Foundress Week Celebration Featured

Between 2 and 8 May, we reserved a week to immerse ourselves in the vision and work of St Magdalena of Canossa, foundress of the Canossian Family of Daughters and Sons of Charity.  The Catholic Society arranged a series of thoughtful workshops and activities on making gifts for mothers and contemplating on the impact of a small act of kindness.

On the eighth, the feast day of St Magdalene, Sr Agnes, the School Supervisor, marked the beginning of the celebration with the theme of the year, Salt of the Earth  Light of the World.  She made it clear that it is a choice to be a changing agent.  She borrowed many examples in our daily life when a small act of kindness would warm a heart.  She cautioned us against leading a complacent life, that many inventors and social reformers were years ahead of their time in realising the importance of an idea.  St Magdalena of Canossa, likewise, was no exception to this. Her initiative to reach out for the stray kids despite her prestigious status and family reputation gave ‘spiritual life’ a different definition from that of similar convents and monasteries of her time.

In the afternoon, we had a mass celebrating the gift bestowed on us through St Magdalena and her charities. Rev. Father Philip Chan, the celebrant of the mass, threw a list of did-you-know questions at the audience. Did you know in which year St Magdalena was born and rest in peace? Did you know in which year she was canonized? Did you know which verses Pope John Paul II choose on October 2, 1988 for her canonization? Some of the answers were on the programme of the mass.

Rev. Father Chan called for our awareness of the spirit of sacrifice and devotion to serve the destitute within our reach.  He appealed to our keeping big hearts even after graduation.  In the end of the sermon, Rev. Father Philip bade us witness Jesus together with peace-loving nature and compassion.

The students responded in the mass with bottles of salt symbolising salt of the Earth and candles symbolising light of the world. We prayed in unison for the devastated in war-torn places and refugee camps, leaders who would restore dignity to their people with compassion and integrity, relief work and selfless workers who devote their lives for the victims, families in which members look after each other, the newly baptized who would pursue a spiritual life, teachers and students who seek the meaning of life and follow Jesus.