M.E.). Through such eye-opening experiences, I have learnt to emulate the actions of Father Barré by acting with courage and helping the disadvantaged in our community. Esther Ng: Being in an IJ school since Primary One has taught me to always care for and help those around us. Similar to Emma’s experiences, I have also gone through meaningful social service activities that have enabled my peers and I to learn how to be appreciative of what we have now and to not take things for granted. I have also learnt from daily morning reflections by our teachers to always have faith in God, endure all challenges and difficulties. Father Barré has always promoted truth, justice, freedom and love, and would have wanted us to do the same. His belief that the underprivileged, especially girls, have the right to have proper education and thus formed the Charitable Mistresses of the Schools of the Holy Infant Jesus. Despite having been from different IJ primary schools, both of us grew up learning about the IJ story, the journey of Mother Mathilde, and how the IJ Sisters established the first CHIJ school in Victoria street. Through our field trip to CHIJMES during our Secondary 1 Orientation Camp, we were able to find out more about the school’s history, and better appreciate the hard work and sacrifices made by Mother Mathilde, and the IJ Sisters. Despite the many changes over the years, IJ girls all over the world are grateful for our IJ education, and we will continue to bear witness to the ideals of our founder, Blessed Nicolas Barré, and remain devoted to our motto, Simple in Virtue, Steadfast in Duty. Emma Mary Lim Jin Yi and Esther Ng Jia Qi (Secondary 4B) 152
➧ Looking beyond the horizon, What colour are waves? The sapphire sea turns into powder as it surges towards me.
CHIJ St Joseph’s Convent
The Colour of Waves
Swallowing my dry spit, I take yet another step into the sand waves. My exhausted heart lies next to your feet in sincere prayer. Just like how the swashing of the waves lulls me to sleep, May you too, calm me in this blue desert. Even when the winds fail to push the ocean towards a parched me, Your love remains unrelenting like a new moon to the ocean Your faith turns this blue mirage into a blue ocean beneath the moonlight. Your grace reaches me endlessly, wave after wave and Before I know it, I am caught in the trench of your mercy, An ocean which fills me up and lifts me above the surface. What colour are waves? Blue and white fragments of the alabaster jar, Now resting beneath the moonlight. Poem by Jewel Wong En Xi (Secondary 4G) 153
➧ CHIJ Our Lady Queen of Peace CHIJ Our Lady Queen of Peace was established in 1955. During the 1950s, there was a lack of an English school for girls. The parish priest of St Joseph’s Church then approached Mother St Charles of Town Convent in 1954 to ask if her sisters would start a school in Bukit Timah, and offered the nuns a plot of land on Chestnut Drive for that purpose. Squatters in that plot of land were resettled and construction of the new school known as Bukit Timah Convent began in April 1955. The school started with only sixty-two students. It was housed temporarily at the St. Joseph Sino-English School and was moved to its premises at 4, Chestnut Drive in 1957 when the building was completed. In 2008, the school was renamed CHIJ Our Lady Queen of Peace. It was a privilege to dedicate our school to our dear Mother Mary, to ask her to watch over us and to pray with us. Since then, we have fondly been known as CHIJ OLQP. https://chijourladyqueenofpeace.moe.edu.sg/
CHIJ Our Lady Queen of Peace
CHIJ Our Lady Queen of Peace
CHIJ Our Lady Queen of Peace
CHIJ Our Lady Queen of Peace
CHIJ Our Lady Queen of Peace
CHIJ Our Lady Queen of Peace
CHIJ Our Lady Queen of Peace
CHIJ Our Lady Queen of Peace
➧ CHIJ Our Lady of the Nativity In the 1950s, the Mother Superior, Rev. Mother St. John, recognised the need to start a Catholic school in the northeastern part of Singapore. With approval from the then Archbishop, she set up an all-girls, English-medium primary school in the then rural area of Ponggol. In January 1957, the school welcomed its first class of students while sharing a roof with Holy Innocents' Chinese Girls' School. This school was then named CHIJ Ponggol, after its geographical location. The school flourished as a result of the leadership and hard work of different principals and its staff and its enrolment grew. In 2001, the school moved to a new building next to the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and was renamed CHIJ Our Lady of the Nativity. Through the years, CHIJ Our Lady of the Nativity has remained true to its IJ mission to grow a Christ-centred community where all work for the promotion of truth, justice, freedom and love, with special reference to the needs of the disadvantaged, whoever they are. Embodying the IJ spirit, our staff and girls are always ready to serve, and proud to say “I am the difference”. https://chijourladyofthenativity.moe.edu.sg/
IJ Spirit Burning Bright “...I am an IJ girl I’m not just any girl The IJ spirit dwells in me...” I had never heard of this song until I joined CHIJ OLN but the lyrics resonated with me. 10 years as a student in an IJ school… That was plenty of time for the IJ spirit to be developed and entrenched in me. What is the IJ spirit? To me, it is seeing God in all whom we meet and stepping forward to help others. In school, this was something we constantly heard about and asked of one another. So it was apt that when it came to thinking about what to do with my life, I decided to serve as my teachers did. I became a teacher and then a Principal of Catholic schools, including CHIJ OLN. Truly, once an IJ girl, always an IJ girl. With the IJ spirit dwelling in us, we serve and make a difference whenever we can, wherever we are.
