'Share your big heart with many others'

About

‘Take your love out of the freezer and share your big heart with many others!’ These words jolted me out of my daily routine. 

They were spoken in 1979 by my younger sister who was a young, temporary professed Good Shepherd Sister. She told me stories of the mission of the congregation and I felt moved within me. 

In Good Shepherd

In these 30 years, I have worked in various ministries of the Good Shepherd, including being a missionary in the Czech Republic for eight years.

As a trained counsellor, my ministries were mostly in accompanying women, teenagers and children who were excluded or living in poverty or in abused situations – welcoming them in an environment with the possibility of a second chance in life, doing ordinary activities with them, being with them during difficult moments and seeing them grow to be more hopeful and positive about their lives.

The Challenges

I am by nature timid and shy. However, when I saw the needs of those in our ministries I felt compelled to grow out of my shell.  Slowly, I learnt to be more self-confident and to find resources with the help of others so as to be creative in my approach to help those in our shelters.  Even though I still feel fearful at times, I am more able to step out of my comfort zone so as to be more effective in responding to the needs.   

I believe that God is moulding me to grow through the challenges. I have experienced how God has provided for me in my limitations, with the right people at the right time. I always remember the words of my mother, who is a faith-filled woman, “Don’t wallow in difficulties.”  Such faith, values and principles drawn from my family, enable me to pick myself up and move on in the face of challenges.

The foundress of the Good Shepherd Sisters, St Mary Euphrasia Pelletier, was influenced by the example of her parents helping the poor and needy.

I saw my parents helping three children to have an education even though we were poor ourselves. They brought many other youngsters and elderly into our house to stay temporarily or have a meal.  My father said to us, “If we all eat one spoonful less of rice, we can feed someone who has nothing to eat.” And so it was that our home always had “room for one more”.  

The Inspiration

My call to Good Shepherd Religious life is to follow Jesus who has called me to continue “His redemptive mission in the Church” (Constitution of the Good Shepherd Sisters, Article 2). Everywhere He went, He touched lives.

I need to be awakened to the presence and love of God within me so as to listen more attentively to the call of the Spirit daily. Religious life is about turning towards God and letting God change my heart to be more compassionate to the needs of others. I am called as a Religious for others, not for myself, with the aim of making a positive difference in the lives of all whom I have the opportunity to meet.

I sometimes use art to express my prayer experiences. My best works are usually created during my annual retreat and on special days like my renewal of vows.

I use clay moulding and drawing (with crayons and watercolours) in my counselling and prayer accompaniment sessions. They are helpful for people to express what’s on their minds and in their hearts. 

Often, programme participants tell me that they have not done clay moulding before. You can see that they are anxious, yet excited at the same time. When they hold the clay in their hands, they automatically begin to squeeze it, squash it, roll it, or flatten it. Gradually they begin to feel very comfortable with the lump of clay and you begin to see a shape forming. The completed piece expresses their feelings in a non-verbal way.

I would add that for me, art includes many various forms. Cooking for me is also a form of art, as is the way we plate and present the food.

Based on interview by Catholic News Singapore 3 May 2015

 

Click here for full article - Interview by Catholic News Singapore 3 May 2015

 

Projects

Learning English in an International Community

Learning English in an International Community

On 5th June 2017 participants gathered at Restful Waters, Singapore for an English language programme, which also offered time-out to learn and refresh the Spirit

Bringing life-giving water to Padaviya, Sri Lanka

Bringing life-giving water to Padaviya, Sri Lanka

The Good Shepherd Mission Team in Singapore describe the steep learning curve they travelled in enabling a community in Padaviya, Sri Lanka to have new healthy water systems

Grant Proposal Writing & Presentation workshops

Grant Proposal Writing & Presentation workshops

Good Shepherd Mission Partners gathered in Singapore from 8 countries to participate in dynamic training workshops in Grant Proposal Writing and Presentation

Love Beyond Borders - from Angola to Singapore

Love Beyond Borders - from Angola to Singapore

From 27 December 2015 to 9 February 2016 a group of 17 Good Shepherd sisters from Angola-Mozambique visited Singapore for an English language immersion experience - and more

Report from the Asia Pacific Partnership Team

Report from the Asia Pacific Partnership Team

Comprehensive overview from the GSAPP team - how Good Shepherd Partnership for Mission is developing in this region

Story of Good Shepherd Beyond Borders

Story of Good Shepherd Beyond Borders

From 7-11 November 2014, 18 Mission Partners from Singapore-Malaysia visited Myanmar - a Good Shepherd Beyond Borders experience

Congregational Spirituality Team meets

Congregational Spirituality Team meets

Caroline Price and Jane Ng represented Asia Pacific in a Congregational Spirituality meeting in Angers France in May 2014