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Heavenward Two-gether

Submitted by: rgsphil
On: 15/07/2021

Last July 11, we brought to their final rest the ashes of our two dear sisters who said goodbye to us one after the other. Sr Mary Socorro Galvez, a contemplative sister passed on last July 8 and Sr Mary Herminia Mendoza, an apostolic sister, last July 9. Fr Ross Kapunan, OMI presided the Mass of the Resurrection before the inurnment. 

Tributes to Sr Soc and Sr Hermie at the beginning of the Mass by Sr Mary Lourdes Fabia


In the Church, among Religious Congregations, our stands as a rare case, only one of three  - a Congregation with both apostolic and contemplative members, one mission, one government, one constitution.

Sr. Soc, among us, is also a special example of one RGS who has lived both apostolic and contemplative lifestyle – with love and zeal and joy! After 17 years as an active RGS, she asked for a definitive transfer to the Contemplatives – the first in our Province and in the Congregation! It was a beautiful coincidence -- or providence? That at the 2003 General Chapter, when the Integrated Constitution with the all-important Article I was presented, Soc was there as a Contemplative delegate to the Chapter and her vote was with the unanimous vote of approval. For most of us it is either apostolic or contemplative. For Soc, it has been both! Even in death, she is with a beloved RGS apostolic, Atchi Hermie! Complementarity, mutuality, unity!

Yesterday, Srs. Mar, Boots and Luz shared their thoughts of Soc. In their words: “As a contemplative, and apostolic sister for 17 years, we know Soc as:  a Sister who lived a deep life of prayer, silence and solitude, with a deep desire to love God as witnessed by her day to day life; generous, kind and compassionate to others, concerned and sensitive to the needs of the Sisters, especially to the members of the community she is entrusted to care for as Local Leader, Apostolic and Contemplative; imbued with zeal for the mission; creative in implementing new changes in community activities such as recreation, outings and others for the well-being of the Sisters; willing and flexible to face new challenges of today’s world and in the Church; able to tap talents and gifts of Sisters, as she was also aware of limitations and shortcomings; deep love for her family, relatives, friends and grateful for their goodness and generosity.

She is an image of the true RGS Contemplative. 


Last night, at the sharing of memories and tributes for our two Sisters, the many recollections about Sr. Herminia, Atchi Hermie, painted a composite portrait that showed her realistically from many angles. Noteworthy was the remembrance of her former name in Religion. At her clothing and reception to the novitiate in Los Angeles, she was given the name, Sister Mary Caritas. Caritas. Charity. Love. In varied and interesting examples, our Sisters shared personal stories about how Sister’s name became her way of life. In the ministry, she showed love and concern for the girls and women in our care, for the poor in the outside communities, for priests and families. In the community, her love for the Sisters took creative and even totally unconventional and surprising ways of doing our practices – prayer, liturgy, celebration. Her love for her family was obvious and touching – in her tender care for Sr. Eugene when they were both in the MDWC; her concern for Guilly and Baidy in Labrador whom she went to visit in Labrador when she could do so even by bus; her interest in the wellness and doings of Kuya Maxi and his family. She was a devoted Auntie to her nephews.

Atchi Hermie loved Labrador her birthplace and Pangasinan, her home province and spoke their dialect when there was someone who knew Pangasinan. Sister loved our country and came elections, she would be active not only in voter’s education but participation in the actual voting process.

She was born on October 20, our titular feast of the Divine Heart, which she celebrated as her feastday. That, plus her name, Caritas, became the touchstones of her life of love and zeal. When Atchi left us early morning of Friday, July 9, our devoted caregivers at the MDWC said of her “She was always so grateful and kind. When we’d leave her, she would say “Thank you. I love you.”

Thank you, Atchi. We love you too! Pray for us, bring us close to the Divine Heart of our Shepherd God!

WORD OF THANKS by Sr Mar Bool 

In behalf of our Apostolic and Contemplative Sisters, I would like to express our deep gratitude to all who have been part of Sister Soc’s journey in her earthly life.

To the family and relatives, who loved and gave loving support until the very end of her life, we thank you… 

To friends, students, staff of different communities she was missioned, for the availability and faithful service  you gave her in collaboration with our mission as Good Shepherd Sisters … we thank you.

To Dra. Ida Sibayan, Dra. Zenaida Uy and others Doctors, Honey , our Nurse and all caregivers, who helped maintained, gave comfort, and loving care each day she needed, especially in time of pain, until the end… we thank you.

To Cardinal Rosales, who, unable to come because he is sick himself and Sr, Soc in bed, prayed with her and gave her his last blessing virtually… we thank you.

To all her nieces, nephews, cousins and relatives , here and abroad, who  were able to pray, visit and talk personally and virtually, to support her with your love and prayers… we thank you.

To the Eudist and Jesuit Priests and other Priests who were most available to render spiritual services for Sr, Soc… we thank you.

To the Bishops, especially Bishop Manolo, Priests, Deacons and Seminarians from Virac… we, thank you.

To the lay mission partners, benefactors, staff  and friends, for your availability,  generosity and collaboration to our mission as Contemplatives in Virac, Catanduanes…we thank you…

To Sr. Boots, who daily keep constant watch, was there, praying with her, and being present on behalf of the Sisters who are not able to be with her at this time… we thank you…

We thank our celebrant today Fr. Ross, OMI and all those celebrating with him at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for Sr. Soc’s Inurement Mass… we thank you.

Last but not least, with much gratitude, we want to thank all who journeyed with her in this life,  in joys and in her sorrows, in sharing faith and belief in the God Who Loved and called her to be His  very own for 59 years.  Now, at last,  Sr. Soc is happy  with Him, the One , she chose and loved… Amen.  Thank you. (Sr Marie Goretti Bool)


WORD OF THANKS by Sr Amy David


We thank Achie Hermie for the impact she has left in our midst.


Many of us,  have somehow experienced  Sr. Mary Herminia’s  zest for life, deep faith in God,   her boundless compassion and her perpetual sense of awe and wonder, even at the ordinariness of events. We marvel  at how  the window of Achie Hermie’s soul  can always perceive  that which we cannot see  and comprehend.  She has the eyes of a mystic, ever grateful for life!  Thank you Achie for this perspective!


Thank you, dear loved ones of Achie… all have gone ahead of her…  mama, papa, her brother Max,  sisters  Guilly, Baidy, and  sr. Mary Eugenia, RGS,  whom they called,  Mory.

Achie was in constant conversation with them in prayer.


And also, we thank Nachos, nephew of Sr. Mary Herminia, who took effort to be present today.

Thank you Sr. Mary Lydia Ebora,  and all dear sisters,  caregivers and all our staff,  who through the years   have given Achie much comfort and consolation. We are grateful for your tender loving care, your presence and availability to the needs at hand.  


To Dr Ida Sibayan who faithfully attended to the needs of Achie, we cannot thank you enough!

To Sr. Sansu and the province leadership team, maraming salamat po! 

To Sr. Soc, who gently led Achie to be her companion in her journey to meet our Shepherd God, manifesting a congregational value of partnership in mission on earth and in eternity. Thank you very much Sr. Soc! 


Maraming salamat din po! Fr. Ross Kapunan, Oblates of Mary Immaculate.   Amen. (Sr Amelia David) 





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