A GATHERING WORTH REMEMBERING

Every year we, who are involved in the sacerdotal ministry used to gather together for formative session and meeting. The participants namely, Sr. Ma. Rosalba, Sr. M. Beatrice (Dagupan), Sr. M. Emily, Sr. M. Martha, Sr. M. Timothy (SSP-Makati) and Sr. Ma. Gabriela, Sr. M. Angeli (Pampanga) were in the Sanctuary of St. Paul in Makati for Eucharistic Celebration at 5:30 in the morning on May 13, 2017, the very day the Catholic Church celebrated the 100th year anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady in Fatima. It was a grace indeed that the first day of our formative session coincided with this event so significant for all Catholics and most specially for Marian devotees.

After the Mass we proceeded to St. Paul Seminary Foundation in Silang, Cavite where Sr. M. Benedict and Sr. M. Claire waited for us. We have settled down for some time then we proceeded to the refectory where we had the joy of partaking the breakfast prepared for us by our SSP brothers and priests and of course, by our very own Sr. M. Benedict and Sr. M. Claire.

We spent the morning sharing our present experiences in the Priestly Ministry with Sr. M. Anthony Basa, the Councilor for Mission as the facilitator. We listened to each other as we unravel our relationship with God and one another in the community and in the house of Formation and Apostolate of the SSP and in the Diocese where we are. We were so engrossed with the sharing so much so that we did not notice the passing of the time. It was very relaxing to take our lunch with our priests and seminarians while sharing our stories, listening to and enjoying one another’s company like one family.

In the afternoon at three o’clock Fr. Norman Peña, SSP, in a fraternal manner talked about his experience of the PDDM presence in the seminary. More than mere appreciation he upholds the value of our presence in their house of formation so much so that he facilitated our re-entry to Silang. It was a moment of exchanging his experience with us and our own experience of rendering service to them. This was all the more heightened when Sr. M. Necitas De Rama, PDDM, dealt with the book of Primo Maestro, “Woman Asociated with Priestly Zeal.” This was followed by our sharing of reflection and insights inspired by our session with Sr. Necitas. We took time also to share our joys and challenges in sacerdotal ministry. We assessed the expressions of our present ministry and came up with some suggestions on how we can improve doing these present expressions. We ended the day thanking the Lord for being with us the whole day when we celebrated the first vespers of the Fifth Sunday of Easter. After Supper we gave homage to Mary, the Our Lady of Fatima by praying the Rosary.

The following day, May 14, was a beautiful day with the Lord. We were in the chapel for Morning Prayer at 6:30 in the morning. People started to come at seven o’clock for the Mass.We had the sheer joy to animate the Sunday celebration which became even more meaningful for it happened to be Mother’s Day. We continued the celebration feasting at the table of plenty again with our SSP brothers and priests. Since it was our last meal with them we deemed it necessary to express our gracious appreciation and thanksgiving to Fr. Raymond Ferraris, the Superior and the members of the community for their warm reception. thus making us feel that we are really a family in communion with each other.

Oh, we were back to the for the session of Sr. M. Benedict Basañes on Proper Body Mechanics, Precautions and Emergency Measures in the Workplace! The session can serve as our guide in taking care of our bodies which is vital in the carrying out of our priestly apostolate. We left the house and headed for Tagaytay where we took our lunch. We came back to our respective communities enlightened, energized and enthusiastic to go on with our apostolate cherishing in our hearts our gathering as something worth remembering.