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Catholic group promotes 'Jesus-like' leadership in Singapore

Catholic Leadership Center aims to produce 'vibrant, evangelizing and missionary leaders'

UCA News reporter, Singapore

UCA News reporter, Singapore

Published: April 06, 2021 04:23 AM GMT

Updated: April 06, 2021 04:34 AM GMT

Catholic group promotes 'Jesus-like' leadership in Singapore

Catholic Leadership Center (CLC) board members attend a recent meeting (Photo: CLC)

The Catholic Leadership Center (CLC), a newly formed organization of the Archdiocese of Singapore, aims to promote lay leadership based on Jesus’ model of “servant leadership” to offer dedicated services with humanity to the community and society.

The CLC, based in Highland Road in the city-state, started its journey in February with an aim of forming and training Catholic leaders in Singapore.

“To build a vibrant, evangelizing and missionary Church, we need vibrant, evangelizing and missionary leaders. That was one of the primary motivations for the genesis of the CLC,” said Gerard Lee, chairman of the CLC, reported Catholic News.

“We want to ignite the hearts of lay Catholic leaders and nurture them with the necessary formation and skills to lead and act as a catalyst to those under their care, helping their parish priests unite the Body of Christ to make disciples and build the Kingdom of God in society.” 

Since its inception, the CLC has engaged with church groups and bodies including parish pastoral councils and their executive committees, core teams of ministries in the parish, small Christian communities (SCCs), leaders in other archdiocesan organizations, and leaders at various levels of the Catholic Church.

The CLC also consults parish priests on organizational leadership matters so that the parish is better enabled for mission. These include situational audits, strategic planning and goal setting, putting together a strong leadership support structure, governance and pastoral administration.

Father Valerian Cheong, the CLC’s spiritual director, described the group as a timely effort to promote Catholic leadership to contribute to the Church and cooperate with priests in serving ecclesial communities better.

“This is a very positive step in promoting the mission of the lay faithful in Singapore,” Father Cheong said.

Already, the CLC has laid out a plan and started executing training and workshops for young lay leaders that seek to help them “to rediscover identity in Christ and intimacy with Christ, in imitation of Christ, integrating interior and exterior life, and living a life of integrity.”

It also aims to equip lay leaders with the practical skills and knowledge required in different roles, “to inspire, dialogue, discern and organize the community to realize the Church’s vision and mission together.”

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The CLC has developed three training modules — "A Leaders’ Spirituality,” a week-long retreat module titled “At the Feet of the Good Shepherd,” and a holistic servant leadership module for “Lead Like Jesus.”

The latter is a foundational module based on servant leadership that seeks to explore four dimensions of leading like Jesus: Heart — intention and motivation of a leader; Head — beliefs about leadership and motivation; Hands — methods and behavior of a leader; and Habits — "being" habits (Scripture, solitude, support) and "doing" habits (offering grace, forgiveness, encouragement and community).

Singapore, with a population of about 5.6 million, is a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country. Most Chinese are Buddhists and most Malays are Muslims. Christians comprise about 15 percent of the population.

The Archdiocese of Singapore has 360,000 Catholics spread across 32 parishes.

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