Archbishop Nicholas Chia, together with Sr Mary Treslin (left), head of the Missionaries of Charity’s Gift of Love Home, and regional superior Sr John Vianny, cutting a cake to celebrate the new facility for the needy.
The Missionaries of Charity’s (MC) Gift of Love Home relocated from the Marymount area to Boon Lay in early February.
Archbishop Nicholas Chia blessed the home during a Mass on Feb 18. The new facility, which currently houses 30 residents, can accommodate up to 50.
Sr Mary Treslin, the superior and head of the home, said the home plans to increase the number of residents, who are mostly referred by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) through social workers’ recommendations.
She said she is happy with the bigger premises and is grateful to volunteers for making the move a smooth one.
With the move, the Sisters have had to discontinue their work with the poor in the Toa Payoh, Ang Mo Kio and Sin Ming areas. They had visited needy families there and provided them with food.
While the nuns find it sad to leave areas they had served in for years, Sr Treslin said the they will now focus their efforts and “give priority” to Jurong residents, many of whom are in need.
While some of the home’s residents have embraced their new premises with joy, others are still adjusting to the new environment, said Sr Treslin.
“The atmosphere is different,” said Mr Teo, a resident.
He told CatholicNews that the residents used to sleep in one big room in the previous home, but with the move, they are now spread out across smaller rooms.
He was also concerned that some of his friends may find it more difficult to visit him as the new home is less conveniently located than the previous one.
Nevertheless, he said he is grateful for the bigger space and the better facilities the new home offers.
Benefactors have donated new furniture to the home, which also has a kitchen fitted to commercial standards.
Another resident, Ms Rita Chew, said she likes the new home as it is nicer and bigger.
Although its location is less accessible than the previous one, volunteers are still quite happy to come and serve here, said Sr Treslin.
She noted that two parishioners from the nearby Church of St Francis of Assisi have signed up as volunteers after the parish put out an appeal.
The nun has also appealed to people in the Jurong/Boon Lay and western areas to volunteer at the home.
One regular volunteer, Ms Maureen Lim, who lives in Serangoon, said that getting to the new home is now a bit of a challenge for her. Nevertheless, she sees it as doing “God’s work”.
CatholicNews understands that MCYS sourced for the new premises and also paid for most of the renovations.
The new Gift of Love Home is at 35 Boon Lay Avenue, Singapore 659962, opposite the Church of St Francis of Assisi. The home can be contacted at 6898 1090.
By Darren Boon