Provincial Superior's 2015 Circular n.6

Dearest Sisters,

 

May the precious gifts of the Spirit, especially wisdom, understanding and counsel be upon us all!

I would like to start with a note of gratitude as we leave the Easter Season and return to the Ordinary Time of the Church’s liturgical life. We thank the Lord, first and foremost, for the continuing work of salvation he effects in our lives. Secondly, I would like to repeat my gratitude to the sisters who have collaborated with us in the ministry of governance of the local communities in the last three years. I thank as well, the new set of servant-leaders of our local communities, those who have accepted the challenging ministry of guiding, organizing, animating the sisters and the various forms of apostolate in the particular local churches where we are inserted.

I believe it has not been easy for most of us to discern what is God’s will in this regard. We all needed the wisdom of the Spirit and the obedience that comes with faith, valuing also the Rule of Life and the Pauline-PDDM tradition. I would like to quote here the words of Pope Francis: “The strengthening and renewal of consecrated life are the result of great love for the Rule, and also the ability to look to and heed the elders of one’s congregation.  In this way, the “deposit,” the charism of each religious family, is preserved by obedience and by wisdom, working together. And, along this journey, we are preserved from living our consecration lightly and in a disincarnate manner, as though it were a Gnosis, which would reduce itself to a “caricature” of the religious life, in which is realized a sequela – a following – that is without sacrifice, a prayer that is without encounter, a fraternal life that is without communion, an obedience without trust, a charity without transcendence.”(Feb. 2, 2015)

I pray that we may truly overcome the tendency to live our consecrated life conditioned by fear, afraid of entrusting ourselves completely to the loving hands of the Father and of imitating Jesus in the kenotic dimension of his life (cf Phil 2:7-8). To continue the quote from Pope Francis: “For a religious person, to progress is to lower oneself in service. A path like that of Jesus, who “did not count equality with God something to be grasped.”: to lower oneself, making oneself a servant, in order to serve.(…) Through this “law” consecrated persons are able to attain wisdom, which is not an abstract attitude, but a work and a gift of the Holy Spirit, the sign and proof of which is joy. Yes, the mirth of the religious is a consequence of this journey of abasement with Jesus: and when we are sad, it would do us well to ask how we are living this kenotic dimension.”

Another word of thanksgiving goes to the sisters who heeded the recommendation to make vocation promotion initiatives part of their vacation schedule this summer. I heard the stories of their encounters with the youth, and also with the priests and other persons who still need to know the beautiful charism of our Institute. We pray that these encounters may bear fruit in due time. Meanwhile we accompany with our prayers the application of our 3 novices for First Profession (August 15, 2015), the return of Novice Teresa from her apostolic experience in Korea (July 15, 2015) and the entrance to aspirancy of Ms. Teresita Zhang from China (July 12, 2015). The latter is now in the country and is undergoing intensive English language course in Manila as part of the requirements for her formative journey.

With the beginning of the new school year, we also invoke particular graces for our students. Ten temporary professed sisters, five perpetual professed and a number of our PLMCs have been enrolled in different levels. May the Lord continue to guide everyone according to his wise designs.

In behalf of the members of the Provincial government, I greet you all affectionately, entrusting each one to the compassionate care of the Master,                                   

Sr. M. Gemma Victorino