Sr. Agnes Gabito

Sr. M. Agnes entered the Congregation in the Regina Apostolorum community in Pasay City on 10 May 1954. She stood out for her seriousness, commitment and spirit of service. Beginning with initial formation, she worked in the technical apostolate, which she loved because it helped her cultivate interior silence, listening to God, and union with him. She made her novitiate in Lipa, concluding it with her first profession on 30 June 1958. During her Juniorate, Sr. M. Agnes joyously and generously carried out capillary and collective diffusion in the diocese of Naga. In 1963, after making her perpetual profession in Pasay City, she was called to be a missionary in Taiwan. For almost 30 years she carried out the Pauline mission in the communities of Taipei, Kaohsiung and Macau, irradiating simplicity, humility and fidelity to her responsibilities wherever she went. She loved the people to whom she was sent and dedicated herself to them generously, especially in the book center, where she often worked beyond the limits of her physical strength. Sr. M. Agnes was an innately humorous person but she was also very sensitive to the sufferings of the people she met while carrying out her apostolic activities. She live in a spirit of poverty that focused on essentials, never manifesting any personal needs or preferences. She was well-inserted in the Taiwanese culture and happily celebrated the many feasts on the Chinese calendar. She was a mother and sister to many Filipinos who had emigrated to Taiwan.

In 1983, Sr. M. Agnes spent a period of time studying at the Institute of Missionary Catechesis in Castelgandolfo (located on the outskirts of Rome), an annex of the Pontifical Urbanianum University. Her stay at the FSP Generalate in Rome proved to be providential for her because it gave her the opportunity to improve her cultural and theological training and also offered her the personal space she needed to make an in-depth synthesis of life. With great commitment and love, she wrote a thesis entitled “The Mass Media in Evangelization in the Light of Evangelii Nuntiandi.”

In 1992, Sr. M. Agnes returned to the Philippines. Assigned to the Regina Apostolorum community, she continued to dedicate herself wholeheartedly to the apostolate with the enthusiasm characteristic of her mission ad gentes. She stood out for the zeal with which she carried out the services entrusted to her by obedience, which included work in the shipping room, the bindery and the Pasay City stock room. Transferred to Legaspi and then Tuguegarao, she carried out primarily capillary and collective diffusion in these dioceses. Before surrendering to the limitations resulting from her declining health, she continued to carry out the propaganda apostolate in the parishes and businesses of Manila.

Our sisters say that Sr. M. Agnes was always very faithful to participation in community life–indeed she would always arrive a little early for scheduled activities rather than risk being late. A very early riser, she was always one of the first sisters in chapel for meditation every morning. She is also well remembered for her kind and gentle behavior toward others, her great respect for authority, her ability to be content with simple things, and for the way in which she readily apologized if she happened to speak impolitely to others. She nurtured a special affection for the young women in formation and supported them above all through her prayers while they were on their first apostolic experiences.

For the last few months, particularly after the death of her brother, Sr. M. Agnes’ health steadily declined and she was often confined to bed. Her situation took a critical turn for the worse in the last few days due to a bad case of pneumonia, followed by a severe heart attack.

Today, the beautiful Feast of the Ascension, we rejoice to think that Sr. M. Agnes has also risen with the Lord and is now seated in the presence of the Father, where she will contemplate the riches of glory that is her eternal heritage.