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2009 Highlights

Submitted by: regina
On: 01/01/2010


As the year 2009 was ending, Good Shepherd Sisters were united in thanking God for the year that passed. In the Philippines, Masses were offered on December 31 as thanksgiving for the graces received during the year.

The country was ravaged by calamities, natural and human-made but the goodness of people and communities, local and international, has been great, and help was given to victims.

There were many good things that happened in 2009, in the ministry and in the people we serve and the people who work with us. Let us take a look at some of the highlights of the year that passed. (We will try to complete the list this week.)

 Highlights of the Year 2009



January 1. Mary, Mother of God.

Euphrasian Residence has been offering residential services through two programs: Crisis Intervention (1-18 weeks)and New Life Program (19 weeks - 1 year); through the latter the services user can avail of home study program and formal education.

Heart of Mary Villa.  "Homecoming."   January 18- July 18.  An adoptee from the
Netherlands stayed for six months in HMV to experience her Filipino roots. She was involved in taking care of the babies in the nursery and in the various activities in Damayan Community Center, especially during the summer program.

Tahanan Community. Intensive involvement in ecological efforts of the archdiocese, regular unclogging of canals.  Increased number of people joining Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC).

New Province Teams Strategic planning was helf for four days in the last week of January 2009. With new team members -- Formation, MARTA, WJPIC/Ministry and Good Shepherd Partnership Teams fourmulated their objectives and activities/programs for the next six years integrating the Broad directions and recommendations approved during the last Provincial Chapter 2008.

Sr. Yolanda  Borbon RGS, left for Rome January 29 to train with Sr. Helen Anne Sand, treasurer general, that will prepare her for the mission after the Congregational Chapter in July.

Maryridge. January 30 - Sr. Mary Jeanette Rimando arrived from her 6 year mission in Madagascar, District of the Isles. She served generously as Coordinator of the community and initiated various income-generating and housing projects for the poor.



CGS -Virac. Blessings. Gratitude to God for the Funding received for the Construction of the Chapel at San Isidro Village, Our Lady's Subdivision, Virac, Catanduanes, the approval of the construction from Sr. Cecile Torres and  the Province Leadership Team, and additional sisters int he community Srs. Socorro Galvez CGS and Mira Han CGS.


March 1. Sr. Victoria Joson RGS left for Paris, France to work in the ministry for Filipino migrant workers.

March 22.
   Lapuyan Community transferred permanently             to Pagadian and had a shift of ministry from parish work to           residential ministry.

Pagadian. March 25. Blessing of Balay Paglaum sa Maayong         Magbalantay, a shelter home for women and girls in difficult         situation. Sisters officially started residential ministry in               Pagadian diocese.

March 23. Iligan City: First anniversary of the blessing of the Convent beside the housing project


RGS – Cagayan de Oro.  Agents of the National Bureau of  Investigation (NBI) raided a cybersex studio on April 23.  It was the first of its kind.  It was rather a big studio operated by two Swede nationals.  On April 24 Good Shepherd Sisters got a call from a lawyer friend asking us them for help to go to the NBI office where 21 young women were being held--18 were classified as victims while 3 were classified with the Swedes as accused.  Sr. Regina Pil RGS, local leader of CDO, said the Sisters were asked if they  could house 8 of the victims since there was not enough place at the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).  Sisters considered it as a gift from Mother Foundress on her feast.  This was the beginning of our being involved in the cybersex case.  Until now the case drags on in court with many twists and turns.

Renewal of Vows of temporary professed sisters, Srs. Loreen Granada, Angelita Clemen, Diana Madulara, Leah Ann Espina, Arlene Guab, Ana Cielo Matuloy in Quezon City. Sr. Kristiana Maria NKR Prasetyo, the Indonesian contemplative sister renewed her vows in Tagaytay.

April 23. SMEIDFI (St. Mary Euphrasia Integrated Development Foundation, Inc)  at the Christine Hall in the Provincialate; meeting of Board of Trustees and turnover of  the previous board to the new one and designation of the new CEO for SMEIDFI, Sr. Ailyn Binco RGS.


