Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Blessed Christmas

Yes, it is Christmas, and I wish everyone a Blessed Christmas. May the birth of Christ remains in your heart and manifest in your life. Here, I would like to share a very beautiful video created by our very own Italian sister, Sr. Pina. May you be inspired and touched by this gift from God.

Sunday, 23 December 2007

O Immanuel

O Immanuel,
you are our king and judge,
the One whom the peoples await and their Saviour.
O come and save us, Lord, our God.

Saturday, 22 December 2007

O King

O King of all nations
the one for whom all people long,
the great cornerstone who makes all of us one.
O come and save the human family which you formed from clay.

Friday, 21 December 2007

21st December

O Rising Sun,
you are the splendour of eternal light
and the sun of justice.
O come and enlighten those who sit in darkness
and in the shadow of death.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

20th December

O key of David and scepter of Israel,
what you open no one else can close again;
what you close no one can open.
O come to lead the captive from prison;
free those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

19th December

O stock of Jesse, you stand as a signal for the nations;
kings fall silent before you whom the peoples acclaim.
O come to deliver us, and do not delay.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

18th December

O Adonai and leader of Israel,
you appeared to Moses in a burning bush and you gave him the Law on Sinai.
O come and save us with your mighty power.

Season of Advent

Obviously I have been way behind in blogging. Many things and events happened during these past 3 weeks. Besides the busy schedule of running between Jurong Point and parishes for book displays, there are little errands around that take up time and energy. One of the major thing happened here in our diocese and particularly in our parish is the sudden loss of our assistant priest, Fr. David Thexiera, aged 51. Fr. David was ordained as a diocesan priest in 1999 but was from the Neo-Catechumenate since 1984. He was posted to our parish here in St. Francis of Assisi at the beginning of this year. Just 2 weeks ago, he was on his way to Australia and stopover at Bangkok, supposed to meet his friend there before proceeding his trip. At the immigration, he felt sick and collapsed. Since then, he never woke up. He was airlifted back to Singapore after a week and died on 13 December. It came as a sudden shock for everyone. Fr. David was buried today and his service as priest has touched many lives. A blog was specially set up for him during his last days on earth. http://www.frdavid-ablessedlife.blogspot.com/
Many of us still cannot accept the fact that he has returned to the father. His voice, his image is so vivid and alive in each of our mind and heart. This just reminded me that life is short, unpredictable, just like the Lord said, we do not know the hour, the day of His coming.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

17th December

O Wisdom, you come forth from the mouth of the Most High. You fill the universe and hold all things together in a strong yet gentle manner.
O come to teach us the way of truth.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Jurong Point

Here in Singapore, we just began our annual outreach at Jurong Point--a mall west of Singapore. We have a little kiosk where we offer books and religious articles to the people. This is a good way in reaching out to all people during the Christmas Season. Here is a picture of our kiosk:

The joy of being here is being able to be present to the people, many of whom are non-Catholics and also to provide religious materials to the Catholics and Christians who do not have much access to them. Yesterday, I was at the kiosk and one little girl looked at me with surprised and exclaimed: Wow! This is their uniform!

Years ago, I met a non-catholic here too and I was able to accompany her to a Christmas Mass and from then, she attended RCIA and became a catholic.

Well, I hope to share more joys later.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Golden Compass

Recently there has been a lot of circulating about the upcoming movie--Golden Compass. As usual, the big "no" before most people know anything about it. I have consulted our media expert, Sr. Rose and would like to recommend you to read what she wrote.

Sr. Rose on Golden Compass

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Recent events

These few weekends have been busy, going to the parishes for book display and at the same time promoting 366 Days with the Lord. It is such a joy when people came forward to get this Liturgical Diary, expressing their desire to be more in touch with the word of God daily. Many have been getting this for the past few years. We just hope that many more people will feel this thirst.

Last Sunday, I also had the opportunity, for the first time in my life, to give a little presentation to a small group of young working adults in Christ the King Church. They were producing a magazine for the parish, which looks very impressive, well lay-out, with nice, wide contents about the life in the parish. I touch on the Spirituality of being a Christian Communicator, emphasising each baptized Catholic's role and duty to share in the mission of Jesus, being sent out to proclaim the Good News to all people, and the need of a deepening personal relationship with Jesus, who is our model and the Perfect Communicator. I do not know how much I brought across the message but trust that the Holy Spirit is the one to touch they hearts and give them the encouragement to persevere in this great mission which they had begun.

Today, I was in a convent school for book display and was amazed to see that many students have at least 2 or more badges on them besides their own names--prefect, prefect buddy, librarian, PE monitor, sports leader, most helpful student..... What surprised me was 2 students were having a button with Toilet Ambassador. What do they do? I still couldn't find out because the student concerned just smile at us when we showed interest. For whatever reason or motivation, we just hope that this is a form of encouragement for each student.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Lk 12:39-48

"The servant who knew his master’s will
but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will
shall be beaten severely;
and the servant who was ignorant of his master’s will
but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating
shall be beaten only lightly.
Much will be required of the person entrusted with much,
and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more."

This part of today's gospel reading struck me and keep me pondering. In fact, I was rather preoccupied and even a bit fearful with these words of Jesus. The priest at Mass mentioned: we all know the will of God, but are we acting according to His will?

How much preparation did I make? How often do I act in accord with His will, but instead with my own will? Am I ignorant to His will especially in my daily living as a religious?

On the consoling side, just when I was reflecting these in chapel, I came upon these words:

There is nothing to be afraid, let us not leave space to angiush or distrust. Resort to Mary, the "faithful servant" of the Lord: the Queen of Heaven is ready to support us in this earthly pilgrimage.

Non c'è da aver paura, non lasciamo spazio all'angoscia o alla sfiducia. Ricorriamo a Maria, la "serva fedele" del Signore: la Regina del Cielo è pronta a sostenerci in questo pellegrinaggio terreno. (Messa Meditazione)

Thursday, 18 October 2007


Liturgical Biblical Diary

Every year around this time, our community will begin the annual promotion of the Liturgical Biblical Diary, known as 366 Days with the Lord (hey, it's the leap year in 2008). As the name suggests, it is not an ordinary diary and at the same time, it is not a Bible by itself. Following the Church's liturgy, it contains the daily gospel reading, accompanied by reflection done by Fr. Harold Buetow, a diocesan priest in Brooklyn. He has a number of books on homelies and pastoral talks. As this is a good way to encourage people to get in touch with the Word of God daily, we the Daughters of St. Paul in Singapore has make this an annual project and it is a great joy to see that each year, there is an increasing number of people asking for this diary as this shows the hunger for the Word of God.

