Provincial Superior's Circular no. 1



Circular n. 1
January 16, 2017


Dearest Sisters,

            May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ - source, center and goal of communion - be upon us in this new year of our missionary discipleship and service.

            In the Gospel reading of today (Mk 2:18-22) our Lord Jesus reminds his critics that “No one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins are ruined. Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins." Inspired by this reading which is also the biblical source for our coming 9th General Chapter, I would like to cite some lines from the recent circular of our Mother General, Sr. M. Regina Cesarato, as to how we can apply this challenge to our personal and communal lives so that the “new wine” of Christ’s Spirit may permeate our whole being: “We are invited to build bridges of communion and collaboration, renouncing the sadness of an existence that is empty, that revolves around its own image, in a perennial infancy that never strives for conversion, finding a thousand excuses.  We must get to work and assume responsibility for our own life and the sufferings of others, to give of ourselves.  The majority of our personal demands would immediately dissolve to open us to thanksgiving.  Also this is welcoming “new wine” in “new wineskins.”  (cf Circular n. 1, January 6, 2017)

           It is indeed true that if we examine our lives closely, there are so many personal and community motives for thanksgiving that we will unearth and these are enough to conquer the complaints, discomforts and sufferings that we are prone to give more attention to.

            In our Province, we give thanks to the Lord for his continuous guidance and for the following graces which he will pour out upon us in the coming months: the re-entry of our former postulant, Dianne Therese Galapate, on February 9,2017; the renewal of vows of 10 temporary professed sisters on February 10, 2017; the silver jubilee of religious consecration of Sr. M. Bernadette Martinez and Sr. M. Eunice Montera on February 22, 2017 and the golden jubilee of religious consecration of Sr. M. Celine Santiago and Sr. M. Pauline Darnayla on March 25, 2017; the perpetual profession of Sr. Mylene Ballan and Sr. M. Janice Golez to be celebrated on April 23, 2017, Divine Mercy Sunday; as for Sr. Maredith Canoy, she will have hers on a later date, and hopefully in the local church of her hometown. Last but not the least, we also join the Friends of the Divine Master in their APC-FDM Annual Convention on May 25-28, 2017 in Davao City, a highlight of the worldwide Centenary celebration of the APC this June 2017.

            I take this opportunity to announce that the “partial turn-over” of Alberione Oasis Retreat House to La Salle – College of St. Benilde has been completed yesterday, January 15, 2017 as agreed upon in the contract. This means that the security and maintenance of said property are now being handled by their assigned personnel, though we shall still be using it for the first group of PDDM formative session and retreat come February 17-24, 2017. Our Provincial government team has decided that it will be better to look for other venues for the succeeding groups of annual formative session and retreat; the Spirituality Team will come up with the updated information in this regard. Thank you so much for your precious collaboration and the accompaniment of prayer in this process.

            I close with the wish that we all welcome life’s blessings and challenges with “docibilitas” that is, with a permanent inner willingness, an openness, to allow oneself to be taught by God’s Word, by the daily circumstances and relationships in our apostolic life. With our intense prayers for and commitment to a creative, fruitful and faithful discipleship, let us join all our sisters the world over in this time of intense  preparation for the 9th General Chapter. May all of us, especially those who are suffering in body and spirit, learn to offer our daily Paschal experience of Christ’s life, death and rising and let its grace “flow in us so that our presence may be qualified and the joy of the Gospel may renew the world.”

            In St. Paul, who allowed himself to be fully transformed by his encounter with the crucified and Risen Lord, I greet you all with affection and assure you of my constant prayers for each one.

          Sr. M. Gemma Victorino pddm