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By Sister Zenaida Nacpil, OP
Chapter Prioress, Our Lady of Remedies Mission Chapter
August 28, 2017, Angeles City, the Philippines – The Adrian Dominican Sisters of Our Lady of Remedies Mission Chapter blessed a second school building of Dominican School of Angeles City – the Virgin de los Remedies Building – on August 23, the Feast of St. Rose of Lima.
Most Rev. Paciano B. Aniceto, DD, Archbishop Emeritus of the Archdiocese of San Fernando, presided over the joyful event, assisted by Father John Tordera, Deacon Herwyn Bulaun, and Sister Michelle Salalila, OP.
Dominican School of Angeles City, located in the impoverished Barangay (village) of Mining, Angeles City, opened six years ago with three kindergarten students. At the time of the construction of the new building, the enrollment stood at 238 students in grades kindergarten through 10. The new building was constructed to house six more classrooms and spaces large enough for school Masses and physical education, to allow the school to add grades 11 and 12.
The blessing of the new building included ribbon-cutting ceremonies in various areas of the building. The ribbon for the main entrance to the lobby was cut by Sister Zenaida S. Nacpil, OP, Chapter Prioress and Engineer Allan and Maricel Gatpolintan. Leilani Samson-Cunanan, Deputy Superintendent of Education for Angeles City, cut the ribbon for the right staircase while the ribbon for the left staircase was cut by Teresita Celis. The ribbon for the Business Office was cut by Sister Rosita Yaya, OP. Sister Liberty Mendoza, OP, cut the ribbon for the chapel.
Sisters, special guests, friends, and benefactors shared in joy and gratitude for the occasion. Sister Gudelia Kabigting, OP, and students in grades 9 and 10 led the choir in the festive singing.
The new building, supported in part with a grant from the Adrian Dominican Sisters, is a concrete way to implement the Enactment from the 2016 Adrian Dominican General Chapter, calling on the Congregation to “create resilient communities with people who are relegated to the margins, valuing their faith, wisdom and integrity.”
The Dominican School of Angeles City is located in the Clark Freeport Zone – the former U.S. Clark Air Force Base – where the young are at risk of becoming involved in the sex trade, human trafficking, or drugs. The school provides affordable Catholic education to children from low-income families. Academic training in accountancy, business, and management, in tandem with eco-faming, care of creation, and training in culinary vocational skills, are being built up for the senior high school students in the new building.
Members of the Our Lady of Remedies Mission Chapter express their deepest gratitude to our Congregational leaders, Sisters, friends, and families, benefactors, and all who supported this project financially and through prayer.
Clockwise: From left, Sisters Gudelia Kabigting, OP, Zenaida Nacpil, OP, and Michelle Salalila, OP, with members of the construction crew. Sister Gudelia Kabigting, OP, plays the guitar with Sister Antonette Lumbang, OP, and students from ninth and 10th grades. Participating in the blessing of the school are, from left, Deacon Herwyn Bulaun, Sister Michelle Salalila, OP; and Father John Torfera.
September 7, 2016, Detroit – Sister Heather Stiverson, OP, is one of six U.S. Catholic Sisters to be featured in a newly launched national social media campaign, “Sister to All.” The campaign was conceived and is being run by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.
Sister Heather was held up as an example of Sisters in her work as an English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor and front desk staff member of Dominican Literacy Center in Detroit. Noting the challenges and joys of watching her students struggle with and improve their English skills, Sister Heather said, “I pray every day before I come to work that I can be the best person I can be for these students.”
Other Sisters were featured in the campaign’s materials for their work with people who are homeless, newly-arrived Hispanic immigrants, women in street-level prostitution, and people struggling with substance abuse.
Released on September 6 – shortly after the canonization of Mother Teresa of Calcutta – the Sister to All campaign aims to dispel the misunderstandings that many people have about Catholic Sisters. Research commissioned by the foundation discovered that while the majority of Americans view Catholic Sisters favorably, they still have common stereotypes about Sisters. For example, many believe that Sisters have little or no impact on non-Catholics when, in fact, they serve people of all faith traditions and ethnic backgrounds.
Many also believe that religious life is a tradition from the past and is dying out. The research discovered, however, that about a quarter of all Catholic women have considered becoming a Sister.
Sister Heather is a case in point. When she first met the Adrian Dominican Sisters as a nursing assistant in the Dominican Life Center, she was not a Catholic. She felt drawn to the Eucharist and converted to Catholicism. At the invitation of the Sisters, she discerned whether God might be calling her to enter the Congregation.
“I was really attracted to their joy and work in social justice, especially with people on the margins,” she said. “I spent a year in discernment, talking to God and talking to other people. I felt God was calling me to something more in my life, to be a Sister.”
If you are considering religious life and would like to explore life as an Adrian Dominican Sister, please contact Sister Sara Fairbanks, OP, at 517-266-353; or toll-free, 1-866-774-0005; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about Sister to All in an article published by the National Catholic Reporter’s Global Sisters Report.
Feature photo: Sister Heather Stiverson, OP, works with ESL students at Dominican Literacy Center in Detroit. Courtesy of Sister to All Campaign