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Book displays in schools - Part 2

The second school we visited was a girl school. We can see a bit of different. The girls really read. More books were diffused and we can see their enthusiasms.

The 3rd school we went, on the other hand, was all boys and just like the previous one, the reading power is good too. We can see that the parents do give their encouragement for the children to get good books.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Book displays in schools - Part 1

These past 3 weeks, I have been going to 3 elementary schools with our novice, Lynette, for outreach. It has been an interesting experience after quite a long period of "out of touch" with school children.

The first school was a mixed mission school in a neighbourhood, what we call "heartland". A number of students did buy books but most were interested in little bookmarks. In this school, we discovered the young "entrepreneurship" in them. We noticed a group of boys carrying bags of water with some little blue "jelly balls" in it. We found out that one of them was selling seeds which they called "water-baby". They were supposed to grow in water and multiply at a certain size. What interest me most was, the boy who did the selling bought it at a low price from some stores and he was selling to his schoolmates at 1 for 5 cents, they will get one free if they buy 20 cents. We can see that he did "earned" quite a lot of money out of it.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Since one month.....

It has been a month since I last written. Have a bit of a problem in connecting to the internet with my laptop.

Thanks for all your prayers, our General Chapter has come to an end and if some of you have been following, our Superior General, Sr. Maria Antonieta Bruscato was re-elected. It is not easy to hold this responsibility, we are grateful to her for saying her 'Yes' to God and to the Congregation and I do ask you to continue to keep her in your prayers.

some information of our new general government

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Community of Singapore

I would like to share a bit about my community here in Singapore, even though some may have known the reality here.

We were founded in 1994, and before this year, we already have 3 perpetual professed sisters and one postulant. Till today, we have 5 perpetual professed Singaporean sisters, 1 junior professed and 1 novice. God has blessed our community with vocations even though we are small.

These 2 weeks, there has been quite a bit of movements here. Together with my return, we have our new junior professed sister, Karen, who made her first profession in Boston on 30 June. We also have Lynette, our second year novice, who is here with us for her 4 months' apostolic experience. Then, we have Sr. Lioba, a Korean perpetual professed sister, staying with us and studying English. So, in the whole community, we are altogether 8, and frankly speaking the whole house is full--we have no more spare room for visitors.....

However, Sr. Wendy will be leaving us sooooooon, very soon, that is, next Tuesday. She will be staying in LA for a couple of months to take up some apostolic updating.

That's all for now.....

Friday, 17 August 2007

9th General Chapter of the Daughters of St. Paul

With the whole of our congregation, I would like to invite everyone of you, first to join us in prayer as we begin an important event--our 9th General Chapter on August 20, Monday. For more information and to journey with you, you may visit our website at: 9th General Chapter

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Evans Almighty

2 weeks ago, I got the opportunity to go for a movie preview on Evan Almighty. Thought it is a nice film focusing on family but with religious theme--similar to Noah's Ark. Maybe you can read the review written by Sr. Rose Pacatte, Daughter of St. Paul from LA--A Film Study Guide for Catholic Christians.

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Happy National Day, Singapore

Today, our country, Singapore, is celebrating her 42nd birthday. Yes, we are a young nation, and we have come quite a long way to achieve what we are now. Though a small country, God has given us many gifts and blessings.

Singapore National Day Parade

Tuesday, 31 July 2007

I am back

Hi, everyone, yes, I am back, finally--back to blogger after a break and back.....to another part of the world, my homeland---Singapore. That's right, I am finally back here for my mission, in another words, for good, as most people would say. It has been more than 5 years since I stayed in Singapore for a longer period, so this is definitely good for me. At the same time, it is another new beginning of re-learning old and new things--about Singapore, people, lifestyle.... Yes, I hope to continue writing this blog, not from Rome but from Singapore. Pray for me and most of all, for the people whom I am call to serve.

Friday, 20 July 2007

Break again...

This blog will not be updated until beginning of August. Hope you will continue to support and make your visit. Thanks. God bless you.

Monday, 9 July 2007


These few weeks, I am slow in updating the 3 blogs because I am in the process of moving back to Singapore. Yes, it is time for me to return to Singapore for my mission. This week, I just moved from my community to our Generalate before parting for Singapore. Please continue to pray for me, for our mission in Singapore.

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Donec Formetur Christus in Vobis

Till Christ be formed in you.

Taken from Galatians 4:19, this is the goal of our spirituality. I mentioned about the spiritual exercises which I last made. Our founder had left us a rich spirituality, which aims at forming the whole Christ in us--mind, will and heart, corresponding to Jesus Truth, Way, Life. This one that I attended focus on the 3rd stage of the course--Glory to the Holy Spirit--Unitive Way. I will share the briefly the structure:

Day 2
1. All is accomplished in the Holy Spirit
2. The most marvelous effects

Day 3
1. "The same divine sanctity of Jesus Christ communicated to our souls through the Holy Spirit"
2. Who is the Holy Spirit and the works attributed to the Spirit

Day 4--The life given by the Holy Spirit

Day 5--The life in the Spirit: Faith

Day 6--The life in the Spirit: Hope

Day 7--Charity: "shapes 2 flames"

Day 8
1. The varied fruits of the Holy Spirit
2. All has to terminate in a great "Glory to God in the Highest..." to honour the Holy Trinity

Saturday, 30 June 2007

Feast of St. Paul

Happy Feast of St. Paul!

Yes, today, the Pauline Family celebrates the feast of our patron, St. Paul. Many of our sisters celebrate their anniversary of profession this day, and here in Rome, at least more than 50 celebrate their 50th year of consacrated life--just in Italy, Daughters of St. Paul. If you happened to be reading my other blog on Blessed James Alberione, we also celebrate his 100th year of priestly ordination.

25 of our sisters are also making their perpetual profession today all over the world and novices are making their first commitment through their first temporary profession. One of them is Karen Eng, who is from Singapore and will be making her profession today in Boston with her 2 companions. Please join us to thank the Lord for having chosen and called us to this special mission.

