A JOYOUS MOOD embraced the start of the new year at Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour on Jan 1 as family members and friends of four Canossian sisters gathered to celebrate their jubilees. Sisters Anna Ong, Mary Siluvainathan and Mary Tan were celebrating their golden jubilees, and Sister Theresa Seow her silver jubilee.
Families of the four nuns, proud of one of their own in lifelong service to the Lord, had members coming from places far and wide, to attend this milestone anniversary of their loved one.
One such person was Angeline Yeo, a younger sister of Sister Mary Tan. Ms Yeo braved bad weather in Chicago, where she is based, and a 70-hour journey, which included a 24-hour ?ight delay in Los Angeles, to come to Singapore to join in the celebration.
“It’s such a great honour to have my own sister as a nun for 50 years,” she told The CatholicNews, her views echoing the sentiments of the many proud family members in attendance.
Twenty priests joined Archbishop Nicholas Chia in the celebration of the Mass which attracted about 700 members of the congregation. Spotted at the Mass were Venerable K. Gunaratana of the Mahakaruna Buddhist Society and other members of the Inter-Religious Organisation, Singapore.
In his homily, Archbishop Nicholas Chia highlighted several points in Pope Benedict XVI’s message for the World Day of Peace, which focused on the theme of “Fighting Poverty to Build Peace”. Drawing from the pope’s re?ection, Archbishop Chia reminded the congregation of Pope Paul VI’s observation that “the new name for peace is development”.
“What the ?ght against poverty really needs are men and women who live in a profoundly fraternal way and are able to accompany individuals, families and communities on journeys of authentic human development,” quoted Archbishop Chia. He then praised the four Canossian sisters.
“They are giving of themselves to bring about peace in our society and the world. They live the life of poverty and are detached, showing by way of example, not to be materialistic,” said Archbishop Chia.
“Through their vow of chastity, they show that things of the world are not to be counted, and instead consecrate themselves to God and to others,” he continued.
“Their vow of obedience shows that they are not egoistic, but do things for the Lord.”
“Peace is the result of Mary’s ‘yes’ to God, which has brought the Prince of Peace to the world,” concluded Archbishop Chia in a reminder that Jan 1 was also the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. - Daniel Tay, TheCatholicNews