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Ph Local Leaders' Meeting 2020

Submitted by: rgsphil
On: 28/11/2020



 "Let's take care of one another just as our saving God cares for us."This is the title of the recent letter of the UISG (International Union Superiors General) to the religious men and women  and also the theme adapted for the Annual Local Leaders' Meeting 2020 which was held last Aug 20-22. Since this was attended only by local leaders of communities in the Philippines, and sister formators, another one will be set for the Japan communities.  

The gathering was a meeting of many firsts: first after the Province Chapter, thus, first in the term of the new Province Leadership Team and also the first "blended" meeting with 17 sisters assembled at Rosary Hall in Good Shepherd Convent, Quezon City and 13 others connected online via Zoom from their respective communities. For some, it was their first time to use Zoom. 

The long "Kumustahan" gave everyone a chance to share how the communities had been since the lockdown. What stood out was the common experience of God's providential care and protection, for the sisters, mission partners and for our program beneficiaries. Generosity of benefactors and friends overwhelmed and inspired everyone. Though with difficulty, efforts are still done to reach out to those in need, sharing material blessings, providing accompaniment and offering prayers for those most affected by the COVID-19 crisis. 

During the second day, which happens to be Ninoy Aquino Day (Aug 21), Bro Armin Luistro, FSC gave a talk entitled: "The Changing Narrative: Mula sa Pakikipagkapwa Tao Tungo sa Pagiging Mamamatay Tao." The session which was attended virtually by other sisters and lay partners from various Good Shepherd communities, presented faith perspectives amidst the current crisis which is aggravated by recent political developments that threaten life and freedom especially of the most vulnerable. Bro Armin, during the open forum, stressed the importance of education and formation of the young, inculcating and preserving the values we hold dear as Filipinos and as Christians. Also, with the pandemic leaving more families hungry and more Filipinos jobless, there is a need for more "shepherds who will embrace" these people often set aside by society.

The rest of the time was spent on updates and reminders for the communities as they begin the apostolic year in the new and hopefully better normal. While other communities are still not together with some members still stranded somewhere, everyone seemed ready to creatively face the new normal of mission heeding the call, now more than ever, of caring for one another.

Despite the technical challenges, the sisters appreciated the light and relaxed atmosphere of the meeting. It ended with everyone more informed, inspired and a bit "techie-er" than before. It was admirable how our sisters especially the elderly are openly and courageously treading unfamiliar paths for the sake of mission, from Zoom and beyond. Transformed by Love, Passionate for Mission!