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Feast of the Birth of John the Baptist

Happy Feast Day!

Yes, I am back from my 8 days of grace-filled and enriching spiritual exercises. Thanks for all your prayers. I will share later about this spiritual exercises based on our spirituality: Till Christ be formed in you.

Today the Church celebrates the feast of the birth of John the Baptist, an important figure, who pathed the way of Christ. I would like to also invite you to join me to thank God for the gift of my Pauline Vocation, in which 7 years ago, on this day, He graced me with the gift of first profession. Those who are interested can check this link: First Profession 24 June 2000

Please continue to pray for my perseverance.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007


There will not be any updates for the next two weeks because I am on a short-break, followed by an 8-days retreat. Please do keep me in your prayers.

Saturday, 9 June 2007


I am probably a bit late, but would like to share a bit about processions here. On 31 May, I got the opportunity of joining the annual rosary procession in Vatican garden, which was opened to all. It was just impressive to see the number of people attending and praying in different languages. I tried to get some pictures, but it is difficult to balance between holding the booklet, rosary, lighted candle and then with a camera. So, obviously the photos didn't turn out well. The Pope came at the end when we reached the grotto of our Lady of Lourdes. There were readings and he gave the homily and blessings at the end.Then on Thursday, 7 June, we had the Corpus Christi procession. It started with the Mass outside St. John Lateran, with the Pope as the main celebrant. The square was not really filled up in the beginning but by the time Mass finished and as the procession began, it was just amazing where these people came from.
Again, this time, I didn't get good pictures because of the distance (my camera can reach only up to 4x zoom and my hands were not steady, probably because age is catching up). So from there we walked all the way to St. Mary Major, which is about 1.5 km. There were prayers and singing during the procession and it ended with the Pope's benediction.

Sunday, 3 June 2007

Beauty and the Liturgy

Happy Feast of the Blessed Trinity!

I was reading the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Sacramentum Caritatis of the Holy Father, and would like to share this phrase:

As St. Bonaventure would say, in Jesus we contemplate beauty and splendour at their source. This is the concrete way in which the truth of God's love in Christ encounters us, attracts us and delights us, enabling us to emerge from ourselves and drawing us towards our true vocation, which is love.

Monday, 28 May 2007


Happy Feast of Pentecost to all! May the outpouring of the Holy Spirit renew each one of us and recreate the gifts in us, that we may give glory and praise to Him!

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

The Breath of God Within Us

When we speak about the Holy Spirit, we speak about the breath of God, breathing in us. The Greek word for "spirit" is pneuma, which means "breath." We are seldom aware of our breathing. It is so essential for life that we only think about it when something is wrong with it.

The Spirit of God is like our breath. God's spirit is more intimate to us than we are to ourselves. We might not often be aware of it, but without it we cannot live a "spiritual life." It is the Holy Spirit of God who prays in us, who offers us the gifts of love, forgiveness, kindness, goodness, gentleness, peace, and joy. It is the Holy Spirit who offers us the life that death cannot destroy. Let us always pray: "Come, Holy Spirit, come."

(Henri Nouwen)

Sunday, 20 May 2007

Children and the Media: A Challenge for Education

The theme of the 41st World Communications Day, invites us to reflect on two related topics of immense importance: the formation of children and the formation of the media.

The complex challenges facing education today are often linked to the pervasive influence of the media in our world. The relationship of children, media, and education can be considered from two perspectives: the formation of children by the media; and the formation of children to respond appropriately to the media. A kind of reciprocity emerges which points to the responsibilities of the media as an industry and to the need for active and critical participation of readers, viewers and listeners.

Parents have a right and duty to ensure the prudent use of the media by training the conscience of their children to express sound and objective judgments which will then guide them in choosing or rejecting programmes available.

Media education should be positive. Children exposed to what is aesthetically and morally excellent are helped to develop appreciation, prudence and the skills of discernment. It requires formation in the exercise of freedom. In the light of truth, authentic freedom is experienced as a definitive response to God’s ‘yes’ to humanity, calling us to choose, not indiscriminately but deliberately, all that is good, true and beautiful.

How could one explain this ‘entertainment’ to the countless innocent young people who actually suffer violence, exploitation and abuse? In this regard, all would do well to reflect on the contrast between Christ who “put his arms around [the children] laid his hands on them and gave them his blessing” (Mk 10:16) and the one who “leads astray … these little ones” for whom "it would be better … if a millstone were hung round his neck" (Lk 17:2).

The Church herself, in the light of the message of salvation entrusted to her, is also a teacher of humanity and welcomes the opportunity to offer assistance to parents, educators, communicators, and young people. Above all, the Church desires to share a vision of human dignity that is central to all worthy human communication. "Seeing with the eyes of Christ, I can give to others much more than their outward necessities; I can give them the look of love which they crave" (Deus Caritas Est, 18).

Friday, 18 May 2007

La presenza di Gesù

Ogni tristezza viene dalla lontananza del Signore. Per questo, i discepoli saranno tristi per un po', perché per qualche tempo non vedranno il volto del Signore, non lo sentiranno più vicino come loro compagno di viaggio. è il momento del buio, della notte che apre al Venerdì Santo, ma è la "notte necesaria". Senza la passione di Gesù, non avremmo compreso l'amore del Padre.
La soffrenza sembra il passaggio necessario per giungere alla gioia, così come un bimbo non può venire al mondo senza il travaglio del parto. Ogni crescita umana ha la sua fase di crisi, sembra che senza la crisi non si cresca. Così anche ogni nostra maturazione nella fede ha bisogno di passare per una sofferenza, per la croce di Gesù, ha bisogno di purificarsi nel suo sangue e nella sua-nostra morte perché si apra il mattino della gioia. Solo così lo Spirito Santo può distruggere l'uomo vecchio, prigioniero della tristezza, e dare alla luce l'uomo nuovo, libero e gioioso, in attesa del giorno senza tramonto in cui la nostra gioia sarà piena.
(Messa Meditazione)

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Be God's Friends

To be prophets in today's world, women religious must cultivate an intimate friendship with God.

The Pope said that on May 7, in an audience with a group of 794 superiors-general of women's religious congregations, gathered in a plenary assembly for the week.

