Good Shepherd Order (Singapore)
First GS Nuns in Singapore
The Good Shepherd Sisters arrived in Singapore on 12th December 1939. These Irish nuns were Mother Liguori Bourke and Sr Alphonsus Moody who were the first pioneers. Sr Columba Cannon and Sr Dympna Brady arrived shortly after in January 1940.
The Good Shepherd Sisters opened their doors to women and girls who were troubled or abused and in need of healing and reconciliation.
Their first girl, Mary, was received in the home on 6th February 1940. By May 1940, the home had 11 residents. It was a significant year for the Sisters as their Foundress, Sr Mary Euphrasia Pelletier, was canonized St Mary Euphrasia on 2nd May 1940.
“Our work is a work of faith and love.”
1940 Bungalow 9th Mile Ponggol
1942 to 1945 WWII
|1945 – 1947 After WWII
|The Good Shepherd (GS) Sisters responded to a request from the Singapore government to help care for troubled girls in Singapore. Two Irish GS Sisters, Mother Liguori Burke & Sr Alphonsus Moody, arrived in December and founded the 352nd house of the GS Congregation in Singapore. They were joined later by Sr Dympna from Macao and Sr Columba Cannon from Sri Lanka in Jan 1940.
||The GS Sisters quickly set up a convent in a rented bungalow in Punggol and soon, the small bungalow was overcrowded. The GS Sisters finally managed to buy a bigger house in MacPherson Road to house the nuns and girls.
||Unfortunately the house in MacPherson Road did not last long. It was blown up during the war by the British forces who had secretly stored ammunition there. Faced without choice, the inhabitants, 5 Sisters and 27 children, were forced to move to other quarters. First, they went to the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (CHIJ) in Paya Lebar. Next, they moved to the CHIJ in Victoria Street with 500 other refugees. Then, after taking 7 direct hits from the bombing and shelling, the sisters and 30 girls sought refuge in Po Leung Kuk before moving yet again to Sr Teresa’s Bungalow. When the Japanese occupied Singapore, they were sent to a camp in Malaysia where somehow, they managed to put with up the miserable living conditions and survive the many diseases.
||When the war finally ended, the sisters and the children returned to Singapore. With help from various sources, a convent cum vocational centre for homeless girls was set up at Kampong Java Road.
Repeated requests came from the Education Department for the sisters to set up a school, resulting in the opening of a kindergarten at Kampong Java in 1947. Soon, requests came from parents for the sisters to set up a primary and secondary school for their daughters who had missed out on formal education during the Japanese Occupation. The English school at Kampong Java Convent (Primary) called Good Shepherd Convent was opened in 1947.
GSO’s work since 1947
- 1950: Moved to “Marymount” at Thomson Road
- 1954: Opening of Good Shepherd Convent Kindergarten at Nallur Road
- 1958: Official Opening of Marymount Convent School at Thomson Road
- 1962: Opening of Rose Villa (Home for Single Mothers)
- 1963: Opening of Marymount Kindergarten at Thomson Road
- 1976: Opening of Siglap Convent (Nallur Road)
- 1984: Opening of Good Shepherd Student Care (formerly Marian Centre)
- 1986: Established Crisis Shelter in Yishun (Good Shepherd Centre)
- 2001: Established Closed Teenage Centre & Hostel (Marymount Centre, formerly Marymount Vocational Centre))
- 2003: Restructured Marymount Centre’s Services
- 2006: Established Ahuva Good Shepherd – Residential Care for children
- 2015: Established the Interim Placement and Assessment Centre (IPAC)
Good Shepherd Sister – Sister Gerard Sister
Gerard Fernandez has been a Good Shepherd nun since 1956 when she was 18 years old. She is a trained teacher and taught in the primary section of Marymount Convent School from1959-1962. When she returned from her mission in Indonesia, she taught from 1966 to 1970.
She lived with the sisters at the Good Shepherd Convent next to the school. She feels a particular call to a ministry of compassion towards women and men facing the death penalty and has been involved in this cause for the past 35 years.
Good Shepherd Sisters
Installation Mass of Sr Joan as Province Leader.