SINGAPORE – The Good Shepherd Sisters will hold a Mass on Nov 21 to mark the closure of their convent in Marymount and to give thanks to God for His blessings and the people the nuns have encountered.
The Mass will be held at the Good Shepherd Convent Chapel, at 790 Thomson Road, at 6.30pm.
The land the convent sits on, leased for 99 years, is to be used to build the North-South Expressway. The Sisters have been at Marymount for 63 years.
“News of the acquisition of Marymount was distressing to the Good Shepherd Sisters and their mission partners, especially since it meant having to let go of a place that they had lived and worked in and had grown to love,” the Good Shepherd Sisters said in a statement to CatholicNews.
Although the Sisters felt pained by the news, they “searched for God’s will for them and opened themselves to where God wanted to lead them to”, the statement said. “In prayer and hope and through the support of many, they found courage and began to plan for their move to their fourth location and convent.”
The Sisters hope to relocate to their new premises, Good Shepherd Place in Lorong 8 Toa Payoh, in March 2014.
The first of the Good Shepherd Sisters arrived in Singapore in December 1939. They had previously occupied three convents before settling down at Marymount in 1950.
Over the years, the convent here has grown to offer many services.
These include the Rose Villa residential care for unwed mothers, the Good Shepherd Centre crisis shelter for women and children suffering from domestic abuse, the Good Shepherd Oasis retreat centre, and the Ahuva Good Shepherd Centre for girls from single-parent families and other challenging backgrounds.
A skills development training programme called DAWN (Developing All Women in the New Era) for domestic workers was also set up, providing training in basic English, baking, cooking, care-giving skills, handicrafts, computer skills, dressmaking and cosmetology.
Other activities at the convent include those of the Marymount Charismatic Healing Ministry, and the Roman Catholic Prison Ministry (RCPM) Intercessory Prayer Group which meets weekly in the Good Shepherd Sisters’ Oratory for prayer.
The Good Shepherd Sisters are inviting all well-wishers to be part of the thanksgiving Mass, which will be celebrated by Archbishop William Goh. If you wish to attend, please contact Sr Gerard (9109-8990) or Sr Julia (8233-3728) in advance for catering purposes, as refreshments will be served after the Mass.
By Darren Boon