"The 'prophet' first listens and contemplates, then speaks, letting himself be totally infused with that love for God that fears nothing and is stronger than death."

"An authentic prophet, therefore, is not overly worried about doing works, which is undoubtedly important, but not essential. The prophet tries, above all, to be a witness of God's love, trying to live it in today's world, even if his presence is considered 'uncomfortable' to some, because it offers and incarnates alternative values. Only union with God can cause and strengthen the 'prophetic' role of your mission, which consists in the 'proclamation of the heavenly kingdom,' an indispensable proclamation in every age and society.

Benedict XVI encouraged the superiors to make their primary concern that of helping "your fellow sisters to search for Christ and place themselves in generous service to the Gospel."

"Do not give in to the temptation of distancing yourselves from intimacy with your heavenly Spouse by letting yourselves be captured by the concerns and problems of everyday life. Do not tire of making every possible effort for the human, cultural and spiritual formation of those entrusted to you, so that they will be able to respond to the modern cultural and social challenges."

(from Zenit)

Remain in my love

As we celebrate the feast of St. Mathias, the gospel today reminds us once again: remain in my love.... love one another.

How can we find and remain in the love of Jesus? Observe His commands--To be faithful to the life of Jesus, the life which we have in us since the day of our baptism. The life of Jesus is love.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Blessed James Alberione

I started a new blog, dedicated to our Founder, Blessed James Alberione. I intend to post his writings, thoughts and those related to him and the Pauline Family. Tried putting it in my link but somehow it didn't work. Anyway, I hope that our Founder will be an inspiration for everyone in his love for God and zeals for the apostolates and souls. It will also be both English and Italian, of course, as this is the original. So, please help to spread the word around.

Monday, 7 May 2007

Vi Do Un Comandamento Nuovo -- A New Commandment I Give You

How to synthesize the whole Christian message in a sentence? What is indeed essential in our faith experience? In this time of Easter, he Risen Lord exhorts us: love. But to take me as example, to love with the love that I have given you, to love as I have loved you to the point of giving up my life for you. How beautiful! The Lord asks us to do exactly what we desire more than every other thing: to love. But only He knows how to love without possessing, without hurting, without lying. Our world strains to overcome the vision of love that reduces to emotions: Jesus teaches us to concretize the feeling in a choice of life that puts the Other at the center. (La Domenica, Paolo Curtaz)

Come sintetizzare l’intero messaggio cristiano in una frase? Cosa è davvero essenziale nella nostra esperienza di fede? In questo tempo pasquale il Risorto ci esorta: amate. Ma amate prendendo me come esempio, amatevi dell’amore che vi ho donato, amtevi come io vi ho amato, fino a dare la mia vita per voi. Che bello! Il Signore ci chiede di fare esattamente ciò che desideriamo più di ogni altra cosa: amare. Ma solo lui sa come si fa ad amare senza possedere, senza ferire, senza mentire. Il nostro mondo fatica a superare la visione dell’amore che si riduce ad emozione: Gesù ci insegna a concretizzare il sentimento in una scelta di vita che metta l’Altro al centro.
(La Domenica, Paolo Curtaz)

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Happy 13th Anniversary, FSP Singapore

In most part of the world today, we celebrate Labour Day, Feast of St. Joseph... Silently, the Daughters of St. Paul in Singapore, together with many other communities over the world, celebrates her 13th year of foundation. Yes, 1994 our sisters began their mission in Singapore--Sr. Lorenzina, Sr. Agostina and Sr. Grace (first Singaporean DSP--1960). At the present moment, God has graced us with 5 local perpetual sisters and 2 novices, one of whom will be making her first profession this coming June. Together with my sisters, I thank God for calling us to share in this special mission, for all the marvellous works He has done and continue to do, in Singapore. Let us continue to pray for our sisters in the community, and that He will give us more good vocations to share in this great mission, to proclaim His marvellous love for all humanity through all the means of social communications.


View from the monastary

Last week, the Union for the Major Superior of Religious Institute (Unione Superiore Maggiore d'Italia) organized a trip to Subiaco for the religious in Rome. I had the grace to participate in this outing, which is both enriching and relaxing/refreshing. Altogether we were in 5 bus loads, which is about 150 of us. Imagine having all these nuns on the road....

Subiaco is a city in the south of Rome, mainly renowned as tourist and religious resort for its sacred grotto (Sacro Speco), in the St. Benedict's Abbey, and the Abbey of St. Scholastica. It is also famous as the first city in Italy where books were printed, in the 15th century. "Sacro Speco" - the cave where Saint Benedict (480 - 547 (67)) lived for three years, eating food lowered in a basket to him by the hermit monk Romanus.
At Santa Scholastica
For story of St. Benedict, about subiaco:

On our way back, we also stop by at St. Vittorina. There is a community of sisters, whose ministry includes praying for vocations, and also made known our Lady of Fatima. I can't rememeber the name of the congregation though, what a shame!

see if you can spot anyone you know!

Sunday, 22 April 2007

2 lovely and cheerful visitors

Last week, I had the great joy of knowing 2 lovely young women who visited our media center. I was arranging the shelves when I heard a sweet voice asking: who is St. Rita, what makes her a saint? This started our conversation. Chihiro from Japan, and to my surprised, Francesca from........Singapore. Both are studying in York and were in Rome for a real short visit. I am inspired by the desire of Chihiro--the desire to be a catholic. She has been going to Church, for Mass and I believe involves in Church activities. She is just waiting for her parents to give the "go-ahead" signal to be baptized. I can sense her conviction and her faith in our Lord. Francesca, active catholic in Church of Holy Family, very joyful and sensible. She does not want to make a decision for religious life now because she wants to be free from the "pressure" of the expectations of others, meaning, those around her encourage her to be religious, and would not be surprised if she does. So, she wants to be sure that it is not because of their expectations, but her free choice.

Talking to young women always give me great inspirations and encourage me even more to share with them of the faith and religious life. We believe definitely that meeting each other here in Rome is not a mere coincidence. So, do keep both of them in your prayers.

