Provincial Superior's Circular no.9
Greetings of joy and peace in this month dedicated to Jesus our Divine Master! I believe that this annual celebration motivates us in a very special way to gather all our psycho-spiritual and apostolic energies and offer them for the proclamation and service of Jesus our Divine Master in whatever context we may find ourselves.
Indeed the first of the graces of our Divine Master this month is the blessing of the new PDDM residence here in Davao this Sunday, October 7, 2012. Thank you so much for all your prayers and support for the completion of the construction of our apostolic structure in this Archdiocese. Our special thanks go to the sisters who bore the inconveniences and face the challenges of this year-long project. We also thank Sr. M. Magdalene Magallanes, our Provincial Bursar, for the dedication she had in following up this project through thick and thin. Sr. M. Regina Cesarato, our Superior General, in the letter of greetings for the coming blessing prays that "this apostolic centre be a place of irradiation of Jesus Master Way, Truth and Life, where one lives in apostolic charity at the service of the reign of God, according to our specific mission as Disciples of the Divine Master."
In this regard, I would like to inform everyone that we are renaming this new apostolic centre and residence as Casa Madre Scholastica, placing the community and the various ministries under the patronage and protection of the first Mother of the PDDM, Mother Maria Scholastica Rivata. We are hoping that the new structure will truly be maximized for the fulfillment of our Eucharistic-priestly and liturgical mission. Additionally, we hope that this could also be one of the ways to promote knowledge of Mother Scholastica to the Filipino people. May her love for and service to Jesus Divine Master be transmitted not only by word of mouth but through our concrete ministries and life witness.
Among the other blessings of this month are the upcoming ecclesial events namely: the Opening of the Synod of Bishops on October 7, wherein the Pope and his closest collaborators will reflect on evangelization in the world. Then, on October 11, we shall join the whole Catholic world in the Opening - in the 50th anniversary of Vatican Council II - of the Year of Faith called by Pope Benedict XVI in order to help all men and women open their hearts and lives to the Lord Jesus and the Word of Salvation. I believe that most of us have already taken into our hands the document Porta Fidei written by the Pope himself to help guide the faithful in understanding the significance of this celebration. It is also the main source of inspiration for our novena masses in honor of Jesus the Divine Master this year.
On October 17-24, we have also scheduled a short meeting of our communities of Taiwan and Hongkong to pursue the common reflection and activities delineated in our seven-point program for the long-term project of creating a China delegation (cf. attachment to Circular n. 7).
On October 21, World Mission Sunday, Blessed Pedro Calungsod, Visayan Protomartyr, will be among those who will be canonized by the Pope in the Celebration at St. Peter’s Basilica. Two of our sisters from Cebu, Sr. M. Angeli Tangkilan and Sr. M. Adelle Arboleda, will be joining the delegates and pilgrims of the Archdiocese in this unique event. Let us thank the Most Holy Trinity for the gift of sanctity to one of our fellow Filipinos and let us pray that this be an added impetus for all of us, especially for our lay associates to believe that God truly wants our sanctification.
Connected to this call to sanctity addressed to all, I am happy to announce that this coming October 22, the liturgical memorial of Blessed Timothy Giaccardo, we shall be welcoming 8 candidates of the APC-FDM in Davao as full-pledged members when they pronounce their promise on that day. Last August 15, we also had two new members who made their promise in Cebu, bringing to 10 the new members of the Association this year, a grace that we joyfully and gratefully receive from the hand of the Divine Master.
As a final point of reflection, I would like to reflect with you on the theme of faith. If there is one biblical text on "faith" which I suggest we carry with us throughout this Year of Faith, I'd like to propose one very dear to the heart of Blessed Alberione and all Paulines: “I live by my faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal 2:20). It is not so much a call to activate our faith in the Son of God but the faith of the Son of God. This is the faith, the faith of Jesus himself, that will assure us courage in the present, and hope in the future. For the faith of the Son of God is the faith of one who trusted the Father completely, unconditionally. This faith of Jesus is also the power of his personal love for me to the point of complete self-giving, his dying and his rising for me. It is a love that won't let go of me - one that has decisively and definitively embraced my whole reality - of being frail, sinful but also forgiven, called to become a saint.
How then do I activate this faith of Jesus in my life? I propose we try to become more and more aware of the divine life in us, let us be convinced to the core of our being that we are unconditionally loved by the Father and that we are capable of sharing this same love to others. Let us deepen our interior life and the consciousness of God's indwelling in us and in every person, in the depth of all reality. Practice looking at ourselves and other people with the eyes of faith. We can do this better if we constantly nurture ourselves with the Eucharist and the Word of God. Let us try our best to be present in the faith sharing, especially in communitarian Lectio Divina and Lectio Vitae on our Rule of Life. I also encourage you to participate in and promote the Enriching Liturgical Life Seminar programmed this month with its objective of understanding better the historical, theological and pastoral significance of the different parts of the Mass. Kindly get in touch with Sr. M. Graziella Aseberos and the Mission Development Team for details.
The other proposal is to express this intrepid, courageous faith in the level of our apostolic life. As you already read in the attachment to my Circular n.8, we are working full-time to put into order the specific dimension of creativity-production-diffusion in our liturgical workshops and centers. But there is a bigger picture we need to see. I am certain that by now, we are aware of the challenges the modern world poses before us which includes, among other things, unbridled consumerism and secularism. The economic development here and abroad is witness to this, with the mushrooming malls and market shares surrounding all spaces outside and even inside our houses, the latter brought to us by modern technology. This has led me to ask: what about spiritual development, the faith development of the people and especially the youth? Who takes care of this? If we in the religious life, with all the resources given us, do not contribute our share, who will do this?
Our year search for the Apostolic Project that the Final Document of the 2nd Provincial Chapter challenged us to come up with (cf 3.2) has led us in the Provincial Government to consider if it is not high time to plan the construction of the JESUS MASTER CHURCH in our grounds in Antipolo which could be our specific contribution to the ongoing development in the area. We have already the jewels of the two chapels in Cebu and Davao which are open to the public and which promote daily liturgical celebrations and Eucharistic adoration that nurture people's search for values that go beyond sheer economics. Will we have the courage to also open our grounds in Antipolo and share our spirituality to a wider public not only on Sundays? More, will we be able to unite our energies in the Province to come up, not only with a beautiful Sanctuary dedicated to Jesus but also of a pool of sisters who will generously collaborate to share their expertise in liturgical arts, Eucharistic-liturgical formation, spiritual direction and guidance of our people? I personally feel that it takes a lot of courage to pursue this dream because as you all know, at present, our financial resources are not that much, especially after the construction of our apostolic structure here in Davao. But I would like to believe that our Father, Blessed Alberione himself wants this project realized. One of our APC-FDM members in Antipolo confided to me lately of a dream which came to her last year, seeing Primo Maestro himself, together with another Bishop blessing the Jesus Master Church in Antipolo!
Therefore dearest Sisters, may we count on your prayers and collaboration for making this dream a reality? It could truly be our worthy offering for the 90th Foundation Anniversary of our Congregation on February 10, 2014. Let us invoke the blessing of Jesus Divine Master himself, through the intercession of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, to grant us clarity of vision, openness of heart, generosity of spirit to follow the path which he will point out to us to make this dream come true. Greeting you all affectionately in Jesus our Divine Master,
Sr. M. Gemma Victorino