Catechesis in the Archdiocese of Singapore: A multiple case study of emerging forms

Erbin Fernandez, Fordham University


The pontificates of both Paul VI and John Paul II witnessed an increased emphasis on the need for a New Evangelization. The task of catechesis was now understood as being part of the dynamic process of Evangelization. In this study three movements that are actively engaged in Evangelization in the Archdiocese of Singapore were chosen to investigate the catechetical processes present in their communal life. They were the Small Christian Communities (SCC), the Earthen Vessels Covenant Community (EVCC) and the Neo-Catechumenal Way (NC Way). Two sites were chosen for each community with two key interviews from each site. Prior to the site visit the researcher had sent out open-ended questionnaires. This was followed through with videotaping and observation of sessions, sketches of the site and random interviews with participants. The religious education models proposed by Harold Burgess were used to analyze the catechetical processes within these three movements. The collected data was collated and analyzed according to Burgess’s six categories of aim, content, teacher, learner, environment and evaluation. The study discovered that adherents of the three movements were experiencing an appreciation for prayer and the scriptures, a return to sacramental life and the restoration of family life. According to the first two categories of aim and content it was discovered that all three movements aimed at forming effective Christian witnesses through a regular study of the Word. However the method of formation varied between the three movements as discovered through the interplay of the categories of teacher, student and environment. From these findings the study concludes that such factors as a vibrant communal life, visionary leadership, integration of faith and life, strong teacher-learner bonds, the engagement of the freedom of the learner, and the consistent use of the scriptures have been integral to creating effective catechetical processes within these three movements. The study recommends a closer networking between policy makers in the Archdiocese and the three movements so that Catechetical programs in the parishes may be enriched through the resources these movements have to offer.

Subject Area

Religion|Theology|Religious education

Recommended Citation

Fernandez, Erbin, "Catechesis in the Archdiocese of Singapore: A multiple case study of emerging forms" (2007). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3298792.