This September, all schools in Macau have opened their doors to all levels of learners, resuming the normal way of in-person teaching abruptly interrupted by the pandemic. Moreover, this school year marks a new era for Colégio Diocesano de São José 2 (CDSJ 2) – English section because of its new location.
The newly refurbished building opened its doors to about 200 grade school students for the first time last September 1. The new building near the Church of St Lawrence has been built and furnished just a few months before this year’s school opening. One teacher said: “It’s just wonderful that the English section of CDSJ from Campus number 3 has now its own building, after waiting for some time. The moment the first children walked in was quite emotional. It was a long-held dream come true.”
CDSJ 2 English section held classes at CDSJ 3 for the past few years. The school’s acting chaplain, Fr Leonard Dollentas remarked: “The enthusiasm and passion that the CDSJ leadership, staff and teachers have shown has been tremendous. We are also grateful to the Diocese of Macau and the Diocesan Catholic Education Committee for their foresight and support for this new CDSJ 2 campus.”
On September 7 the school was blessed by Bishop Stephen Lee, bishop of Macau and supervisor of CDSJ 1-2-3-4. The blessing was preceded by the Mass of the Holy Spirit held at St Lawrence Church. The occasion was graced by the presence of some alumni and board members of the school and Leong Vai Kei deputy director of the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau of Macau. Concelebrants priests included the Very Rev. Cyril Law, chancellor of the Diocese Macau, Fr James Ryu jae Hyoung BMC, parish priest of St. Lawrence, and Fr James Change Woo Ho, BMC.
At the beginning of the Mass, the bishop exhorted the school community with words of encouragement. “As we begin this academic year, we face various uncertainties. In this Mass, we will ask the Holy Spirit to guide us and perhaps also to enlighten us to understand things, not only about things that we need to understand as students, but also his will for us. It is the Spirit that enlightens our minds and touches our hearts to recognize and remember the holy presence of God in our life.”
One meaningful part of the Mass was the Commitment Prayer of the teachers, administrators, and the support staff of the school. It was held before the final blessing. Gathered in front of the altar, they asked for God’s grace to conduct themselves in a manner that supports the Church’s mission in education. Catholic teachers promise to protect, practice, teach the Faith and remain in good standing with the Catholic Church. Non-Catholic teachers and administrators pledged to respect and protect the Faith and support and model behavior in accordance with the teachings of the Church.
After the Mass, the bishop blessed the school. The blessing is a reminder for the school community that God is always present within them.