When was the last time you had fun? Name the occasion.
At the 2014 year-end dinner and dance for Mt Alvernia Hospital staff. One of the items we had to do was something like Zumba! I found my hands and legs going in the opposite direction of everyone else’s.
Name an occasion you felt embarrassed/humiliated.
One of the Members of Parliament paid a visit to the hospital during Christmas. As we talked about babies delivered, I said we had 6,000+ babies last month. When I saw the reaction on his face, I knew I said something stupid. I meant for the year!
Name an occasion when you felt God was far away.
Many years ago when my father was sick for a short while and died. Because of the system in Religious life at that time, I wasn’t allowed to visit him. My belief that God will look after my family was shattered.
What has sustained your life as a Religious, especially in the face of challenges/changes?
In the face of challenges/changes, God’s help in my life comes in different forms. Faith is so important. With that as an anchor, I depend on His strength, courage, trust, listening to His word.
What was one of the biggest challenges in your Religious life?
I was appointed to a large community, the majority of whom I had not lived with before. Ages and personalities varied. I was going into a completely new ministry to say the least. I made a retreat and prayed a lot before I went. I had encouraging dreams! God rewarded me when I got there, and they were very happy years.
What are the usual distractions during your prayer time? What do you do about them?
Usually it’s my work plans and worries. Needless to say, once I become aware I stop and listen to what God is telling me and leave everything in His hands. This happens often until I use my heart instead of my head!
Pope Francis calls for a Church for the poor, by the poor. How do you live that within your vocation?
I see the poor not necessarily as materially poor. There are poor in different ways. People who need time and understanding need our time to care, listen and understand. To really make a difference in the lives of those around us.
In my ministry as an FMDM presence in the hospital, I communicate with the staff and those who come through our doors. Some are happy, others distressed or anxious. I try to give time to them and put them at ease. Give help where needed. Let the migrant workers on site feel appreciated. A smile goes a long way!
What do you like doing most when with your biological family?
Mainly it’s my nephews, niece and their children. We get together for a meal, talk and laugh about their lives, visit cousins and go shopping.
I like Indian and Western food. Desserts are favourites – kesari and caramel brûlée.
What do you normally do to relax?
Have coffee with a friend in a café and chat. Enjoy walks in lovely parks and gardens. Go window shopping sometimes.
Singporean Sr Thomasina
Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood