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New Province Leadership Team Installed

Submitted by: rgsphil
On: 01/07/2020

On June 29, 2020, Solemnity of Sts Peter and Paul, our new Province Leadership Team was installed and affirmed during the Eucharistic Celebration presided by Rev. Fr. Edward Anthony Cometa. (It almost did not happen after two priests including the supposedly main presider went on quarantine after having exposure with a COVID positive case).  After being elected during a chapter that was very much challenged by COVID-19 last March, our new Province Leader of Philippines-Japan, Sr Mary Susan Montano will now begin her mandate together with her apostolic and contemplative councils.

In a letter read by Sr Regina Kuizon, outgoing Province Leader, Sr Ellen Kelly, Congregational Leader, thanked the province for the priorities we have set and expressed her support and hope that the formation of our mission partners will be soon be realized.

The handing on of the leadership candle from Sr Regina to Sr Susan symbolized the transfer of leadership.

Acceptance of their new role was articulated in the Act of Faith and Fidelity pronounced by Sr Susan, followed by the apostolic councillors who are present: Srs Maria Alicia Andres, Ma. Arabella Balingao,  Ma. Gemma Dinglasan and M. Christina Sevilla.  United in spirit are the other councillors who were not able to travel for the occasion: contemplative councilors Srs Lilly Sorop in Virac, Sr Elena Jalop in Cebu and apostolic councilor Sr Joanne Isejima in Japan.

In his homily, Fr. Edward emphasized how Peter and Paul were chosen by Jesus out of love and even of forgiveness. He prayed that our new leaders may be “inspired by the love and leadership of St. Peter, and the zeal and dedication of St Paul” in their mission of evangelization.

Sr Susan, in her message expressed her gratitude to the outgoing PLT, Srs Regina Kuizon, Anya Borbpn, Ludy Panaligan, Carmelita Arenas, Rona de Leon and Elena Jalop. Echoing the late +Fr Nicolas’ favourite message to the Jesuits: “Be happy, be free and be centered on God”, Sr Susan’s hope for the sisters is that we can always radiate joy, in freedom and peace because we are centered on God.The occasion was attended by the sisters who had been in community quarantine in the Quezon City compound since March, mission partners who have been staying in with us and our program participants from the shelters in the compound.  The Mass was also live streamed, enabling some of our family members , mission partners and friends to be with us even only virtually.  

We accompany our new leadership team with our prayers and support as we continue to proclaim the Good News of the Good Shepherd to the all specially those whose suffering has been aggravated by the present pandemic.  The call to creatively witness the mercy and love of God in the “new normal” challenges us all. 

 



HOMILY – Installation Mass

HOMILY

by Rev Fr Edward Cometa

 

Today, we celebrate the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, two great apostles who served as the pillars of the Church that we know today. We thank the Lord for the gift of missionary zeal and enthusiasm to these two apostles, who missionary journeys have resulted to great success.

 

Truly, God is a god of surprise! Who am I to preside the installation of our dear Sr. Susan? What a great grace from God that a young priest like me will get to install a veterana in the mission and ministry? Sr. Sansu, it is God who willed that this day will come. It inspires me really knowing you all and how our lives are entangled is some way. I am a proud Waray from Manicani, Guiuan, Eastern Samar—which fortunately, a beneficiary of your mission. And so, my dear Sisters, in behalf of my kababayans in Guiuan, receive my sincerest gratitude for all the good works you’ve done for us.

 

Ang buhay ni San Pedro at San Pablo ay sumasalimin din sa ating buhay pananampalataya. St. Peter has always been a devout follower of the Lord. He was always present at the Lord's side everywhere they go. Even if it took St. Peter some time to finally acknowledge Jesus as the true Son of God, he was zealous in being a disciple of Christ.

 

Laging nanatili si San Pedro sa tabi ni Jesus at saksi siya sa mga milagro at mga dakilang gawa ng ating Panginoon. Nasaksihan niya mula sa umpisa hanggang sa dulo ng pamumuhay dito sa lupa ng ating Panginoon.

