Provincial Superior's circular no. 5

Circular n. 5
Ascension Sunday, May 28, 2017

Dearest Sisters,
            A blessed and happy celebration of the Ascension of the Lord to all of you! In great spirit of joy and gratitude, I am writing you from SGM-Casa Betania, Rome where we have just concluded the 9th General Chapter.

            In her closing address, our new Superior General, Sr. M. Micaela Monetti, invited everyone to welcome the “spirit of a renewed missionary passion which generates a new impetus for sanctity.” Appropriating the words of Pope Francis in Evangelii Gaudium 27, she communicated her dream: "I dream of a "missionary option", that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church's customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today's world rather than for her self-preservation.”

            Indeed, we thank and praise Jesus Master for this new impetus re-awakened in this Congregational and ecclesial event. It perfectly harmonizes with the celebration of Ascension Sunday today, wherein the Lord himself tells us: “Go and make disciples… and remember, I am with you always, until the end of time.” (Mt.28:16-20)

            This is such a tall order especially at this time of so many global and local challenges, especially in the Philippines, where the island of Mindanao is presently under martial law. In his message on this World Day for Communications Pope Francis infuses courage through his message entitled: “Fear not, for I am with you” (Is 43.5). He invites everyone to communicate hope and trust at all times: “Hope is born, a hope accessible to everyone, at the very crossroads where life meets the bitterness of failure. That hope does not disappoint, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts (cf. Rom 5:5) and makes new life blossom, like a shoot that springs up from the fallen seed. Seen in this light, every new tragedy that occurs in the world’s history can also become a setting for good news, inasmuch as love can find a way to draw near and to raise up sympathetic hearts, resolute faces and hands ready to build anew.”

            I take the opportunity to announce through this circular letter the arrival of Sr. M. Leticia Bantolinao on June 7 for two months of rest and home visit. I am sure you have followed the General Chapter journey with attention and prayer and I hope that the local superiors and sisters-in-charge have also motivated the sisters to be informed sufficiently through the information sent to you and through the postings at our pddm.org / pddm.ph websites.             Echoing of the experience of the Chapter will be done firstly to the participants of the liturgical sector heads and members of the provincial government who will be meeting by June 12-15, 2017 at PAC Manila; we shall then be scheduling our visit to the different communities for the post-chapter animation and we shall let you know of the details after our provincial council meeting in June. It is recommendable that everyone, and especially the sister delegates to the Provincial Chapter, Session 2 to be held at Alberione Center on August 20-25, 2017 find the time to be informed of the documents shared during the General Chapter. You can find these posted in pddm.org.

            Meanwhile, I would like to share with everyone the message of Pope Francis during our private audience with him, in the text translated and reported by Vatican Radio personnel (see attachment). I believe his message is not only for the participants of the Chapter but for all of us in the Congregation and I am certain that this could be useful for our personal and community animation and recollection.

            May the Spirit of Jesus Master continue to enlighten us and walk with us in the search for peace in the world, in the Church and in the hearts of all. Even as we assure Sr. M. Micaela Monetti and the General Councilors of our collaboration, we also thank Sr. M. Regina Cesarato, our former Superior General, together with the sisters who worked with her in the last six years. We entrust their journey and that of the whole Congregation to the intercession of Mary Queen of the Apostles whose Feast we are to celebrate come June 3, 2017.

            Greeting you all with affection, together with Sr. M. Leticia Bantolinao, Sr. M. Bernadette Martinez and Sr. M. Virginia Velez and invoking the Master’s choicest blessings upon you!                          

                                                                                                            Sr. M. Gemma Victorino pddm