Singapore

2020 March 19
Solemn Feast of St. Joseph, Husband of Mary

Dear Lasallians in the Frontlines,

Greetings of peace and well-being! We salute and support your gallant efforts to quell COVID-19 as you perform your responsibilities beyond the call of duty while putting yourselves at great risk. We stand in solidarity with you as part of the health and medical team directly assisting the sick and infected, or as researchers and scientists pressed to review test results or find effective antidotes to the virus, or as round-the-clock logistics and security forces, public servants and volunteers doing your share to reassure the public, restore and maintain order and provide much needed services to everyone.

We are one with you during this very challenging time and assure you of our fervent prayers as your fellow Lasallians in East Asia. We will especially remember you as we pause for a few minutes of quiet prayer daily to remember all Lasallians in the frontlines and to intercede for all those who are working earnestly in many different ways to provide solutions and address the challenges we face.

For you, all Lasallians in East Asia will gather together and by association in their respective homes and communities at around 5:00 p.m. beginning today March 19, feast of St. Joseph, Protector of our Lasallian Institute, and ending on May 15, feast of our Founder, St. John Baptist de La Salle. May the good Lord ever keep you in the palm of His hand. Live Jesus in our hearts, forever!

Fraternally yours,

Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC

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Loving Father, our Lasallian Family draws near to you in fervent prayer for all those affected by COVID-19. 

In FAITH, we lift up to you our fears and anxieties and the sufferings of those who have been infected always remembering that even in our darkest hours we are in your most holy presence. 

In SERVICE, we beg you for strength and wisdom to do all that needs to be done knowing that we can be channels of your healing grace when we do all our actions for the love of you. 

In COMMUNION, we stand in solidarity with all the frontliners who risk their lives for others and pray for all medical teams and support personnel who earnestly seek its cure and provide remedy and comfort to those who are sick and most vulnerable. Most Loving Father we entrust our lives and the health and well-being of our families and communities to your care and protection for with you we will be safe and secure.

Amen.

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MEDIA RELEASE

In 2015, LASALLE College of the Arts became the first home-grown Singaporean institution to receive the EduTrust Star—the highest accolade of quality awarded to a private education institution in Singapore. Today, LASALLE was awarded the EduTrust Star for the second time running, affirming its high standards and commitment to excellence.

Of nearly 300 private education institutions registered in Singapore with the Committee for Private Education (CPE), LASALLE remains the first and only Singaporean institution to receive the EduTrust Star since the EduTrust Certification Scheme was established in 2009.

“We are delighted to receive the EduTrust Star again. Four years ago, our first Star was a timely recognition of how far the College has come from its humble days as St Patrick’s Arts Centre, and today, our second Star shows that we have not been resting on our laurels. There is nowhere more exciting and dynamic than Singapore right now to be pursuing the arts. Singapore, and indeed the region, is at a stage of rapid maturation as a society where artists, designers and creative thinkers will become increasingly instrumental to its continued growth, and LASALLE stands ready to be a bastion of that growth,” said LASALLE President, Professor Steve Dixon.

"Over the decade, LASALLE has made great strides in furthering a high-quality 21stcentury arts education in Asia. The award of our second EduTrust Star bears witness to this deep commitment. To remain relevant and current, we rigorously benchmark academic quality assurance processes and continuously enhance the curriculum through feedback from the industry and the arts community. In addition, our robust professional and student services ensure that systems and processes are auditable, appropriate and best in class. This enables teaching faculty to focus on nurturing and igniting the creativity and imagination of our students," said LASALLE Provost, Dr Venka Purushothaman.

Since 2015, LASALLE has introduced two new Master of Arts (MA) programmes in Design and Creative Writing, and signed Memoranda of Understanding with worldrenowned institutions such as The New School in New York, the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Australia, and Zurich University of the Arts. In 2017, a longitudinal alumni survey conducted by Nielsen found that 9 out of 10 LASALLE alumni were employed, happy with their jobs, and found skills taught in school to be relevant at work.

The CPE awards the EduTrust Star to private education institutions for attaining a commendable level of performance in managing the institution and providing an outstanding quality of education and welfare for students. The mark is a symbol of recognition for outstanding achievement. LASALLE has been awarded the EduTrust Star from 1 October 2019 to 30 September 2023.

About LASALLE

LASALLE College of the Arts in Singapore is a leading tertiary institution in cutting edge contemporary arts and design education and practice. The college offers more than 30 diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in fine arts, design communication, interior design, product design, film, animation, fashion, dance, music, theatre, arts management, arts pedagogy and practice, art therapy, Asian art histories, and creative writing.

