New offices under Catholic Church to ‘refresh relevance to people'

New offices under Catholic Church to ‘refresh relevance to people'
Mr Arthur Goh, the former director of the Singapore Pastoral Institute will become the academic director of a new Catholic theological institute.

The Catholic Church here has restructured some of its offices in a push to refresh its relevance to the community.

Two new offices, The Office for the New Evangelisation (ONE) and a yet-to-be named theological institute, will be set up by next month and early next year respectively.

By the end of this month, the 35-year-old Singapore Pastoral Institute (SPI) will also stop operating.

Half its staff of 12 will serve ONE, which will subsume SPI's biblical, catechetical and pastoral departments. This office will be led by Father Erbin Fernandez.

The remaining six will work in the new theological institute headed by Father James Yeo.

The changes were announced by Archbishop William Goh in a letter to the Catholic community earlier this month. In it, he wrote that the Church "needs to find creative ways to claim back its relevance in the lives of our people".

Father Fernandez said the work of ONE will involve encouraging a more proactive role in spreading the message of Christianity in creative ways, for instance via social media. ONE, to be located at 2, Highland Road, will conduct training for clergy and parishioners on the Church's new direction and coordinate the evangelical efforts of various organisations in the community.

"At a deeper level, it is also about encouraging a renewal from within and pushing the Church to be more outward-looking, moving out of its maintenance model to a growth model," said Father Fernandez.

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