Archbishop William Goh said that the work of the Good Shepherd Sisters have opened people to see and receive the grace of God.
The archbishop was speaking at a thanksgiving Mass on Nov 22 organised by the Good Shepherd Sisters to mark the closure of their convent in Marymount.
About 800 people including the Sisters’ lay collaborators, alumni of Marymount Convent and fellow Religious filled the chapel that evening.
Highlighting the various ministries of the Sisters throughout the years, Archbishop Goh said that he is “edified” by their works. He said that the Sisters have shown “that people can believe that even in their so called disadvantaged situations, even though they are suffering, there is love”.
Archbishop Goh also noted in his homily that while there is “attachment” to the grounds of Marymount, “life must move on because the Lord has opened up new opportunities”. “Therefore the Lord is pushing us out of our comfort zone to another area where the Lord has a plan for each one of us,” he said.
The Mass also saw the 25 Good Shepherd Sisters and three auxiliary Sisters renew their vows in the presence of Archbishop Goh. They also sang the Aspirations of St Mary Euphrasia, the founder of the congregation.
Lay partners share their thoughts
In a message of appreciation just before the end of the Mass, lay mission partner Cecilia Ee said the land acquisition was saddening, “but with prayers, support and faith, we began planning and working towards new beginnings and shifting to a new location”.
The convent is familiar ground to Madam Jane Marie Ng who has spent her schooling years from kindergarten all the way to Secondary Four and who later was active in the Sisters’ mission.
“Of course I feel sad to give up this lovely place…but the move is a hope because we are able to build something from the ground according to the needs of the present and the future. So in a way, I guess we look for a silver lining in the cloud, and we just trust that God is moving us in new and better directions,” she said.
French-speaking community to move to St Joseph’s Church
The French-speaking community will be at St Joseph’s Church (Victoria Street) from Jan 12, and Masses will be held at noon every Sunday.
Mrs Isabelle Morin told CatholicNews that it is “breaking our hearts to leave” the comfortable grounds where the community had spent a lot of time in, but at the same time happy to have found another home where the community could gather.
Fr Ivan Ponsonnet, the community’s spiritual director, told CatholicNews that the community has been based in the convent grounds for more than 15 years. “We are very sad that we have to leave this place.”
Good Shepherd Place in Toa Payoh
The Good Shepherd Sisters hope to move to their new home at Lorong 8 Toa Payoh in March 2014.
A five-storey convent will house the Sisters with the facilities conducive for prayer and user-friendly for the sick and elderly Sisters. Another three-storey block would be used for the Ahuva Good Shepherd ministry which provides residential care, education support, and structured counselling.
Marymount Kindergarten, as well as other ministries such as the skills development training course for the foreign domestic workers Developing All Women in the New Era (DAWN) and the Marymount Charismatic Healing Ministry will also operate from the new premises.
By Darren Boon
Relate Link: History of the Good Shepherd Sisters in S’pore