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Malaysia-Singapore Vocation Coordinator

Sister Angelin Gnanapiragasam FMDM
54 Jalan Gajah
11200 Tanjong Bungah
Penang, West Malaysia
Mobile: +60163460415 (Malaysia)
                 +6584161365 (Singapore)
E-mail: angelin2010@hotmail.co.uk or

Thoughts on life as an FMDM Sister...

Veronica Yao

Sister Veronica imparts the simplicity of Saint Francis to the children in her care.

“I WAS VERY MUCH attracted to Francis of Assisi – his love for Jesus made visible through his relationship with the whole of creation and all the people. He showed us the interconnectedness of all God’s creation. He is a good steward of our environment and an instrument of peace. I have a lot to learn from Him throughout my religious life. As a religious sister, I follow the example of Francis of Assisi, to love God wholeheartedly, to follow Jesus’ teaching daily, and to act justly wherever I go.”

Angeline Lim

Sister Angeline hopes young women with missionary zeal will join the FMDMs.

“IN MY ‘EARLY’ YEARS of formation, religious life was structured (and monastic), and in some ways it was easier to live as a religious sister. I felt fulfilled and remember with nostalgia and fondness of my early years in the rural mission of Nigeria (nine years) and later in Jordan (three years).”

“Life was simple in the missions and I learnt to be innovative and creative where there was limited clean water supply, and having to rely on diesel generators (when they work!) for electricity. There was a great sense of bonding between missionaries and we enjoyed life in general.”

“To be a religious in Singapore where there is affluence (in sharp contrast to the simple lifestyle in the mission in Africa) is very challenging for me. My experience in Africa has taught me to be grateful and appreciative of all that is readily available and in surplus, and to remember the many who are struggling to bring bread home to the families who are hungry not only for basic food, but for healthcare and education. Most of all, life in the mission has taught me to be joyful and hospitable even when hungry for food and with lack of proper housing.”

“For me, to be a religious is to be happy where I am being planted and not to pine for what has passed, but rather to live in the present moment wholeheartedly, cheerfully!”

“I would like to encourage young women who are daring, adventurous, and with a missionary zeal to bring God’s Word outside Singapore, and (to encourage anyone) who has a strong desire to commit herself to God and the Church as a religious sister, not to be afraid, to take the plunge into the deep.”

Jacinta Kow

Sister Jacinta works with street children in Zambia.

“ IN ZAMBIA, the worsening poverty, the lowering educational and health standard, the HIV pandemic that has left such a huge gap in the age groups between 18 – 40 years as these most affected of people cry out to us as FMDMs to look at the reality of the situation and to bring our Franciscan charism into sharper focus. As missionaries, we must be ready to be sent from rural to city or vice versa, or anywhere.”

“My own particular work has moved from nursing and midwifery to AIDS and HIV work, and now to walking with women who seek to know and discern where God is calling them to. It has a rich pattern of many ups and downs, joys, laughter, tears, frustration and anger, but there is always a pattern emerging although I do not know the complete pattern. We depend on all our brothers and sisters for your prayerful support.”

Florence Wong

Retired from nursing but Sister Florence continues to be a spiritual mother to many.

“AS A MIDWIFE over the years I have assisted many mothers to bring life into the world, and as a nurse I have worked in different areas of alleviating pain and suffering which has taught me the meaning of the compassion of Jesus. The present situation in Lebanon, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia reminds me of the time I was serving in the refugee camps in Jordan and my passion to serve life. Today, although I have retired from active nursing and midwifery, I continue to serve life in being ‘a midwife in the spiritual life’. Currently I am a member of the Life Direction Team giving spiritual direction and retreats. I facilitate workshops for Midlife Growth and Living the Golden Years Well, and participate actively in the pastoral care of the sick at the Church of the Holy Spirit.”

Jean-Marie Andrews

Sister Jean-Marie takes pride in being the region’s archivist.

“I DO NOT look at life as a religious sister as an institutionalized kind of life! It has always been for me more like a move from one family to another. The transition may have been painful, leaving home and family but my graced response to God’s call made the sacrifice easy to bear. It is over 50 years now since I left home and family, but the family bond has not diminished, rather it has grown stronger; the more I value family life in the community with sisters, all striving to love each other and live up to the commitment they made to follow the Lord.”

“I was trained as a radiographer. Later I took up a course in pastoral care. I am also a member of the Life Direction Team and am engaged in retreat work. My present occupation in the convent is a very challenging one, and I find joy in being the Archivist for the FMDM Region of Malaysia/Singapore.”