Friday, 20 April 2007

Gesù di Nazaret

The Pope's new book Gesù di Nazaret was released in Italian, German and Polish on his 80th birthday, 16 April 2007. At our Paoline Multimedia International Book Center, people were already waiting anxiously outside the center before 9 am, the opening hour. However, the book did not arrive on time, so many people seemed to be rather disappointed. Many made their reservations instead and collect it later. The reporter and crews from CNN were also waiting patiently outside, hoping to capture the first moment of the arrival. Much to our disappointment, the truck did not arrive until almost 11 am. before that, our employee and one of our sisters managed to get 2 boxes on a trolley from the Vatican book center. This shows their collaboration with us too.

Once the book arrived, people just couldn't wait to be the first to grab the book. Many bought more than 1 copy. This shows not only their support and love for the Pope but their thirst in reading and knowing more about God.

Monday, 16 April 2007

Auguri, Papa Benedetto XVI

Tomorrow is the 80th birthday of the Holy Father, Benedict XVI. Today, St. Peter's Square was filled with well-wishers attending the Eucharistic celebration with him. I was able to get to the Square while it was not so packed and managed to get to the center. Though it was not very near, I still could see him at the altar pretty clearly. I met a Lutheran couple from Denmark , who managed to get into the Square by chance. They were here 3 days but have not been able to go into the Basillica because it was always packed. Today, they decided to go to the Vatican Musuem, arriving only to realize that it is closed on Sunday. When they turn to the Square, a group of Germans offered them the tickets for the Mass. They were very happy about it. I was glad to share with them a bit of our Catholic Teachings and to hear from their experience. In front of me also there was a couple from North Italy and at the back--from Argentina. It is always amazing to see the crowd from all over the world, even of different faith gathering at St. Peter's.

Happy Birthday, Papa Benedetto

Sunday, 8 April 2007

Christ is Risen! Alleluia!

Come and See:
Life has won over death, evil is defeated by Mercy!

Saturday, 7 April 2007

14th Station -- Jesus Is Laid in the Tomb

The world showed little hospitality to our Blessed Lord, who is Master of life and death. For His birth, there was available only a rough-and-ready shelter for animals. For death, He was given the hard bed of the cross, with a crown of thorns as a pillow; and His hands and feet were tucked into that bed with nails. The glory of His birth was hidden in the least of the cities of Israel. The meaning of His death was hidden from human eyes in the greatest city of this world. Born in a stranger's cave, buried in a stranger's grave: thus did Christ teach us that human birth and human death were equally foreign to Him. For those things are foreign to God.
(Fulton Sheen)

Friday, 6 April 2007

13th Station -- Jesus is Lowered from the Cross

Hands of Abandonment
It is infinitely easier to suffer obeying to a command of others than not in the full liberty of one’s personal choice. It is infinitely easier to suffer together with others than to be alone. It is infinitely easier to suffer in public and with honor than in private and with dishonor. It is infinitely easier to suffer in one’s own physical plight than under the motion of the Spirit. Christ has suffered in full liberty, alone, away from the looks of the others and in disgrace, in body and in spirit.

Mani di Abbandono
È infinitamente più facile soffrire obbedendo a un comando di altri che non nella piena libertà di una scelta personale. È infinitamente più facile soffrire insieme ad altri che non da soli. È infinitamente più facile soffrire in pubblico e con onore che non in privato e con disonore. È infinitamente più facile soffrire nell’impegno del proprio essere fisico che non sotto la mozione dello Spirito. Cristo ha sofferto in piena libertà, da solo, lontano dagli sguardi degli altri e nell’infamia, nel corpo e nello spirito, e alla stessa stregua hanno sofferto molti cristiani con lui.

(Dietrich Bohoeffer)

12th Station -- Jesus Dies Upon the Cross

The great funeral pyre of suffering gradually burns itself out, and the blood of the God-man dries on the wood of the cross, as a sign of His passing. His garments are consigned to His executioners, His blood to the earth, His body to the grave, His mother to John, and His soul to His Heavenly Father. Having finished the last word of His testament, He bows His head and dies. His spirit descends into Limbo, and His escort there is a thief. All is finished now. God has had His revenge on Satan and sin.

Three things cooperated in the fall of the human race from grace: the disobedient man, Adam; the proud woman, Eve; and the tree. To restore that grace to us, God relied on the obedient man, Christ; the humble woman, Mary; and the tree of the cross. But at the moment of Christ's death, His triumph was still hidden from human eyes. A mocking voice cried out, "Others He saved. Himself He cannot save."
(Fulton Sheen)

11th Station -- Jesus is Nailed to the Cross

Hands of Pardon
Let us learn from Jesus not to become angry, not to lose the patience with anybody, not to feed in our heart aversions for those that, we believe have hurt us. Learn to sympathize each other, because all of us have our defects. Do we learn to care for all; you understand me? To everyone, even those who hurt us. Learn to forgive, to also pray for them, that perhaps in front of God they are better than us.
(Blessed Pope John XXIII)

Impariamo da Gesù a non arrabbiarci, a non perdere la pazienza con nessuno, a non nutrire nel nostro cuore avversioni per quelli che, crediamo, ci abbiano fatto del male. Impariamo a compatirci l’un l’altro, perché tutti abbiamo i nostri difetti, e chi non ne ha uno, ne ha un altro. Impariamo a volere bene a tutti; mi capite? A tutti, anche a quelli che ci fanno del male o ce ne hanno fatto. Impariamo a perdonare, a pregare anche per loro, che forse dinanzi a Dio sono più buoni di noi.
(Beato Papa Giovanni XXIII)

Thursday, 5 April 2007

10th Station -- Jesus is Stripped of His Garments

On the hill called Calvary, Jesus willed not only to empty Himself of His divine glory, but to abandon His claim to any earthly possissions. He, the Heavenly Vagabond who had nowhere to lay His head, was stripped of His garments, so that in death He might have nothing, but give all.
(Fulton Sheen)

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

9° Station -- Jesus Falls the Third Time

Hands of Fortitude

The man is fallen and falls again always: how many times he becomes the caricatures of himself, no more the image of God but something that puts the Creator in ridicule. In Jesus's fall under the weight of the cross, his whole journey appears: his voluntary lowering so as to lift us from our pride. At the same time, the nature of our pride emerges: the pride with which we want to emancipate ourselves from God to give form to our life on our own.
(Pope Benedict XVI)

Mani di Fortezza

L’uomo è caduto e cade sempre di nuovo: quante volte egli diventa la caricature di se stesso, non più immagine di Dio, ma qualcosa che mette in ridicolo il Creatore. Nella caduta di Gesù sotto il peso della croce appare l’intero suo percorso: il suo volontario abbassamento per sollevarci dal nostro orgoglio. E nello stesso tempo emerge la natura del nostro orgoglio: la superbia con cui vogliamo emanciparci da Dio per dar forma alla nostra vita da soli.

Papa Benedetto XVI

8° Station -- Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem

I have a Dream!
I have a dream. I dream that one day all men will rise up and understand that they are created equal. I dream that one day justice will flow like the water and the rectitude like an impetuous river. I dream that one day the war will cease and all men will turn their swords into plows, the lances into scythes; the nations will not be divided against one another and they will not plan anymore wars. That will be a marvelous day! The stars of the morning will sing together and the children of God will shout for joy!
(cf. Martin Luther King)

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

7° Station -- Jesus Fallls the Second Time

The Hands of Courage

Reflection of Edith Stein
To give our contribution to carry the cross of Christ is the source of a strong and pure joy. Those to which it is granted and who did so, the builders of the Kingdom of God, are children of God in the truest and fullest sense. To have a predilection for the way of the cross does not mean to deny that Holy Friday has passed and that the work of redemption is finished. The cross is the way that leads from the earth to heaven. Whoever embraces it with faith, love and hope is brought aloft, up to the bosom of the Trinity.

Dare il nostro contributo a portare la croce di Cristo è fonte di una letizia forte e pure, e coloro ai quali è concesso e che lo fanno, i costruttori del Regno di Dio, sono figli di Dio nel senso piu vero e piu pieno. Avere perciò una predilezione per la via della croce non significa affatto rinnegare che il venerdì santo è passato e che l’opera della redenzione è compiuta. La croce è la via che dalla terra conduce al cielo. Chi l’abbraccia con fede, amore e speranza viene portato in alto, fino al seno della Trinità.

6° Station -- Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

The Redeemer of the world presents Veronica with an authentic image of His face. The veil upon which the face of Christ remains imprinted becomes a message for us: This is how every act of goodness, every gesture of true love toward one's neighbour, strengthens the likeness of the Redeemer of the world in the one who acts that way. Acts of love do not pass away. Every act of goodness, of understanding, of service leaves on people's hearts an indelible imprint and makes us ever more like the One who "emptied himself, taking the form of a servant" (Phil. 2: 7). This is what shapes our identity and gives us our true name.
(Pope John Paul II)

Monday, 2 April 2007

Palm Sunday--22° World Youth Day

Today, had the privilege to join many youths from all over in the procession for the celebration of Palm Sunday with the Pope. With huge palms in our hands at St. Peter's Square, we recalled the triumphant entry of our Lord into Jerusalem 2,000 years ago. It is just amazing and touching to see the many young people gathering together. Around me, there were a group of students from France and 2 from Brazil. During the Mass, they really participate with all their hearts. Just being with them, clapping and calling out "Benedetto" makes me feel younger and full of hope and enthusiasm.

Today is also the 22° World Youth Day and the Pope invites us to reflect with the theme: “Just as I have loved you, you alsoshould love one another” (Jn 13:34).

With his message, the Pope emphasized that Love is possible and encourage the youth, the future and hope of humanity, to trust in a love that is true, faithful and strong, love that generates peace and joy; a love that binds people together and allows them to feel free in respect for one another. He reminds us that God is the only source of true love.

Sunday, 1 April 2007

5° Station -- Simon helped carrying the Cross

Jesus needs the help of another man to continue his journey. In that slow journey beside that man, Simon received that face, serene in his pain, a grateful silent look that transform him profoundly. Our God needs our help. It is not easy to recognize concretely how to give, how to set our lives in relation with others that, without us knowing, they are in need of us, how to discover the profound experience of Simon of Cyrene.
(P. David Turoldo)

Saturday, 31 March 2007

4° Station -- Jesus meets His Mother

The Hands of Comfort

Most Holy Mother, for your love, I offer to remain in this harsh jail (Auschwitz), even if the others will be granted to return home. I will remain here, forgotten and contempted, to suffer for you. I offer particularly to you, O Mary, so as to meet death in this camp among hostile and difference men.
(Massimilian Kolbe)
The Silence
It is hard to be him to assist to the agony of a baby of it, of a friend, of a dear person. It is difficult even to say the correct thing and we don't often know even thing to say. We would like that the people to us dear they didn't have to bring the weight of their cross.The love is totally vulnerability, completely without defenses, open to anything happens. Bitter it is to allow the people to do what God he/she asks them, to any cost. All of this that we can do is to be present, to console her, to sustain her to offer them our respect. These moments are sacred.
(Rina Risitano, fsp)

Friday, 30 March 2007

3° Stazione -- Jesus Falls the First Time

The Hands of Benediction

More than a history of meetings, the Way of the Cross is a succession of falls. In the meetings, there is now the Mother, Veronica, the pious women: in the falls, there are all of us. It seems that the Lord has intended to give us appointment "on the ground" where the meeting is easier and bring about common fragility. The fallen one is not a deserter but one "that comes less than the street": and Jesus attends him, lowered himself under the cross, because no one feels alone in times of darkness.
(cf. d. Primo Mazzolari)

Friday, 23 March 2007

2° Station--Jesus Carries the Cross

Hand of Love

"Whoever wish to follow me must deny himself, take up his cross every day and follow me." To give life to others, one need to give up something of ones own life. "No one has greater love than to give ones life for his brothers". Many christians are disposed to give their life for Him. They follow Jesus on the way of the cross. Accused and offended like Him, they gave their lives so that the poor will have life and have it to the fullest.
(cf. Mons. Oscar Romero)

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

1° Station of the Cross

Reflection from Mother Teresa:

Jesus is condemned to death. It is important that each one of us succeeds in looking at this and take up upon oneself his/her cross. We need to accompany Christ all along His ascent to Calvary, if we want to arrive together with Him on top of the mountain. It is really for this motive that Jesus, before dying, gave us the gift of His Body and Blood so that we could find the strength to take up our cross and follow His journey step by step.
(Mother Teresa, Via Crucis--Le Mie Mani Ferite)

Sunday, 11 March 2007

Scavi Tour

It has been 3 weeks since I last posted. Chinese New Year has long gone, the Lenten season is already half-way towards Easter. Well, I have been doing a bit of everything here and there. What is most interesting? If you can remember my posting last year about my adventure in San Pietro, well, my dream came true when I was invited to join our sisters from the Charism Course to make the Scavi Tour.

"Scavi" means excavation. We were given a brief history of the building of St. Peter Basillica and its developments since the year 300s when the Emperor Constantine christianized Rome after he won the battle. Through the years, it developed into its present day form. However, it was in 1939, after the death of Pope Pius XI that excavation began. The late pope had willed to be buried on the grotto level, but by the time of his death, there weren't enough space. So the people decided to lower the ground. It was during this process that they found that there were tombs below. With the permission of the new Pope, Pius XII, excavation began. To keep the story short, they finally found the bones of St. Peter, confirmed that he was buried below. Is it true how Jesus said to Peter: You are Peter and upon this rock I shall build my Church."

It was really a neat experience. For those of you who have a chance to come to Rome, this will be one of the tour worth considering. However, I think the tour has to be booked in advance.

Monday, 19 February 2007

Happy Chinese New Year

Wishing all of you a very happy and prosperous Chinese New Year as we celebrate the year of the Pig.

Today, we the Singapore-Malaysia priests and religious gathered at the Canossian Convent for the celebration of the Chinese New Year. It was indeed great for me, since I have not really celebrated in such a way for the past 5 years. We celebrated the Eucharist, in thanksgiving for the blessings we have received and for a New Year. Interestingly, our main celebrant is an Indian, but this reflects the harmonious society of Singapore and Malaysia where we are mult-cultural. After the Mass, the canossian sisters prepared a sumptous lunch, with "lou hei".

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Signs of Love

In today's Gospel reading, the pharisees asked Jesus for a sign, despite all that Jesus had done before them. How often we too, consciously or unconsciously ask Jesus to give us a sign. Yet, the greatest sign God has given us is His love, made present in the Eucharist. If only we can have the eyes of faith to see.

When we are in profound comunion with the Lord, the sign of signs becomes his presence, or better, the faith in his presence. There are many signs that are important in our life. Some signs indicate friendship, harmony, while others can be exactly opposite. The signs can create sympathy or antipathy, they can ignite harmony or disharmony. For instance, when someone gives a gift, it is a sign of profound sentiment, non measured by the value of the object given. A sign has the value for establishing a relationship and bond.
(cf. Messa Meditazione)

Sunday, 11 February 2007

God Will Provide the Friends We Need

I heard much about Henri Nouwen and used to think his writing are hard to reach. It was only recent year that I began to appreciate his writings as I found out how he wrote so simply and humanly about his personal experiences that I can relate well. I found lots of consolations and encouragements through them. Recently I came upon two books that compiled his writings from different books that I like very much. Since they are collections from his different books, I do not read from page 1, but rather pick the topic that appeals to me, or sometimes I will just turn the pages at random. Interestingly, usually the pages I turned to speak to me just exactly what I needed to hear. I believe it is God's way of speaking to me.

Here's one page I would like to share:

To whom do we go for advice? With whom do we spend our free evenings? With whom are we going on vacation? Sometimes we speak or act as if we have little choice in the matter. Sometimes we act as though we will be lucky if there is anyone who wants to be our friend. But that is a very passive and even fatalistic attitude. If we truly believe that God loves us with an unlimited, unconditional love, then we can trust that there are women and men in this world who are eager to show us that love. But we cannot wait passively until someone shows up to offer us friendship. As people who trust in God's love, we must have the courage and the confidence to say to someone through whom God's love becomes visible to us: "I would like to get to know you. I would like to spend time with you. I would like to develop a friendship with you. What about you?"

There will be no's, there will be the pain of rejection. But when we determine to avoid all no's and all rejections, we will never create the milieu where we can grow stronger and deepen in love. God became human for us to make divine love tangible. That is what incarnation is all about. That incarnation not only happened long ago, but it continues to happen for those who trust that God will give us the friends we need. But the choice is ours!
(Here and Now)

Saturday, 3 February 2007


A little incident happened yesterday while travelling on the Metro that kept me thinking. A young 'gypsy' with her little sister (I supposed) walked from the beginning of the train, with the little girl hanging a toy keyboard round her neck (with music) and holding a broken paper cup asking for money. Obviously the people have been so used to this kind of scene that hardly anybody took notice of them or even offer them anything. Just a while ago, an old lady came up the metro, sounding a bit "off" her mind as she was talking to herself loudly that the people either were trying to turn away or laughing at her. Just as when she saw the two 'travellers', she called out "Hey, piccola, vieni!', literally means: little girl, come. The little girl was hesitant and looked a bit afraid, but the woman continued to call out. So, they went to her and she started looking into her plastic bag, mumbling: let's see what we have got here, wait. Then, there she goes, taking out a pack of waffle biscuit and gave to the little girl. She even asked the older one if she wants another. The 2 sisters continued they 'business' and she just seemed nothing happened.

Just as we, who call ourselves 'normal', look indifferent to the people in need (probably because it is just such a common scene that we take for granted) and there, people whom we judge as 'abnormal' are the ones extending help to them. Are we normal then? Maybe we no longer trust that these people are in real needs. Maybe it never cross our mind that there are other ways to help these people besides giving money. To what extend can we help or reach out to these people?

Tuesday, 30 January 2007


"Non tutte le vocazioni sono all vita religiosa, consacrata o sacerdotale; non basta uno slancio di generosità e di buona volontà. La vocazione alla donazione totale è un dono, ma la vocazione ad essere apostolo, annunciatore del vangelo, portare il Regno di Dio a tutti è per tutti: va' nella tua casa, dai tuoi e annunzia loro..."

This reflection was taken from Messa Meditazione and since it is in Italian, I will try to be as faithful as I can in translating, bearing in mind my limited, poor Italian.

"Not all vocations are to the religious life, consacrated or priesthood; not enough an impulse of generosity and good will. The vocations to total donation is a gift, but the vocation to be apostle, announcer of the gospel, to bring the Reign of God to all, is for all: "go to your house, to your family and anounce to them..."

