Good Shepherd Partnership Gathering 2013
Some 72 lay partners and Sisters from the various Good Shepherd ministries in Singapore and Malaysia came together over the weekend of 8-9 June 2013 for the 7th Good Shepherd Partnership Gathering in Kuala Lumpur. Province Leader, Sr Joan Lopez, explained that the theme of Justice in Mission was chosen for the gathering as justice is an integral element in the mission of the Good Shepherd Order. The objectives of the gathering included creating greater awareness and developing a better understanding of the role of justice and the rights-based approach in the delivery of our programmes in the respective ministries.
The one and a half-day session was skilfully facilitated by Dr Alice Nah, Research and Teaching Fellow at the Centre for Applied Human Rights at the University of York. Topics touched on included the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC).
Two-thirds of the participants at the gathering were first-timers and quite a number were also newbies to the Good Shepherd organisation. As such, the weekend proved to be a real eye-opener for many on two levels. Firstly, in terms of an increased awareness of the work and outreach done by the various ministries within the Good Shepherd Mission. And secondly, in terms of a heightened sensitivity in recognising and respecting the inherent dignity of each and every person we encounter in the work we do on a daily basis. The gathering also served as a wonderful platform for networking and meeting our counterparts on both sides of the causeway, as well as connecting more deeply with the Good Shepherd charism and spirituality.
From the perspective of a first-time participant who is also new to the Good Shepherd organisation, I took away with me a sense of how I am part of something bigger. The weekend inspired me in making me want to learn and do even more in continuing the legacy of our foundress, St Mary Euphrasia.
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Vice-Principal, Marymount Convent School, Singapore