Ms Christina Teo, Principal (2017 - present)
➧ Mdm Kiranjit Kaur, Subject Head
Supporting our needy students through the annual food donation drive
CHIJ Our Lady of the Nativity
Once an IJ girl, always an IJ girl. Having been educated in an IJ school and now teaching in one, I am truly thankful to be able to come home to an IJ family. Here, we strive to leave no child behind. It has been fulfilling to watch the girls grow in strength in terms of character and to push themselves to give the best of who they are. The girls know that they are never too young to contribute and serve others with love. With this spirit, the IJ family is strengthened in love and service.
Giving back to the community through a fundraising event in support of The Infant Jesus Homes and Children’s Centres
I joined CHIJ OLN in 1980 as a clerical officer. It was my first job. For the past 37 years, I have served wonderful school leaders. They were all dedicated, and they mentored me well. I would also like to thank teachers, young and old, and my fellow office colleagues, for their respect and cooperation. Mdm Maliga Servalingam, Corporate Support Officer 175
Filling the World with Love and Light I like that the teachers are kind and patient, just like my parents. I would never have made it so far without their care and love. Thank you, teachers! Joy Koh (Primary 4 Faith, 2021)
During recess, my friends always share jokes with me to brighten my day. That’s something I look forward to every day! Netanya Gabrielle Danaraj (Primary 2 Truth, 2021)
I have many good friends in school. One thing I appreciate about them is that they always cheer me up when I am feeling down. They are always there for me when I need a listening ear. Eva Sarah Bonny (Primary 1 Truth, 2021)
➧ CHIJ Our Lady of the Nativity
As parents, our belief is that character and values education in the primary school years is crucial in preparing Lauren well for the future. We chose to enrol Lauren at CHIJ OLN because we knew that in a Catholic school, the programmes and values education would be deeply anchored in the strong roots of the Roman Catholic faith. As I also graduated from the same school, I have fond memories of the love, humility and graciousness of the teachers that taught me then. We are thankful that Lauren is growing up in the same loving, supportive and inclusive environment. Mr and Mrs Chin, Parents of Chin Hui Yi Lauren (Primary 6 Hope, 2021)
Being grounded and defined by values such as compassion, IJ girls seek opportunities to serve in any way they can. I witnessed an incident where two senior CHIJ OLN girls reached out to a Primary One junior in need. It is always comforting to see how the older girls show care for their younger sisters. Mrs Masturah Azman,
Love that Shines for All to See I look forward to exchanging notes with my P6 sister in the Sisterly Love project. As Blessed Nicolas Barré showed care for others, we write notes of encouragement and affirmation to each other so we know that we will always have someone to count on. Natalie Narin Tay Xin Yan (Primary 5 Truth, 2021)
I am honoured to teach in an IJ school and be part of a Christcentred community. It is amazing and heartening to see how teachers from different backgrounds come together to unpack the Catholic vision and guide the girls to their fullest potential and are always ready to serve others. Mr Kenett Wong, Teacher
I love coming to school every day to see my teachers and friends. They make me feel included and I feel very blessed to be part of the IJ family. Rachel Choo Zhi Ling (Primary 5 Truth, 2021)
➧ Mrs Joycelyn Trevor, Teacher
CHIJ Our Lady of the Nativity
Over the course of the first school term, writing notes of appreciation has become part of our classroom culture - the girls take pride in identifying little acts of kindness and writing kind notes to their classmates and teachers each day. In showing appreciation, the girls learn to spread Christ-like love to one another and grow as an IJ girl, a giver of love.
I am privileged to teach in a Christ-centred school community. Personally I have witnessed how the holistic IJ values have transformed little girls into confident ladies ready for future challenges. Ms Charissa Chern, Teacher
Love that Sets Our Spirits Free
I knew I was in the right vocation when I was overcome with joy watching our girls perform at the school musical. It gladdened my heart to witness how much their flair and talents had flourished at this school. I hope they have grown and will continue to grow up to be better versions of themselves, standing up for what is right and giving back to our community. Mdm Farhanna Zainal, Subject Head
As an IJ school, we ground the young generation in the school values. They learn to contribute beyond their own families and school to caring for the needy and the environment. Teaching them the right values will enable them to thrive, stay principled and make better the world they will inherit one day. Mrs Vanessa Tan, HOD (left) Ms Wong Hui Erl, Subject Head (right) 180
➧ I love CHIJ OLN because the teachers are helpful. They help me to learn better. I know I am cared for. Kushvin Kaur (Primary 3 Peace, 2021)
CHIJ Our Lady of the Nativity
IJ Friendships through the Years
Being a leader in CHIJ OLN means to serve. It is to show care for others and to support the school community. It is also to be a role model in doing the right thing even when no one is looking and always bearing in mind that there is always something to learn from others. It is to be reliable and consistent while serving the less fortunate around us. Ng Raen, Head Prefect (Primary 5 Joy, 2021)
I love my school because we care for one another. When I was in Primary One, the older girls showed me around the school and helped me learn about it. When I am in Upper Primary, I also want to help my Lower Primary sisters and care for them. Anna Marie Frank (Primary 3 Hope, 2021) 181
Our Hearts and Hands LSP echoes the CHIJ mission by helping students overcome challenges encountered when reading in English. It is most gratifying to see them make progress and return to mainstream classes after graduating from this programme. Mrs Teresa Low,
Learning Support Coordinator Ms Cabrina Seow, SDR* Teacher Mdm Anbarasi Palanithurai, AED (LBS)* Mrs Adeline Enriquez, SDR* Teacher Ms Bai Hui Xin, AED (LBS)* Top (left to right)
Blessed Nicolas Barré’s response to God’s call of providing education to lift children from poverty has led us to be more aware of the disadvantaged girls. As we reach out to the girls, irrespective of background, we aim to help them acquire selfesteem, dignity and meaning in life. No matter how small the progress made, we are always heartened to witness their growth and celebrate small successes with a grateful heart. SDR: School-Based Dyslexia Remediation AED (LBS): Allied Educator (Learning and Behavioural Support) RRP: Reading Remediation Programme
Mrs Clara Ong, SDR Teacher Mrs Eadelin Marzinek, RRP Teacher Bottom (left to right)
➧ CHIJ Our Lady of the Nativity
When I think of CHIJ OLN, it’s always about making a difference and being the difference. When Singapore went into circuit breaker mode, I asked myself, “How can I be of service to others?” My fellow Art teachers and I came together to create Art kits for the less privileged children. I believe when you put passion and purpose together, amazing things happen. Mdm Nur Ilyana Md Anwar, Subject Head
I am honored to be part of the heARTs of Hope project. I feel so excited to know that children from all backgrounds get the opportunity to create something beautiful with the Art kits we have prepared for them. Jenna Marie Wong (Primary 6 Peace, 2021)
Ever Seeking, Ever Serving Sow a seed for future generations. Having compassion and saving the Earth has been one of the key messages for environment education. We have weekly Recycling Wednesdays to encourage our students to practise recycling. It is so heartwarming to see our girls living up to their commitment to Pope Francis' call to care for our common home as indicated in 'Laudato Si’. Ng Hui Qi, Teacher
I pledge to help the earth by bringing my lunchbox instead of taking a plastic container.
Chia Jia En, Keira Faith (Primary 3 Joy, 2021)
The students having a whale of a time learning the different ways of conserving water through the game of Snake and Ladder! Say 'no' to plastic! Here in CHIJ OLN, we advocate the use of reusable bags by repurposing an unwanted shirt into a stylish tote bag. I believe in the power of using our voice and action to stem the tide of plastic pollution.
Janice Lo Wan Ning (Primary 5 Grace, 2021)
Recycling Wednesdays 184
➧ Rachel Tan Yi Ting, Head Prefect (Primary 6 Grace, 2021)
Being a Vice-Head Prefect has made me more conscientious in the way I live out the school values. I believe that it starts with me and I have to lead by example. I wanted my fellow schoolmates to realise that the little things that we do can make the people around us feel blessed and make a difference in their lives. I hope that in this way, I can play a teeny weeny part in carrying on the GRACIA legacy.
CHIJ Our Lady of the Nativity
Seeing a need to bring out more smiles in school, the Vice-Head Prefects and I embarked on the Graciousness Project to remind our fellow schoolmates to go the extra mile to be more gracious when speaking to others. We created sentence starters to be pasted on the walls in the school to remind students of the things they should do and say before and after asking a teacher or staff for help. I am glad to have made a difference in helping my fellow schoolmates grow in graciousness.
