“One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life.” Psalm 27:4
I am one lucky Assuntarian! We made a week-long visit to family in Malaysia this week, almost on impulse, and with little planning. As always, a few days after our arrival from Honolulu, I contacted that force of nature, Sr. Enda Ryan FMM, my headmistress at Assunta Secondary School and a continuing powerful presence in my life, to see if we could visit her. And lo and behold, we learned that she was marking her platinum jubilee–the 70th anniversary of the profession of her vows as a Franciscan Missionary of Mary. And this milestone anniversary was going to be celebrated in conjunction with the induction of the first batch of lay Franciscan associates in Malaysia. The Mass marking both occasions was due to be celebrated in the intimacy of the small, beautiful, chapel at St. Francis Convent, next to Assunta Primary School, also my alma mater, where I was fortunate to receive my early years of schooling.
And so that is where we were blessed to find ourselves this sunny Saturday morning, just a day before our departure. The silent adoration of the Blessed Sacrament was followed by the Eucharist celebrated by Fr. Michael Raymond OFM Cap.
The voices lifted in prayer, scripture and song, reverberated in the small sacred space with its high ceilings. The Spirit felt very present in the palpable joy of the new lay associates, and in Sr. Enda’s renewal of vows made seven decades ago. Those vows of poverty, obedience, and chastity, embraced with fidelity and faith over a long and remarkably useful career have guided her as she shaped generations of students. Students like me, who remain forever grateful for the impact of lessons learned, and values imparted through a Franciscan education at Assunta Secondary School in Petaling Jaya.
Congratulations, Sr. Enda! And Ribuan Terima Kasih!