Centennial gift: Social Work studies completed
Sr. Nant Maria (Maria Droste) returned to Myanmar last March 10, 2012 after completing her studies in the Philippines.
Photo: Sr. Maria Droste (right) of Myanmar presents a copy of her thesis to Sr. M. Cecilia Torres, province leader of the Good Shepherd Sisters in the Philippines.
It was in May 2008 that Sr. Maria Droste came to the Philippines upon the invitation of Sr. M. Carmelita Cruz, province leader, to study social work. The Philippine Province, through St. Bridget College (SBC), has invited two sisters from Myanmar (East Asia Province) to study social work to help them in their ministry to women and children, as the Philippine Province's gesture of gratitude to the sisters in Myanmar.
It will be recalled that the first Good Shepherd Sisters who arrived in the Philippines on October 4, 1912 were Irish missionaries stationed in Yangon.
Sr. Maria Droste enrolled first at the Social Work department of SBC and later transferred to the Asian Social Institute (ASI) where she finished Bachelor of Science in Social Work. Being the only sister that Myanmar can send to the Philippines, Sr. Maria Droste continued her studies and finished Master of Science in Social Work, also at the Asian Social Institute.
While studying at ASI, Sr. Maria Droste stayed at the Welcome House community in Paco, Manila where she also helped in the crisis intervention program of the community.
She successfully defended last November 2011 her masteral thesis, "Journey in Life of Former Sex Workers Assisted by St. Bridget Community Center in Batangas City, Philippines: A Phenomenological Study."
A copy of her thesis was presented to Sr. M. Cecilia Torres, province leader of the Good Shepherd Sisters in the Philippines. Sr. Maria Droste was grateful to the sisters for their support and encouragement on the relevance of her studies for the Good Shepherd congregational charism and mission.
In her acknowledgments written in her thesis Sr. Maria Droste thanked many people who helped her in her studies especially, Sr. M. Lydia Ebora, president of St. Bridget College, Batangas City whose "vision opened the door for my scholarship, allowing me to gather my data from my co-researchers at St. Bridget Community Center." She is most grateful to the SBC Batangas community for giving her the time, space and resources she needed, Sr. Pilar Verzosa and the sisters in Welcome House, and Sr. Michelle Lopez, province leader of East Asia and the sisters in her province who allowed her to be away from mission work in Myanmar as she pursues her studies in the Philippines.