Joint Meeting with Diocesan School Chaplains and Auxiliary Missionary Sisters
In order to promote the pastoral and religious formation in Diocesan Schools, the Reverend Bishop Stephen Lee has officially appointed nine Priest Chaplains (in no particular order of precedence, including Fr. José Mário O. Mandia, Fr. José Angel Castellanos Hernandez, Fr. Leonard Dollentas, Fr. Rafael Gemelli Vigolo, Fr. Daniel Antonio de Carvalho Ribeiro, Fr. Domingos Un Wai-Meng, Fr. Michael Cheung Chun Kin, Fr. Cyril Jerome Law, Jr and Fr. Lawrence The Reh) to each of the Diocesan Schools starting this school year. At the same time, Sr. Maria Zhu Zhi Bei Pu, Sr. Maria Shan Dao Zhi Mu and Sr. Evelyn Yip Wai Ming were appointed as auxiliary missionaries in four of the schools.
To ensure better implementation of the plans for pastoral and religious formation, as well as to clearly define the scopes of work, the Reverend Bishop convened a joint meeting with school chaplains and auxiliary missionary sisters in the afternoon of 30 November. In the meeting, the Bishop stressed again that education is one of the important services of the Catholic Diocese of Macau, for this reason he had deliberately invited the “young, capable and energetic” priests from the Diocese to take up the school pastoral works. He then added that "schools are the most important place for the formation of young people, and the presence of school chaplains can more effectively promote the development of pastoral services and religious education in schools, enabling the mission of Catholic education to become the core of school education.”
Early in the meeting, the Bishop urged the school chaplains to review and reflect on the philosophy and mission of Catholic schools, emphasising that Catholic schools are obliged to introduce Jesus Christ and His values in their education activities. Through a holistic approach that features a combination of both formal and informal curricula, schools should aim at enabling their teachers and students to know Jesus as 3V’s (Via et Veritas et Vita, the way and the truth and the life). The Bishop also figuratively illustrated the characteristics of Catholic Schools using the “A+” project in which "A" is all positive values one shall attain, whereas the "+" is the added-value of the Catholic Church perspectives. Through more proactive face-to-face exchanges with teachers and students, school chaplains and auxiliary missionary sisters could therefore enrich their knowledge and understanding of Catholic educational principles and values. The meeting then saw the exchange of views on various ideas concerning regular duties and objectives of the school chaplains and the sisters.
The presentation of the experience acquired from the establishment of the “Pastoral and Religious Formation Unit” in the Colégio Diocesano de São José delivered by Dr. Stephen Chan Teng-Fong, Director of the Diocesan Catholic Education Commission marked the conclusion of the joint meeting this year.