I remember Syl…

On Sunday evening, we received the sad news that one of our sisters, Sr Sylvia George, passed away. She has been battling with cancer and has finally succumbed – but disease and death do not have the last say. Life does not end – it changes.

Blue is Syl’s favourite colour. She reminds me of butterflies – elegant, quick, colourful, cheerful and alive. Syl, like a butterfly, has shown us that life is about transformation.

I remember Syl’s ready smile and contagious laughter.
I remember her prayerful presence and quiet strength.
I remember her clarity of vision and firm conviction.

I remember her washing clothes by hand while I pumped the water from the novitiate’s well.
I remember LST and our bihun soup for lunch.
I remember her tasty dishes dashed with chilli and pepper.

I remember late nights talking about life and God’s dream for us.
I remember shopping in Divisoria and her expert haggling techniques.
I remember poring over texts of John and Raymond E Brown with her.
I remember shared tears, frustrations and challenges in the mission at home or abroad.
I remember her thick, yellow flip flops and the way she danced.
I remember her beautiful voice and the Sound of Music.

I remember 1, 2, 3 and the celebrations of our birthdays.
I remember biko, suman, dinuguan, puto, piaya and her burst of laughter.
I remember courage, tenacity and daring.

I remember care, comfort and understanding.
I remember truth, resilience and quiet forbearance.
I remember patience, gentleness and protection.

I remember thoughtfulness, reverence and wisdom.
I remember love, sacrifice and joy.
I remember a co-novice, a twin, a sister, a friend.

I remember Syl.

Thank you, Syl, for being a companion on the journey, a friend, a sister and
an inspiration. Many times just the thought of you and your sweet smile has
urged me on. I’m grateful that we were together in this great adventure called
religious life and that I learned so many things from you. Pray that I may be
wise, patient, prayerful, honest and genuine like you … That I may always hear our Beloved calling, “Come, my lovely one, come!”

Let us join hands in praying that Syl will enjoy perpetual rest in the bosom of the Father, and support her bereaved family with our prayers and presence.

Would you like to share some of your memories of Sr Sylvia?


About rosefsp

I am a religious sister (yes, a nun!) from the Daughters of St Paul whose mission is to share the Good News. I love to read, write and take photos.
This entry was posted in Musings and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to I remember Syl…

  1. emeL says:

    I did not have the pleasure of knowing her, but what a happy, wholesome picture of her … and a beautiful tribute…
    One of the precious gems in our way of life is the amazing, life-giving friendships we share along the journey. Thank you for sharing your friendship with Syl… she has inspired me too…

  2. avelao says:

    I got a glimpse of the person of Sylvia when we were together in Rome for few months. A vibrant, giggling Sylvia in public. A sincere and serious person in private. Formation is the great contribution of Sylvia in the Church. I pray the Lord to send many good vocations to our congregation for that is at her heart.

  3. wendyfsp says:

    Lovely tribute Oseng. She was Kak Syl (elder sis) to me. My life has been graced with her presence. Grateful we communicated quite a bit during her “isolation” period last year when she felt bored and would send me FB messages. She was and continues to be an inspiration. God, I miss her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Sr. Noemi Bergamin says:

    Hello Rose,
    Many, many thanks for your loving words and the poem you prepared for Sylvia.
    Your words and butterfies photos speak about Sylvia’s beautiful person.
    I love to remember her presence in Casa generalizia and her delicate moving about..
    With gratitude.
    Sr. Noemi Bergamin
    Paoline – SIA

  5. Sr. Ma.Veronica M. Gungon, sjbp says:

    Had the chance to talk with her in one of the Pauline celebrations and found her a lively person with an interest of knowing us as Filipinos. Sr. Sylvia pray for us as we continue our journey. Enjoy now in the Father’s kingdom.

  6. Gina says:

    I’ve lost a true friend and a dear sister. Syl, I will surely miss you.

  7. Natalia says:

    Ho conosciuto Sylvia quando ha fatto il corso del carisma a Roma, nella generalizia. E’ veramente una persona che ci affascina per la sua dolcezza, serenità. Aveva la bontà stampata nella faccia e nel sorriso. Io la ricordo con tanto affetto e nostalgia. Sylvia pensa a noi e nelle nostre necessità. Ti voglio bene.
    Sr. Natalia Maccari

  8. Shirley says:

    Thank you for remembering Sr Syl in such a beautiful way. She was truly a very fervent Pauline, the best among us, I believe. The Lord must have seen that she is ready and took her with Him. Like St Paul, she has fought the good fight and finished the race. Her crown is awaiting her. Now, from heaven she watches us. Her transformed presence is even more powerful than when she was among us. We have now a very powerful intercessor for Malaysia in Heaven. May God be praised!

  9. Sr. N. Peter Evardone says:

    What a beautiful remembrance of an equally beautiful person inside and out. Thanks Rose. We have a powerful intercessor in heaven in Sr. Sylvia.

  10. anne ishikawa says:

    My prayer are for all of you grieving your dear friend

  11. rosefsp says:

    Thanks a lot for all your comments, memories, etc. Syl has indeed touched so many people and she continues to do so even in death.
    St John Chrysostom said: “They whom we love and lose are no longer where they were before. They are now wherever we are.”
    We find comfort in these words and keep Syl’s torch burning brightly in our hearts.