A Think Tank Committee was created in preparation for the 2012 Centennial of Good Shepherd presence in the Philippines. Members included: Srs. Lydia Ebora, Fe Mendoza, Bernadette Guzman, Juliet Abrigo and Celeste Engutan CGS.

SBC. Joint celebration Sr. Amabilis Oliva’s Diamond Jubilee             and Sr. Estelle Antigua’s Golden Jubilee of Profession of Vows.       April 24. 2009 in Quezon City. 

Maryridge. April 25. Sr. Herminia Mendoza celebrated her Diamond Jubilee of Religious Profession in Tagaytay.

The list of assignments for the various communities in the Philippine Province was released. Good Shepherd Sisters are missioned in 24 apostolic communities and 4 contemplative communities. There are 144 apostolic sisters  and 22 contemplative sisters who are final professed. There are 6 apostolic and four contemplatives who are temporary professed. There are 33 Filipina sisters in foreign mission in
France. Angoila. Austria, Canada, Ethiopia, Hongkong, Italy, Japan, Korea, Macau, Senegal, Taiwan, Thailand and USA.



May 2, 2009. Davao City. Golden Jubilee of Profession of Vows of Sr. Mary Josephine Bacaltos RGS. Mass was held at the Ateneo de Davao.

Coordinators' Meeting, May 5-7, in
Baguio City for new coordinators and coordinators renewing a second term. Province Leadership Team facilitated the meeting.

Four Junior Sisters began their six month (May-October 2009) International Experience: Sr. Loreen Granada RGS and Leah Ann Espina RGS in Thailand, Sr. Angelita Clemen RGS in Hongkong and Sr. Diana Madulara RGS, South Korea.

Sr. Maureen Catabian RGS attended the meeting of Core Team of the newly-formed Good Shepherd Asia-Pacific Justice and Peace (APJP) on May 11-20 in Bangalore, India.


Sr. Annalyn Esguerra RGS came back to the Philippines after finishing her international experience in Hongkong.

June 9, 2009
. First Anniversary of the establishment of Women's Desk in the four parishes in the Diocese of Malaybalay. Sr. Grace Butalid RGS, is the coordinator of Women's Desk in the Diocese of Malaybalay. The four parishes are located in Valencia, Maramag, Don Carlos and Quezon.

June 13 – July 9. 29th Congregational Chapter of Good Shepherd Sisters in
Angers, France.

Sr. Cecilia Torres RGS, province leader, with Sr. Henedina Mananzan RGS, apostolic delegate and Sr. Ma. Teresa Pomar CGS, contemplative delegate, represented the Philippine Province during the Chapter.

Srs. Yolanda Borbon, Tarcila Abano and Regina Kuizon who belong to the Philippine Province were also at the Chapter. Sr. Yolanda attended during the report of the Congregational Treasurer, Sr. Tarcila, a member of the staff of the Spirituality Center was one of the organizers of the pilgrimages, and Sr. Regina covered the Congregational Chapter with the communications team. 



Other Filipinas who attended the Chapter represented other          units: Sr. Fe de Paz (Angola); Sr. Edith Olaguer (New York),         Sr. Mercy de Leon (Mid North America).

June 28. Sr. Virgo Espineda RGS and Lourdes Sevilla RGS left for Masserano, Italy to run the program that assists  trafficked women and children, abused migrants.


July 3, 2009. Sr. Brigid Lawlor, reelected Congregational Leader of  Good Shepherd Sisters

July 5, 2009
.  Five Apostolic and Three Contemplative Councillors were elected  members  of the Congregational Leadership Team headed by Sr. Brigid Lawlor. Sr. Maria Teresa Pomar CGS, from Tagaytay community, was elected contemplative councilor. This is the first time for the congregation to have a contemplative council.

July 9, 2009
. Conclusion of the 29th Congregational Chapter

July 31. Contemplatives - Butuan City. Renewal of Vows of Sr. Ronafel de Leon CGS.