Kang Weslyn, Vice–Head Prefect (Primary 6 Faith, 2021)
IJ Voices Ringing Through I find that the CHIJ OLN environment is very special. Supportive, encouraging, and very homely — that’s the way the teachers nurtured us at every stage. Ms Jewelle Woo, graduated in 2011
Ms Jermaine Leong, graduated in 2010
What I like about CHIJ OLN is that the teachers allow you to pursue what you excel in.
As a student, I just loved the school environment; it was very friendly! It is this warm and welcoming feeling that made me want to visit my teachers in school long after I graduate. It is very nice to come back here and just remember all the good times. Ms Adabel Tan, graduated in 2009 186
➧ My School, My Home Artwork and text by: Kiara Tan Jia Min (Primary 5 Truth, 2021)
CHIJ Our Lady of the Nativity
To me, CHIJ OLN is my second home. Over the years, my teachers appreciate me for who I am. My friends are always there for me when I need them. My friends and teachers are a part of my family.
The corridor outside the classroom is a meaningful place to me. We might not think much about it, but the corridor is where we meet our friends after school, when the occasional catching game occurs, and where we bump into new and old friends alike. The corridor is a place that holds great memories for me. Our Corridor Artwork and text by: Miriam Chan Lok Ngan (Primary 5 Grace, 2021)
➧ CHIJ Our Lady of Good Counsel The Convent of Our Lady of Good Counsel, was established in 1960 in a single building block. At that time, the school was built to cater to the schooling needs of students living in the area. It was built adjoining the Convent residence where the community of Catholic nuns lived. The ﬁrst few Principals of the school were Catholic nuns who lived in the Convent. In June 2004, CHIJ Our Lady of Good Counsel, was relocated to facilitate the rebuilding of the new school. Construction was completed in 2006 and the school held its ofﬁcial opening in 2008. Under the PERI recommendations, the school was provided with a new wing "Father Barré Block" consisting of a student care centre, special rooms and classrooms. The new facilities began functioning in 2018. In 2020, the school celebrated 60 years of God’s goodness and we seek His wisdom and favour as we continue to serve, to mould and to cultivate those who are entrusted to us. https://chijourladyofgoodcounsel.moe.edu.sg/
Dear Father Barré
CHIJ Our Lady of Good Counsel
CHIJ Our Lady of Good Counsel
CHIJ Our Lady of Good Counsel
CHIJ Our Lady of Good Counsel
CHIJ Our Lady of Good Counsel
➧ CHIJ Our Lady of Good Counsel
Blessed Nicolas Barré, the founder of all
Blessed Nicolas Barré found that girls
CHIJ Our Lady of Good Counsel
CHIJ Our Lady of Good Counsel
➧ CHIJ Kellock Convent CHIJ Kellock is the youngest member among the 11 CHIJ schools. CHIJ Kellock had its beginning as a small school known as Our Lady of Lourdes School in Ophir Road, conducting classes in make-shift classrooms. With an increase in the number of students, a new primary school building was necessary. His Grace, the late Archbishop Michael Olcomendy, donated the land next to St. Bernadette’s Church located at Kellock Road to Rev. Mother St. John. In 1964, CHIJ Kellock was established. Since then, CHIJ Kellock has nurtured and educated girls from all walks of life. We are a Christ-centred learning community where every child who walks through our gates will develop her unique giftedness to lead and make a difference.
‘Simple in Virtue; Steadfast in Duty’ https://chijkellock.moe.edu.sg/
My IJ Experience My IJ experience began with my attachment to Katong Convent (KC) Secondary during my Leaders in Education Programme in 2020. I remember walking into the school and being welcomed by the greeting, ‘Believe that God truly loves you.’ I was awed by that statement on the wall, which stayed with me throughout the day. As I spent some time in the chapel in KC that day, I could not help but wonder at what a tremendous impact that statement would have on a child who is welcomed to the school every single day with the belief and reinforcement that she is precious to and loved by the Almighty God. Later, as I was inducted into the school’s culture, ethos and traditions by the Principal, Ms Patricia Chan, I learnt that the saying belonged to our Founder, Blessed Nicolas Barré. What a beautiful way to journey through education!
