Ninety-nine members from the Association of Lay Canossians gathered together with the Canossian Sisters to celebrate the Feast Day of Our Lady of Sorrows on Sept 12.
The celebration marked the 50th anniversary of the the association in Singapore. Several lay Canossians from Hong Kong and Malaysia were also present.
The celebration, which took place at the Canossian Provincialate at Jalan Merbok, started with an address by Sr Theresa Seow, the provincial leader of the Canossian Sisters. She congratulated the lay Canossians for their growth in Singapore, Myanmar and Fujian, China.
“The number of lay Canossians in the world is even bigger than that of the Canossian Sisters; we should be proud and thank God for the gift of charism to make Jesus known so that He will be loved,” said Sr Theresa.
She suggested that lay Canossians take time to reflect on how they wanted to move forward in sharing the Canossian charism with others.
Sr Margaret Syn shared her experience in journeying with the group upon her return from Rome in 1973.
She reminded the lay Canossians that they were not to be tied to the Canossian Sisters but to instead work with them, especially in places where the Sisters could not reach.
Sr Elizabeth Sim, Sister Animator for the association, thanked God for the 50 years of privileged fidelity to lay Canossians in Singapore and their passionate commitment to Him through involvement in their various ministries and missions.
She also invited lay Canossians to challenge their concepts and boundaries to live out the Canossian charism.
Msgr Ambrose Vaz then celebrated Mass for those gathered. In his homily, he said participants should see how Mother Mary stood by her Son in His suffering, and how they too should be challenged to stand by the Lord.
On the same day, four new members were enrolled into the Association of Lay Canossians and as members of the Sodality of Our Lady of Sorrows.
History of the Lay Canossians
The Lay Canossians in Singapore started back in 1965 when Sr Natalia Tasca, an Italian nun, gathered a small group of six members to work with her. The Association of Lay Canossians comprise the following groups:
• Consecrated Lay Canossians
• Canossian Oblates
• Canossian Lay Missionaries
• Lay Canossians Singapore and Myanmar
• Sodality of Our Lady of Sorrows
• Canossian Co-workers
• Canossian Educators