On Sunday 12 June, 7 of us (Joanne, Benjamin, Elizabeth, Sean, Shaun, Ryan and Darren) ventured to the Villa Francis Home for the Aged (Mandai Estate) to help our parish’s Society of St Vincent de Paul in serving lunch, singing a few songs and reaching out, being with the residents of the home.
We arrived just in time for serving lunch and the residents were treated to a feast of hokkien mee, topped with vegetables, mushrooms, and meats. We simply served them their food and drinks, and soon it was time for some songs.
There are many Catholics, Christians, Buddhists, atheists amongst the residents, but they all enjoyed the many church songs (sung by the Filipino group), and the oldie Teresa Teng songs 月亮代表我的心 and 甜蜜蜜 [led wonderfully by Ben and Elizabeth], and some Marian hymns [led by us].
Buoyed by the excitement from the singing, some of the residents also took their turn at the mike, with all of us clapping and cheering along.
When it was time to ferry the residents back to their rooms and beds, it was like a little traffic jam of wheelchairs stretching from the lifts to the canteen. We went from room to room and sang hymns and songs to other residents who were less mobile. We had many opportunities to speak to them and ask them about their families and how it was in the home. Some of them hardly have any visitors (some have no family at all), and they were very glad to see young faces, new faces, just coming and sitting down and spending time with them.
Conversing with the residents brings a much deeper, personal touch to just singing for them. It reminds one that we sing at mass, we use our talents to be Jesus for the other person(s). It reminds us of our own family members and friends who may need a listening ear, a warm smile, and a song.
We hope more Genesians can come for further sessions! – 1st Sat soup kitchens for Friends in Need at Emmaus Centre at 11am – next 02 July 2011 Sat) – Visits to the Gift of Love Home – monthly Here’s a clip on the Society of St Vincent de Paul – take a listen! – http://www.bustedhalo.com/videoandaudio/st-vincent-depaul-society