“Hymn To Father Barré” [CHIJ ‘Share The Love’ CD 2002-05-22 #13]

Vocals: CHIJ Secondary (Toa Payoh) Choir & Basia Sabbat
Producer & Vocal Director: Trevor Nerva. Arranger: Kenneth Ngo
Music & Lyrics: Authorship unknown [Download link below]
Album Art: Stephanie Chu (CHIJ Secondary Toa Payoh). Publisher: CHIJ Schools Singapore

(You may use this song for non-profit educational or church purposes but please include the above credits in all printed & digital media. Thank you.)

Born in Amiens in 1621 and educated at a Jesuit college in his home town, Father Nicolas Barré decided to dedicate his life to God at the age of 18. Seeing the disparity between education for the rich and the neglectd condition of the poor, especially girls and women in French society, he was inspired to establish an order whose specific objective was to educate the girls of poor families.

In 1662, Father Barré set up a girls’ school in the village of Sotteville near Rouen with the aid of some pious women and Antoine de la Haye, the parish priest of Saint-Amand in Rouen. Over the next four years, several more schools were set up in and around Rouen.

In 1666, Father Barré realized the need for a community and a rule of life for the sisters to counteract rising opposition from the other ‘writing masters’ or teachers of that time. He began a new religious congregation – Les Soueurs Maitresses des Ecoles Charitables du Saint-Enfant Jesus. As membership increased, the schools – ‘Charitable Christian Schools of the Holy Infant Jesus’, ‘The Little Schools’ or ‘The Schools of Providence’ – multiplied. In Paris, he named his schools simply ‘Schools of the Holy Infant Jesus’. In 1678, he founded a Novitiate for the sisters on the Seine. However, in May 1686, his health declined and on 31st May, Father Barré’s soul returned to its maker.

On 5th February 1854, Mother St Mathilde and 3 Sisters, from the Order of the Dames de St Maur (as the sisters were then popularly known), arrived in Singapore. Within a few days of their arrival, the Sisters opened a school at the corner of Bras Basah Road and Victoria Street, which was later to be known as the “Town Convent”, owing to its location at the heart of the city. This was the first of 11 Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (CHIJ) schools to be established in Singapore.

On 7th March 1999, Nicolas Barré was beatified in Rome by Pope John Paul II in a ceremony that was the apex of 3 days spent in prayerful rejoicing.



De vos enfants exaucez la priere
Veillez sur nous O Saint Pere Barré
Choisissez-vous un essaim d’ouvriere
Par le Seigneur a votre attiree
Dans L’Institut conservez d’age en age
Un zele ardent, L’humilite, la foi
Le pur amour, la force et le courage
Pour observer a jamais votre loi (2)

O hear our prayer, most holy Father Barré
We are your children, watch o’er us we pray
Touch many hearts to follow in your footsteps
To dedicate their lives to youth and poor
Drawn by the Lord to make Christ known and loved
Fill us with zeal, humility and faith
Pure love and strength and courage without fear
To keep your Spirit alive in our hearts (2)

01 Hold On To Our Dream (Paula Grosse, Michelle Tham & CHIJ Schools Combined Choir)
02 Tune In To God (Trevor Nerva)
03 Caritas, Share The Love (CHIJ Secondary Toa Payoh Choir featuring Valerie Oliveiro & Lim Hui Min)
04 Vessels Of Your Love (CHIJ Primary Toa Payoh Choir featuring Al-Olympia Teh & Christine Fernando)
05 Walk On The Water (Trevor Nerva)
06 These Hands He Made (Pamela Tan, Kimberley & Tania Ahchak, Rebecca & Naomi Goh – CHIJ OLGC; Alyssa Dhaliwal – CHIJ Pri. TP; Gayle Nerva – CHIJ Sec. TP; Yvonne Chen – CHIJ SJC & Julie Sim)
07 One Family (CHIJ Katong Convent Secondary Choir featuring Soo You-Mei & Izyan Mellyna)
08 Anno Domini (Trevor Nerva & Pamela Yeo – CHIJ Sec. TP)
09 The Path To Your Door (Paula Grosse & Wendy Chua)
10 Children Of The Night (Monica Paglar-Sayson – vocals; Jeff Lam – guitars; Caleb Khor – keyboard & Soh Wenming – drums)
11 Coming Home (Gayle Nerva – CHIJ Sec. TP, Julie Sim, Yvonne Chen – CHIJ SJC & Wendy Chua)
12 Angels’ Serenade (Trevor Nerva, Dean Borries, Basia Sabbat & Lim Hui Min)
13 Hymn To Father Barré (CHIJ Secondary Toa Payoh Choir & Basia Sabbat)
14 Walk In Love (CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ Primary Choir feat. Rebecca Fung, Krislyn Ng, Priscilla Lim, Krystal Jade Butler, Joelle Tan, Ashna Goh, Michelle Kris Chew, Ling Chai Yue, Thai Jiin Shuian & Chua Yong Zhen)
15 Prayer Of Abandonment (Trevor Nerva)
16 Hold On To Our Dream (Reprise) (CHIJ Schools Combined Choir)


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