Friar Michael D’Cruz blessing the new Maris Stella Convent.Friar Michael D’Cruz blessing the new Maris Stella Convent.
The new Franciscan Missionaries of Mary convent, with its elderly-friendly features, is a real blessing to the congregation’s many elderly Sisters, the nuns say.

Sr Anastastie Hao, an elderly Sister, said that while she is able to climb the stairs in the new Maris Stella Convent located on Holland Road, she now has the option of using the lift when she has things to carry.

Other elderly nuns Sr Kiang and Sr Ferng also gave the thumbs up for the new building, which stands on the site of the former 100-year-old convent.

The new building’s elderly-friendly features include more level flooring, hand grips, showers for the handicapped and a lift.

There are more than 20 rooms including a few infirmaries.

The convent also tries to be as eco-friendly as possible with the use of energy saving lights and natural lights and ventilation.

The new two-storey building with an attic is joined to an existing building block which had undergone renovation. Considerations were taken to ensure that both buildings would integrate seamlessly.

Franciscan Friar Michael D’Cruz blessed the new building on Jan 6.

“I am very happy and I thank God for this new house,” said Sr Teresa Lim.

She said the ageing Sisters can now live out their golden years comfortably after so many years of missionary work.

“This is not just a building. This is a home for us. I’m so happy to see the older Sisters settling in,” said FMM provincial Sr Mary Soh.

The Sisters told CatholicNews of numerous incidents of generosity they experienced.

Sr Mary recounted how a non-Catholic came to the convent to make a donation after learning about the construction of the building.

Sr Teresa added that a man even donated half of his first month’s pay to the building cost, estimated at $4.5 million.

The Sisters have almost raised the full amount.

According to Sr Marjorie Almodiel, chairperson of the fundraising committee, the nuns will now focus on furnishing the convent and hopefully purchase a van that is elderly friendly as the present one is rather old.

By Darren Boon
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