Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Half-way mark.....

Have you gone to work in the morning, knowing that the smell that will greet you at the workplace is the smell of excrement? Well, this is what nurses experience almost every other day. Things that we often take for granted.... like the clean residents at an aged home, the sanitized smell of the place etc... if only people know the work that the staff do behind the scene.

How fast, it is already pass the halfway mark for my pastoral exposure at St Joseph's Home. I am really edified by the staff and residents here. First the residents...... there are many who are disadvantaged (in moving about, eating on their own, passing motion etc) and yet they still have a bright outlook in life, accepting their conditions and choosing to make the best of it. Every morning when I report for 'work', I am always greeted by warm smiles and wishes of "Good Morning!" from the residents. This really perks me up and makes a fantastic start to the day.

The dedication of the staff here is also commendable. I was told by one of them, "the old uncles and aunties here need to go for their exercise every day. Even if we are busy, we must still help them." What commitment! I feel the hardest thing about being in the home is not the manual work but understanding the different habits of the residents and helping to make their time here a little better. (Some like a glass of water after their meals, some prefer their juice in between the spoonfuls of porridge you feed them, etc). Remembering their names and their habits. My greatest challenge... and mind you, there are some with 'interesting' habits :-P

Today is also a significant day. It is the funeral of one of the three founders of the home. Mother Elisabeth Yeo was called home with the Lord on Sunday morning and the funeral was this afternoon at the home. Fr Bill Heng preached a beautiful homily about cherishing the memories of our dear ones and it is these bits of memories that we keep in our heart. Hearing the stories that some of the other sisters shared with me, I can understand why she is so special to so many of them.

So many significant moments..... so many lessons learnt...... so many frends made.....
Really looking foward to the time remanining...... now for some rest and it is another busy day tomorrow......

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

He ain't heavy, he's my.... brother, sister, father, mother, grandpa, grandma... (all of the above)...

Thanks to Bro Jude for the update! Yup! We have finished our 1st semester examinations and out of the 8 Singaporeans, 4 of them are on their 30-day retreat. This June, Bro Edward and myself will be on our pastoral attachment, Bro Edward in Church of St Francis Xavier, and myself at St Joseph's Home.

I have just finished my 3rd day here and what a learning experience it has been so far. I really admire the passion and commitment the staff here have for the residents, especially in coping with the more "hard to handle" ones.
Simple things that we have often taken for granted like standing up and eating are not so easy for some of the residents to do.
Well, with 27 day more to go, I continue to pray that the staff will continue to persevere in this vocation of being a care-giver and may the Lord protect them, especially in this H1N1 time. May the Lord also watch over the residents here and all the dependent people all over the world.
Now to get some rest and looking forward to another day...... :-)

Monday, 1 June 2009

Supporting Our Brothers in Prayer

Its been almost 6 months since I last contributed to our blog here at Kampung Punggol. How time flies...

I am currently on my Regency Year at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Upper Thomson Road and its been a wonderful time of grace living and working with God's People. That explains why I have been unable to contribute very much to our blog in recent times... :)

Nevertheless, I figure that this would be an appropriate time that I make a little contribution to Kampung Punggol blog because half of our Singaporean Seminarians have started their 30-day retreat today which would mean that there wouldn't be many people to man this site.

Bro Samuel Lim, Bro Alphonsus Raj, Bro Benedict Chng & Bro Jovita Ho have just begun their 30-day retreat today. That means 4 out of the 8 Singaporean Seminarians will be out of action for the next one month so I seek your understanding if you do not find our blog updated as frequently as we would like to. Bro Joseph Zhang CDD will also be making his 30-day retreat with the 4 of our brothers and we urge all of you our readers to keep these 5 brothers of ours in your prayers.

The 30-day retreat is a defining moment in the life of each seminarian and it is the time when we enter into a time of intense prayer to seek God's affirmation of our vocations and I am sure our 5 brothers would be very appreciative of your prayers for them in this time.

Thank you very much.....Let us pray....