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Monday, June 10, 2013

Speech by Sr Kelly Ngai after her profession of perpetual vows


Your Lordship, Rt Rev Datuk Julius, Religious Brothers and Sisters, Good Shepherd Sisters, Religious Sisters and Brothers, Good Shepherd Lay Associates and Good Shepherd Mission Partners, my family members, relatives, friends, brothers and sisters in Christ.
The theme I have chosen for my Perpetual Profession of Vows is from John 15:4 – “Abide in me, I in you”.  This is not just about my personal relationship with God but most important, it is about my prayer to God to help me to be faithful to my religious consecration, to be zealous in reaching out to those whom God entrusts to me.  Recalling my years of experience since my initial ‘yes’ to God, I feel that in the midst of my service to others, I have actually received abundant blessings from God as what was written in John 15:1 “I am the true vine and my Father is the vine grower.  If any of my branches does not bear fruit, he breaks it off; and he prunes every branch that does bear fruit that it may bear even more fruit.”
In my formation years, God has pruned me, healed me, blessed me with many talents and helped me to discover my gifts in different situations; to be whole, to love unselfishly and unconditionally and that involves a life long journey.  I ask God to give me the grace to walk on so that I can continue to be a cheerful wounded healer.
Gratitude is the memory of the heart!  These are words often spoken by the foundress of the Good Shepherd Congregation, Saint Mary Euphrasia. 
On this very special occasion of my perpetual profession these words speak to me as I feel a deep sense of gratitude and express them to you here.
To Bishop Julius - my deep thanks to you Bishop for being the celebrant for the Eucharist, for solemnizing my perpetual profession, and for your prayers and support  over the  many years that I have known you.
To all the religious brothers and sisters from the different congregations, thank you for your prayers and your presence here. 
It is a joy to have you the parishioners of the different parishes of the Diocese of Sandakan and St Mark’s parish present here to celebrate with for this occasion.
My deep appreciation goes out to all those who have travelled quite a long distance to be here to celebrate with me – from Singapore, Johor, Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Kota Kinabalu and Tawau.  Thank you very much for being here – your presence means a lot to me.
Bagi pihak Sister-sister Gembala Baik, saya ingin mengucapkan setinggi-tinggi penghargaan dan terima kasih khasnya kepada: Majlis Pastoral Paroki St. Mary, Sandakan, Komiti Pastoral Gereja St. Mark, Komiti Khas Perayaan, Komuniti-komuniti dan semua pihak serta orang perseorangan yang telah memberi bantuan dan kerjasama dalam apa jua bentuk sehingga berjayanya upacara Ekaristi Pengikraran Kaul Kekal ini.
Here I would also like to express my gratitude to many of you and some who are not present here who have played a significant role in molding and forming me for a life in the Good Shepherd Mission.
To Archbishop John Wong who was God’s instrument as a young priest in guiding me in a way that I could hear God’s call and follow the footsteps of Jesus, our Good Shepherd.  Exactly 50 days after my baptism, on Pentecost Sunday, he asked me, “Do you want to be a Religious?”  This question is very significant especially because it came after a year of having struggled and succeeded in leading the youth group in Saint Mark’s Church, Sandakan.  My sincere thanks to Archbishop John for his prayers and guidance in my initial searching for my vocation in life and his continual support for me.
To you,  the Good Shepherd Sisters, I am very grateful for the experiences we shared both in community life and in the Mission. Thank you for your unceasing prayers, love and support to strengthen my faith, hope and love in God. Some of you as leaders, formators and companions in community have played a significant role in my life with your guidance, care, support and encouragement throughout my formation years.
My sincere thanks to Srs Joan Lopez, Salomi Cruz, Susan Chia, Cecilia Liew and the many other Sisters who I may not have named here but who have journeyed with me at different points in my mission journey. In your different ways you have inspired me and challenged me towards growth and positive change.
To my Spiritual Directors, Fr Paul Cheong and Sister Teresa Chye, I am grateful for your spiritual wisdom and understanding which enriched my life deeply and helped me in my spiritual growth.
My heartfelt thanks to the Good Shepherd Lay Associates and Mission Partners in Singapore and Malaysia who have together worked for a just and caring society.  Your passion, prayers, support and zeal in realising the Good Shepherd Mission and reaching out to those in situations of marginalisation has always inspired  and challenged me to live my vows in an authentic way.
I remember my late parents Simon and Annie with a deep sense of gratitude. I believe that they are with me today in spirit.  Though we were not well to do financially, as children we did not lack for anything. My parents were very generous with what they had, ready to help those who were in need and often opened their home to those who needed a place to stay temporarily.
I would like to say a big thank you to my siblings, for your active participation and for assisting in the preparation for this special occasion. Thank you for your presence here, your love, blessings and especially for always being a strength and support to me.
Last but not least, I would like to express my deep gratitude for all the women, teenage girls, youth, children and the families whom I have served in the mission.  They are God's greatest gift to me because through journeying with them; their struggles, their growth, their joy and their sorrows, my heart has been moved to respond with compassion and merciful love. Through them, I have learnt to trust God and have the belief that God does hear  the cry of the poor.
I would now like to end with an invitation to all the young girls and boys present here today to open yourself to God’s whispering in your heart.  Is God calling you to the priesthood or religious life?  “If today you would listen to the voice of God, harden not your hearts”  Do come and see.  Do find out  what is the purpose of your life? You will truly be surprised at what God has in store for you; for with God, nothing is impossible.
Thank you all once again for your presence and participation in this Celebration and may God continue to bless each and all abundantly. 

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