“Love and Fidelity of the Good Shepherd... Gratitude!”

It was one festive day after another as Good Shepherd
Sunday fell on April 25. After some time of relative quiet, with the absence of
live Masses and gatherings in our Good Shepherd compound in Quezon City, the
two days of St Mary Euphrasia’s Feast and Good Shepherd Sunday brought life and
joy to the community, and even beyond, despite missing the presence of other
sisters, family and friends.

Mary Euphrasia’s Feast

for SME’s feast was presided by Fr Robert Leus, CJM. In his homily, Fr Robert emphasized how the same love that motivated Mary Euphrasia to establish the Generalate
continues to connect all sisters and partners in the world, keeping alive the
mission to women and children.  We witnessed
this love in the excitement of our four children (program participants) who
received their First Communion at Mass. After completing their catechism with
Sr Carmelita 
Medenilla, they had the joy of receiving Jesus on the Eucharistic
bread. It was also the day of renewal of vows our two temporary professed sisters, Sr Corazon Arcega in Quezon City and Sr Roselle Pascua in Butuan City. In the afternoon, the sisters enjoyed (and cried!) watching “Euphrasia
the Musical”. It was truly a day of rekindling the spirit of Mother Foundress.
  Our lay partners’ turn came the following




Japan, Sr Euphrasia Katoh, who had her Golden Jubilee last year had a belated
celebration with the Toyonaka community with a mass presided by Fr Noda, also
on April 24.




Jubilarians on Good Shepherd Sunday

The next day, Good Shepherd Sunday, Mass was
celebrated in thanksgiving for our 16 sisters celebrating their Jubilee this
year with the theme: “Love and Fidelity
of the Good Shepherd… Gratitude!”
Ten of them were present while some of
the others joined simultaneously through live-streamed mass. All are virtually
and spiritually united!  Our Silver
Jubilarians: Srs Gemma Dinglasan and Juliet Abrigo; Golden Jubilarians: Srs
Carmelita Arenas, Celine Cajanding, Antonia Lopez, Henedina Mananzan, Milagros
Santos, Christina Sevilla, Aurora Tan, and Olga Malou Cristobal (Mid-North
America Province); Diamond Jubilarians: Srs Josephine Bacaltos, Carmela Cruz
and Bernard Derayunan; and, Platinum Jubilarians: Srs Irene Lat, Herminia
Mendoza and Amabilis Oliva.   Sr Susan
Montano, Province Leader, in her message, thanked all the Jubilarians for their
passionate and generous sharing of selves through the years. She affirmed their
continued witnessing whether in active involvements or in quiet ministry of
presence and prayer. Mass was presided by Fr Noel Rosas, O’Carm.


Good Shepherd’s Community Pantry

Love and fidelity of the Good Shepherd was also
concretely felt in 
 the “community pantries” that opened in various mission
areas of the Good Shepherd.
“community pantry” an initiative of a concerned private citizen, Ms Ana
Patricia Non, to address the growing hunger among those most impacted by the
pandemic was like the Gospel’s multiplication of bread. What started in a small
cart in a street corner in Quezon City where people can “get what they need and
give what they can”, multiplied quickly in many parts of the country.

In partnership with generous friends, families and benefactors,
five community pantries in Cebu, Quezon City, Catanduanes, Batangas City and
Alitagtag opened from April 24 and the days that followed. Tables full of blessings
speak of the promised life in abundance by the Good Shepherd, surely a source
of hope amidst the dim reality we are living in.

To this “divine extravagance”, our resounding response,


A Personal Reflection

To celebrate during
this time of great fear and anxiety is seemingly paradoxical. How can we celebrate
when the rest of the world is agonizing? Thousands are dying, millions are
starving. When our group was planning for this event last December, we were
hoping that things will change by this time. Yes, it did, but not for the
better as we face another COVID surge. 
We then decided to do with a private celebration without guests, with food
distributed in bento boxes to avoid any gathering.  There was danger and fear, yet, we decided –
we will celebrate! Just like our years in religious life, coupled always are
the joys and sorrows, triumphs and crosses. In my 25 years, I noticed this trend
of God’s presence.  God is more
conspicuous after every crisis, but also more recognized in daily events, when
life is simply lived. This is the very reason why we have to celebrate – to
celebrate God’s fidelity and love. Truly, celebration is not for us but for
this faithful God who remains.   

Sr Gemma, Silver Jubilarian