Sr. Maddalena Ricon, FSP

Up until just a few weeks ago, Sr. M. Maddalena lived in our Pasay City community, where she helped the secretary by answering the phone and carrying out many other small services. We remember her as a kind and thoughtful person, who happily welcomed the members of the General Government when we made the Fraternal Visit to this circumscription in February. Toward 10 April, while participat-ing in a course of spiritual exercises, Sr. M. Maddalena had to be hospitalized due to heart failure. She was able to return home afterward but this re-entry lasted only a few days. Last Wednesday she had to be taken back to the hospital because of an encephalopathy (a brain dysfunction) of septic origin, which was the immediate cause of her death.
Sr. M. Maddalena entered the Congregation in Pasay City on 28 December 1954, after graduating from high school. She made her novitiate in Lipa, concluding it with her first profession on 30 June 1959. Immediately afterward, she was asked to carry out capillary and collective diffusion in Pasay and then in Naga. In 1965, a year after her perpetual profession, she was appointed superior of the Cagayan de Oro community, after which she spent a brief interval in Pasay. Following this she worked for Radio Veritas, and then was once more asked to carry out the service of superior, this time in the communities of Iloilo and Legaspi successively. The sisters often told Sr. M. Maddalena that her service as superior constituted a true “vocation within a vocation.” In fact, she was a very maternal, kind, attentive, generous and under-standing person, who was very solicitous toward the needs of the sisters. Above all, she wanted to carry out the will of God as fully as possible. In 1970, she wrote to the Superior General: “I accept whatever the Lord wants. He knows that I am incapable and lacking in everything…but I place my hope in the Blessed Mother and pray to her, sure that she will help me.”
Sr. M. Maddalena had a particular gift for bookkeeping and other accounting services, but above all she was a hard-working and completely trustworthy person. Because of this, she was appointed pro-vincial bursar in 1979 and, following this, was made superior of the large Queen of Apostles community of Pasay City. She also loved the book center apostolate, which enabled her to meet the people directly, and she carried out this mission with great competence and simplicity in Cubao (Manila), Legaspi, Olon-gapo, Bacolod, Pasay City and Naga. She highly valued the universal and missionary aspects of the Con-gregation and rejoiced greatly when she was offered the chance to come to Rome in 1993 to participate in an updating course on the Pauline charism.
Ever young at heart, Sr. M. Maddalena had a special love for the circumscription’s young women in formation and was very understanding and supportive of both them and their formators. She was dearly loved by the temporary professed students in the Marikina (Manila) community, where she served as local superior from 2006-2009. In the last period of her life, her simple and cordial presence graced the provin-cialate community, whose members affectionately called her “Mother.” There, she generously carried out various services ranging from the refectory to the library, from the central administration office to the office of the provincial secretary.
Sr. M. Maddalena lived in the spirit of the Magnificat. In a community sharing session, she said she wanted to thank the Lord for everything, even painful and difficult situations. We think that our sister went to meet the living Christ “adorned like a bride for her Bridegroom,” with her heart singing the Pas-chal alleluia, the hymn of blessing and praise that the Liturgy of the Fifth Sunday of Easter raises from every corner of the earth to the One who makes all things new.