Making Christ known to all

The blessing of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (FSIC) Convent took place September 7.

Sep 22, 2023

Cardinal-elect Sebastian Francis celebrating the Eucharist at the FSIC sisters’ convent.

By Christopher Kushi

The blessing of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (FSIC) Convent took place September 7.

The sisters first came to the Diocese of Penang on Feb 16, 2017. Their mission is primarily in pastoral care to the Apostolate Bahasa Malaysia (ABM), Diocese of Penang.

They are now a common feature in the church for faith formation, preparing for Sacraments, pre-marriage course in Bahasa Malaysia, family visits, spiritual accompaniment, recollection, prayer and Taize. They leave a loving effect with their friendly disposition, guitar accompaniment songs and prayerful reverence.

Cardinal-elect Sebastian Francis reiterated that the ABM is important in pastoring to the Sabahans and Sarawakians — who have come to the diocese to work or study — the Orang Asli community and the Indonesian migrant groups. Support is always present for the Bahasa Malaysiaspeaking parishioners to grow in faith and fraternity.

The FSIC is a home-grown diocesan congregation founded by Msgr August Wachter, originally from Austria, in the year 1936 and with the help of Mother Rose Charnley, the initial four novices — Cecilia Ho, Stephanie Malaim, Theresa Thien and Marie Thien made their first profession on June 20, 1941. Their mission is of living their consecrated, apostolic life in the spirit of prayer, simplicity and joyful service following the example of Mary Immaculate and St Francis of Assisi.

The congregation has grown to 112 professed sisters, five novices, three postulants and three aspirants. They have 33 communities in Sabah, four communities with one each in Kuala Lumpur, Terengganu, Malacca and Penang.

The Mass ended with fellowship. The sisters congratulated Cardinal-elect on his appointment to the Cardinalate and Fr Nelson Joseph on his 25th Sacerdotal Anniversary.

“Knowing Christ and making Him known” was the Sisters’ exhortation to all present.

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