Sunday, 31 December 2006

Christmas Part 2

On 26th, my brother and his wife arrive from Singapore but my elder brother and his family left for Milan, so they didn't get to meet each other. We visited the same places on the first day and managed to visit the monument of Vittorio Emanuele II, Campidoglio, Colosseo, San Pietro.
Some "presepi"

at Piazza di Spagna

San Pietro Basilica

Piazza San Pietro

Piazza Venezia

Christmas Part 1

Yes, I had missed the 4th Sunday of Advent and Christmas greetings to all. Well, this has been a rather busy but grace-filled week. It has been a great gift for me this Christmas because from 23 till 28 December, 2 of my brothers with their families visited me here in Rome, and this was the first time since I entered that I have my family visiting me.

First, my elder brother came with my sister-in-law and neice together with 2 families of friends after their skiing adventure near Milan. There were 11 of them (equivalent to the number of sisters in my community). I thought it would be a great experience to celebrate the mid-night Mass with the Pope at St. Peter's Basillica. However, there seemed to be difficulties in getting tickets this year and our sisters in the community had none. Submitting to this reality, we were hoping to at least attend the morning Mass only to find out that it will be celebrated by Msgr. Comastri instead of the Pope.

However, the Lord proved to me of my being a woman of little faith. Just 2 days before Christmas, someone gave 3 tickets to one sister, who decided to give up for me. Then, another managed to receive a couple, offered one to me. With the help of another sister from our generalate, I managed to have 2 more. Even though we cannot have everyone attending, at least 2 more were able to join us. Then, out of the blue, one sister managed to get 2 special passes. So, all in all, we were able to get 8 of us to attend the mid-night Mass. I am sure this is what the Lord wills. It was a beautiful experience even though parts of the Mass was in Latin and there was only Italian translation and the 2nd reading was in English. I was only happy that my elder brother, was opened to attend the Mass with us.

On Christmas day, I brought my family to visit our Generalate, and then proceed to visit some places of interest--Piazza di Spagna, Pantheon, Fontana di Trevi, Piazza Navona and Colosseo. It was a pity that since it was Christmas Day, all the places were closed and in fact, public transport was limited. However, I was only glad that they made the trip here for the holiday.

Monday, 18 December 2006


The 3rd pink candle on the Advent wreath is now lit and we celebrate the "Gaudete" Sunday. Our Christmas Novena has begun yesterday. For these past 2 years, I have been praying and singing (learning) the Italian version of the novena, though it is something I enjoy, today, I happened go to the blog of Sr. Anne Joan, and was just so happy that I did. She had the Christmas Novena, sung by our sisters, recorded. Coooool. Do make a visit, it's awesome!


Monday, 11 December 2006

2° week of Advent--Preparate la via del Signore--Prepare the Way of the Lord

Today, we enter into the 2nd week of Advent and the Church tells us to "Prepare the Way of the Lord". In today's gospel, we heard that "the Word of the Lord descent on John, son of Zeccharia"... he went about preaching a baptism of conversion. We too received the Word of God, and what do we do about it? Do we, like John the Baptist, act on this Word and preach it through the testimony of our life daily? How am I to prepare the way of the Lord this week? These are some questions I asked myself today.

This morning, while walking out of Church after Mass, a little Italian boy about 2 years old was in front of us, holding the hand of his granny. With his innocence, he pointed to the crucifix near the door and asked: why is this man always on the cross? Granny answered accordingly. Came the next question: why did they put him up there? why are the people so bad? why they put him up there for so long?

We do have a lot to ponder, don't we?

"Create a clean heart in me, O God, renew within me a resolute spirit"
"Crea in me, o Dio, un cuoro puro, rinnova in me uno spirito saldo"
(Ps. 51)

Sunday, 10 December 2006

Patron Saint.... St Josceline

During this past week, I also discover something new about me! Hehe, of course we discover more about ourselves everyday. What I mean is, my name: Jocelyn! Many times when I meet people, especially here in Italy, they will ask me who is my patron saint, who am I named after.... I could never answer that because I don't really know if there is one. We often joke that maybe I could strive to be the first.... hahahaha. Anyway, I came across the following article in a book:

“The Playful One” (Latin) or “From the Goths” (French) or “The Beautiful One” (Spanish)

Patron Saints: Jocelyn may be a modern English variant of Justine or an American variant of Jacqueline. This provides two dozen Sts. Justin, a dozen Sts. Justina, and a dozen Sts. James. Furthermore, if Jocelyn is a combination of Josephina and Lynn, then we gain another two dozen patrons. Finally, accepting Jocelyn as a name in its own right leads to one St. Joscelin, who is remembered for living a very holy life in ancient Trèves.

Feast Date: August 6 – St. Josceline

Is this a coincident or what.... August 6 is the feast of the Transfiguration of Jesus, and it is my favorite feast day partly because of a beautiful experience I had on Mount Tabor years ago!!!!
So, how do you like that?

