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Sisters from Our Lady of Remedies Mission Chapter in habit cut the ribbon for their new Central House at the front door

March 27, 2023, Mining, Pampanga, Philippines – With profound joy and gratitude, the Adrian Dominican Sisters of the Our Lady of Remedies Mission Chapter dedicated their new Central House, which serves as a residence and office building. The celebration included Mass; a formal dedication and blessing of the building and its rooms; and a festive dinner.

Nearly 300 people attended the event, including more than two dozen clergy from dioceses where the Sisters minister. The Mass was concelebrated by four bishops, including Florentino Lavarias, DD, Archbishop of San Fernando; Paciano Aniceto, DD, Archbishop Emeritus of the Archdiocese of San Fernando, Pampanga; Bishop Roberto Calara Mallari of the Diocese of San Jose (Neuva Ecija); and the Bishop of the Diocese of Caloocan (near Manila), Pablo Virgilio David, who is President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines. Also attending were members of the Pampanga Association of Women Religious and of the Dominican Sisters International from the Philippines; Adrian Dominican Sisters from the United States, including former Prioress Patricia Siemen, OP, current Prioress Elise D. García, OP, former General Councilor and Administrator Frances Nadolny, OP, and current General Councilor and Vicaress Lorraine Réaume, OP; local officials; lay Dominicans; and students, co-workers, and friends of the Our Lady of Remedies Sisters. 

The Central House replaces the original Motherhouse of the Our Lady of Remedies Dominican Congregation, founded in the 1960s with support in the formation process from the Adrian Dominican Congregation. In 2011, the Our Lady of Remedies Congregation merged with the Adrian Dominican Congregation.


A group of Sisters and visitors cut the ribbon to the stairwell of the new Central House      Sisters in habits with lighted candles pray in the hallway of new Central House

Left: A happy crowd gathers for the ribbon cutting of the stairs leading to another floor of the Central House. Right: Sisters process through the corridors of the new Central House, named the Adrian Dominican House of Remedies.


In 2022, the Sisters in the Philippines were asked to vacate their Motherhouse – located on land owned by the Archdiocese of San Fernando – so the Archdiocese could use the space to expand its seminary.

The three-story Central House, named the Adrian Dominican House of Remedies, is on the campus of the Dominican School of Angeles City, a mission of the Sisters, in the barangay or neighborhood of Mining, Province of Pampanga, Philippines. The building includes nearly 40 bedrooms, offices for the Chapter Prioress and the Treasurer, a chapel, a conference room, archives, refectories (dining rooms) for Sisters and guests; a kitchen; a community room; and outdoor areas, such as a labyrinth, grotto in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and a greenhouse. It also will include solar panels and improved Internet and Wi-Fi.


Long view of the chapel       Sisters in habits with lighted candles pray in the hallway of new Central House

Left: Long view of the chapel. Right: The dining room.


In an earlier interview, Sister Maria Yolanda G. Manapsal, OP, Chapter Prioress of Our Lady of Remedies Mission Chapter, spoke of the Adrian Dominican House of Remedies as a place that can serve the people of Mining. “We are planning to extend our ministry to the street children of Mining,” she said. “It will be a great opportunity to work with people who are poor.”

In her address to the assembly toward the end of Mass, Sister Yolanda expressed deep gratitude for the Adrian Dominican House of Remedies. “Our hearts are filled with joy and gladness with this dream come true,” Sister Yolanda said. “After saying good-bye to our Motherhouse where we lived for almost 50 years, God has surprised us with this edifice.” She described the Adrian Dominican House of Remedies as a “beautiful home we can call our very own,” and credited the “grace; divine providence; and the outpouring love, mercy, and compassion of our God.”

Sister Maria Yolanda G. Manapsal, OP, Chapter Prioress of Our Lady of Remedies Mission Chapter, expresses gratitude to God and to the assembly for the Chapter’s new Central House.
Sister Maria Yolanda G. Manapsal, OP, Chapter Prioress of Our Lady of Remedies Mission Chapter, expresses gratitude to God and to the assembly for the Chapter’s new Adrian Dominican House of Remedies.

Sister Yolanda thanked all who helped in the funding and construction of the Adrian Dominican House of Remedies: the 2016-2022 General Council of the Adrian Dominican Sisters; other benefactors, sponsors, friends, and family whose donations made the building’s construction possible; local government officials; the construction company and the landscaper; Sisters in the Mission Chapter who solicited donations and helped in the preparation of seedlings for the garden; members of the previous Mission Council, headed by former Chapter Prioress Sister Rosita Yaya, OP; members of the Construction Committee; and other Adrian Dominican Sisters.

“God will surely bestow upon you hundredfold blessings,” Sister Yolanda said. She concluded by asking God to “make us worthy of this place by being blessings to others, too, and give us the grace to become the best version of ourselves for others.”

Sister Elise D. García, OP, Prioress of the Congregation, offered her own words of encouragement to the Sisters of Our Lady of Remedies Mission Chapter and to all who were involved in the construction of the Adrian Dominican House of Remedies. 

Prioress Elise D. García, OP, addresses the assembly before the formal dedication ceremony.
Prioress Elise D. García, OP, addresses the assembly before the formal dedication ceremony.

“The construction of this convent is a sign of hope in our world – not just here in Mining, not just here in Pampanga or the Philippines, but truly a sign of hope for our entire world that there is a presence of our beautiful Dominican community here – a witness to the love of God that is within us and that is manifested by each and every one of the Sisters who will call this Dominican house home from this day forward,” she said. 

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October 29, 2019, San Fernando, Philippines – Adrian Dominican Sisters from North America – the Dominican Republic and the United States – experienced inspiration, joy, and many graces and memories when they attended a Congregational gathering with the Adrian Dominican Sisters serving in the Philippines and their Partners in Mission.

