When was the last time you had fun?
I love fun and games. At our Christmas gathering in 2014, we played a guessing game to identify the person to whom the clipped photo of only the eyes belonged. It was fun as it was not easy to identify the person from her eyes alone.
Name an occasion you felt embarrassed/humiliated.
At one of my counselling sessions in school I felt drowsy and my pupil told me, “Sister, very soon you will fall off the chair.”
Name an occasion when you felt God was far away.
When my mother had a massive heart attack and the medical team was treating her I stormed heaven for her recovery, but after an hour my siblings and I were called into the consultation room to be told there was no hope.
What do you like best about being a Religious/consecrated person?
I have a community of Sisters for support and I love my mission in reaching out to my students past and present to share Christ’s love with them.
What was one of the biggest challenges you have faced as a Religious and how did you deal with it?
My biggest challenge was to be sent abroad for mission in Bolivia living in Potosi, the highest city in the world, and I had to contend with high altitude which caused very bad headaches and to learn and communicate in a foreign language, Spanish. I was not afraid to be laughed at so I learned very fast and told my Spanish friends to not only laugh at my mistakes but to correct them.
How would you make vocations attractive to the youth of today?
Be a happy Religious and be welcoming and take an interest in the way young people see life.
What aspect of Religious life has brought you most joy?
Community life. Being in the company of the young and elderly and bringing joy to them.
How would you summarise your life today as a Religious/consecrated person?
I am happy and am ever ready, like Mary, to say my fiat and to serve the IJ province and other ministries.
What are the usual distractions in your prayer? What do you do about them?
My preoccupations, especially when I hear of tragedies of other people. Usually I speak of them to the Lord and ask Him for light to look after the bereaved or injured persons.
Pope Francis calls for a Church for the poor, by the poor. How do you live that within your vocation?
I have always asked for slow learners in my class. I practise patience with them and I must say I reap rewards later in life when these students come back to share their work life. I spent 12 years with the materially poor in Potosi in a cold mountain environment.
What do you like doing most when with your biological family?
Share news, pleasant and not pleasant, go for outings together and eat our favourite food, which my siblings can cook and I cannot.
What do you usually do to relax?
I read, listen to music and play board games. I also play spider solitaire.
Singaporean Sr Joan Tay
Sisters of the Infant Jesus