It was a joyous occasion on May 27 as Canossian Sr Vittorina Lamperti celebrated her 100th birthday at St Joseph’s Home.
Forty-four Canossian nuns from Singapore and Malaysia, three priests, residents and staff of the home, volunteers and friends attended the event.
Among them were seven of the Italian nun’s “boys” whom she loved and cared for when they were little orphans, after the Second World War.
They were housed and boarded at Canossa Convent way back in 1948, and have since grown up to be husbands and fathers.
For the celebration, a special birthday cake was made for Sr Vittorina, who has been suffering from bronchitis for the past two months.
During the Mass to mark the occasion, Franciscan Friar Julian Mariaratnam described Sr Vittorina as a deeply spiritual person with a great longing to be united with God.
Sr Vittorina was born in Parabiago, Italy, in 1916, the youngest of eight children.
At the age of eighteen, she joined the convent at Vimercate, Italy. After six months in the novitiate, she was sent to Welwyn Garden City in England to teach kindergarten children. She made her first profession there in 1938.
She also studied at a school called Mater Dei for her teacher’s training. She had a very hard life in England as the Religious community there was very poor.
At this time too, war broke out. After the war ended, she was sent to Singapore. From then on, she worked both in Kluang and Singapore.
She taught in Canossa Convent Primary School and was in charge of the boys at the home there. After about a year away in Italy, because of her sister’s illness, she returned and taught in the parish kindergarten at the Church of St Francis of Assisi.
The pupils she taught and boarders she took care of still remember her fondly, and some continue to visit her.
Contributed by SR MARIE DE ROZA, FDCC. Additional information: http://www.canossians-sg.org/