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Day 1: 10th Province Chapter of Good Shepherd Sisters opens in Maryridge, Tagaytay

Submitted by: regina
On: 15/03/2014

The 2014 Philippine Provincial Chapter started with a solemn opening liturgy highlighting the local culture through the sound of the tambuli, incensing of the chapter hall and the procession of the chapter delegates per region with their symbols, accents and candles. 

Sr. Cecilia Torres, province leader, formally opened the Chapter followed by the roll call by Sr. Teresita Figueroa, chapter secretary, of the names of chapter delegates composed of seventy (70) final professed apostolic sisters, nine (9) contemplative sisters and two (2) temporary professed sisters (one apostolic and one contemplative) who will act as observers.  Each delegate responded “Panginoon, narito ako” (Here I am), as her name was called and proceeded to pasting a tile to complete the chapter logo figure.  This is the second time the Philippines is having an Open Chapter which will “enable sisters to be involved according to their availability.”  Sr. Linda Lizada of the Religious of the Cenacle is the Chapter facilitator while Sr. Guadalupe Bautista is appointed to take on the role of Sr. Susan Chia, our congregational link councillor for apostolic sisters.

Sr. Brigid Lawlor, with Sr. Jude Ellen Golumbieski, congregational link councillor for contemplative sisters, gave a message to the Province Chapter which started with the invitation to dream.  They affirmed the Philippine Province for the sisters’ accomplishments with respect to the different priorities particularly in our response to emergency situations and natural disasters, openness in welcoming sisters for their international experience, for steps taken for greater co-responsibility with the lay mission partners, leadership trainings, and managing finances.

The province’ contribution to the Congregation through missionaries, active networking and the participation of our sisters in international committees was recognized.  Points for reflection and challenges for the future were posed to which the delegates eagerly shared their responses.  The sisters expressed their joy and gratitude with respect to the upcoming merger with the Our Lady of Charity when asked about their sentiments about the decision to reunite.  The message ended with the encouragement to enjoy “a lot of humor, some small courage and a listening heart” which will make us “risk and wonder while keeping the heart of the matter – our call to discipleship and all that it means for our world today and into the future.”

The mass of the Holy Spirit in the afternoon was celebrated by Bishop Reynaldo Evangelista of the Diocese of Imus. Quoting from Pope Francis, he referred to the Spirit as the soul of the mission who is able to awaken diversity, plurality and at the same time build unity.  This diversity became manifest in the symbolic offerings of the different regions with prayers appropriate for the needs of their context.  It is in these different contexts that we are called to incarnate the compassionate love of the Good Shepherd who unites us in the mission of reconciliation.

The Province Leader’s Report was presented in a participative manner by the Province Leadership Team.  This report has been previously given to the local communities before the chapter for reflection and discussion.  Time was given for any clarification of the report.  Afterwards, the sisters showed their great appreciation and gratitude for all the work done by the leadership team. It was with great joy that we ended the day with the singing of “Ang Puso Ko’y Nagpupuri. “

Other matters taken were election of Tellers and members of the Steering Committee plus the approval  of the Chapter Agenda. 

 - Sr. M. Teresita Figueroa RGS