Believe that God truly loves you
my role in creating the consciousness in every child
- Blessed Nicolas Barré
journey with my girls and staff in living out the
As a firm believer of God’s love and providence, I find myself gravitating towards ensuring that I play
of our Founder’s belief that God truly loves her. I am blessed to be able to lead a Catholic school where I can openly express my love for God, and
Gospel values. To teach is to love. To love is to serve God. This is what the IJ experience in Kellock has been for me. Mrs Shanthi Suraj Nair, Principal 208
➧ A tribute to the IJ Sisters
“ I have called you by name and you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1 “You did not choose me but I chose you.” John 15:16 If life is captured in seasons, then the seasons of my life have emulated the four seasons; of growth in springtime, of abundance in summer, of mellowness in autumn and of retreat in winter. Throughout the seasons of this life, there have been and still are a series of encounters, each of which have steered me at times gently and at times with a jolt and a push to the epiphanic realisation that I am chosen by God, that I am loved by God, that He has called me by name to accept and abide in His love and to bear fruit that will last. These encounters were not by chance, for they were placed in my life’s seasons to help me tend to my garden of spiritual growth. If I am chosen to be a child of God, it can only be because of the IJ Sisters, who chose to risk their significance so that that which came to me as seed would go on as blossom and as fruit. On the occasion of the centenary of Blessed Nicolas Barré, I pay tribute to:Sr Valentine, who made the formal introduction of Jesus to this little child of 8, through her stories and her bigger than life personality;
CHIJ Kellock Convent
Sr Francis who taught me what the straight and narrow path meant; Sr Elizabeth, the Principal, whose compassion and love role modelled what leading like Jesus looked like; Sr Deirdre whose big heart and acceptance of the flawed and of the weeds that grow in our gardens led me closer to understanding God’s excessive love; Sr Maria whose faith and trust in God’s Divine Providence inspire and encourage me; All the IJ sisters past, present, in Singapore and elsewhere who give their lives to do God’s work.
Artwork by Dhanya Mikayla, P6 Topaz (2020)
As I become more aware of my place in God’s kingdom, I know what feeds my spirit and what it means to be life-giving… it is encounters such as these. Thank you, IJ sisters. Ms Magdalene Chin, Principal (2014 – 2020) 209
orn in 1621 ittle did anyone xpect him to be uch a formidable figure in preading God’s unconditional love to stablish hope and dignity for the estitute in France eeding more support to join him in his mission, he nvited young laywomen to omfort and care for the rphans and the poor oving them without counting the cost nd they became the IJ sisters who hared all they could give towards this cause eyond the shores of Europe ll around the world, the IJ sisters esponded to God’s call to each out to one and all ver seeking, ever serving An Acrostic Poem on Blessed Nicolas Barré Mrs Esther Chia 210
➧ Giver of all great gifts, With gratitude, we come to You; For giving us;
CHIJ Kellock Convent
Dear Heavenly Father,
Blessed Nicolas Barré, A shining beacon to the poor, Who embraced the little gifts; Entrusted to him by You; With endless love. Just as You gave Blessed Barré, Unconditional and abundance love; Shower on us Your blessings; To strengthen our zeal to continue Blessed Barré’s legacy. We ask this through our greatest gift of all, Jesus Christ. Amen
Miss Rachael Pereira 211
Muster the Courage and Respond to God’s Call As I immersed myself into the story of our founder, Blessed Nicolas Barré, and the meaningful life he had led, one particular quote came to mind.
You are chosen to live in this time in history, for a particular purpose. God has committed some work to you which He has not committed to another. He has promised to be with you always. – St John Henry Newman The words of St. John Henry Newman echoed in my mind as I started to reflect upon the life of Blessed Nicolas Barré. Blessed Barré’s aspiration and relentless thirst to help liberate the people and children stricken with poverty, his courage and strength in the face of adversity, his fidelity and determination to fulfil this mission and purpose in life that God had entrusted him with inspired me. Blessed Barré seemed to have a purpose in life, a sort of mission that God enlisted his help for. As a young 16-year-old, I pondered --- What is my purpose in life? How do I receive and acknowledge Christ’s call to do His will? What is God’s purpose for me? Looking back on Blessed Barré’s life, he lived his whole life with absolute faith in God’s divine providence. By placing his utmost trust in God, Blessed Barré was confident that he was being led, step by step, to whatever God had planned for him. Blessed Barré opened his heart and mind, paying closer attention to the state of poverty around him. He was deeply aware of the cries of those who suffered most, leading to the birth of many ‘little schools’ and the Institute of the Infant Jesus sisters. Blessed Barré’s seemingly minute actions changed the lives of thousands of little children for the better. The ministries he undertook, including the setting up of the Institute, and his writings, reflect the depths of his awareness, his profound compassion and his trust in the providence of God. Through the work of God’s design, and the steadfast belief of an ordinary man, the provision of education to millions of children around the world was made possible, paving the way for every child to lead a life of dignity and begin their journey of faith in Christ. Blessed Barré was an ordinary man, just like any one of us. He did not know what his exact ‘mission’ from God was. However, Blessed Barré’s deep faith and trust in the Lord spurred him to simply follow God’s promptings, and trust that God was with him every step of the way. Filled with God’s providence, and armed with unfaltering faith and trust in God’s plan for him, an ordinary man like Blessed Barré was able to create something beautifully revolutionary out of nothing but the altruistic desire to help those in need. Today, the words of St. John Henry Newman took on a completely new perspective. Although I am unsure about God’s purpose for me in life, I believe that all of us have been created for a very special reason. With God guiding us every step of the way, just like how He did with Blessed Barré, I will strive to follow in the footsteps of our founder, to become an instrument of the Holy Spirit, opening my heart and mind to wherever God may lead me. “In their hearts humans plan their lives but the Lord establishes their steps.” (Proverbs 16:9) Together, let’s muster the courage to respond to God’s call and take that first step in accepting God’s gentle nudges by making use of the many gifts that we have each been uniquely blessed with.