 

Ngunit, dumating ang panahon na nagawang talikuran ni Pedro ang Panginoon na minamahal niya. St. Peter became a coward at some point, and had abandoned his love for the Lord to save his own life. But it was not the end for Peter. God is so great in love and generosity that he has given Peter another chance to renew his love for God. And because of that great love, St. Peter was later on chosen as the leader of our Church. God's love is redemptive and full of second chances.

Sa isang dako naman, siguro nakaka-relate din tayo sa buhay ni San Pablo. Noong una'y masigasig na taga-usig ng mga Kristiyano. Matigas ang ulo, sarado ang pag-iisip, at sariling opinyon niya lamang ang mahalaga. Ni minsan hindi niya nakita o nakasama si Jesus, ngunit ang Panginoon na mismo ang nagpakita kay Pablo sa daan patungong Damascus.

 

This encounter tells us that God meets us where we are. It was Jesus himself who came to meet Paul—he revealed his great love for any hardened sinner who thinks who has no need for God. Nakita ni San Pablo ang maluwalhating Diyos—sa tagpong ito, nakita niya ang tunay na Diyos, ang katotohanang ninanais niyang masumpungan.

From being an ardent persecutor of the Church, St. Paul would now become the greatest missionary of all time. His encounter of the Risen Christ convinced him that this is the truth that the world needs to know. He went as far as the ends of the earth, to all the corners of the known world of his time, just to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ.

The life of St. Peter is a witness to the truth that the Church is founded upon, and held together by, the forgiveness of God. The Church is never a community of the perfect, but always a community of sinners who need forgiveness. Our Lord’s example of forgiving St. Peter is also conferral of his authority to forgive, an authority that through Peter is granted to the Church.

Mga kapatid, pag-ibig lamang ang naging batayan ni Jesus para ipagkaloob kay Pedro ang pagiging pinuno ng ating Simbahan. Hindi kayamanan, hindi talino, hindi kakayahan, ang nagluklok sa kanya. Kundi, dahil si Pedro ay pinanamumunuan ng pag-ibig—the presidency of love or charity is the sole criterion for the primacy of Peter. In other words, ang taong tunay na nagmamahal ay ang taong marunong magpatawad—ito ang halimbawang ipinakita ni Jesus kay Kristo. Tayo nawa'y magmahal na katulad ni Kristo, nagpapatawad dahil sa lubos na pagmamahal sa kapwa kagaya ng nangyari kay Pedro—pinatawad, nagmahal, at ngayo'y patuloy na nagmamahal at nagpapawatad sa pamamagitan ng ating Simbahan.

 Sr. Sansu, this is my prayer and my wish for you, that you may preside with love this Province. Nawa’y mamuno ka ng may pagmamahal kagaya ni San Pedro, at maging masigasig ka nawa sa misyon na ipinagkatiwala sayo ng Diyos kagaya ni San Pablo. May you be inspired by the love and leadership of St. Peter, and may St. Paul zeal and dedication in the mission of evangelization continue to overshadow your being. Sr. Sansu, may you always be presided and motivated by love, so that you can lead the Province with the presidency of love. This presidency of love allows us to be perfect in charity. And should the time comes that you commit an error, do it because of so much love, because of so much generosity, and because of so much goodness.

My dearest Sisters, simple lang ang nais iparating sa atin sa pagdiriwang ng dalawang santong ito, magkaiba man ang background nila, kapag nakilala at nakatagpo natin ang tunay na Diyos, nagiging masigasig tayo sa misyon na ipinagkatiwala sa atin. The Gospel that we preach today is the same Gospel that St. Peter and St. Paul preached. The truths of our faith that we believed today are the same truths of faith that the apostles labored much to proclaim. And so today, let us remember to thank St. Peter and St. Paul for their efforts in making known Jesus Christ to all the ends of the world.

St. Peter the Apostle, pray for us!

St. Paul the Apostle, pray for us!

 

MESSAGE of SR SUSAN MONTANO

Good morning! Magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat!

