On June 29, 2021, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, marks the 50 years of living and active presence in the Archdiocese of Cebu. It also manifests God's abiding presence in our community and the local church. The Golden Jubilee of our foundation finds more meaning in the commemoration of the 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines. With the theme Gifted to Give, we recognize the gifts that God has blessed us through these years especially the gift of vocations with our 18 professed sisters and a novice who come from Cebu, and 12 sisters from the different parts of the Visayas whose vocation was found and nourished in this place.
We also remember with fondness how our three sisters, Sr. M. Ester Sawal, Sr. M. Scholastica Malate and Sr. M. Gianfranca Rulfo were sent to open a Tabernacle in the Queen City of the South which is also the cradle of Christianity in our country. With much faith and courage, our sisters settled in a rented apartment in Ramos Street as their humble Nazareth. Their life of witness has touched the hearts of devoted and generous people who helped them acquire a place to build our convent here at Escario Street. In 1974, the Divine Master Convent and the Liturgical Apostolate Center were blessed. Our community chapel was opened to the public and has become not only a place of worship but also a solace for the many who come to pray before Jesus Master present in the Eucharist.
The celebration was highlighted with the presence of Most Rev. Midyphil Billones, Auxillary Bishop of Cebu, Sr. Mary Anthony Basa, Fr. Dan delos Angeles, our Pauline priests, and representatives of the team of pastors at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish. The Cebuano hymns were beautifully sung by our sisters and the SSP novices who also took care of the livestreaming and our other digital needs. Bp. Midyphil stressed in his homily that our true identity as Pious Disciples is that we belong to Christ the cornerstone, and are loved and chosen by him. Only anchored in that can we then be solidified like a rock in mission especially in the midst of a storm.
In the afternoon, a significant event was also celebrated with the signing ceremony of the MOA (Memorandum of Agreement) held at the Archbishop's Palace for the assignment of a PDDM sister, in the person of Sr. M. Angeli Tangkilan, to render accounting services for the Oeconomus-Finance Department of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cebu. The signing was done by His Excellency Archbishop Jose S. Palma,DD, in the presence of the legal officer of the Archdiocese, Rev. Fr. Dan Delos Angeles with the following PDDM Sisters: Sr. M. Anthony Basa, Sr. M. Angeli Tangkilan, Sr. M. Lourdes Eublera, and Sr. M. Geraldine Bucog. Also present as representative of the Finance Department was Rev. Fr. Ruben Endona, Assistant Economus Officer. We thank Archbishop Palma for the trust given to the PDDM in assigning us to a very delicate ministry. This event is historical because after 50 years of active and living presence in Cebu, this is the first time that we were given a special ministry directly involved in the local church. The service of Sr. Angeli does not only assist the Archbishop of Cebu in his role as shepherd, but also as steward over the financial affairs of the Archdiocese of Cebu.
May God be always glorified in our mission, and may we be blessed with the light and strength of both apostles, Sts. Peter and Paul, who have passionately proclaimed the Good News to all peoples, the spread of which is extended to us to today with mercy and compassion in this time of pandemic. DEO GRATIAS!