Provincial Superior's 2014 Circular n.10

Circular 10
Liturgical Memorial of our Lady of Guadalupe


Dearest Sisters,

May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the personified and “incarnate mercy and compassion” of our God, continue to accompany our Advent and Christmas journey, through the loving intercession of our Blessed Mother Mary.

As we look forward to the celebration of the Christmas mystery, we also join the Philippine Church in the intense preparation for the forthcoming visit of Pope Francis from January 15 – 19, 2015. We pray in a special way that this event may truly awaken mercy and compassion in our personal and communal lives. May the words of Cardinal Tagle resound in our hearts: “The pastoral visit of Pope Francis focused on Mercy and Compassion would certainly offer vast opportunities to experience grace, to hear callings, to disturb comfort zones, to value the poor, to renew society, to care for creation and to live honorably.” I would like to inform everyone that we have been tasked by the local church also to intensely participate in this event by being part of the media documentation team, the choir and liturgical assistants in vesting the bishop participants in the Manila Cathedral and Luneta events. Let us join hands therefore with all the organizers and all of God’s people to contribute even our little sacrifices and discomforts for the protection of the Holy Father and the success of this faith event. Still quoting Cardinal Tagle: “At the end of the visit and at some unknown future, let us share stories of how the journey of Pope Francis to us has led us to other journeys of faith and mission.”

Secondly, I hope that the local community animators have already received the information on the Annual Retreat 2015 and have passed it on to the sisters. The theme we have chosen is “Our Life of Poverty as Consecrated Women” synchronizing it with the double celebration of the Year of Consecrated Life (Universal Church) and the Year of the Poor (Philippine Church). Every group of retreat will be preceded with a 2-day Psycho-spiritual integration seminar, to help us reflect on and evaluate our formative journeys. May I ask the local animators please to organize their respective communities in this regard. For the communities of Taiwan and Hong Kong, we have decided that they organize themselves to have a joint retreat of two groups next year. Sr. M. Virginia Velez is coordinating this program.

Thirdly, I would like to take the opportunity to thank the sisters whom I have consulted as of the moment, to be part of the different provincial teams on spirituality, formation, mission and administration. (Please see Attachment 1). Consultation is also ongoing in regard to changes in assignments; we hope to communicate further changes by next month. For the moment, I would like to announce that the new Junior Directress is Sr. M. Lilibeth Bernaldez, since Sr. M. Peter Evardone requested to be relieved from this ministry to be able to attend to some significant family issues; let us accompany Sr. M. Peter with our prayers as she takes her three-month leave starting February 2015.

Lastly, I would like to inform everyone that there is a sequel letter entitled Scrutate (literally, “Scrutinize” or “Discern”) addressed to consecrated persons, written by João Braz Card. de Aviz, the Prefect of the Vatican Dicastery in charge of Consecrated Life. For the moment, we are still inquiring about the English translation. Suffice it to say that this document could be a good guide in the ongoing discernment regarding various issues confronting our consecrated life. I manage to translate only the first five reflection questions at the end of the document (see Attachment 2). I hope this could guide us in our reflection and preparation on what to offer as “gift” for our Lord this Christmas and how to journey in the New Year that is about to begin.

Thank you once again for all the prayers and collaboration, especially in the ongoing apostolic projects of the Province. Let us join hands in receiving the gifts of the Lord especially the new “candidates” who will have the courage to follow the Master in the way of discipleship.

I greet you all affectionately and also in behalf of the members of the Provincial Government, a blessed and joyful Christmas imbued with the Lord’s Paschal Mystery!


Sr. M. Gemma Victorino pddm