The Catholic Church in Guyana has lost an outstanding member in the passing of Sr Beatrice Fernandes, OSU. A woman of great vision with an unrivalled commitment to the development of youth in Guyana, Sr Beatrice presided over the administration and execution of a number of youth development programmes throughout the length and breadth of Guyana.
One such programme with which I am familiar was Young Apostles on the Move (YAM), that was primarily responsible for the spreading of the good news of Jesus Christ nationwide. Young people, who were serious about spreading the gospel while making a difference in their lives and the lives of others, were recruited, trained and placed into various communities to serve its people to the best of their abilities. Sr Beatrice had a very keen eye for talent and potential in youth. She systematically honed those talents she found useful in those she recruited and strategically composed YAM teams to utilise the strength and talents of its members. As a result, bible study, music, art and craft and sport were not the bugbear of a single person but were shared by team members who oftentimes performed exceptionally on missions.
YAMs touched the lives of many through their outstanding and dedicated ministry. However, the lives of many YAMs were significantly influenced by their interaction with Sr Beatrice. She was a pillar of strength and an amazing role model worthy of emulation. I am truly honoured to have been graced with her influence, guidance, discipline, love and prayers while serving as a YAM in Guyana.
May she rest in peace.