The CHIJ St Joseph’s Convent (SJC) family marked Thanksgiving on Nov 26, 2020 with a simple blessing of the school’s newly-minted grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes. Mindful of Covid-19 safety measures, representatives from the Infant Jesus (IJ) Board of Management, teachers, students, members of SJC’s alumnae and parents’ support group gathered at the school’s eco garden to witness the blessing of the grotto by Father Jovita Ho of St Anne’s Church, the parish to which SJC belongs.
After the blessing pf the grotto, Sister Maria Lau IJ, Provincial of the IJ Sisters, together with Ms Aruna Johnson, President of the SJC Alumnae, opened the Circle Room, which Fr Jovita also blessed. Across one of its walls is emblazoned the words: “Our family is a circle of strength and love, founded on faith and joined by love, kept by God, together forever.”
All students are welcome at the Circle Room, a place where they may catch up with friends over games and recreational activities, or for a spot of self-study in a fun, homely environment.
Everyone welcomed the presence of Our Lady. Student Councillor Jasmine Rienee said, “I believe the grotto is like our school’s new symbol of hope. To have a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes in a garden where we may rest and find peace reminds us that she is always with us, and that in times of need and chaos in our hectic schedules, we may always pray to her, and look to her for help and guidance.”
Religious Education teachers Mrs Susie Lee and Mrs Cindy Soon also shared, “Our Lady of Lourdes’ grotto is a reminder to all the students that faith is a gift of God, received as a seed in our baptism. May all in CHIJ St. Joseph’s Convent welcome the opportunities to live and deepen our faith and may it continue to lead us to give glory to God in everything we do.”
And Ms Kathleen Ang, an alumnus, added, “This grotto is a physical reminder of the Memorare we recite each morning, that Mary our Mother will always be present for us regardless of the situation we are in, and will never leave us unaided. When the students arrive in school [in 2021], I hope that this serene grotto will be an invitation for them to turn to our Blessed Virgin Mary when they are in need of comfort, security and love.”
Contributed by CHIJ St Joseph’s Convent