Trisha-Ann Tan, Head Prefect 2017
➧ He came to show all The girls’ worth they did not see That God loved them too Mrs Antoinette Teo
CHIJ Kellock Convent
A Haiku on Blessed Barré
A note to Blessed Barré:
Dear Blessed Barré, Here is a Gratitude checklist from an IJ student. Thank you Blessed Barré for… trusting in God’s providence. being a role model for serving God wholeheartedly. your foresight and courage. believing that girls should not be deprived of education. leading a group of educated ladies to start a little school for the poor. If you had not done what you had done, many children, especially girls, would not have had the opportunity to be educated and to be a useful person in society. Now that I am a teacher myself, I will do my utmost to teach the girls placed under my care and to bring them close to God. My heartfelt appreciation to you, Blessed Barré. Text by Miss Mary Soh Artwork by Amanda Lee, Primary 2 Indigo 213
Dear Lord, We thank you for the life of Blessed Nicolas Barré. The experiences of Father Barré and the IJ Sisters who persevered through trying times to bring light to thousands of young girls in poverty, and bear testament to the HOPE that can be found in You alone. Like Father Barré, help us to… old On To You
Hope against hope, and when everything seems to be without hope, we must go forward all the more in hope. - Father Barré; bey Your Calling
Lord, I want nothing more, I desire nothing more only to be ready to desire what you desire and as you desire it. - Prayer of Abandonment; ray to You Ceaselessly
Enter into your own nothingness before the immense greatness of God. Recognise your total dependence and be ready to let go to God’s desires. Ask for nothing more and desire nothing more. – Father Barré; and
ver Seek and Ever Serve for the IJ Spirit lives on… A Prayer of Hope by Mrs Chan-Tiong Le Chin, Vice Principal
Painting contributed by Chaplaincy Parent Group 2021 214
France to Kellock by Clara Tan (Primary 2 Indigo)
➧ In living out the CHIJ mission of a “Christ-centred school community where all work together for the promotion of truth, justice, freedom and love, with special reference to the needs of the persons who are disadvantaged in any way”, the quote above from our founder, resonates well with me in my school leadership journey, especially in the area of student advocacy. It is a constant reminder of the Lord’s presence, the trust in His providence, and that nothing is impossible with Him. We should always act in faith as He is always watching, ready to help in any way we may need so long as we live always in a spirit of abandonment to God.
CHIJ Kellock Convent
~ Blessed Nicolas Barré
Fidelity to our mission, while bringing joy and hope, will also bring its trials. What appears to destroy it is precisely what will strengthen it. Hence it is necessary to live always in a spirit of abandonment to God, trusting in Him for all our needs.
Praise the Lord because He is my Guide; I have been able to plant the seeds of Love, Faith, Hope and Joy, in the many stakeholders I have collaborated with in the course of my work, resulting in collective efficacy in case management. Amen! Ms Helen Ng, Vice Principal
Bless others with your gifts, we Aspire to be like you as you inspire. Remind us to persist, through Rain and stormy times, I am Eternally grateful to you, Father Barré! Eternally Grateful by Tan En Xuan (Primary 4 Gloriosa)
Being an IJ girl means being a part of an amazing family, one that has been blessed with so much love and history. As a student in school, I was taught to remain Simple in Virtue, Steadfast in Duty and this is something I have taken along with me all through my life, guiding me in my career and as a mom to my three little girls. I am glad that they will now share in the experience of being IJ girls as well and being a part of the IJ family. Ms Dolly Lau, Parent Support Group Chairperson 215
May we Carry on Blessed Nicolas Barré Legacy It was Blessed Nicolas Barré’s everlasting trust and faith in God that made him the person whom we know today and it was this that led him to persevere and found the IJ sisters. He had faced a lot of obstacles and rejection in his personal life and work, but he was certain that God would guide him through all the challenges he was facing. His trust in God led him to believe that no obstacle was insurmountable which gave him the courage to follow his calling and fulfill his purpose in life. Even though he had to start from scratch, Blessed Barré did not lose hope along the way and remained steadfast in duty. Blessed Barré also believed that he was sent to this world for a reason and that he had a purpose. This made him more sensitive to the plight of others as he started noticing what others did not have. He made it his mission to ensure that children, especially girls, received the education they deserved and he did all this in God’s name. He started to gather women who