Singapore nun named as an inspiration to the world

A nun from Singapore is on this year’s BBC list of 100 influential and inspiring global women.

Good Shepherd Sister Gerard Fernandez, who has led the Catholic Church’s prison ministry in Singapore for four decades, was startled by her nomination.

“The Lord has many surprises. This was one of them,” the 81-year old said when she learned of her nomination.

I have not done anything for fame or glory or awards. But I’m happy that a Good Shepherd is selected. Our work is to be with the abandoned”.

Fernandez started visiting prisoners as a young nun. In 1997, when the Singapore Archdiocese began its prison ministry, she was chosen to lead it. The job continued until she relinquished it in 2017.

In her service to prisoners, she counseled hundreds and “walked with” at least 18 inmates on death row until their execution, the BBC said.

The BBC selected women from over 50 countries aged from 15 to 98 for its list, according to this year’s theme: “The Female Future.”

“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,” Fernandez is quoted as saying.

The list has six categories of earth, knowledge, leadership, creativity, sports and identity. Fernandes was named in the leadership category.

The series began in 2013 after the Delhi gang rape of a 23-year-old paramedic in December 2012. The woman died of her injuries 13 days later.

A group of BBC journalists who covered the rape case decided to create a series to help examine the role of women in the 21st century, focusing on the issues and achievements of women.


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News category: World.

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