Sr. Luzminda Obnimaga RGS celebrated her silver jubilee of Profession of Vows.



Bahay Ugnayan.  Holds regularly every month, a Community Day with Sisters from Blessed Maria Droste Infirmary.

Bahay Ugnayan: Venue for regular meeting of Interfaith Dialogue Forum organized by Fr. Sebastiano D’Ambra, founder of SILSILAH Dialogue Movement in Zamboanga. Sr. Marion Chipeco RGS assists.

Congregational Chapter Echoes

August 16-17  -  Baguio; August 22-23  -  1043 Communities; August 28-29  -  Malabon, Tahanan, Welcome House, Malate and Isabela;August 30-31 
Sr. Celeste Engutan CGS was elected member of the Philippine Province contemplative council, succeeding Sr. Maria Teresa Pomar CGS who was elected member of the contemplative council of the Congregational Leadership Team.


Oath-taking of Sr. Ofelia Endaya as board examiner for Social Work

September 10. Sr. Regina Kuizon RGS arrived from the Good Shepherd Generalate in
, after six years as communications coordinator of the congregation.

Srs. Minela Alvarez RGS, Emma Marzan RGS and Laarni Bongato CGS attended the Sept. 9-29  Session for Young Sisters in
Angers, France.

Congregational Chapter Echoes

Villa Maria and CGS-Cebu;
September 4-6 -  Batangas, Maryridge, Bahay Pastulan, Bukid Kabataan, CGS-Tagaytay; September 16-19  - Mindanao and CGS-Butuan (CDO venue) September 24-25  - Bicol and CGS-Virac

Chapter Echo in Bicol. All the Good Shepherd Communities in Bicol (Buhi, Naga, Legazpi, Virac) were gathered together last September for the echo of the General Chapter.  The echo was held in Betania Retreat House, Iriga City.  Srs. Cecil and Deena arrived at the venue a day before.

Sr. Mary Ofelia Endaya RGS has been recommended by Prof Thelma Lee Mendoza to the Philippine Association of Social Work, Inc (PASWI) to be a Board Examiner of Social Work. A presidential appointee on August 7, 2009, Sr. Ofelia took her oath last September 24, 2009 before Commissioner Lapena and Nilo Rosas at the Professional Regulatory Commission.

Typhoon Ondoy (international codename, "Ketsana" hit the           Philippines, on September 26 claiming thousands of lives,             destroying homes and properties and causing floods in many       parts of Luzon. Heart of Mary Villa, the Good  Shepherd in         community in Malabon was submerged in water.



A Eucharistic Celebration at the Good Shepherd Chapel in Quezon City to launch the three-year preparations for the 2012 Centennial of  Good Shepherd Sisters’ presence in the Philippines, was held on October 3.

October 5. Sr. Mary Mercedes Yap RGS passed away in Cebu City. 

October 13.  A medical team of Good Shepherd Sisters and friends offered free medical services and medicines to the victims of typhoon Ondoy in Bagong Silangan, Quezon City on October 13.

As an aftermath of typhoon Ondoy, that damaged buildings in Heart of Mary Villa  and rendered flooded most of the property, 19 babies from the HMV nursery were transferred to the Good Shepherd Compound  in Quezon City on October 16.

Good Shepherd Baguio. Typhoon Pepeng caused landslides and floods in Baguio-Benguet, causing death and damage to our neighbors, strawberry farmers, staff, and students’ families.

The Asia Pacific NGO Forum on Beijing  + 15 was held October 22-24 at Mirriam College in Quezon City. Good Shepherd Sisters and lay partners from Asia represented the congregation. Thirteen delegates were from the Asia Pacific Justice and Peace Network while 24 were from the Philippine Province. The delegates stayed in Good Shepherd Community and Bahay Ugnayan.

A Statement on Anti-trafficking was issued by the APJP.