This summer, July 31 to August 4, 2019, the Adrian Dominican Sisters held a congregational gathering, Embracing the Future / Encuentro con el Futuro / Pagyakap sa Hinaharap, during which Sisters, Associates, Co-workers, and Partners in Mission from sponsored institutions gathered in Adrian, Michigan, to celebrate the present and look together toward the future. The Our Lady of Remedies Mission Chapter, based in Pampanga, the Philippines, hosted its own Pagyakap sa Hinaharap at University of the Assumption in San Fernando October 5-6, 2019, with 300 Partners in Mission.

From left, Sisters Nery (Luchy) Sori, OP, Carolyn Roeber, OP, Carol Jean Kesterke, OP, and Patricia Siemen, OP; Archbishop Emeritus Paciano Aniceto; and Sisters Maria Eneida Santiago, OP, Basilia De la Cruz, OP, Patricia Harvat, OP, and Marilín Llanes, OP.

Special guests of the October gathering included eight North Americans from the United States and the Dominican Republic: Sisters Patricia Siemen, OP, Prioress, who spoke at the event; Patricia Harvat, OP, General Councilor; Carol Jean Kesterke, OP, Chapter Prioress of the Great Lakes Dominican Mission Chapter, based in Detroit; Basilia De la Cruz, OP; Marilín Llanes, OP; Carolyn Roeber, OP; Maria Eneida Santiago, OP; and Nery (Luchy) Sori, OP.

Read the reflection on Pagyakap sa Hinaharap, written by Sister Liberty Mendoza, OP.

Three of the North American visitors reflected on what they learned at the gathering, their experience of the culture of the Philippines, and the ministries of the Sisters: Sister Carol Jean; Sister Marilín, a school psychologist at the Joliet, Illinois, School District; and Sister Luchy, who ministers at Espíritu Santo School, Sección San José de Arroyo Hondo in the Dominican Republic.

Sister Luchy said she benefited from the presentation by attorney Alex Lacson. “The presentation helped us to understand the situation in the Philippines,” she said. “He explained very well what the problems are and where they are, the political and economic situation.”

She noted similarities between the economic challenges of the Philippines and the Dominican Republic – extreme poverty, with people owning small businesses to make some money, and a “deep division between the rich and the poor.” Sister Luchy said the division is greater in the Philippines than in her own country.

Sister Luchy also noted the situations of many families in both countries in which one parent has to leave home to earn money to send back to their families. “The children feel abandoned, and they don’t feel the same love from an uncle or aunt or brother or sister,” she said. “They understand that their parents have to go out of the country to make money so they can survive, but it isn’t the same.”

Sister Carol Jean also spoke of this challenge. “So many leave their country to support their families, which is so disruptive,” she said. She spoke to two lay co-workers who had once been in that situation, one working in Jerusalem and the other in Taiwan, both to support their families. “Their economy didn’t support them,” she said.

Sister Marilín, also reflecting on the presentation by the attorney, said she learned how the economy of the Philippines “plummeted” in 50 years. “This is happening because of 40 families in the Philippines who own the Philippines,” she said. “It’s a dynasty and they insert themselves in all the circles of power.” Sister Marilín also learned of the daily violence caused by extrajudicial killings – drug dealers, but more drug users who are targeted by the government and killed as part of the nation’s war on drugs.

From left, Sisters Marilín Llanes, OP, Carolyn Roeber, OP, and Rosita Yaya, OP.

Sister Marilín was also impressed by Father Quirico Pedregosa, OP, and his encouragement to Dominicans to follow their call to preach to people on the peripheries of society. “At the end he says that every time the [Dominican] Order flourishes, it’s when we respond to the peripheries,” to people who are cast aside or neglected by society.

The Sisters from North America also recognized many admirable qualities in the Filipino culture. Sister Luchy noted that one of the biggest differences between the Filipino and the North American cultures is the respect that the people in the Philippines have for their elders. She said she was especially impacted by the way children and young people come to the Sisters and humbly ask for a blessing. 

“To experience another culture was just personally enriching,” Sister Carol Jean said. “It kind of changes you. You take in these beautiful people and you learn something of the sufferings that they endure.”

Sister Marilín was struck by the hospitality of the Sisters. “The Filipino culture is the most welcoming and so attentive to detail and to making sure you feel at home,” she said. “The minute I stepped into their house, I felt at home.”

The guests from North America also had the opportunity to come to know the Sisters from Our Lady of Remedies Mission Chapter, their various ministries, and the influence they have on the people they serve. The Sisters teach and administer in various schools; teach catechism and serve in a feeding program for students at Villa Maria, a private school that serves the indigenous Aeta people; reach out to street children; and advocate for justice and peace for their people.

“It was just such a gift to be with the Sisters and to be with the people they minister to,” Sister Carol Jean said. “[Ministry is] their life, and you can really see that – and how grateful the people on the panel were on Saturday to have the Sisters in their lives.” But, recalling the injustice and the difficulties that the people in the Philippines face, she added, “It’s hard for me to imagine how our Sisters carry the pain that is so prevalent there.”

Sister Luchy saw that the greatest gift the Sisters in the Philippines can give is hope. “They bring hope to the people they have in ministry,” she said. “Our Sisters are doing their best to bring hope to those people who are very poor.”

“It was a rich experience of integrating our Dominican charism in Asia and beyond, and then to understand how together we are embracing the future,” Sister Marilín recalled. “I was so honored to have had the opportunity to go.”

Feature photo (top): Sister Patricia Harvat, OP, left, and Sister Carol Jean Kesterke, OP, speak to some of the school children who danced for participants of Pagyakap sa Hinaharap



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