Our Archbishop's Message
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This year (2017) marks the third anniversary of the opening of the Catholic Theological Institute of Singapore (CTIS). This has been a dream of our church in Singapore; a dream born out of necessity to equip our lay leaders with the necessary knowledge of the church's teachings so that they can collaborate with our priests and religious in the work of the new evangelization. This need is even more urgent today, as we have fewer and fewer vocations to the priesthood and to the religious life.
How can we continue to keep our faith alive for our children, and our children's children, if there is no one to impart faith? How can we justify the blood and sweat of our spiritual forefathers who left home and country to bring the faith to our shores at the expense of their lives so that we may come to know Christ and to have hope of a better life? How do we realize our dream of a vibrant and evangelizing Church if we do not have the foundation on which to build our faith?
Many of our Catholics are shy and lack the confidence to speak about their faith, much less defend it when it is challenged. This is because they do not know how to express what they believe in, or why they observe certain practices, devotions, and rituals. So they avoid letting others know that they are Catholic. Or they refer questionaires to our priests and religious to provide the answers. Although they continue to receive the sacraments, they do so out of habit or tradition, without understanding, lacking in fervor, because they are not convinced why they do it but do it nonetheless out of fear that they will go to hell if they do not observe the laws of the Church.
Thankfully, there are many Catholics who hunger to know more about the faith, so that they can be strengthened in their belief. There are also many who desire to fulfill their Christian mission to spread the Word, and to help grow the Church through meaningful service. CTIS exists precisely to help those of you who are seeking a deeper understanding and appreciation of the faith to encounter Christ.
So, I encourage those of you who have a role in imparting the faith in one way or another, especially those serving in the Church ministries, and those who desire to seriously live out their Christian calling to make Christ known to the world - to enrol for a course at CTIS. You need to seriously arm yourself with the knowledge of the truth if you are going to stand up for your faith, for the Church, and for Jesus, especially when the world is ever ready to offer a thousand reasons why it is futile to store up treasures in heaven, because there is no certainty that tomorrow exists.
For the sake of our children, our society and the world, I urge you to take a definitive step to deepen your understanding of the faith so that you can be zealous and courageous witnesses and teachers of the faith.
Yours devotedly in Christ.
Most Rev. William Goh, DD
Archbishop of Singapore