Welcome House. Mary Kay Phil chose Welcome House as a corporate concern. Staff come by groups to for creative activities. The company's foundress has a heart for children and women victims of abuse. Mary Kay also helped in rebuilding houses damaged by Typhoon Ondoy.


Maryridge. October 15-November 10 Completion of the 7- week flood control structures project to prevent erosion of Maryridge property. This project included construction of parking lot, cross drain and open canal widening, construction of new canals, widening of existing canals, construction of open canal, apron and stone masonry wall and construction of slope protection wall. We are very grateful to Bahay Pastulan Community who generously assisted in financing the project.

Maryridge. November 20-27 Maryridge Community was privileged to welcome and provide accommodations for 115 delegates to the 5th Asian Youth Day, a regional assembly of Asian youth delegates from the member conferences of the Federation of Asian Bishops Conference which was hosted by the Diocese of Imus. Inspired by the Synod on the Word of God and the FABC Plenary theme on Living the Eucharist, the highlights of the 8-day event included 3 day Parish/Host Family experiences, plenary sessions on the Word and Eucharist, subregional reflections and deepening experiences, workshops and meaningful prayers and liturgies. About 2,500 Asian Youth delegates from Hongkong, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Macau, China, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, runei, East Timor, Singapore, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Mongolia, Turkmenstan and Asian delegates from Australia and Germa ny paticipated in the event.


Triduum, to prepare for the November 21 Renewal of Vows, held in Bahay Ugnayan and Euphrasian Community, with Sisters contributing to Pondo Euphrasia, an educational fund for poor but deserving students.

Tahanan Community promotes eco-friendly environment. Use of non incandescent lamps.

November 23. Fifty seven (57) men, women and children were massacred in Maguindanao. The Women Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation
  WJPIC) Office issued a statement condemning the act.

Sr. Victoria Joson RGS arrived from Paris, France.



Province Teams Meeting. Apostolic and contemplative Good Shepherd Sisters  and two lay mission partners were in Quezon City for a two-day Province Teams meeting, Dec 2 and 3. The teams included Ministry/W-JPIC, Formation, MARTA (Material Resources), Good Shepherd Partnership and Province Leadership Team. The teams met  1) to share stories of highlights, challenges and hopes; 2). to weave the “newness” in our Province Team plans; and to celebrate the blessings of the year. The theme of the meeting was, "Weaving Strands of Newness."  Candlelighting and Rosary for justice for victims of Maguindanao massacre as a solidarity action were held on the last day of the meeting with  SBS students and staff.

Bahay Ugnayan. 
December 5, 2009. General Assembly of Good Shepherd Mission Partners

CGS Cebu –
December 6, 2009. Community’s visit to the Alay Bahay and household staff. Contemplatives prayed with them and listened to their hopes and aspirations.

December 10. Death of Sr. Mary Assumption Ocampo RGS (Avelina H. Ocampo), first Filipina Good Shepherd Sister, at the age of 102.

December 11. Sr. Brigid Lawlor RGS, congregational leader, wrote to Sr. Cecilia Torres RGS, province leader of the Philippines informing her that the new link councilors of the Congregational Leadership Team for the Philippines are: Sr. Susan Marie Chia RGS for the apostolic sisters and Sr. Jude Ellen Golumbieski CGS for the contemplatives.

RGS- Davao CityCenter for Overseas Workers (COW) celebrated International Migrants Day  on December 18, with the theme,  “Asserting Migrants Rights... Government's  Accountability”.

Iligan City. December 24. First anniversary of the blessing of the Housing project, 14 houses of evacuees, victims of war  of MILF on August 14, 2008.

Caroling. Good Shepherd Sisters led by Sr. Madeleine Nicolas RGS sang Christmas Carols to generate funds for the infirmary. They visited the Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, SBS Community in Quezon City and those gathered for the traditional Christmas lunch at Good Shepherd Community.

Christmas Concert. Flutist Rey Sison and pianist Ingrid Sta. Maria performed for the children of  headstart program in Bagong Silangan and Good Shepherd Sisters and friends in Quezon City. Venue was Euphrasian Community Hall.