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Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Profession of Perpetual Vows of Sister Kelly Ngai

Photos by courtesy of Michael Wong
Sandakan - Sister Kelly Ngai made her final step in embracing the life of a Good Shepherd Sister June 1st at St Mark's Church, some 20 km from the town centre. Her profession of perpetual vows is a sign of sharing fully in the life and mission of her congregation.
Rt. Rev. Julius Dusin Gitom
The Eucharistic Liturgy was celebrated by Bishop Julius who also conducted the Rite of Religious Consecration. In his homily he called on the young people to be courageous and emulate the step taken by Sr Kelly for it is our responsibility to respond to God's call. Religious is a special people of God devoted in serving not just the Church but the community and the world at large. They are a visible and living sign of the Gospel.
The Religious of the Good Shepherd is  very much involved in reaching out to the marginalized and oppressed especially to the migrant community. They are sensitive to her neighbours. Service to the people is always at their hearts as what Blessed Pope John Paul II said in his speech to the Religious Women in Rome in 1979, 'I ask you to be religious mothers, sisters and friends to all the people.'
He called upon Sr Kelly to remain faithful to the Lord in all circumstances as in John 15 : 4, 'Abide in me, I in you' and be the light to the world and salt to the earth. Through such example you will be able to attract more young people to the vocation which is much needed in the Church.
The call to religious life demands a spirit of true self-sacrifice. As witnesses we will find Christ in people who are suffering, underprivileged children, the abuse, in short those in need. He invited the congregation to pray for Sr Kelly and to all religious to be trully witnesses of the Gospel. The profession is truly a sign of hope.
The Rite of Religious Profession followed right after the homily with Sr Joan Lopez, the Sister Provincial of the Good Shepherd Sisters for Singapore and Malaysia, at the sanctuary calling for Sr Kelly. The rite included a self examination of Sister Kelly on her resolve to live and persevere in the promises of chastity, poverty, obedience and zeal, as well as to strive for perfection in the love of God and neighbor by living the Gospel and keeping  to the constitutions of the Religious of the Good Shepherd and to spend her life in generous service. She commits herself into a life of total consecration to God. She then signed the act of profession witnessed by the Bishop, Sr Joan and the whole congregation. 
In the solemn prayer of consecration, Sister Kelly repeated the resolutions and received the bishop's blessing. The ring, an insignia of the congregation, blessed by Bishop was then passed onto Sr Kelly by Sr Joan. The rite concluded with Sister Joan, who formally accepted Sister Kelly as a member into the community. As part of the ceremony following the profession of vows, the perpetually professed Sisters came forward to embrace Sister Kelly who became “one with us” in following the Lord in religious life.

Present at the ceremony were Sister Kelly's family members, relatives, friends , Good Shepherd Sisters' mission partners and the local community who celebrated this special event in her honor. There were about 90 people who came from outside of the Sandakan Diocese, the Good Shepherd Mission partners   from Singapore, KL, Ipoh, Johor, Penang and Kota Kinabalu including 23 Good Shepherd Sisters from the province of Singapore and Malaysia.
We thank God for this day, for one of us from St. Mark's Church community has chosen to respond to God's call to serve in his vineyard as a Good Shepherd sister.  Below is a brief bio-data of Sr Kelly.
Sr Kelly is the daughter of the late Simon Ngai and Annie Chu. She is from Mile 12, Jalan Labuk, Sandakan. She is the fifth child of seven siblings and was baptized in 1994 at St. Mary's Church Sandakan. After her baptism she was involved in the youth ministry of the Chinese community and also as a facilitator for the  RCIA process in St. Mark's Church. She received her early education at Pea Wah Chinese Primary School and pursued her secondary education at SMK St.Cecilia Convent. She previously served as an account clerk in a private company before entering the convent.

Sr. Kelly began her religious formation as an aspirant in Kota Kinabalu in 1999-2000, as a pre-novice in Kuala Lumpur, 2001-2003 and as a novice in 2004 in Kota Kinabalu and made her first profession of vows in 2006. In 2011 she went to the Philippines for her theological studies. Sr Kelly has served at the Rose Virgine Good Shepherd Centre Ipoh, Seri Murni Crisis Centre Kota Kinabalu and Teenage Centre, Kuala Lumpur.

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