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Excerpts from Provincial Reports of 1982 and 1984

By Sr. M. Patricia Perez RGS

These are some excerpts from the Provincial Reports of 1982 and 1984 of Sr. Naty that give us a glimpse on how she lived, witnessed our spirituality as she exhorted us to keep alive and treasure our Good Shepherd charism.

Our RGS Vocation and Mission

“There is one basic orientation which brought us together and which can keep us together: the Call of Christ to the Good Shepherd Fold, a call made in love and responded to in faith, a call to live in union with Him and continue his redemptive mission.”

Does it make a difference if I serve the poor in Batangas, in Tagaytay, in Kaulanran or in Guibang, or whether this poor comes to me as a farmer, a student, a victim of usury, a battered wife? They are all God’s poor needing my help. I bring to my service my whole mind, my heart and my talents.”

“Let no person, groups of persons, ideology or movement take from us the freedom to live out the fundamental option we have made when we answered His call—to build His Kingdom on earth, a Kingdom of Truth, Justice and of Love.”

“As I try to look into the very heart of our vocation to see from where springs the vitality of our commitment as Good Shepherd Sisters—a vitality that keeps us true to one another and selfless in our service to our people—I could see not other source except our life of prayer and our efforts to live community in a true spirit of charity.

Prayer and Life in Community

“ On attempting to assess the spiritual life of the Province two things are foremost in my mid—our prayer life and our community life. This is one of the values we hold on to. This is part of our heritage as Good Shepherd Sisters. There is no substitute for the daily efforts to make to get in touch with God in the depths of our hearts.”

“To build community requires virtue and sometimes heroic virtue. We are aware of the fact that we get from our community just as much as we put in terms of trust, concern and honesty in dealing with one another.”

Spirituality as a Province Leader

Sr. Roswitha Wanke from Germany, in her message of condolence, says: She was truly a great women, having to lead her province during its difficult ties, nevertheless with humour.”

On Naty’s report during the 1982 Chapter, the Aspiration of which was the Unity of the Province:

“Some say there is disunity; others says there is disunity in certain areas, others say, there see no disunity at all. Each one is entitled to her own opinion. I am reminded of one of the exercises in group dynamics where we were asked to sketch a statue that was placed before us. The purpose of the exercise was to make each one realize that we have different ways of looking at the same thing; each one possesses the truth to some extent, and that no one has full possession of the truth.”

We have progressed from anonymous letters that really hurt, to constructive criticisms duly acknowledged, which have been helpful because they have opened my eyes to the mistakes that I have made, and finally, to letters of appreciation from individuals and from groups. For me this is growth. If we can make a similar progress in our relationships with one another, then perhaps the bond of unity which we are looking for will become real. We need to affirm one another in trust and in love.”

Our Mission of Love and Compassion

I humility ad truth we have stood before God and said to Him: “Lord, you know me through and through… You examine me and you know my heart.” I believe that such a stance before God gives us the courage to accept our limitations, to accept the limitations of others and to forge ahead and take the risk, trusting that He will sustain us in the Mission He has sent us. Our response to this mission varies according to our gifts and our lights. In this crucial time of our country I ask each one of you, especially our Superiors, to be open, discerning and supportive, and in your own community to be the point of unity from where the Sisters could draw strength and vigor. In this Province there is room for all of us with different gifts, different strengths, and different paces, to hold hands and work together towards our common goal.

“I have been broken, but I have learned and experienced that in one’s brokenness there are no wounds too deep to heal if one allows the Wounded Healer to touch her with His love and compassion.”

(It was in this 1982 Chapter that she was elected for another 2 years, after a six-year term, the first in our province!)

On Zeal, the essence of our vows, for Sr. Naty it is unflagging till the end.

“Truly, I have been blessed. As a leader I have many limitations but you have all helped to fill up what was wanting in me. I could not ask for more. I can only pray that as my years of life and service decrease, my capacity to share myself will increase. You have all been part of my Paschal life in the Province. Thank you for this opportunity to serve you. It has truly been a life filled with joy, pain, hopes, reaching out and receiving.

Finally, Sr. Naty’s testament we can live out and own:

“I love our Province, and I love each Sister. .. . I know that deep down in the heart of each one is the desire to make this province alive, eager to bring forth the feast of what we are and what we have.”

“I hope that we may all find ourselves on the altar of the Lord as bread in one basket, to be blessed, broken and shared.”