Members of the team seen here with the fabric to be used for the vestments (from left): Sr Mary Chua (in charge of adminstration), Ms Mary Chia, Ms Annie Keat, Sr Maria Doan Thi Thieu Huong, Ms Tan Lay Hua, Ms Dorothy Tan and Sr Teresa Lee.Members of the team seen here with the fabric to be used for the vestments (from left): Sr Mary Chua (in charge of adminstration), Ms Mary Chia, Ms Annie Keat, Sr Maria Doan Thi Thieu Huong, Ms Tan Lay Hua, Ms Dorothy Tan and Sr Teresa Lee.

FMM team making stoles, vestments and mitres for Msgr William Goh’s episcopal ordination


A team of nuns and lay people are now busy making stoles, vestments and mitres for Coadjutor Archbishop-elect William Goh’s episcopal ordination on Feb 22.

“We will be making 200 stoles [for priests and bishops], 20 vestments [for bishops] and four mitres [for the consecrating bishops and the coadjutor archbishop], all in matching design for this important occasion,” said Sr Teresa Lee, a Franciscan Missionaries of Mary nun, who is in charge of the project.

A stole is a long, narrow strip of cloth which a priest or bishop wears around his neck when celebrating Mass. The mitre is the ceremonial headgear worn by bishops.

“When we were asked to make these vestments, we were excited and happy at the privilege to serve the Church and our bishop-elect, just like how we felt when we made vestments for Pope John Paul II when he came to visit Singapore” in 1986, said the nun.

The team making the ceremonial garb comprise four full-time lay staff working for the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (FMM) and three FMM nuns.

They are staff of the FMM’s Atelier workroom at Holland Road, which produce priests’ vestments throughout Singapore.

Msgr Goh’s vestments will be of pure silk with printed gold motifs and crosses, said Sr Lee. The other stoles, vestments and mitres are made to match Msgr Goh’s vestments and mitre.

“I drew inspiration for the design of the vestments by the grace of God and with the help of Fr Ignatius Yeo,” chairman of the Archdiocesan Liturgy Commission, said Sr Lee.

“We decided to use silk as an inculturation of our Asian roots and the fabric is also a source of reference for my inspiration,” she added.

The oldest member of the team, 87-year-old Sr Anastasie Hao from Inner Mongolia, told CatholicNews, “My passion is for embroidery handwork and I enjoy making intricate designs for the vestments.”

She has been working in the Atelier since it started in 1954.

The team, which works a full five-day week, expects to complete their task “by mid-February”, said Sr Lee.

By Martin See
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