Canossian nuns and lay Canossians pose for a photo after the Sept 14 conference held at St Joseph’s Home.Canossian nuns and lay Canossians pose for a photo after the Sept 14 conference held at St Joseph’s Home.

Some 70 lay Canossians attended a special conference recently to network and explore possible areas of growth and collaboration.

The objective of the Conference of the Association of Lay Canossians (ALC) “is to bring the Canossians together to one identity and help to understand where we are”, Sr Theresa Seow told the group, which comprised people in their 30s to 80s.

Apart from the lay Canossians, more than 20 Canossian nuns from Singapore, Malaysia and Timor Leste, together with a postulant who was a lay Canossian in Myanmar, also attended the conference.

The event was held at St Joseph’s Home at Jurong Road on Sept 14.

The lay Canossians are the “extended arms” of the Canossian Sisters’ community. They comprise the Canossian Lay Missionaries (CLM), Consecrated Lay Canossians (CLC), Lay Canossians (LC), Canossian Oblates, and Sodality of our Lady of Sorrows (SOLOS).

During the conference, Sr Marilyn Lim spoke on Humility in Charity, the theme of the event. She quoted Pope Pius XI on the charity of St Magdalene of Canossa, founder of the Canossian Religious congregation: “Never fail to descend to the most humble and to share with them not only the material goods of life, but life itself.’’

Another speaker, Sr Rosalia Yeo touched on the suffering life of Mary. People can connect their sufferings with Mary’s and draw strength from her, she said.

Sr Elizabeth Sim, National Sister Animator to the ALC, set out the vision ahead for the lay Canossians: to prayerfully keep God in the centre of their lives, compassionately manifest God’s love in the world, and creatively use technology for evangelisation.

Archbishop William Goh then celebrated a Mass for participants. In his homily, he expressed his deep appreciation to the nuns and their team for taking care of the sick and aged, and attending to their needs.

A special enrolment ceremony was also held during the Mass in which nine Canossian Oblates, three Lay Canossians and one Sodality of Our Lady of Sorrows member were welcomed into the lay Canossian family.

By Cecilia Chin and Martina Ho


  • The Sodality of Our Lady of Sorrows was established on April 10, 1908, and celebrated its 100th anniversary in September 2008.
  • The Canossian Lay Missionaries started in 1965 with Project Africa. Their mission has extended to serving street children, people living in the slums in the Philippines, Chinese refugees in Italy, an “untouchable” community in South India, and refugee camps in Malaysia.
  • The Lay Canossians, also started in 1965, strive to deepen and live their faith through cultivating a humble and joyous lifestyle dedicating time, energy and resources to the service of others. They are involved in parish ministries and outreach to the deprived in society.
  • The Consecrated Lay Canossians started in 1986 and aim to live the Canossian charism and spirit wherever they are. They profess the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience.
  • The Canossian Oblates are residents in St Joseph’s Home. They offer their sufferings and prayers for the Canossian Sisters.

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