Saturday, 9 December 2006

First week of Advent....ending

This past week, we got the opportunity to be at Mary Mount International School for the first time, for 2-day book fair. This is an English Private School run by the Religious Sisters of the Sacred Heart. Besides Italians, a number of students are from countries like Japan, Korea, America.... A lot are children of ambassadors. The students are from kindergarden up to High School. However, mainly the students from the elementary school came for the fair. Besides English books, we brought along of course Italian materials and we can see that the children, teachers and even parents profitted from this book fair. It was a great joy to see the children, in their innocence, with interests and zeal. On our part, we are glad to be able to reach out to them through our mission.

Thursday, 7 December 2006

Adventures in Rome

Whenever I have a chance to move around the city, I could not help but thank God for giving me this grace to be back here again. Looking around at all the basillicas, churches, structures, buildings, statues... How amazing that they can stand on the place for such a long decades. Indeed, the wonders of God's magnificent works.

I would like to share with you one incident that happened few weeks ago. 2 of my friends from Singapore came to visit for a few days. I was so glad to be their "poor" tour guide. Indeed, I hardly have people visiting me all these years while in overseas. So, on the first day, of course, we went to St. Peter's Basillica. So, after showing around, we managed to get to the tomb of the late Pope John Paul II. The funny thing happened after our prayers. As we walked out, we happened to follow some people whom also seemed to be following a group of pilgrims. We went down the steps and waited. At this point, I asked someone ahead, what was there to see because I had forgotten exactly the way even though I had been here before. He just replied: I don't know. and he decided to give up waiting. Then, we saw a glass door and the lady in front was making signs to us that we have to wait for the group inside to move ahead before we could go in because the place was too small. So, with all our curiosities, we waited even though I asked again what was it that we were to expect and she just answer the same: don't know but there are something to see, we just have to wait for the group to move on before we can enter. But obviously she was also curious. Finally, the lady was so happy and excited to see that the group started moving ahead and she went to press a button to get the glass door open. As we entered, we can see like catacombs, I supposed and ahead of us, someone was explaining about the place.

Just then, it occured to me that this could be the famous Scavi Tour, which Sr. Wendy has been telling me about, but prior appointment has to be made before. I know then that we should not be in there. However, it was too late because as I turned around, there were some people behind me and as the place was very small, we could hardly move around. Besides the glass door was already closed. Just when I whispering to my friends that we should not be there, the guide (whom obviously was a priest) looked at all of us and asked: who are you? You are not supposed to be here. This is a private tour." He looked obviously surprised and agitated at the same time. I heard him mumbling: Impossibile!

So, finally he managed to get us all out of there. Yes, it was rather embarassing but I laughed so much about it whenever I think of it. This shows how in reality "the blind leading the blind"!

Monday, 4 December 2006

First Week of Advent

So, we are into the First Sunday of Advent. Before we get into the whole business of getting ourselves busy with all the physical preparations for Christmas, the Church once again reminds us of the teaching of Jesus, to look first into our spiritual preparation.---"Keep watch and pray".
These days, I have been thinking about the meaning of Advent for me. Of course, literally as the Church teaches, it means waiting. But what is it for me personally to be preparing during this waiting? Many times, I look into for "big" things that need changes and in the end, how often I get disappointed with myself on Christmas. What about looking into the little things in my daily life? Every little things in my life can be a 'call' for me to 'keep watch'--to be more patient with the others, to be more sensitive (keep watch) to the needs of my sisters, to give a smile to someone who may need it most on a particular day.... Yes, it is true, you may tell me that these things may be simple and easy for many. Well, some days, definitely it can be difficult to face an angry person and to reach out to her/him.
During our monthly day of recollection last Saturday, Fr. Ugo reminded us: this is where prayers comes in. Pray for that person. "If we cannot talk to someone about God, talk to God about that someone." Though he was talking about evangelization, I believe this applies to our relationship with one another too.

Well, what do you think? Happy Journeying!

Saturday, 2 December 2006

Greetings from Rome.....Happy Advent!

Hi, yes, I am back again! Not only to Blogger but also back to the eternal city----Rome!
I have been here for 2 months after making my perpetual profession of religious vows in Singapore on June 15. Thanks to all for your prayers.

So, what is life like now as a perpetual professed of the Daughters of St. Paul? Well, I am graced with coming back to Rome and fully inserted into an apostolic community which is very near to the Vatican (less than 5 minutes walk). I am having my apostolic experiences in our International Multimedia Center--we have materials of 5 languages in this center, plus an audiovisual sector. We served people from all over the world, especially students, priests and religious from English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and of course Italian speaking countries. Once in a while, we do have Mandarin-speaking people coming in, that is when I get to test my Mandarin.

Well, it took me 2 months to decide coming back to blogging, because I have been thinking what topics to share instead of just telling about myself. So, I decided that even though the title is about me, I will be sharing more of the places, my reflections and also the Pauline life. Hopefully these will be of interest to you!

For a start, this is it. However, we are at the beginning of a new liturgical year, so I wish everyone to have a good beginning of this Advent and a great spiritual preparation for the Birthday of our Saviour.

Blessed Advent!