Its faculty is led by a community of award-winning artists, designers, educators and researchers, and their practice-led research sets LASALLE apart as an international centre of excellence. Critically acclaimed alumni form the core of the cultural and creative sectors in Singapore and increasingly, internationally.

Founded in 1984 by the late De La Salle Brother Joseph McNally – a visionary artist and educator – LASALLE is a non-profit, private educational institution. LASALLE receives tuition grant support from the Singapore Ministry of Education. Its degree programmes are validated by Goldsmiths, University of London.

For Media Enquiries, please contact:

Chen Cuifen
Division of Communications
LASALLE College of the Arts
6496 5216
cuifen.chen@lasalle.edu.sg

Theodore Woon
PINPOINT PR
+65 9155 3507
theo@pinpointpr.sg

We continue to have two FSC Communities in Singapore. One is located in St Joseph’s Institution (SJI) and the other at St Patrick’s School (SPS). On 27-29 August, Br. Armin visited the Brothers’ Community at SJI. At present, there are 4 Brothers living in this community: Larry Humphrey (director), Paul Ho, John Win Kyaw and Paul Mata. Br. Armin met each of us individually, and then met us all together as one community to discuss matters relating to our community life and welfare as Brothers.

On 2-3 September, after his trip to Sri Lanka, Br. Armin headed back to Singapore to visit our Brothers, this time in the community of St Patrick’s School located in the East Coast of Singapore. It is a community of three Brothers namely: Nicholas Seet, Collin Wee and Gregory Lim. He met each one individually and gathered them together to have a fruitful discussion on the Brothers’ life. (Text & Photo: Br. Paul Mata FSC)

The Brothers’ Community at St. Joseph’s Institution in Singapore became the venue of the 32nd District Council Meeting which was held on 2019 October 26.

The DC members had an entire day discussing matters relating to LEAD. They concluded the meeting with a Eucharistic Celebration presided by Fr. Matthew Tan, SJ.

After the mass, all the DC members, together with Br. Ricky Laguda (PARC General Councillor), and the rest of the Brothers in Singapore, went out for dinner in an Italian restaurant. 

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SINGAPORE - 8 LYNKsters (Lasallian Youth Network) and 2 Brothers spent the morning of 11 July walking around Toa Payoh to visit our mentees from the Lasallian Mentoring Programme. We worked in pairs to visit 25 mentees in their homes. We have not seen them since we paused in mid March. It’s almost four months now.

We took this time to check on their wellbeing as well as to see if they are equipped enough to continue our mentoring sessions online. We are glad to see all our mentees and their families doing well during this time and are managing within their means. (Text & Photos: Ms. Ed-Linddi Ong)

With the loud music of the bagpipes and the flags of the 9 Lasallian educational institutions in Singapore carried in, the procession into the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd began in high spirits. The picture of the founder with his relic was carried by Bro John Wyn accompanied by Bro Gregory. It was then followed by the Brothers, affiliated members and the priests together with the nuncio, Archbishop Marek Zawleski.

In his homily, Archbishop Marek highlighted the Lasallian values as well as the need for vocations for the Brothers and for Christian educators. In his address, Bro Paul Ho echoed the Superior’s message that the celebration is not only of a past memory but also how we can continue the Lasallian mission to cater to new needs in our own circumstances today.

The photographs of the school leaders, staff and students with the Brothers after the Mass took on a joyous mood as everyone felt inspired by the gathering of the Lasallian family together in celebration and prayer. (Br. Nicholas Seet FSC)

Fraternally,

Br. Edmundo Fernandez FSC

23 Students of St. Joseph’s Institution (SJI) Singapore attended the Year 4 Catholic Retreat from 5-7 July 2019 at La Salle Centre, St. Patrick’s School. The retreat was facilitated by 3 Filipino Young Brothers.

With the theme “Me and My Journey” the retreat focused on deepening of faith through self awareness and looking on one’s capacity to serve, together.
(Text & Photos: Br. Irwin Climaco FSC)

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St. Joseph’s Institution - International, Singapore - On Tuesday 26 November, our High School community came together to celebrate our shared Lasallian values and to recognise the legacy of St. John Baptist de La Salle, 300 years after his passing. Students and staff wholeheartedly threw themselves into a range of activities designed to mark the occasion. 

