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March 15, 2019, Manila, Philippines – Members of the Adrian Dominican Sisters Our Lady of Remedies Mission Chapter were among 179 participants in the 2019 gathering of the Dominican Sisters International-Philippines (DSI-P) meeting in February at the University of Santo Thomas Seminary. The Adrian Dominican Sisters were one of 15 Congregations of Dominican Sisters that participated in the event.
The theme of the Day of Recollection was “Dominican Style of Holiness: A Glimpse to the Genius of a Woman.” Father Rolando de La Rosa, OP, guided the Sisters in their reflection, focusing on the Beatitudes as the sure way to holiness.
In his introduction, Father de La Rosa reminded the Sisters of the current state of the world: suffering, violence, and leaders who attempt to solve problems like illegal drugs with more violence. Consumerism and materialism drive people to work hard to get what they want. Father de La Rosa noted that this materialism is creeping into the lives of religious, as evidenced by convents filled with consumeristic goods.
Religious are so active that they become less attractive, Father de La Rosa said, encouraging the Sisters to lead an orderly life and to align their lives with the will of God, as guided by the Beatitudes.
Father de La Rosa interpreted the Beatitudes in these ways:
Father Jeffry Aytona, Director of the Dominican Networks for the Youth, spoke to the Sisters on how they can influence the youth in their ministry to become partners in the mission. He called to mind the message of Pope John Paul II on his second visit to the Philippines during the 1995 World Youth Day. “The Dominican commitment is to educate, to catechize the youth. The youth are not only seeking knowledge to fill their minds but formation in the faith to strengthen their soul.”
Father Aytona attributed the vocation crisis to the lack of pastoral programs for the young in schools. He challenged schools to give youth not only academic formation but most of all value formation, which can be manifested in their desire to follow Christ and participate in the mission of the Church.
The representatives of DOMNET Youth expressed the needs of youth today: proper guidance and wisdom from elderly, not from the Internet. Generally the youth of today are connected with the whole world through the Internet, but they still feel left out and in the end they are not happy. They need to experience the care and guidance of true mentors, not virtual mentors.
“The young people must be empowered with veritas (truth),” Father Aytona said. “We religious should be role models to the youth, who are witnesses to the joy of the Gospel.”
A highlight of the Day of Recollection was the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, presided over by Father Quirico Pedregosa, OP, Rector of University of Santo Thomas Central Seminary.
Feature photo (top): Sister Rosita Yaya, OP, Chapter Prioress of Our Lady of Remedies Mission Chapter, participates in the closing Liturgy of the Day of Reflection for Dominican Sisters International-Philippines.
Sister Myra Dalisay, OP, participates in an ice breaker with Dominican Sisters from other congregations.
By Sister Leizel V. Tedria, OP
March 4, 2019, San Fernando, Philippines – Sister Leizel V. Tedria, OP, professed her First Vows on February 23, 2019, during Mass in the Virgin de los Remedios Repository Chapel at the chancery of the Archdiocese of San Fernando, the Philippines. A native of Camarines Sur of Bicol Region, in the southern part of the northern island of Luzon, Sister Leizel holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Our Lady of Fatima University in Pampanga, the Philippines. She was received into the novitiate on December 3, 2016, and currently ministers in the Diocese of San Jose Nueva Ecija. Watch a video of Sister Leizel’s profession here.
This is Sister Leizel’s reflection on her First Profession.
Last February 23, 2019, on the Memorial of St. Polycarp, inside the Repository Chapel of Virgin de los Remedios, I took my First Profession of Vows. The main celebrant of the Mass was the Most Reverend Florentino G. Lavarias, and concelebrants were Archbishop Emeritus Paciano B. Ancieto and Father Herwyn T. Bulaun. What added to my happiness that day was the presence of my family – my parents and my three sisters.
I felt like I was dreaming as I walked toward the altar before Mass with my parents at my side, and the Sisters, priests, and altar servers behind us. Celebrating with us were some of my closest friends, Leony, Aizalonica, and Rowena; two aspirants, Raychelle and Princess; and our partners in mission, the Dominican Laity of San Fernando and Mabalacat Chapters.
Giving my “yes” to our Mother Church through our Congregation was possible because of God’s help and the many people who have been part of my journey. I especially extend my gratitude to the General Council of the Adrian Dominican Sisters and to Sister Patricia Siemen, OP, Prioress of the Congregation, who approved my application upon the recommendation of my Chapter Prioress, Sister Rosita M. Yaya, OP. Thank you, Sisters, for journeying with me all these four years. I extend my deepest appreciation to my former formators: Sisters Marissa Figueroa, OP, Rosita Yaya, OP, Amelia Sarmiento, OP, Maria May Cano, OP, and Antonette Lumbang, OP.
While I do not forget that I am still a human, and that profession of vows does not make me an instantly holy person, I thank God for this, another transfiguration event in my journey. God takes the initiative and it is through His grace that I responded out of faith and love, and through the faith, mercy, and loving support shown by my family, friends, and the Sisters in the Congregation.
My vocation has no meaning at all if it is not for Jesus reflected in the presence of the people whom I serve. It is my hope that as I continue to develop an intimate relationship with our beloved Jesus through community and ministry as a professed Sister, I will also keep moving forward in my faith and active charity for the community and the Church. I must not forget to welcome the ordinariness and realities of daily life with God’s people.