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Good Shepherd Sisters and mission partners join Papal Visit events

Submitted by: rgsphil
On: 23/01/2015

Good Shepherd Sisters and Mission partners participated in the various events during the visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines on January 15-19.

Several days before the Pope’s arrival, groups of sisters also visited the places where he would go.

On January 15, Sr. Juanita Dano was one of the volunteers who served as marshals  to keep peace and order in the  Taft Avenue and Quirino Avenue area where Pope Francis would pass to reach his official residence, the Apostolic Nunciature.

Susan Montano and a group of sisters and mission partners  from the 1043 compound were near Villamor Airbase. They were among the thousands of well wishers who first saw Pope Francis on his pope mobile that night of his arrival.

The next day, January 16, Sr. Socorro Galvez, a contemplative in the Diocese of Virac and Sr. Minela Alvarez, apostolic sister of the Diocese of Ilagan were at the Manila Cathedra when Pope Francis met with religious men and women from the different dioceses.

At the Good Shepherd Convent in Quezon City, the girls of Euphrasian Community interpreted the song, We are all God’s Children, theme song of the papal visit, during the Eucharistic Celebration presided by Fr. Jim O’Donnell. January 16 marked the 180th year of the establishment of the Good Shepherd Generalate. It was Pope Gregory XVI who approved the establishment of the Generalate in 1835.

Photo: Sr. Myra and BK residents.

In the afternoon, Sr. Myra Atian accompanied the children of Bukid Kabataan during the Pope’s meeting with families at the Mall of Asia.

+ Kristel Mae Cleofe Padasas - Bridgetine

"Out of a million who wanted to serve the Lord and see Pope Francis, it was her that God picked out ," were the  profoundly sad  words of Kristel Mae's grandfather, with deep faith, love and humility.

Kristel Mae was born on June 22, 1987, in Barangay Tambo, Buhi, Camarines Sur. After her elementary education  she became a Bridgetine, graduating in 2004. At 27 years, on January 18, 2015, after the Holy Father's Mass in Tacloban Airport, Kristel was killed by a falling scaffolding and was pronounced "dead on arrival' at the  hospital nearest to the Tacloban airport.  (For Full Text, click this.)

On January 17, while the Pope was in Tacloban, Sr. Francia Blando and several religious of the Sisters Association in Mindanao (SAMI(N), travelled to attend the Eucharistic Celebration at the Tacloban airport. That Mass was a profound experience for Pope Francis and an expression of deep solidarity with the people who came despite the signal # 2 raised due to typhoon “Amang.”

On January 18, Sr. Maureen Catabian and several sisters from the Euphrasian Community started as early as 3 a.m. to be at the University of Santo Tomas to be witness to the meeting of Pope Francis with  the different religious leaders, and later for the Pope’s interaction with the youth at the pontifical and royal university.

At UST, the Holy Father began his prayers by acknowledging the loss of life of Kristel Mae Padasas, a young volunteer during the Papal Visit.  Kristel was dead on arrival at the hospital when the scaffolding for the speakers at the Tacloban airport collapsed due to strong winds and hit Kristel.  Later, it was known, that Kristel belonged to Batch 2004 in St. Bridget School Buhi.

Five sisters volunteered in the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Episcopal Commission on Health Care's efforts during the papal visit: Sr. Ananita Borbon, Sr. Ailyn Binco, Sr. Emma Marzan, Sr. Loreen Granada and Sr. Cielo Matuloy. Fr. Dan Cancino, MI of CBCP ECHC, our five sisters and other volunteers braved the cold and rainy Sunday at the Luneta and made visible God’s love by taking care of persons with disabilities (PWDs) who were all eager to meet the pope.

Photo: RGS and Fr. Dan during the orientation for volunteers.

The Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP) informed Sr. Regina Kuizon to be among the provincials and mission partners to represent the association at the January 18 Mass .  Sr. Corazon Demetillo, president of the Institute for Formation and Religious Studies represented the mission partners of IFRS. Like Srs. Socorro and Sr. Minela, the two sisters Regina and Corazon stayed at the  residence of Sr. Carmela Cruz’ sister, Ate Rose.

A call from the AMRSP to  respond to the request of the Philippine National Police to gather more than a thousand religious women to serve as human barricades and secure the Quirino Grandstand. Sr. Lita Clemen and some 10 sisters from the congregation responded favourably to the call.

Students of St. Bridget College Batangas interpreted too the papal visit theme song, “ We are All God’s Children,” at the school grounds.

As all these events were taking place, like many other Filipinos who offered prayers and sacrifices for the safety of the Pope, Good Shepherd Sisters, apostolic and contemplative, followed the Holy Father through the means of communications – television, radio, newspaper and the internet. All were touched by the mercy and compassion that served as theme of the papal visit and demonstrated his great affection and love for the poor and marginalized in society.

Today, the congregation (1835  January 16  2015) continues its mission of mercy and reconciliation entrusted by the Good Shepherd as we serve families especially women and children and as we uphold the integrity of creation.


Reflections from Bukid Kabataan

“DO NOT LOSE YOUR CAPACITY TO DREAM AS YOU WILL ALSO LOSE YOUR CAPACITY TO LOVE.” Ito ang nakaantig sa akin na sinabi ni Pope Francis. Minsan sa aking buhay ay nanghihina na rin akong mangarap na mabubuo pa ang pamilya ko. Pero narealize ko na kung patuloy  akong mangangarap para sa pamilya,may kasiguraduhan na may maganda kaming kinabukasan. –Abegail-

Nung nakita ko si Pope Francis ay para ko na ring nakita ang Diyos. Siya ang naging inspirasyon ko. Natutunan ko na huwag mawalan ng pag-asa at huwag sumuko sa problema. Huwag kakalimutang  mangarap na magkaroon ng isang pamilyang masaya. –Mark-

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