RGS Ministry Office Celebrates the Immaculate Conception in Happy Land, Tondo
On December 8, 2016 – the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, the Ministry Office of the Religious of the Good Shepherd started the commitment to sponsor a FEEDING PROGRAM in Happy Land, Tondo, Manila every quarter on the regular celebration of the feasts of Mama Mary. The hope is that this will be done on December 8, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, March 25, Feast of the Annunciation, June 27, Feast of the Mother of Perpetual Help, and September 8, the Birthday of the Blessed Virgin.
Through the help of our lay mission partners, Ditas, Sen and Pacita Panopio, the menu was decided on which is composed of packed rice with pork adobo and boiled egg on top. Tita Ditas together with Nanay Grace, our House Parent from Ruhama Center, cooked the adobo and boiled the eggs. Chocolates and candies were given as dessert which the children enjoyed so much. It was a good decision that rice was served since according to the parents of the children, they liked it most because it is more filling compared to the other groups that served spaghetti, biscuits or sandwiches. As expected, the portion is more than enough for the children, thus they happily brought the left-overs home to be shared with their siblings.
The Task Force on Urban Conscientization (TFUC), a Mission Partner of Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP), helped the sisters in coordinating with the families of Happy Land in order to determine who can benefit the first feeding activity. The community has four barangays and the 100 children from 5 to 10 years old were chosen from these four barangays to equally give a chance to every child who are most in need.
One of the challenges is how to get to the multi – purpose hall where the children will be fed. The road is muddy and narrow because of tons and tons of garbage in the area. Since our service cannot go through the area, despite the skillful driving ability of Ka Itong, the group managed by hiring a man with his TRICYKAD and the help of some parents in carrying the food.
For this first activity of feeding the children on the feast of Mama Mary, we are truly grateful to generous benefactors especially to our faithful lay partner in mission, Tess Barsaga who helped raise funds to make this possible. We are equally thankful to the women from San Andres Bukid who helped in cooking rice early morning of December 8 and packing food together with our Ruhama girls and Staff.
We know, Mama Mary is smiling as she looks at the children enjoying the food on her feast. At the same time, we were able to once more prove that the invitation to do mission is happily accomplished when efforts are put together for the glory of God and for the sake of God’s people.