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Day 3: Partners in mission share experiences in communities, attend Situationer
and Biblico- Theological Reflection

Submitted by: regina
On: 17/03/2014

We welcomed our mission partners who were the main resource persons for the morning.  Sr. Patricia Perez shared on the lay mission partners of St. Mary Euphrasia without whom we will not be here today.  They included Count de Neuville, Madame d'Andigne, a professor, the daughter of the postman, the butcher and many others who felt one with her in the mission.  She traced the beginnings of our discussions on lay partnership starting with the 2002 Provincial Chapter Assembly and the processes taken until today.  This included the formulation of the Lay Formation Manual,  and the participation in Asia Pacific gatherings on Mission Partnership.  It has been one of moving from “the religious as the center and the lay helping,” to “the charism as the center and gift of the Good Shepherd” given both to the lay and the sisters.

Individual sisters introduced the seven mission partners present:  Tess Barsaga, Marinela Juan, Brenda, Maria Socorro Lalap, Julie Espada, Maria Cecilia Sevilla, and Gina Oliquino.  They then individually shared on their experience of mission partnership.  To the question what they could celebrate as a success, they identified formation, the mutuality in mission, shared leadership, communication, movement of relationships from functional to personal, the trust given that gave them confidence, mutual understanding of limitations,  invitation to Good Shepherd gatherings, becoming members of province teams and Chapter preparatory committee, the presence of the sisters in their journey particularly during difficult times and the awakening of their charism not only by their association with us but also in their getting to know St. Mary Euphrasia. 

They said we could do better in terms of levelling off of our understanding of mission partnership, action plan for them to visit our communities, and becoming partners in mission with the contemplatives.  Looking forward to the future, they hope for sustainability and continuity of the program, joint formation programs, shared responsibility in the different province teams, and having a link person in every local community.

The sisters felt very inspired by these sharings and everybody experienced being fired by the Spirit.  We also remembered all the other mission partners not present, both those who have died and those left behind in our communities during this gathering.  We ended the morning in a joyful and hopeful note assured that our mission partners are around to continue our mission.  In the afternoon, Sr. Cecilia Torres announced that Maria Cecilia Sevilla had been elected as the mission partner elected to attend the InterContinental Assembly in Kuala Lumpur. 

Photo: Sr. Linda Lizada RC, facilitator.

In the afternoon, the context of mission was given based on perceptions submitted by the Good Shepherd sisters from the different regions.  Rosario Bella Guzman, executive director of IBON who collated the issues,  made the analysis as she tied these issues to the worsening global crises indicative of the system’s issue.  Globalization has caused increasing incidence of unemployment, poverty, ecological crisis, social crisis, diminishing social services in an incredibly unequal planet.  This is basically due to the fact that the system is based on greed rather than people’s needs.  But this is not recognized and false solutions are given which are meant to further exploit the poorer nations.  Our government is also captive to this system.  Sr. Elenita Belardo and Evelyn Coronel then provided us with excerpts from the social teachings of the Church, scriptures and our constitutions which call us to be on the side of the poor and to work for justice. 

A night of Rhythm, Groove and Songs recreated our bodies and spirits with the creative presentations of the different age groups.