This past week, I was graced again with the visit of Connie, my friend from Singapore, who was here for a meeting. Through her, I got to know her colleague from Taiwan. This person has a very positive attitude even though I met her only on 2 occasions. Unfortunately on her first day here, she was the victim of the pickpocket at St. Peter's Basillica, right in front of the Pietà, she believed. Instead of getting upset, she smiled to me and said: my passport is still here even though it was beside the wallet. At least it got stolen in the church instead of on the street.

I would have thought otherwise: why of all place it is in the church!

Anyway, as I read today's reflection, I remember her sharing of her faith.

This new friend is a christian and experiences great joy whenever she prays. She has a so-called 'prayer board' when she stick all her prayer intentions and will mark the date on which she thinks it was answered. Then she will stick them into a journal. She make sure she has 5 intentions each day, not just for her own relationship with Jesus (which is one of them), but for others, people whom she does not know, people whom she came across from reading the news. She prayed 13 times before she finally got a house of her own and she said: only 13 times, that is very little. How can we keep saying we pray a lot and God does not answer our prayers? I prayed only 13 times! She felt she did not do much to spread the Gospel, but just coming into contact with her, I feel that she had already shared with me the Good News--through her faith, through her joy, through her positiveness.

Monday, 29 January 2007

4° Sunday of Ordinary Time

In today's homily, the priest reminded us: our vocation is to seek to do the will of God in our lives. Yes, whether we are priests, religious or lay person, we seek to do His will everyday, even in little things. In today's gospel reading, Jesus was not being accepted by His own people. Often I wonder how He felt not being accepted and being rejected by the people whom He love most, especially those closest to Him.

In life, definitely we bound to be rejected or not being accepted by people, and the most painful experience is from those we love most. In these moments, everything may seem dark, nothing seems to be right, we feel alone and probably we even want to run away from where we are.

These days, I came across a number of readings and reflections that touch on this subject and give some lights to them. Just a few days ago, we were in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and one of the readings the Church offered include:

  • St. Paul's letter to the Romans--who/what can separate us from the love of Christ?
  • Psalm 22--Why remain far from me and do not help me? Why do you not hear my cry, O Lord?
  • Jesus dying on the cross and the women and John there.

I thought the comment to the readings was good:

  • There are moments in our life in which suffering goes beyond every measures, in which there are no words to express our pains, not even cries, tears or gestures. In those moments, we are also there with the women at the tomb, watching all that we loved and in which we hoped from the buried.
  • The sufferings of God is redeeming. He is loaded with the sufferings of all the people and his death redeemed all of us. He was elevated on the cross to draw everyone to him. In his sufferings and solitude on the cross, he really shared and participated in the experience of most obsure pain and fear that humanity experience. The more we cling to the cross of Christ, the more we cling to one another. Christ offered his life for all, when we recognize that we depend in equal way from this salvific work, we discover that we are gifted with a profound unity.

Do we continue to love those whom we loved even though they rejected or abandoned us? Do we continue to trust?

Jesus did not stop loving his people even though he faced rejection and abandonment. I believe He loves them even more. It is difficult and I believe it takes time to reach this point where the wounds of hurt be transformed into deeper love. Yet, I believe that faith and trust in the will and love of God makes all things possible. It opens our eyes to new light and love.

Sunday, 21 January 2007

3° Sunday Ordinary Time

Yes, again, I am behind time, after 3 weeks of silence. Something interesting happened today. A sister and myself decided to go downtown for 10 am Mass. However, when we reached there, we realized that the Mass actually started at 9:30 am. Being in Rome, there is always no difficulty in finding another Church, but the problem is the timing. Yet, we managed to get to another Church which is less than 5 minutes away on the same street. I was so happy to see on the sign that there is a 10 am Mass in Latin. Well, even if I don't understand Latin, at least most of the time the readings and homily are in Italian.

The Church was not filled, yet, quite a number of people. Then here came a young priest to begin the Mass. To my surprised, the altar in front was not prepared but off he went towards the tabernacle, facing it and began the Mass. This was a real experience. The only thing I could really hear is "Dominus Vobis cum" "Ecum spiritu tuo". After all the prayers, began the readings. He stepped towards his right, still facing the tabernacle and began reading (I guess in latin 'coz I really could hardly hear anything). Then, the old man who was serving the Mass moved the 'book' to the left and the priest again moved over and began reading. Guess this was the second reading. As we sang the Alleluia, he took off his little vestment, then moved towards the lecten for the Gospel and homily -- only thing I could understand at least 'coz was in Italian. The rest of the Mass was all in latin with him facing the tabernacle.

Well, I do not want to comment about this or be critical, but personally I felt myself not praying and participating in the celebration. It was indeed an experience for me. I know that recently there is a kind of movement of returning to the latin rites, and I have no objection of attending latin Mass, but I question: how far back do we want to return to?

Tuesday, 2 January 2007

Welcome 2007

Happy New Year!
I began the New Year with the Eucharist Celebration with the Pope at St. Peter's Basillica and and on this World Day of Peace, the Holy Father invites us to reflect on the theme: The Human Person, the Heart of Peace.
The Pope states: "I am convinced that respect for the person promotes peace and that, in building peace, the foundations are laid for an authentic integral humanism. In this way a serene future is prepared for coming generations."

Monday, 1 January 2007

Goodbye 2006

We ended 2006 with Evening Prayer, Benediction and singing the Te Deum at the Parish of St. Anna yesterday, giving thanks to the Lord for all the graces and blessings received. It was such a great experience to be with the people, feeling united in thanksgiving. Then, in the community, we had exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Adoration together. Each one expressed their thanksgiving to the Lord for all the blessings. After the prayer last night, we gathered together at the dinner room for the 'countdown' and wishes for the new year.

For me, 2006 has been a great year of blessings and graces. It began with a journey moving from the small community in Terni, south of Umbria, towards the outskirt of Rome--Torvaianica by the sea, where I began with 19 other FSPs from the world for the course of preparation for Perpetual Profession. The 5 months intense preparation led to the gift of Perpetual Profession, which I made on 15 June. Then, with the grace of returning back to Rome at the end of September and be inserted into the community of Via del Mascherino. I thank the Lord for sending me people in my way, whom reflect His love to me, most of all, the person who accompanied me in my journey during my '2nd novitiate', my family, who so openly accepted my vocation even though I know it was difficult for them to comprehend and understand, yet they attended the celebration of my profession. Last but not least, for the grace of the visits of my 2 brothers at the end of the year.