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Sr. Mary Assumption RGS: A wonderful gift God has given us

Submitted by: regina
On: 18/12/2009

Sr. Mary Assumption Ocampo RGS, the first Filipina Good Shepherd Sister, was laid to rest December 13 at the convent graveyard in Quezon City after a Mass presided by Bishop Federico Escaler SJ.

Tribute

Sr. Mary Assumption passed away  on December 10  at the age of 102 in Baguio City where she was assigned for many years. Her remains were cremated and the ashes brought to Quezon City by her relatives led by her nephew Bishop Escaler, and Good Shepherd Sisters from Baguio.

Sr. Guadalupe Bautista, local leader of the Good Shepherd Sisters in Baguio paid tribute to Sr. Mary Assumption. Sunday’s  tribute was a continuation of the previous night’s sharing of memories of Sr. Mary Assumption by family and sisters, several of them her former students. The tribute focused on Sr. Assumptions’s generosity, simplicity, compassionate heart and creativity in the accomplishment of her mission.

Sr. Mary Assumption was a beautiful gift from God to the Good Shepherd Congregation which has launched recently its preparation for the celebration of 100th year of presence in the Philippines this 2012.

Sr. Guadalupe also read from the vocation story that Sr. Mary Assumption shared when she was interviewed in 2002 when she was already 95. Sr. Guadalupe quoted from Sr. Mary Assumption sharing that demonstrated her spirituality, simplicity, generosity and compassionate heart towards the poor.

Rite symbolizing Light and Received in Baptism

Sr. Patricia Perez, RGS, member of the apostolic council of the Province Leadership Team, led the Rite symbolizing light and life received in Baptism. Quoting a poet, “Death is not  the extinguishing of light. It is the blowing out of a candle because the dawn has come,.” Sr. Patricia continued that “Sr. Mary Assumption now enjoys the dawn that will never have a sunset.  Our hope, our certainty is rooted in our belief that Jesus died, rose gain and lives forever.

During the rite, the “Paschal Candle which speaks of Jesus  Resurrection” was lighted by Sr. Cecilia Torres RGS, province leader.  The urn with Sr. Mary Assumption’s ashes was draped with white cloth which was a symbol of her baptism, by two of her nieces. Sr. Teresita Feliciano RGS, another niece, placed beside the urn a crucifix and congregational cross as a symbol of Sr. Mary Assumption’s life as a Good Shepherd Sister.

Those gathered were united in celebrating Jesus’ Resurrection and the fulfillment of  the great promise, God’s promise of everlasting life.

A joyful occasion

In his homily during the Sunday Mass, also celebrated in the whole Church as Laetare Sunday, the third Sunday of Advent, a joyful occasion of expectation as we approach Christmas, Bishop Escaler said, “If I have my choice, this Mass should be a Mass of the Resurrection, thanksgiving." He recalled that "when one looks at the life of Sr. Mary Assumption it was a mixture of joy, sorrow, pain, and accomplishments."

Bishop Escaler, reminded those present that if we they look back at the life of Sr. Mary Assumption, “we pray not with sadness but with joy and look at her life of dedication, service, love in community, and also for the poor. With those, I think she lived a full life, so as we celebrate this Mass, this is one of thanksgiving, for the wonderful gift that God has given us and allowing her to come to our lives.”

Gratitude is the memory of the heart

The French proverb, “Gratitude is the memory of the heart,” often mentioned by St. Mary Euphrasias, foundress of the Good Shepherd congregation, was the theme that ran through the messages of  Ms. Pilar Fernandez  who spoke on behalf of  Sr. Mary Assumption’s family and Sr. Cecilia Torres, province leader of Good Shepherd Sisters in the Philippines.

After the Mass celebrated at the Good Shepherd Chapel, those present processed towards the graveyard of the convent where the urn with Sr. Mary Assumption’s ashes was laid to rest.

“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood will have life everlasting and I will raise you up on the Last Day.”

 

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