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Mother Foundress’ Day : 24 April 2020
Foundress’ Day Celebration
Ahuva Good Shepherd- Small Group Care
In previous years, Foundress Day was the day that all staff in Marymount Centre, the social service arm of the Good Shepherd Family in Singapore, would gather together to celebrate the spirit of St Mary Euphrasia. The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic this year meant that not only are large gatherings prohibited, segregations and social distancing had to be observed even though we have 3 services and many sisters living within the same compound. These days, the trend is to use social media to get connected, but we wanted to stretch our creativity to involve our children, staff and sisters to celebrate this important day in a safe yet meaningful manner.
Our Foundress day triduum begun on 23 April when the sisters surprised our children (residents) by cooking their favourite food, chicken curry. Food was delivered and placed in an accessible area and collected by the staff at a later time to ensure non-contact. Our children wrote thank you notes and cards as they practised Mother Foundress teaching of ‘Gratitude is the memory of the heart.’
On 24 April, excitement was in the air as our children anticipated the ‘the big party’. We introduced to them St Mary Euphrasia and her relevance to them before sharing her life story. As part of the Trauma-Informed Positive Behavioural Interventions and Support (TI-PBIS) framework practised in our children’s home, we are required to do Emotional Regulation Drills with our children daily. These activities are conducted to help our children regulate and cope with their emotions. We did ‘Inspiration’ where our children identify quotes or words that motivate or encourage them, planting positive thoughts in them. They wrote individual notes to the sisters based on the St Mary Euphrasia’s quote that inspired them. Some children got creative and came up with their own inspiring quotes and messages for the sisters.
The sisters reciprocated with more desserts and snacks through the usual safe delivery method. They certainly knew the way to the hearts of our children! In these uncertain times with the global pandemic, we also hoped to motivate the other staff working in our mission by sharing with them quotations from mother foundress. Without any physical interaction (we cannot emphasize this enough!), every staff across the 3 services picked an inspiring quote from mother foundress.
The last day of our triddum of celebration, 26th April, involved baking with the children, staff and sister. Our children made pinwheel danish pastry to symbolise their hopes and dreams. They also proudly assisted staff to do a rose pastry for Mother Foundress since her birth name was Rose Virginie. This baking process was a joint effort with the sisters as the oven in our children’s home broke down, hence, a sister helped to oversee the baking process in the convent. The sister was so sweet to help perfect and beautify the children’s hard work, even adding little coloured heart shaped candies which delighted our children.