shared his vision and wanted to spread their knowledge. Blessed Barré never once mentioned money or profit as he believed that, ”Whoever receives a poor, abandoned child doubly welcomes Jesus Christ.” He knew that it was good education and knowledge that would help the children gain self-esteem and confidence in themselves as well as find meaning in life which is why he made it his mission to assist them. I hope that we, as one IJ community, can understand how much God truly loves us and completely trust in his love and providence, always following him as he guides us along the rocky terrain of life. May we embed in ourselves the values that Blessed Barré has taught us: to use our gifts for others without expecting anything in return, to always put others before ourselves and to never judge a person based on his/her status, instead sharing our knowledge and expertise with them. May we carry on Blessed Barré’s legacy and continue to follow in Christ’s footsteps. Amelia Davies, Head Prefect 2020 Artwork by Cayley Yang (Primary 4 Clematis) 216
➧ CHIJ Kellock Convent
A Prayer for CHIJ Kellock hrist, our Lord and Saviour, ear our humble prayer. ncrease our love for you, ust a little more each day. eep us in your
Trust in God by Mrs Clara Lim–Tan Principal (2008- 2013)
verlasting embrace. ook with favour on our oving family as we pen our hearts to are for each and everyone at ellock Mrs Philomena Wong
I’m Proud to be an IJ Girl by Isla Gavin
(Primary 2 Violet)
Dear Blessed Barré, Your spirituality, imbued with a deep love for people and God, touched my heart throughout my IJ education. It also provided me with the moral foundation and spiritual anchor to discern my purpose in life as well as live out God’s calling. I thank God for the privilege to serve at CHIJ Kellock as I seek to encounter and experience God’s love with my students and colleagues each day. And this is all possible because of your love for God and commitment to promote truth, justice, freedom and love. Thank you for being a constant inspiration in our lives! Miss Christina Tan
Born in Amiens, in the ancient province of Picardy A son of God heeded his calling Rouen was the town that opened his eyes Rome, Italy was where he was beatified Artwork by Angela Ang (Primary 2 Lavender)
Education for girls all over the world is his legacy Blessed Barré, a Son of God by Miss Charlotte Chin
➧ CHIJ Kellock Convent
A Prayer in Memory of Blessed Nicolas Barré Heavenly Father, Thank you for your greatness and the guidance you have provided me with. Just like Blessed Nicolas Barré, I want to be a person who basks in the magnanimous love you have for me and extends this warmth to the underprivileged. I aspire to be as accepting as Blessed Nicolas Barré, having faith in everyone, and taking them in without
Genevieve Chua (Primary 6 Jacaranda)
pre-existing prejudice or judgment in my mind. Teach me to hold steadfast to the quote “The gifts given to you are for others” and be a servant leader who helps others in an instant, without looking for anything in
He sacrificed all,
return. Last but not least, I pray that I continue to be filled with great trust in you so that I can share your wondrous gifts of faith and hope with the entire world.
Helped under-privileged girls, And cared for others.
In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen Claudia Peeris (Head Prefect 2019)
Verity Wong (Primary 6 Jacaranda)
Lessons from Dear Blessed Barré Like the parable of the talents, While at this school, it has been apparent. . That we live our lives in service to others, As more and more of our gifts we discover. Happiness cannot easily be bought, As it is one of lives Gordian Knots. I bring along lessons from dear Blessed Barré, To give others joy, come what may. Our sacrifices offered to the Lord above, As He taught us how to love as He loves. To speak the truth as we go through our day, With faith in the Lord that lights our way. To practise justice to all we meet, For we will be judged when our life is complete. If peace and unity for the world we wanted, Our freedom we shall not take for granted. Here I am looking at my final year, Before I leave my school for new frontiers. CHIJ will forever remain close to my heart, Fond memories live on even though this year I depart. When Blessed Barré first embarked on his mission, He would not have dream he would later achieve beatification. His effect on us all is perennial, As we celebrate his 4th centennial. Catherine Lim (Head Prefect)
➧ In every age, there is always the challenge on how to build and grow a child’s faith in God. This is especially so at this age when technology is constantly bombarding us with news and information through social media, digital conveniences that promote online purchase, new social norms, etc. How then do we help our young students see the relevance of our Catholic faith and help them to find the source of peace and calmness in God?
