“When i am on my death bed how glad i will be. For my lamp has burnt out just for thee.” – Sister Sister Mary Laetitiae Bool SINGAPORE – Good Shepherd Sister Mary Laetitiae Bool passed away on Tuesday Aug 26 after spending the last month in the Critical Care Unit of Mount Alvernia Hospital. She was 82. Her funeral Mass was concelebrated by Archbishop Nicholas Chia and 10 priests at the Good Shepherd Convent Chapel at Marymount on Aug 29.

Sister Mary had been suffering from sicknesses including diabetes, pneumonia and malfunctioning kidneys, but she had persisted in her work in the archdiocese, mainly with migrants based in Singapore. She was the one who started skills and development programmes for these migrants around the Marymount and Novena Church areas.

Sister Mary entered the Congregation of the Good shepherd in Los Angeles on Feb 8, 1956 and was professed on Sep 8, 1958.

After her final profession, Sister Mary worked in Indonesia for 12 years before coming to Singapore in 1982 to serve the various communities here. She began to reach out to the Filipina migrant workers and spent the last 16 years tirelessly trying to improve their situation here. Her skills and development programmes have seen countless women graduate yearly to serve professionally in their work with families.

Philippines Ambassador Belen Arnota and her husband who had lent their support to the events Sister Mary had planned for the Filipino migrant workers, attended the funeral Mass. Ambassador Vic Lecaros also came from Malaysia to pay his final respects. Both expressed their gratitude for the significant contribution of Sister Mary’s years of service to the Filipino domestic workers.

In community, Sister Mary spent her quiet moments making Infant Jesus and Our Lady’s rosaries. Towards the latter part of the 1990s, Sister Mary was instrumental in bringing in rosaries from Vietnam made by the Vietnamese faithful, and these were sent to the many missionaries in various parts of the Philippines for free distribution to the poor.

Her community had been preparing to celebrate her Golden Jubilee this year.

At the end of the funeral Mass, Sister Mary’s two cherished friends, Babes Conde and Cynthia Yim performed "He’s My Hero" which she had requested of them to perform at her planned jubilee celebrations. She had also written a verse that she had wanted printed on her invitation card: To behold him and be held in his presence.

A personal friend, Perlita, says an era ends for Sister Mary, "an icon of joy, love, peace, hard work and most of all, spiritual vigour… We will all miss her deeply and will cherish her memory. But her ultimate joy she is now experiencing is ours too." - By Joyce Gan

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