Contemplatives celebrate Golden Jubilee
The Philippine Province of the Good Shepherd celebrates the Golden Jubilee of the establishment of the contemplatives in the country. Golden Jubilee Masses will be celebratedon May 11, 2011 in the contemplative communities of Cebu, Tagaytay, Butuan and Virac.
Established only several months after the creation of the Philippine Province on December 3, 1960, the first contemplative community was founded in Quezon City. Ten years later the community transferred to Cebu.
Before the establishment of the contemplatives in the country, Sr. Justa of Christ the King Morgia, the first contemplative from the Philippines, joined the formation in Angers, France. She made her first profession of vows in Angers, France on June 22, 1961, the feast of St. Mary Magdalen. She arrived in the Philippines on August 2, 1961.
The first contemplatives who entered the Philippine Province were Srs. Magdalena Oliva, (+) Sr. Marie Porter, Sr. Felicidad Almeria and Sr. Teresita Numbalin. They were accepted as postulants on June 7, 1961. Sr. Consuelo Ferrer who was sent to France to train as Mistress of the Contemplatives.
Three apostolic sisters, Srs. Socorro Galvez, Therese Veloso and Zita Alcazar asked for transfer to the contemplatives in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
At present, there are four contemplative communities in the Philippines: Cebu, Tagaytay, Butuan and Virac. There are 25 contemplatives in the country, (22 Filipinas, two sisters are from Indonesia and one from Malaysia).
With the approval of the Integrated Constitutions during the 2009 Congregational Chapter, Sr. Brigid Lawlor, the congregational leader, has an apostolic council and a contemplative council. A Filipina contemplative, Sr. Maria Teresa Pomar, was elected member of the contemplative council.
Four Filipina contemplative sisters are in foreign mission: Srs. Elizabeth Garciano, Elena Jalop and Magdalena Oliva are in Innsbruck, Austria while Sr. Fe de Paz is in Angola.
In Tagaytay, the celebrations will be held at Maryridge, and will be participated in by contemplatives and apostolic Good Shepherd Sisters from various communities in Metro Manila.
St. Mary Euphrasia founded the first contemplative community in 1829, immediately after she was elected superior in Tours.
Congratulations to the Contemplatives!