It was through Sr. Mercy Daniel that I first came into contact with the Good Shepherd Sisters. That was 17 years ago. She was giving a session to the catechism teachers at my parish. I had attended many vocation camps with other congregations but had never heard of the Good Shepherd Sisters.
Out of curiosity, I decided to volunteer at the crisis centre now known as the Rose Virginie Good Shepherd Centre. I knew that as a volunteer I would not be able to do anything much, but I always held on to the words of Mother Teresa, “Do small things with great love.” After a while, I started to enjoy spending time with the ladies at the centre. Little did they know that I was learning so much from them! I never imagined that through the years, I would become a part of something very much bigger.
The opportunity to get to know the Good Shepherd Congregation, and what made them different, came when I was employed as a kindergarten teacher at Mariaville Kindergarten by Sr. Patricia Lim. I have to admit that where I had worked previously, there was no vision to begin with. I did not know where the organisation was heading, nor was there a sense of mission. However, during the past eight years at Mariaville, I have grown to understand that teaching children is part of my mission.
A very personal and striking thing that I want to share is dinner time with my husband. We would sit down at the dinner table and I would share with him the little “happenings” in my classroom. This routine has become such an important part of our lives, so much so that if I kept quiet, my husband would ask, “What did the children do today?” Whenever I share with him about the children, I realise how much they mean to me. What makes this place different from the previous kindergarten? Actually, I know the answer. I’m not just working and waiting for my pay cheque every month; I can somehow feel the Good Shepherd charism in Mariaville Kindergarten that makes me want to be a part of the children’s lives.
As I write this, it gives me great joy to realise how much I love what I am doing. I enjoy getting up in the morning, knowing there is so much I can do for the children under my care. I am reminded of the words of St. Mary Euphrasia, “God blesses you visibly; each day there are new benefits, let us give thanks to God.” They help me to do better each day, and to practise the values that the Good Shepherd family has taught me.
Looking back at my journey as a volunteer of the Rose Virginie Centre and as a staff of Mariaville Kindergarten, I can see that I have grown spiritually. I’m able to respect and show compassion to each individual, adult or child. I have learnt to give of myself unconditionally.
I thank God for the call to serve in these ministries of the Good Shepherd Sisters. I am grateful to Sr. Helena and Sr. Dorothy who have constantly given me much support and many opportunities to serve in both ministries.