Dumating na po ang araw na lubha kong kinakabahan (Alam nyo pagkatapos ng ating chapter election last march 18,  maraming srs ang nagtanong sakin “kumusta ka na? nakatulog ka ba?  At ang sagot ko naman ay “opo masarap ang tulog ko” kasi noon ay matagal pa naman, 3months pa. Pero mamayang gabi, simula na siguro ng aking insomnia… joke lang po!) 

Today we are gathered here to praise and thank God for this great day of the solemnity of the two giants of the church- Sts Peter and Paul, and also our formal beginning as the new Province Leadership Team during the installation ceremony at this mass.

So as we, the new PLT begin the task of leadership in the Phil-Japan Province during this very challenging time in the global history and in our own country in particular, I would like to express our gratitude to  the following:

-          First, thank you Srs Gina,  Anya, Carme, Ludy, Rona and Ellen -  for your selfless giving of yourselves for our communities and  mission during the past 6 yrs as PLT; Salamat ng marami, Sr Gina, na sa kabila ng iyong pakikipaglaban sa cancer nanatili kang buo ang loob at masigasig na naglingkod sa Province;

-          Thanks to all of you, dear Sisters, who are here and also those who are in the diff communities both in the Phils and Japan,  for the trust you give us, your prayers and  expressions of support for the incoming PLT;   Thank you especially to our “more senior sisters” especially those are on wheelchairs and even those on their sickbeds, you who have spent your youth and energy in loving service of our Province, thank you po, dear sisters… even now we know and feel your prayers for us PLT and the Province;

-          Sa inyo po, ating mga lay partners (kayong naririto ngayon )  at lahat din ng mga kasama at mga katuwang  sa misyon sa ibat-ibang communities at mga ministries, maraming salamat po sa inyong dedikasyon at pagmamahal sa mga sisters at mga taong ating pinaglilingkuran,  salamat sa inyong pagpupunyagi na itaguyod ang kanilang dangal at karapatan, lalo na ng mga kababaihan at mga kabataan na nakararanas ng pagsasamantala at pagkawasak ng kinabukasan; Kabilang din sa ating mga lay partners ang ating mga pamilya, mga kaibigan, benefactors at lahat ng  mga sumusuporta ng ating misyon;

-          Salamat din sa lahat ng mga kababaihan, kabataan, mga bata at mga pamilya na ating pinaglilingkuran, sa pagbibigay inyo sa amin ng pagkakataon na maisabuhay namin ang aming misyon at karisma bilang mga Good Shepherd mission partners;

-          Thank you, Fr Edward Anthony Cometa, for presiding in this mass and thank you Rev Azam Mansha, representing our brother Eudists community, for being part of this celebration;

-          In a special way, I thank the Liturgy committee headed by Sr Lea Comia for the simple yet meaningful liturgy, and the nice music c/o Sr Marcia Mercado and our choir;

-          Sa punong abala para sa reception, salamat kay Sr Gemma and our faithful lay partner Tess Barzaga.

-          Last but not the least I want to say thank you Srs Abel, Alice, Gemma, Tingting, Joanne, Lilly and Ellen, for your generosity and courage to say “Yes” to be and to work together as the new Province Leadership team.

Some special words to the sisters:

As Good Shepherd Sisters, may we be inspired by the words of Fr. Adolfo Nicolas, former Superior General of the Society of Jesus. He was a very good friend of the GS Sisters and an important figure during our Province Chapter of Reconciliation in 1982.  His favorite habilin to his brother- Jesuits:

  

     *Be Happy!    *Be Free!       *Be Centered on God!

 So, in whatever community and ministry we may be, or even if we are no longer active in the ministries, I hope that we can always radiate joy to others, experience freedom and peace within us,  because we have centered our lives on God.

Similarly, we also recall the beautiful words of our Mother Foundress, St. Mary Euphrasia, and I quote,

“ If you always love another, if you always uphold one another, you will be capable of working wonders”.

Like Sts Peter and Paul who were radically Transformed by the Love and Mercy of Jesus, and became so Passionate for Mission even to the point of giving up their lives, we also pray that we too, as the new PLT and each one of you, our GS partners in mission, may truly be Transformed by Love, so we can be more Passionate for Mission.

 

Salamat po!