Another visit to Papar home for the elderly

PAPAR: A group of 14 Pastoral Care Ministry members and five confirmation students led by ministry head Vera Chin and coordinator Jennifer Soon embarked on an outreach visit to the Holy Family Residence for Senior Citizens, here, on July 28.

Most of us were in anticipation, wondering whether we would be meeting some of the senior folks whom we had met the previous years. One of the members said his daughter, who is now studying overseas, cried when she learnt that one of the women whom she met last year had been called to the Lord. That is the kind of personal feeling we have for the seniors whom we have come to know so well after hearing the story of their life experiences.

We arrived at about 10.15am and the 38 senior folks were already gathered at the meeting hall to greet us. The shaking of hands and patting of shoulders brought a wave of chattering and murmuring around the hall.

In the absence of Sister Regina and Sister Aileen, Sister Clara was on hand to welcome us. The resident priest, Rev Fr Jimsy and the Chaplain, Rev Fr Aloysius, were also out running errands. A total of 13 full-time helpers are employed at the centre and two helpers come during weekends on voluntary basis.

According to Sister Clara, they are in constant need of financial assistance and staple food stuff such as meat and rice. We had brought some rice and cooking oil for them – knowing this is always welcomed and adding to their kitchen pantry stock. They do get some help from various NGOs which also provide some assistance both in cash and in kind.

The St Simon visitors mingling with the residents. — Pix by Joan Pang

We entertained the senior folks with hymns but apparently they are a bunch of young-at-hearts. They became more joyful and happy with the students’ singing and dancing. Their performance instigated a contagious wave of happiness and lots of hand clapping

We catered a lunch for them as well, after which each member spent time talking to the residents, getting to know them better. Margaret, whom I met last year, said she had not been feeling well for two days and missed the daily Mass, making her feeling uncomfortable.

She also said she did not know how to pray the Rosary as she recites her prayers in Chinese. I had the pleasure of teaching her how to pray the Rosary in Chinese. A non-Catholic lady said she would be baptised very soon.

The senior residents at the home have come to know the infinite love of God under the loving care and commitment of the priests and sisters. The daily Mass and spiritual guidance keep them focused on Jesus, our one true Lord and Savior. — by Joan Pang

 “Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion! See, I am coming to dwell among you, says the Lord. Many nations shall join themselves to the Lord on that day, and they shall be his people, and he will dwell among you, and you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you… Silence, all mankind, in the presence of the Lord! For he stirs forth from his holy dwelling.” (Zec 2:14-15, 17)

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