The 301 Fun Run took place at the Singapore Polo Club. This was the last event of the year where house points were up for grabs and, in a hard-fought contest, each house smashed through their target of achieving 301 laps of the pitch – the 301 symbolising looking forward, beyond the last 300 years. It was great to see competitive spirits kick in as people sprinted or ambled around the 1km track to rack up as many points as possible for their house! 

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In addition to this physical exertion, there was also the opportunity for people to express their artistic side in the production of banners, each reflecting our Lasallian and house values. Everyone contributed a handprint in the creation of the banners to symbolise the legacy we are leaving by putting our hands to good use in service to others. These banners now have pride of place around the school and are looking fabulous, creating an injection of colour and positivity as people go about their daily business. 

All in all, a wonderful afternoon to bring another busy year to a close.

Some of our Josephians penned a short message of gratitude to the medical and frontline personnel who are fighting against the COVID19. This was done as part of our Josephian Formation Journey programme in line with Total Defence Day.

#JFJ #everydayherossg #SGUnited #JosephiansUnited #LasalliansUnited

Watch the video by clicking this Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=649815175847468

In the midst of the coronavirus outbreak and its many challenges, our Year 4 student, David Ho (MN401) shared his self-drawn comic about how a Josephian should respond at this time — with care and concern.

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On 2020 September 13, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore celebrated the Catholic Education Mass 2020, in celebration of 168 years of Catholic Education in Singapore. The virtual Mass was presided by Fr. Adrian Danker, SJ, St. Joseph’s Institution’s ( SJI ) principal. Select students from different schools, including our La Salle schools, participated as readers and members of the choir.

It starts with a short history of Catholic Education in Singapore followed by the Mass.

St. Joseph’s Institution International School Malaysia  (SJIIM)  students and members of its Parent Support Group (PSG) have been busy assisting those in need during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period in Malaysia.

With the school temporarily closed in compliance with the MCO, SJIIM students and the PSG decided to channel funds that they had helped gather to benefit those in need of food and basic necessities during this difficult period. They also chipped in to make protective shields for use by frontline and essential service workers!
The group raised RM 6,000 and it received a dollar-for-dollar matching contribution from the SJIIM Lasallian Fund. The RM12,000 was equally distributed to the Pit Stop Community Café in the Klang Valley, COVIDCAREMY DHRRA Malaysia and COVID Assist Malaysia.

Co-founder of COVID Assist Malaysia and SJIIM student, Sandra Ong hard at work constructing the face shields needed for the frontliners

Co-founder of COVID Assist Malaysia and SJIIM student, Sandra Ong hard at work constructing the face shields needed for the frontliners

Dato’ Bro Paul Ho, Chairman of the SJIIM Board of Governors

Dato’ Bro Paul Ho, Chairman of the SJIIM Board of Governors, is delighted with the initiatives of the students and the PSG. “It is extremely heartening to note that our community is fully embracing our Founder’s ethos of reaching out in service for the benefits of the less fortunate.”  

Sheela Sam, the Chairlady of the PSG was very proud of the effort that the group has made. “We are happy to be able to make a difference. To help those in need as inscribed in our Lasallian culture is not just charity, it is humanity in the highest form. We enkindle good values for our future generation and we pray for those who have been affected physically, emotionally and financially.”
The Pit Stop Community Café and COVIDCARE MY are organizations that support the most vulnerable in the community in various ways, including food distribution which assists many families. Both organizations have been tremendously active with their humanitarian efforts and were very appreciative of the support received:

“The Pit Stop Community Cafe had the distinct pleasure of working with different groups of SJIIM students for the past three years and each one of them who have volunteered their time with us have shown us passion, dedication and leadership. We are very proud of our SJIIM volunteers and feel that their school and family have definitely done something right for these capable young people. In these troubled times of COVID-19 when so many marginalised communities are without income or decent food, SJIIM has come to us again with a lifesaving gift. Thank you so much for coming together to make sure that we are able to serve those who have fallen off the cracks of society.”

– Andrea Tan, Co-Founder of Pit Stop Community Cafe

“On behalf of COVIDCAREMY, we are truly grateful and thankful to SJI International School Malaysia and the SJIIM Parent Support Group for their generosity. Our donors and supporters inspire us to continue this journey and we invite them to walk along with us. COVIDCAREMY has been active nationwide for almost a month and we will continue to assist the marginalised and B40 communities during the MCO.”

