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CatholicNews ■ Sunday September 16, 2007 11

PEOPLE

wanted to be a Sister but when Catholic News. One was a feature


the Lord calls and youʼre open to article on the environment – “I was
do his will, you canʼt escape!” thankful for the opportunity to
Her first encounter with the enlighten our readers on creation
Daughters of St. Paul was through spirituality and how we can be
By Joyce Gan a small vocation advertisement in kinder to the planet and the
the Catholic Digest. environment”; the series on
WENDY OOI, A Daugher of St. “I was impressed that such a religious life – “It was edifying
Paul Sister and a Catholic News ʻmodernʼ congregation existed to see the beauty of each
writer, left the staff and Singapore and I was attracted by their congregationʼs charism and
on Tue Aug 28 on the next lap of mission to use the media to how each is contributing to the
her journey – one that takes her to evangelize because that was my building up of the one body in
Los Angeles. desire too,” she recalls. Christ.”; the series on religions
In the next few months, With that, she visited the – “Iʼm ever more convinced that
Sister Wendy will be updating Daughters of St. Paul in Malaysia no religion can say they have
herself in the media industry with and the Philippines to experience exclusive claim to the Truth or
Paulist Productions, a Catholic their life of prayer and mission salvation” and of course, her
production house based in Los – all the while, a “reluctant interview with Olivia Newton-John.
Angeles that creates films and vocation”, she admits. An Olivia Newton-John
television programmes with “I didnʼt think I was ʻholyʼ admirer for the last 30 years,
IF YOU HAVE ever wondered who the aim of “revealing Godʼs enough but the Lord calls sinners Wendy says the interview was a
ensures that the lecture rooms at the presence in contemporary human and saints alike so after a silent “dream come true”.
Catholic Archdiocesan Education experience”, she says. retreat, I decided to surrender “It was most satisfying to hear
Centre (CAEC) are ready for Next year she is scheduled to myself to his will, believing that a CatholicNews reader comment
lectures and conferences, or if be in Kenya. only in so doing would I obtain after he had read the article, ʻOlivia
youʼve ever wondered about the “I will help in producing inner peace and true joy,” she says. happy to oblige and grateful for is more Catholic than I am!ʼ”
person who greets each person catechetical videos, in the Since then, Wendyʼs mission as the opportunity to serve our local For now, Sister Wendy Ooiʼs
who attends those talks and apostolic formation of our novices a Daughter of St. Paul was to carry church in a direct way.” journey has taken her away from
conferences with a smile, itʼs Roy and I will have the opportunity to out various forms of apostolate She adds, “Whatʼs really Singapore.
Tan, Assistant Building Manager carry out some mission work in that has to do with “using the interesting is that our very first To this, she says, “Itʼs never
of CAEC for the last seven years. Sudan,” Wendy shares. media at the service of Godʼs mission as Daughters of St. Paul easy when you have set up roots
But Roy, whose hobbies Wendy made her final Word and todayʼs culture to spread was to set up a diocesan and then have to leave. It wasnʼt
include car-racing and sketching, profession on Mar 25, 2003. the message of Godʼs love”. newspaper in Susa, Italy, the next easy to leave the ministries I was
has been reflecting on a return to Prior to that, she was a television After her profession of diocese to Alba where our Sisters involved with, friends and family
the secular world. “Godʼs been producer cum broadcast journalist perpetual vows in 2003, Archbishop were founded.” but God always writes straight in
leading me there,” he said. “Maybe with then Singapore Broadcasting Nicholas Chia had requested for Of all the many articles that crooked lines so I see his loving
the little light that I have can shine Corporation (SBC), todayʼs her to contribute to CatholicNews. Wendy has written, four come to hand in my new assignment and
on others out there.” Roy left his MediaCorp. “Since this is very much in mind when asked what was most trust that he will always be with
position on Aug 31. ■ She shares that she had “never line with our apostolate, we were memorable about her work with me, come what may.” ■

straightaway I started!” she approached Roseanne for help.


