‘ Before God promised the sky would be ever so blue, before God promised the flowers would ever so blossom,
and yet God’s everlasting love and kindness had been granted to us already ‘
These verses of a hymn were composed by a Chinese trappist monk and the hymn was popularly used by all Chinese churches. I especially chose this for my Final profession theme.
I am not an artist as such but I did the drawing for my Profession card. The card is a simple drawing of clouds and birds in the sky, fish in the water, mountains and hills , flowers blooming and bees dancing, and the last of all the houses for people to live in.
All God’s creation sing for joy, peace and harmony- God of Love is dwelling among us – Emmanuel.
I was brought up in an old Catholic village where every family was catholic. The families were not rich but we children were very happy. Everyday we went to school and every evening followed the adults to the church to pray. Whenever there was a happy or sad events the church bell rang and all people went to the church and their homes to pray. So there was a very strong community life in the village.
The open ground of the village was our playground, there was nothing in it but we created our own games. When darkness fell we children would sometimes lie down on the ground and look up the sky. The sky was so big and without end, full of stars and fascinating.
The moon had different shapes and bright, very serene and at that time I felt we, every child and adult were very protected and blessed by this father in the sky/heaven; this God was looking down on us and caring us. From there I knew and learned what love among God and people. All these deep experience led me to respond to the call to be a Columban sisters.
As the Co-founder of Columban sisters, Fr. John Blowick said ” We are all God children” yes, everyone has the right to receive this good news to become a child of God.
I remember that the parish where I ministered had a few hundred children in Sunday school. Every Sunday the parents dropped the children to the class and went up to the church for mass, they felt very safe to leave their children with us Sunday school teachers. We had over 20 voluntary teachers who really put their hearts into sharing the faith with the children. They would come to church to prepare the lessons every week. Prepare children’s Mass every month. Plan and organize outings and activities etc.
At Christmas time families brought gifts to visited the elderly in nursing homes and those who lived alone at homes, love was shared there.
During the year we sometimes went to beautiful places in Hong Kong to celebrate Mass ‘out of doors’ with families. The children experienced the beauty and enjoyed nature as squirrels and birds also came and joined in the celebration.
Living together in harmony in summer camps , there the children learned fun and work, playing and washing dishes or cleaning the floor, winning and losing in games.
In the church there were times of sharing talents during presentation or performances..
‘’The Little Shoot ‘ (3 to 6 years old Sunday school children) took turns lead the prayer or mentioning a petition, e.g. “ I would like to pray for my grandma who has been sick.” The child who had received care was now expressing care in return.
A child once asked me “ Jesus taught us to call God as Father in heaven then how about my father calling God as grand father?” I answered “There is only one Father in heaven, you call God as Heavenly Father, your father and grand father also call God as Heavenly Father” I continued. “ Do you remember when we had a pilgrimage to a parish in mainland China? There were families of ‘Grand parents, parents and children like you, they also called God “ Father in Heaven, there is only one sky no matter where we go. That was why our title of the pilgrimage was ‘ The Same Sky ‘
Excitedly the child replied “Ah ! I know I know, one sky, one God and during Mass we together hold hands and say “ Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name…”
-By Sr Lucia So, SSC
Sr. Lucia was missioned in Hong Kong, China and is presently missioned here in Ireland for many years.