- COVIDCAREMY

SJIIM Student Calvin Foo with one of the face shields he made for COVID Assist Malaysia

SJIIM Student Calvin Foo with one of the face shields he made for COVID Assist Malaysia

COVID Assist Malaysia is a volunteer organization co-founded by two high school students namely Sandra Ong of SJIIM and Julian Yang from another notable international school to support those in need of assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds contributed to this organization will be used to produce face shields by volunteers who are students of SJIIM and other international schools, parents and other benefactors. The face shields will be given to frontline staff in hospitals and essential service workers who urgently require more Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to perform their daily tasks in assisting with the recovery of COVID-19 patients.

COVID Assist Malaysia’s founders were ecstatic with the support they have received.  We founded COVID Assist Malaysia to provide support to those in need during this COVID-19 pandemic. We crowdsourced volunteers and funds, harnessed the people's innate desire to do good, collaborated with our local community and other youths while employing the power of social networking systems to achieve maximum reach and effectiveness. We are incredibly grateful for SJIIM and the Parent Support Group’s generous donation. These funds will help further our cause by enabling us to increase the scale of our projects, diversifying into other activities and widening our base. As international school students, we are incredibly fortunate to have the financial means to continue with our education while others may not even be able to afford essentials. It is our duty to provide concern for the poor and social justice and do our part to help ‘the Least, the Last and the Lost’.”

Besides the three listed organizations, care packages in the form of groceries and food were also sponsored by the group and distributed to the security guards of SJIIM who are diligently working on-site to keep the school safe throughout the MCO period. Mohammed Sharizal, who is the security supervisor of SJIIM said, “We are thankful for the generous contributions given to us by the PSG. These essential food items will go a long way in helping the guards with their everyday lives during this difficult period.”

Service and care for the community are hallmarks of an SJIIM education. The school is proud that despite the challenges posed by the MCO, its students and parents have truly lived up to its Lasallian ideal that they had “entered the school to learn and would leave it to serve.”

For media inquiries:

Mr. Neoh Soon Ken
Director of Business Development
Contact No: +603 86053605; +6016 4758308
Email: kenneoh@sji-international.edu.my

Source: https://www.sji-international.edu.my/sjiim-students-and-parentssupport- mco-affected-groups/

On 3rd April, our Prime Minister announced a community "circuit breaker” in Singapore as the number of COVID-19 cases were rising. What this means is other than a list of essential services which are allowed to continue running, residents are encouraged to stay home. Schools and non essential offices were to remain closed till 4th May. He also announced that each resident would be given a reusable mask so that the surgical masks could be saved for healthcare workers. This followed after a nationwide distribution of hand sanitisers.

Several Young Lasallians from the Lasallian Youth NetworK bravely responded to the call for helping with the issuing of reusable masks. They assisted our community partner, Toa Payoh East Community Club, who were overwhelmed by what they had to do in response to the circuit breaker. The volunteers spent their time doing temperature taking, running some meal errands, answering queries, and giving out masks. Measures like social distancing and using hand sanitisers, hand gloves, and masks were put in place to protect both the volunteers and members of the public collecting their masks.

This week-long project was a success as over 80% of Singapore Residents have collected their masks islandwide. (Text & Photos: Ms. Ed-Linddi Ong)

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Among the many new Catholic school principals commissioned by the Archbishop of Singapore, Msgr William Goh, on January 5 at the cathedral, there were three Lasallian principals. They are Mdm Cheryl Choo De La Salle School, Mrs Roisin Paul St Joseph's Institution International and Mr Mark Minjoot St Patrick's School. Brs. Antonio Cubillas, Augustine Julian, Lawrence Humphrey, Paul Ho, Collin Wee and Nicholas Seet were present to pray and share their joy at the special Sunday Mass. (Text & Photos: Br. Nicholas Seet FSC)

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Source: www.straitstimes.com

SINGAPORE - Students of Lasalle College of the Arts will no longer have to travel to different campuses for classes when a new $50 million building is ready by 2025. The 12-storey block to be built on a 6,000 sq m plot of land next to the college's McNally Street campus will help to centralise the school's facilities. It will also be connected to the nearby Rochor MRT station. In recent years, the school has had to lease art facilities in Winstedt Road, classroom spaces in nearby buildings as well as studios from Mediacorp to accommodate a growing student population.

The McNally campus was intended for 1,850 students, but the student population is currently about 2,700.

While the land was earmarked for Lasalle since it moved to the McNally site 12 years ago, funding was a challenge until the Ngee Ann Kongsi pledged $50 million last year.

This is both the Teochew group's single largest donation, and the largest donation received by Lasalle to date.

In a speech on Thursday (Nov 14), Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said it is apt that two historic institutions are coming together to contribute to the nation's future in its bicentennial year.