  12. Gina says:

    To me Syl is a model of an authentic pauline disciple. Her life was marked with great intensity in everything: be it prayerlife, study and apostolate. The word “mediocrity” is definitely not in her vocabulary. She was well-grounded in her spiritual-apostolic life. She knows the Bible… some great theologians. However, do you know how much she showed interest in knowing the life of Lady Di… of the prince of Brunei. Ahh… she could stay up late in the evening to watch her favorite tennis player: Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova, Andre Agassi, etc. She lived her life to the full!

  13. rosefsp says:

    More messages, memories and comments I received from the Pauline family and friends:

    It is with great pain that we received the news about the parting of our dear Sr. Silvia. I met her last during our continental meeting in the Philippines. We will surelly miss her in Korea this time. But I am sure that she will be with us in spirit.
    Sr. Mary Joseph Ponatt, India

    I miss her, too. I pray for Sylvia.
    Sr Gemma Shim, Korea

    Today our community of Santiago – Chile celebrated the Eucharist for Sr. Silvia. We are united with you in this time of sorrow and hope.
    Verónica De Sousa Rodríguez – Chile

    May Sister be in the embrace of Jesus Master. And, may she now intercede for us all.
    Mary Peter Martin, US

    We heard the news of Sr.Sylvia. We were praying the novena of Maestra Tecla for her.
    I cannot believe that she passed away so soon.
    We continue to pray for her eternal repose, for all the sisters in your province and for her family.
    with Mary,
    Sr.Makiko Inoue, Japan

    nice tribute. candid. simple. mula sa puso.
    may she rest peacefully in the Father’s bosom.
    and may she intercede for us who are still on this valley of tears…
    God bless…
    Nonong, SSP

  14. sompudjen_i says:

    Thank you, Lord for the gift of Sr. Sylvia.
    Her joyful spirit & friendliness towards everyone made her a beautiful & much appreciated presence among us…even until now.
    I remember… during our younger days… in comforting her mother who was with mixed up emotion as she revealed her desire to dedicate her life as a religious, she said ‘God, will send you another daughter to take my place’ and true enough, later a baby girl was added into her family…almost 20 years her junior!
    I remember… not long ago… thanks to FB, how she made efforts & enjoyed reaching out esp. to those long lost friends here in her homeland (Sabah, E.Malaysia). Little did we realise that it was her way of saying ’till we meet again in heaven’.

  15. Sr. Tess says:

    Sr. Syl’s joyful countenance during her agony was edifying. She suffered in silence, never complained. Peace and joy exuded through her smiles and laughter. She bore her pains and sorrows in communion with the Lord. Indeed, her strong faith and deep prayer life gave her strength to carry her cross. She was always in constant communion with the Master with the Holy Bible at her side and rosary clasped in her hands. Sr. Syl was a precious gem in our midst. At a tender age (49) she gave us an example on how to carry oneself with dignity, with religious poise, with life and wisdom…a manifestation of her deep intimacy with the Master who calls us by name. Indeed, she lived the Pauline values which were deeply rooted in her life. I am proud of her! Thank you, Syl!

  16. mayanfsp says:

    Thanks Sr. Oseng for this lovely tribute to a lovely person, Sr. Syl. I would always remember her as a fervent Pauline in all aspects, I believe.
    Sr. Syl, you can now rest peacefully in the Father’s eternal embrace; do pray for all us.

  17. Dearest Oseng,
    How creative you are for having done this interactive tribute to Syl in your blog!
    I believe that such an initiative must have come from your long-time friendship with Syl. Congratulations for it and thanks so much.
    Now that she is gone, many beautiful things are said about her. And I also wish to give her tribute with the memories I have of her.
    Like what have already been said about her, I agree with some, especially her deep sense of God in her life, her joyful & lively presence, her love and deep knowledge of our Congregation and of the Pauline Family, her fidelity to her life of piety and her closeness to Blessed Alberione.
    When i heard the sad news of her passing away, I imagined Syl when she was still with us singing: YOU RAISE ME UP, a song popularized by Josh Groban. I knew that it was her favorite song especially during her renewal days, when we spent one night singing the song together. Whenever she heard this song being sung, her face brightened with joy.
    I conclude my sharing with the lyrics of the song: You Raise Me Up, thinking how Syl must have gone through her battle with her sickness, but who suffered in silence & in communion with the Lord who raised her up during her moments of suffering.

    When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary;
    When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
    Then, I am still and wait here in the silence,
    Until you come and sit awhile with me.

    You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
    You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
    I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
    You raise me up: To more than I can be.

  18. Mary Anne says:

    Thanks Oseng for the nice tribute. Me and Syl were together in Legaspi during our apostolic exposure in the branch house. I was a novice while she was a postulant. When we had the chance to meet in Manila especially in PCC she always recall those good old days, especially our ups and downs. And our only punch word is Kagurangnan (Bicol word for LORD).. Though learning the language was difficult, listening to melodious Bicolano music facilitated memory recall of the hyms: Kyrie, The Lord’s Prayer and Sanctus. I will never forget her cheerfulness and serenity. She always makes me smile every time I see her. Mapagbiro siya and supportive. She died at a young age it’s because she is ready to face the Master. May Syl intercede all our intentions to God and may she never cease to pray for our sanctity. May she rest in peace.

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