laughed. Roseanne had retired She readily agreed.
from the SingTel job by then and “My duty is to teach about
she cooked for the Carmelites 50 expecting mothers how to
By Joyce Gan residents requested for a feast one from January to November 2005, cook, bake, cut hair and other
Chinese New Year. spending two months there, then life skills,” she said. “We will do
SINCE THEIR SCHOOLS days, “But there were no volunteers return to Singapore for two months, craftwork and hold food fairs.
Roseanne Wee and her twin sister as it was Chinese New Year. I before heading back to Sabah. The money earned will help to
Rosemary have been helping out at wondered what to do before I There were only 22 Carmelites defray costs for the Sisters and to
churches and attending the novena went to the chapel to pray,” she there on ordinary days, but when pay for the necessities for these
faithfully. They were baptized in recalls. “And then, 16 students there were retreats, she had to mothers.”
1996 at the Holy Family parish showed up to volunteer their cook for about 1,000 people. If all goes well, Roseanne will
and have since been using their help. Although they didnʼt know Roseanne was then introduced be headed there in November.
culinary skills to help others. how to cook, they helped prepare by an Anglican friend to a hostel “Iʼm trying to go early
Before that, Roseanne was such a good dinner,” Roseanne for children in Kota Marudu, because theyʼre expectant
looking after cancer patients at the said with a laugh, “though they Sabah. It was a bare place set mothers, mostly unmarried, so I
Little Sisters of the Poor Home at did mess up the kitchen”. up by two Assisi nuns with their have to teach them (certain life
Upper Thomson Road. Roseanne Roseanne then used her Mother Superior and a priest who skills) before they give birth and
was assigned to look after Louisa, culinary skills at Tan Tock visits about three times a week. have to return to their kampong,”
93. Her daily routine was to Seng Hospitalʼs Hospice Care The nuns would go into Roseanne confided.
sponge and feed Louisa and they Association (HCA) for a year. the jungle to evangelize to the For the moment, she is
grew very close. When Louisa “I was the first to organize Kadazan-Duson natives whose consolidating materials for
died, Roseanne was so stricken birthday parties for them,” custom was to marry at about age the mothers to work on – such
with grief that she decided that she beamed as she displayed 11 and give birth to as many as as creating Bible carriers and
she didnʼt want to look after photographs of some of those to cook twice a week at her Toa 14 children. They had minimal making rosaries – as well as
cancer patients anymore. parties. “The patients were Payoh home, then delivering the facilities. So they entrusted the preparing to help them read the
“I want to cook,” she decided, touched and cried because they food in a taxi, and then washing children to the nuns, who brought Bible.
and that was how Roseanne said that their children didnʼt the many pots and pans at night them back to the hostel. Roseanne speaks about
joined Rosemary in the kitchen. really celebrate for them.” after her work at Singtel. Roseanne found herself the joy she has found in doing
To be able to do this, Roseanne, “Whenever they have an urge looking after the children (photo), what she does: “I feel so happy
then working as a supervisor at to eat some food, I will quickly caring for them and telling them especially when I see people eat.
SingTel, changed to the 5pm to buy it and prepare it for them… about Jesus Christ, in addition to I am so touched because God has
midnight shift. By doing this she sometimes just a day before they “After the hospice, it felt like cooking for them. given me strength to cook. Iʼve
could cook for about 200 persons die,” she said. God was calling me to do more,” She built a proper bathroom at been approached for business
at the home from 9am to 4pm Part of the money, some $400 Roseanne said. An Indonesian the hostel for them from a $4,000 many times but I always turn
daily. She did this from 1997 till a month to buy the food, were friend asked her to cook at a donation from a friend. these down. I just want to do
2002 when the Little Sisters of donated by her colleagues at Carmeliteʼs religious and retreat Godʼs work.”
the Poor left Singapore. SingTel. house in Tambunan, Sabah. This Roseanneʼs sister Rosemary
Roseanne has many fond Roseanne left HCA because place was located in a jungle, on is in Singapore, still working, and
memories of the home. She her blood pressure shot up that Sabahʼs second highest mountain. Sister Theresa Chai, a Good helping Roseanne with funds to
recalls an incident when the year from the stress of having “I went to take a look… and Shepherd Sister from Sabah, then help people. ■