"Their collaboration is also a testament to how far we have come along this journey from Singapore to Singaporean," added Mr Heng, who noted that a Teochew foundation is donating tens of millions of dollars to an arts school founded by a Catholic order.

"This is not something that happens readily in other parts of the world today, and something that we should treasure and never take for granted," said Mr Heng, who is also Finance Minister, at the cheque presentation ceremony at Lasalle's McNally campus.

The De La Salle brothers first came to Singapore in 1852 to teach at St Joseph's Institution. They went on to set up several schools in Singapore.

It was Brother Joseph McNally who started the St Patrick's Arts Centre in 1984 with 27 students, which would later become Lasalle.

Work on the new building, with a potential gross floor area of 20,000 sq m, will start in 2021 and is expected to take three to four years to complete.

It will include new facilities like a 300-seat lecture theatre, a music recital hall, a film studio, and new galleries on the ground floor that will be open to the public.

The building will also feature a glass facade that opens out to Rochor Canal Road.

Speaking to the media before the event, Lasalle chairman Peter Seah said that he expects the demand for arts education to continue growing.

But whether the school can help meet the demand depends on government policy and space constraints. Lasalle's expansion will help cater to its current student population of 2,700 only.

In his speech, Mr Seah called the new building Lasalle's "crowning glory", and thanked the Kongsi for its generosity.

"Your momentous contribution will no doubt create new and exciting opportunities in the arts that will impact Singapore culturally and socially for many years to come," he said, announcing that the new building will be called the Ngee Ann Kongsi Building.

Ngee Ann Kongsi vice-president Richard Lee said that it was "honoured" by the decision to name the building after the Teochew organisation.

"We hope our gift will enable Lasalle to become a place of intellectual wealth in which your students will treasure and enjoy their academic pursuits and aspirations to be future leaders in the arts and creative industries," he said.

The Kongsi has been donating to Lasalle since 2007 when the school first moved into its McNally campus. These donations have included a Steinway grand piano and $6 million towards books, online databases, scholarships and bursaries.

St. Joseph’s Institution - International, Singapore

Excerpts from the Article:

On 26 August, 1850 students from both the Elementary School and High School and approximately 220 members of staff, gathered on our new upper field with the ES students in green, and the HS students in white, to form a dramatic, living symbol of our Lasallian identity in the shape of a huge Lasallian Star.

Click on the link for the full article: https://sji-international.com.sg/news/387

Excerpts from the Article:

SINGAPORE - Mr Rahman Sanip, 45, with Dr. S Chandrasekaran, 60, head of McNally School of Fine Arts at Lasalle College of the Arts. Mr Rahman, a former drug addict who developed his passion for art while he was in prison, is pursuing a fine arts diploma and hopes to be an art teacher or work as a display artist one day.

Source: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/school-is-a-draw-for-ex-convict-45-with-teachers-support

Mr Rahman Sanip

In a first-of-its-kind collaboration, artists and designers from LASALLE will work together with real estate developers to produce unique pieces of urban living art for condominium The M. Engaged in discussion since the developmental phase, the paintings, sculptures and interactive displays conceived by alumni of LASALLE will be well integrated into the complex once it completes in early 2024. The 522-unit property at Middle Road is near the arts and cultural precinct and is marketed to millennial families and entrepreneurs who are based at home.

“We believe this new approach will enhance life and community within the development. By involving the artists at the very start, it helps them to capture the spirit of the place better so that their artistic expressions can enliven the space in an authentic, organic manner," said Edmund Cheng, Deputy Chairman and Deputy Managing Director of Wing Tai Asia.

Read the full article

St. Joseph’s Institution - International, Singapore

Excerpts from the Article:

The 24th of August saw another wonderful opportunity for our community to come together through the Elementary School Lapathon 2019: Our Houses United In Service, in support of impoverished children attending the kindergartens and nurseries of the Lasallian schools in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

There was a tremendous sense of unity among all who attended and it was gratifying to see so many parents running (or walking!) with their children. A record $28,560.74 was raised which will go to support the meal programmes in the schools including the development of some of their libraries.

Click on the link for the full article: https://sji-international.com.sg/news/400

On 2020 July 4, the young Brothers newly assigned to Singapore for either Studies or Apostolic Training Community (ATC) met with Br. Kelvin Tan FSC, who facilitated via zoom an orientation about living in Singapore. It was followed by a Q&A session. (Text & Photo: Br. Antonio Cubillas FSC)