Mary’s “yes” resounded as three PDDM sisters renewed their vows on the occasion of their 25th anniversary of religious profession last August 15, 2023, Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The silver jubilarians—Sr. M. Noelle Ledesma, Sr. M. Regina Lito and Sr. M. Ruth Nardo celebrated this milestone of their journey at Divine Master Convent chapel in Antipolo City with His Excellency, Most Rev. Socrates Villegas, D.D. of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan as the presider. Together with Rev. Fr. Mario Sobrejuanite, Provincial Superior of the Society of St. Paul, and other concelebrating priests, the Eucharistic banquet took place at 10:00 o’clock in the morning. The celebration was graced with the presence of the other PDDM sisters led by Sr. M. Anthony Basa, their Provincial Superior, members of the Pauline Family as well as the relatives and friends of the jubilarians.

In his homily, Archbishop Villegas gave three points to ponder on the celebration in the light of Mary’s experiences and assent to God’s will. He firstly thanked the Lord for the gift of years of joyful discipleship of the three sisters. He said it is not about the counting of years because when the Lord calls a person, even before she was born, it was always and has always been forever. He gave three words to describe the consecrated life as lived by the jubilarians—searching, asking questions, and longing to remain with the Lord. Like Mary who went to Elizabeth in order to search for and found the proof about what was spoken to her by the angel, the sisters’ journey has also been a constant search for proof God’s love. And this search has been many times satisfied by the Lord. Like Mary, they have asked many questions which had also been answered. Like Mary, they always long for the Lord to remain with them and they experienced his presence.  But he made them and the rest of the faithful realized that not all the time that every searching is satisfied, all questions are answered and all longing to be with the Lord happened. We also experience darkness and difficulties on the journey of following him. He affirmed that the most important moments in life are those when we search without finding, when we asked without being answered, and long in darkness because these moments give us lessons we can never forget. An easy and convenient life is not a good teacher. Darkness and crises are very good teachers, not comfort and convenience. Thus, above all, we thank God for these moments for it is when God is so near; encounters of love.

The jubilarians expressed their gratitude to God and renewed their fiat to God’s faithfulness. They also thanked all those who have been part of their journey of discipleship as well as the people who were part of this momentous event and made it a solemn and meaningful one. A table fellowship followed the Mass.

Last August 5-10, the jubilarians had their spiritual exercises at the Sacred Heart Novitiate House in Novaliches with Rev. Fr. Chris Dumadag, SJ as their guide. It was followed by bonding and integration with Sr. M. Anthony Basa.

We continue to pray for and with Sr. M. Noelle, Sr. M. Regina and Sr. M. Ruth that they continue the journey of searching, asking questions and longing to remain with the Lord.