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30th Year of Cassandra Martyrs

Submitted by: regina
On: 21/11/2013

Good Shepherd Sisters remembered during the November 21, 2013 Mass the 30th year of Cassandra Martyrs who offered their lives to save women and children when the boat mv Cassandra sank off the coast of northeastern Mindanao.


Chuidian Conti Gonzaga Loreto

Four of those who perished were Good Shepherd Sisters: Sr. M. Consuelo Chuidian, Sr. M. Concepcion Conti, Sr. M. Virginia Gonzaga and Sr. M. Catherine Loreto. Other religious and lay workers include: Sr. Antoinette Berentsen CSJP, Sr, Amparo Gilbuena MSM, Sr. Josephine Medrano FMA, Fr. Simon Westendorp O-Carm, Rev. Ben Bunio. Sene Canabria, Emily Hong and Inocencio 'Boy" Ipong.

They were scheduled to leave on November 20  but  the trip was cancelled due to typhoon Warling. They were on their way to Banawa, Cebu to attend a retreat and the boat was given permission to leave the port at 8 a.m. November 21. An article in a Good Shepherd book said, "By mid-morning, a big wave hit one side of the boat causing it to keel to the other side. It did not recover its balance and sank in shark-infested waters off the coast of Northeastern Mndanao.

"Survivors told of the four sisters, praying, distributing life vests, helping children put theirs on,  instructing other passengers to put theirs on, instructing other passengers to hasten towards the life rafts and to be ready to abandon ship, not calculating how little time they ahd to save themselves-- until time did run out."

Seven sisters, together with lay Church workers, protestant pastor, priests and some 500 people died in the sinking of mv Cassandra.