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St Francis Xavier—Patron of the KL Foundation of the Little Sisters of the Poor
The Little Sisters of the Poor arrived in Kuala Lumpur on 3rd December 1965,. It was the Feast of St Francis Xavier. On the 27th December 1965, we received a letter from our Mother House in France giving us St Francis Xavier as the Patron of our Future Foundation
Born in Spain in the year 1506, Francis Xavier studied at Paris. There he joined Ignatius of Loyola and was ordained priest at Rome in 1537. In 1541 he came to the East and spent 10 years preaching in Gospel in India, Ceylon, the Moluccas Island, Japan, Malacca, and The Malay Peninsula. He died in the year 1552 on the island of Shangchwan. His body was placed in quicklime and brought eventually to Goa, where it was enshrined and for long has been, in its incorrupt state, an object of popular pilgrimage. His Feast Day falls on 3rd December, the day after his death. Several religious missionary congregations bear his name, and we Little Sisters have him as Patron of our Home in Kuala Lumpur
Our home in Penang was founded in June 1952. The late Mr Aw Boon Par and Mdm Teh Ah Lan of then the famous “Tiger Balm” family donated the land including the large bungalow to the Congregation. The sisters first lived in this bungalow. The first phase of the building was completed in 1954. Lady McGilvery, the Governors wife, presided at the official opening of the home in 1955.
The home was built and maintained with the help of public charity. Gradually other blocks were built alongside the structures in the home and by 1990s there were about 130-150 residents at the home. Then there were 4 units: 2 for sick (Men and Women and 2 for semi valid and valid ) Presently as of 2006, the residents are relocated to the east end structure of the home in view of future reconstruction of the home in Penang. This block houses the men on one side and the ladies on the end section of the home. The other blocks have been duly vacated for the purpose of reconstruction. Other areas and facilities normally found in the home include kitchen, laundry, lounge, linen room, physiotherapy, handicraft room, auditorium, medical consultation rooms and chapel. The home has a Chapel, although open to all, no obligation is ever put on the residents to attend the services. We care for elderly of all races and creed. Full residential care is given to the residents in sickness and health.
As for recreational facilities, there are outings, picnics, ides, concerts and various projects organized for the elderly. During the week our activities include Lotto, Happy Hour, Sharing sessions, singing, band and on certain occasions Garden Party or “Kopi Tiam”. The Handicraft section is also open for some elderly who come to pass their time at the home. The occupational therapy helps the residents to put their talent to work. The Physiotherapy is utilized for the benefits of the elderly. Regular sessions are maintained with the help of staff and volunteers. The medical services at the home are assured by a group of doctors who are volunteers at the home. Their consultations are very much appreciated by the residents and the sisters of the home.
In the units, the sisters reserve the direct care of the elderly for themselves, helped by the staff and volunteers accordingly. No critically ill resident is left alone and if necessary, the sisters take turns to remain with them. To see to the needs of the elderly, their desire to be respected, esteemed and loved, the fear of loneliness and at the same time their wish for a certain independence and privacy. The care of the elderly requires therefore that we offer hem a home away from home.
The community of Little Sisters is helped by our staff. The help of volunteers are greatly appreciated. The Association of Jeanne Jugan is also another group who dedicate themselves in our service of the elderly. The services from the volunteers and Association of Jeanne Jugan can be in the administrative section, animation, outings, serving of meals, handicraft, clinic, kitchen, laundry or any way that services are needed.
The home is maintained by means of public assistance, in cash or in kind. Donations are also received by way of offering of foodstuff or basic needs for the elderly. Volunteers can also “donate” their time and talents utilizing it for the needs of the home. Tax exempt receipts are issued upon reception of monetary contributions.
The residents have been reduced for the duration of reconstruction of the Penang home. The activities too have taken a smaller scale as the dining room also serves as the auditorium. Nevertheless with our combined efforts, life in the home takes its beautiful role in unfolding each day to the elderly the opportunities and blessings that God has in store for each of them.
We thank you for the great help and support that you render us. May God who is never outdone in generosity bring upon you His Abundant Blessings!