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Roseline Shanti with her godparents Anna and Bala Lawrence.

Christ the Light Chapel’s daughter Roseline Shanti will be missed by many

Roseline Shanti passed away on Oct 27 at the age of 47 after succumbing to cancer. This is a tribute to her, written by her godparents Bala and Anna Lawrence. DEC 3, 2021

“If it wasn’t for the Movement Control Order, and the SOP limiting the number at funeral Masses to only 20 people, this Chapel will be overflowing like Easter Mass”, said Fr Alan Pereira, at the funeral Mass for Roseline Shanti. He was not exaggerating. The whole chapel community of Christ the Light will feel the loss of Roseline Shanti, who was a constant presence in many ways in the chapel.

Roseline’s parents – James Kandasami and his wife Elizabeth – together with their four children were baptised into the Catholic Church by the late Rev Fr Peter Decroocq. James worked in a ticketing office and he encountered Rev Fr Peter Decroocq, who went there to purchase a flight ticket. They attended services at The Assembly of God church prior to this.

It was sometime in 1983 when my husband Bala Lawrence, received a call from Fr Decroocq, saying that he had baptised the entire family and that we were to be their Godparents. He asked us to journey with them and nurture their spiritual growth. We had not met the family before this, but a bond was created at that moment. Since then, it grew tighter by the love and happiness they brought into our home. I remember how the family came to our home every Christmas morning to ask for our blessings. They had breakfast with us and then went to their own home to celebrate Christmas. In later years, it was Roseline and her family who continued to bring that love to our home.

We did not have the Chapel then, but a corner shop lot that was a kindergarten during the week, with benches rearranged for Mass on Saturdays. My husband and I were both Catechism teachers then, and we journeyed with the children in their faith education from the shop lot to the established Chapel of Christ the Light we see today.

James and Elizabeth seated with (standing, from left) nephew, children Angeline, Premnath, Gopi, son-in-law Raphael, and daughters Petrina and Rosaline (far right).

James and Elizabeth were later blessed with another daughter, whom they named Petrina after Fr Peter Decroocq, who was a father figure to them. When we moved to the Chapel of Christ the Light, both James and Elizabeth joined us in service to the Chapel. James returned to Our Lord in 2003.

After Roseline got married, she gave her time to the Chapel together with her three children – Ryan, Rachel and Gabriel – along with her husband Raphael, who worked quietly in the background. She was actively involved in the Parish Integral Human Development (PIHD), serving all who needed assistance in the parish. She would be seen selling The Herald before mass and later on, doing the collection during mass. After Mass, she would offer a lift for those in need before returning to the Chapel to take her family home. She graced parish meetings with her home cooked refreshments as she was a good cook. She gave her service wholeheartedly to the Chapel, doing it all with the most radiant and welcoming smile.

The first time Roseline discovered she had cancer, she said, “Godma, I know God will heal me and I place my trust in Him, as I love Him so much”. In October, I joined Elizabeth every day in an online healing service, storming heaven with prayers, hoping it will be heard. But God had other plans for her, as Roseline Shanti, returned to Our Lord on Oct 27, 2021.

It was so difficult to let her go. Her colleagues at work affectionately called her Rose and many referred to her as “Kak Rose”. At her wake, each of her colleagues came with a red rose and placed it in her casket to say goodbye. It overflowed with roses when they were done.

The outpouring of grief from friends and relatives filled her Facebook page, with everyone expressing the loss of someone so well loved. At the final prayers at home before we left for the funeral Mass, her Godfather (and my husband) chose the Prayer of St. Francis, “Make me a channel of your peace” to be played. He explained the reason for choosing this specific hymn, “Roseline lived every line of the song. She touched many along the way just as the words of the song.”

As we bid farewell to dear Roseline, the chapel still has her three children, who are actively involved, together with her mother Elizabeth and sister Angeline. For 38 years we never broke the bond as chosen Godparents to this wonderful family and cherish how they continue to live their baptism in the Catholic Church and the community we live in.

And although we prayed for a miracle every day when she was diagnosed with cancer, after the journey we went on with Roseline, little did we realise that God had indeed granted us that miracle and her name is Roseline Shanti.
Rest in peace, dear Roseline. You will always be remembered.

From Godparents
Bala and Anna Lawrence

Rosaline (far right) with godparents Anna next to her and Bala (far left) on Christmas Day last year. The rest are Bala and Anna’s daughters Bernadette (front) and Rebecca (third from right), and Rosaline’s family – mother Elizabeth (second from left), sister Angeline and Rosaline’s daughter Rachel (behind).

We at Journey With Us – Asia offer our condolences to the family and friends of Roseline Shanti. May her soul rest in peace.