BBC names Good Shepherd Sister amongst 100 Global WomenPosted on 9th November 2019

BBC Names Good Shepherd Sister Amongst 100 Global Women

Singapore - 81-year-old Good Shepherd Sister Gerard Fernandez, who has worked in prison ministry in Singapore’s Changi prison for more than 40 years, has been named on this year's BBC list of 100 influential and inspiring global women.

The BBC list focuses on the issues and achievements of women across the world, grouped within the six categories of earth, knowledge, leadership, creativity, sports and identity. This year’s theme is "The Female Future" and includes women aged 15 to 98 and representing more than 50 countries. Sr Gerard was recognised within the leadership category.

"A female future, like any other, would be one filled with kindness, dignity and equality, a world without discrimination or hate, one that's driven by compassion," she declared. "My calling is people who are broken," she added. "Many have asked me where I get the strength to do it. I have questioned myself too. That's why I believe this is a calling. I do not look at it as something I'm doing; it's a relationship between the inmate and myself.” Sr Gerard sets great store by the words of St Mary Euphrasia Pelletier who founded Sisters of The Good Shepherd:"One person is more precious than the whole world."

Until her retirement in 2017, Sr Gerard supported hundreds of prison inmates and "walked with" at least 18 inmates on death row until their execution. Not all of those whom she helped on death row were Catholics. "There was this guy Kumar, he committed murder. He said he had seen me pass by his cell and heard me sing." The day before he was to be hanged, he asked to see her and said, “Tomorrow morning, I'm going to see God and when I do, I will tell him all about you."

 

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