CHIJ Kellock Convent
Choose Lord, what you want of me. Order all things, plan and arrange all things in the way that pleases you, and I will try and make my desires and actions yours, to follow you in everything and everywhere, without reserve or limit.’ – extract from Prayer of Abandonment, Nicolas Barré: Letter 12
Blessed Barré too experienced a sense of helplessness when he arrived at Rouen and saw the young from disadvantaged families were neglected by society. He wanted the children to experience God’s love and gift the children with the opportunity to receive education so as to break themselves out of poverty’s vicious cycle. Blessed Barré offered himself to God and trusting in God’s providence, he proceeded to start a school for young girls from disadvantaged families. Following in Blessed Barré’s footsteps, the Chaplaincy team has entrusted ourselves to God and seeking God’s providence in our planning and implementing of programmes for our children. Each of the chaplaincy members, brings to the chaplaincy team, special talents and gifts from God. With these gifts and talents, we prayed and planned the school’s Faith outreach programmes. We took small steps in reaching out first to our Catholic students via the catechism lessons and devotions. Then we began to reach out to the wider cohort of the school with the message of God’s love through pre-morning assembly sharing and recess activities. There were unforeseen challenges along the way but we have never lost hope and focus. God works in ways which we do not fully understand and all challenges faced turned out to be opportunities for us to reach out to our students. Blessed Barré is truly an inspirational figure in the Chaplaincy team. He faced challenges when carrying out God’s work but that did not deter him away from it. He prayed for the grace to do God’s work without any reservations. Let us all follow in Blessed Barré’s footsteps to serve God whole-heartedly, knowing that He will make all things well if we are doing His holy will. CHIJ Kellock Chaplaincy Committee 221
Blessed Nicolas Barré Throughout his life, Blessed Nicolas Barré put his trust wholly in God and it was this that motivated him to help the less fortunate. He had a strong academic background on top of devoting his life to pastoral care. Upon witnessing the appalling misery of the poor and marginalised, Blessed Barré ventured to do something for the helpless. Despite facing great hardship, he remained resolute in God’s providence. Blessed Barré desired the betterment of the community, particularly in the area of education for girls, and wished to seek a group of people with a similar resolve to help him in achieving this vision. This group, comprising young laywomen, was commonly known as the IJ Sisters. From a humble beginning that allowed them to serve the community without prejudice, the IJ Sisters only became a religious order two hundred years after its founding.
hundred years later, one man’s vision has evolved into a foundation that has touched a million lives. Blessed Barré’s dedication in responding to God’s call to help the needy is truly admirable, and the fruits of his, and the IJ Sisters’, labour have helped to provide a holistic education that has raised many generations of respectful, God-fearing and determined people with moral character. Upon reflecting on Blessed Barré’s journey, may it inspire us to continue spreading the same compassion and mercy he displayed, and in doing so, cultivate the love of God so many others may experience it too. Although we may not be able to contribute on the same scale, we are still able to preserve his intentions and spirit of servitude. The actions we make today are a reflection of those made by Blessed Nicolas Barré 400 years ago. Thus, we should continue to be inspired and serve those around us in our own way, using our own gifts to continue his legacy.
Charisse Lee, Head Prefect 2018
➧ In the days gone by in Ancient France, a man of courage and faith was born. Father Nicolas Barré is he with a heart for the poor and the little ones.
CHIJ Kellock Convent
Ode to Father Nicolas Barré
Empowered by God, he worked and toiled, To bring forth knowledge and light, much to many little girls’ delight. The Little Charitable Schools abound, spread joy all around. Here we learn to love and care, in line with the thoughts of Father Barré. A man of faith and heart for God, his values we must adopt: Simple in Virtue and Steadfast in Duty, must be our call. Christine Tan Le-En (Primary 4 Gloriosa)
Being touched by the call, I Aspire to be like Blessed Barré.
Reaching out to the lost, last and least,
Responding to our Lord’s call, he is an Example to follow in our daily lives.
Stephanie Lim (Primary 5 Hibiscus)
Thanks, Father Barré!
Vashini Arunachalam (Primary 5 Hibiscus) 223
CHIJ Secondary School
Prayer of Abandonment LORD, I want nothing more, I desire nothing more, only to be ready to desire what you desire and as you desire it. It is enough for me that you hold me in your presence, that you take care of everything, that you watch over all my concerns, all that happens to me and that nothing escapes your adorable guidance of my life. O Jesus! O Love! You are my God and my all, centre and unfathomable depth of goodness and greatness! May Jesus live and His will be done! There is nothing left for me to desire. Choose Lord, what you want of me. Order all things, plan and arrange all things in the way that pleases you, and I will try and make my desires and actions yours, to follow you in everything and everywhere, without reserve or limit. Finally, Lord, I want to belong totally to you, no more measuring or portioning out, neither in life nor in death, in sorrow or in joy, on earth or in heaven. My beloved is all mine and I am His forever. O Jesus! O love! Blessed Nicolas Barré
The IJ Spirit Lives On